Saturday, 9 November 2019

The Royals Attend Moving Festival of Remembrance

The Duke and Duchess of Sussex joined the Queen and a host of royals at the Royal Albert Hall tonight for the annual Festival of Remembrance.


During Remembrance Week, Her Majesty and members of the Royal family lead the nation in commemorating and honouring the men and women who have sacrificed themselves in service to our country. The period in November marks one of the rare occasions we see the family together in large numbers to honour those who made the ultimate sacrifice. I often hear readers from outside the UK comment on how the UK pays tribute to our fallen heroes. I believe it is not only an honour to do so, but vital for future generations to remember those who gave their today for our tomorrow.


On Thursday, Harry and Meghan paid tribute at the Field of Remembrance at Westminster Abbey where they were privileged to spend time with a host of veterans including twenty who served on D-Day. Supporting the armed forces is a central part of Harry's work following his time in the army.


The royals were greeted by Mr Ian McCulloch, President of the Royal Albert Hall, and Lieutenant General James Bashall, President of the Royal British Legion.


The Duke and Duchess of Cambridge arriving.


Each year the Festival of Remembrance focuses on specific themes. This year, it marks the 75th anniversaries of the great battles of 1944 - Monte Cassino, Kohima and Imphal, D-Day -  and the collaboration and friendship of the British, Commonwealth and Allied armies who fought them.


 It also celebrates the role of GCHQ (Government Communications Headquarters responsible for signals intelligence) and the role of those in the secret service whose efforts are not publicly known.


The event has been held at the Royal Albert Hall every year since 1927. Her Majesty has been patron of the Royal British Legion since 1952, only missing two festivals in the many years since.


Other royals in attendance included the Prince of Wales and the Duchess of Cornwall, the Duke and Duchess of Sussex, the Duke of York, the Earl and Countess of Wessex, the Princess Royal and Vice Admiral Sir Tim Laurence, the Duke and Duchess of Gloucester and the Duke of Kent. Camilla had been very poorly during the week with a severe chest infection which forced her to miss several engagements, so it was good to see she's on the mend and felt well enough to attend tonight.


Ahead of the arrival of the royals, the hanging of the hammercloth takes place. Archivist Suzanne Keyte said: "There are many things that an archivist expects to find as part of their job, but one of the most unusual and rather lovely jobs at the Royal Albert Hall is caring for the hammercloth and ensuring that it is hung from the balcony in the Royal Box whenever the reigning monarch visits the Hall. The hammercloth is a beautiful and very heavy velvet curtain bearing the Royal Coat of Arms and the initials of the reigning monarch of Great Britain and the Commonwealth. The origin of the word ‘hammercloth’ is rather vague but was usually meant to mean the heavily embroidered cloth that hung over a coachman’s seat on horse drawn coaches, often embroidered with a coat of arms."


The Royal British Legion's annual festival commemorates those who have lost their lives in service of their country.


It takes place on the eve of Remembrance Sunday, with two performances on the day - a matinée open to members of the public and an evening event for members of the Legion, their families, officials and royals.


Presented by Huw Edwards, performers included James Blunt and Leona Lewis singing alongside the Central Band of the Royal Air Force and the Band of HM Royal Marines.


Actor and pianist Jeff Goldblum takes to the stage with ballroom dancers.


Tonight's event also paid tribute to the company of RFA Mounts Bay who were instrumental in delivering supplies and aid to the Bahamas in the wake of Hurricane Dorian this year.


Omid Scobie said when Meghan first attended the Festival of Remembrance last year she later told aides she had goosebumps throughout the entire evening. She and Harry were seated behind Prime Minister Boris Johnson.


The Torch of Remembrance was carried by 3rd Officer Sarah Stevens.


The citation was read by Captain Rob Anders: "We honour the Commonwealth nations and our allies who joined Britain in defending its freedoms, values and way of life."


The Chelsea Pensioners choir performed 'The Old Brigade'.


Actor Daniel Mays read read the poem 'The Red Poppies on Monte Cassino' as newsreel of the battle played. It is one of the best known Polish military songs of WWII.


D-Day veteran Eddie Gains talked about landing in Normandy: "When you think about all the lives lost, it's very important to remember, I'm lucky to have survived."


The Duchess channeled a classic 1950s silhouette with a black brocade bespoke Erdem dress with a fitted waist and a full skirt. The piece is very much reminiscent of styles favoured by Grace Kelly during the height of her career and early years as Princess of Monaco. The dress features an open collared neckline, buttons and a waistbelt.


Meghan wore her Aquazzura Deneuve bow pumps. It may be the lighting, but I believe she wore her navy pair. 


Meghan's new ruby heart earrings are the Jessica McCormack Signature GYPSET style (with thanks to What Meghan Wore).


Meghan carried a black clutch.


And wore a poppy on her lapel.


The Festival of Remembrance will be televised on BBC One at 9 pm. We'll see the Royal family, including Harry and Meghan, for Remembrance Sunday tomorrow morning.

69 comments:

  1. Gorgeous and glowing!!!
    - Shelly

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  2. Thanks, Charlotte. Looking forward to the full post.

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  3. She does glow! (Those suspecting a second pregnancy will be alert, especially after Harry's not-so-subtle interest in second babies.) It's a lovely dress, and will be interested in knowing whether it's vintage. Like most photos of Meghan and Kate, I bet she looks even better on video. Thanks so much for the prompt photo -- this is always such a great event and I love seeing so many of the family together.

    And I read something interesting about her visit to see Serena play some weeks ago -- I assumed she left Archie with Harry, but Serena was talking about what a great friend Meghan was to come with her baby on a plane to the US just to see her play. Lesson to me -- never assume!

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    1. I have never been pregnant, but Meghan sure is glowing and I wouldn't be a bit surprised! She looks absolutely fantastic.

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    2. The tabloids had reported that Archie had stayed home with Harry, it just goes to show how little factual reporting surrounds the Sussexes.

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    3. The woman has a six month old, let’s give her a break re: pregnancy rumours! Q

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    4. My daughter was just pregnant with her second child shortly after her last child was born. Now both girls will be 1 school grade apart. How many of us know friends who have siblings just 1 school year apart. That means lots of women have been pregnant less than a year after having had their previous babies. It was the first thing to come to mind when I saw her.

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  4. I love it when she wears her hair in a bun or ponytail so we can see her beautiful face. That portrait collar is really flattering on her.

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    1. Annette New Zealand10 November 2019 at 03:54

      I like Meghan's dress much more than the dresses most of the other royal women are wearing. It is more stylish than the others, who seem very drab, except for the Duchess of Gloucester who dared to introduce some colour in her blouse! I wonder who decides where everyone will sit as it doesn't seem to be based on royal protocol. Prince Harry outranks the Earl of Wessex for example yet he and the Duke of York are in the next door box.

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    2. Annette, Harry and Meghan are not sitting in the next box. They are sitting in the second row behind Charles and Camilla, the same position Edward and Sophie has on the other side. It is only the angle of the photo that make it seems like they are in the next box.
      The seating is losely based on precedence, which is different from their place in the order of Succession. Harry is higher up in the order of succession than Andrew or Edward, but since they are the sons of the monarch and Harry the grandson, they are higher in terms of royal precedence. Although unlike the order of Succession which is fixed, precedence are a bit more flexible.

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    3. Anglophile in Ohio10 November 2019 at 13:56

      Harry & Meghan are seated in the next box to the Queen’s. Exactly the same place they sat in 2018. Directly behind Andrew and the Prime Minister, same as 2018.

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  5. Oh wow she looks beautiful! I love the brocade of the dress. I agree she glows, and her post-baby body is just so much (IMO) more beautiful as she has curves in all the right places. My ONLY nitpick is I've never been particularly fond of the kind of scoop neck that Meghan is wearing, whether it's on sweaters or shirts or dresses. She looks amazing and almost pulls it off. But that kind of scoop neck IMO always makes women look really wide around the torso.

    But again, as I said, she looks beautiful and I do sense that after all the negativity she's gotten some of her mojo back. I hope she and Harry take that well-deserved break soon.

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    1. I'm with you on this, Ivy, but disagree about the neckline. I agree with Zipzipzippy that she looks beautiful with the open neckline. I think the full skirt and the belt and open neck balance out her figure. It's really much more of a problem to dress a figure that is straight and slim, with not much definition between hips and waist. Being very short-waisted on top of that makes it really difficult, especially if you gain weight mostly through your middle and upper body. I think she did great this time. I agree with whomever said it's a very Grace Kelly look. I love any look from the 40's and 50's.

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  6. Sorry but I don’t like this dress for this type of event at all. It’s beautiful but just not for this.

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    1. It’s a black dress and she’s covered completely. What’s the problem?

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  7. I've enjoyed watching the Festival of Remembrance in the past. It's wonderful that they tell the stories of the wars and its heroes during the program. It really is a program of remembrance! Like Meghan's dress and make-up very much. It looks vintage-very 50's which suits her very well.

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  8. Hello Charlotte - I trust your judgement what to post and what not to post. Your photo selections are done wisely. I hope you will post the sitting arrangement of H&M this year as well as the sitting arrangement from 2018 ( that is in proximity to the pecking order of BRF, or for any other reason).

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    1. Anglophile in Ohio10 November 2019 at 13:59

      Harry and Meghan were seated in the exact spot they were in 2018. Right behind Andrew and the Prime Minister.

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  9. Swoon😍😍😍🥰🥰🥰

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  10. I love this! I'm basing this just on the first look picture - but it has so much personality. Good job, Meghan!

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  11. She is glowing! Absolutely stunning!

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    1. Caroline in Montana11 November 2019 at 16:04

      I wonder that too, it really threw me off when I saw it in full on my computer and not my tiny little phone! Maybe the dog ate all her black shoes? :)

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  13. She looks beautiful. The dress is spectacular but I do not think it works on her. I will pass on the earrings.

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  14. Brocade is really tricky to wear well. It's hard to not look like furniture covering. The full skirt makes the dress look even heavier.The black makes the brocade pattern a bit less noticeable, but I'm not a fan of this overall look. It's certainly not an occasion where you would want fashion to be the focus anyway, so the black itself is nice. And Meghan herself looks good. (I don't believe the speculation that she's pregnant again. I like that she's not trying for the "Instagrammable" post-baby bod.

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    1. I agree with you on both assertions Anon 22:21; brocade is tricky and something about this (the full skirt + pattern? the big belt?) isn't working for me, though I do like the neckline. Meghan's clearly feeling it though:) she is shining! But I also agree that her glow is not from pregnancy (yet). I always like these black tie events, thanks for a great post about a great service, Charlotte! -op

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  15. Zora from Prague9 November 2019 at 22:16

    The dress itself is very nice but I think it tends to make Meghan look a bit too robust. Her earrings are lovely.

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  16. That dress!! I love it. So chic and flattering. The whole look is just lovely.

    It is so nice to see what the british do to honor their veterans and remember the dead.

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    1. I completely agree, this dress is stunning! And of course Meghan’s smile and wonderful posture make for the perfect accessories!

      As a daughter, sister and mother of veterans, I am always touched by these events. And for me seeing that so many members of the BRF have served makes these ceremonies so much more moving.

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  17. Thanks for featuring James on both blogs, he's been my favourite for many years and I'm truly happy to see him mentioned here and on Duchess Kate blog. :)

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  18. True Allison @19:40. Also, the Duchess of Cambridge gave good advice when she said, “don’t believe everything you read”.

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  19. Oh love that dress! Although it has so much volume on the bottom it makes her look a little heavier than she is.

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  20. So reminiscent of the 1950’s, and Grace Kelly, as Charlotte commented. Lovely.

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  21. She looks great. What a beautiful dress! But why is she wearing blue shoes? Kate and Meghan should have swapped shoes....

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    1. I don't think she is wearing blue I believe she has on black shoes. All black everything except earrings

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    2. I would agree...not to disagree with our trusty reporter Charlotte...but on my monitor and with good daylight in the room they look black to me.

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    3. No I think they are blue. When you put the picture next to one with somebody wearing black shoes, Meghan's are blue. There is also a picture online of a full length of Camilla, and she too is wearing very obviously blue shoes. Maybe there was a memo, "black and blue combos acceptable."

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  22. I love the dress, Duchess Meghan is wearing what she feels comfortable in. I'm reminded of how Harry reassured her she looked ok at Wellchild awards. I don't like a low neckline but Duchess is beautiful!! If her and Harry like it, then I LOVE IT!!

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  23. Meghan wears beautiful clothing that either doesn’t fit properly or doesn’t suit her body. The dress is lovely. Her hair, makeup and smile are lovely. The cut of this dress just doesn’t look good on HER. She did this before pregnancy too. It’s not about weight she may or may not have lost (I honestly don’t care). She just doesn’t dress the body she has. It’s too bad because when she does get it right, she looks spectacular.

    I must say that her makeup yesterday and today have been smashing. She looks lovely with whatever change she’s made.

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    1. You are right Senorita Dee, lovely dress, but too much fabric around the waist. It is not about weight, but just not the right style for her body type. Same kind of issue yesterday with the belted coat that was somewhat bulky. Also, while the materials in both were beautiful, neither were suited for the occasion. Her style is a little off lately, but her make-up and glow are spot on, very lovely.

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    2. I agree with you Senorita Dee...I just don't think the style of this dress is the best for someone with a short torso. The skirt is too full...... However, I love it when Meghan pulls her hair back in a beautiful bun. She truly has stunning features. I loved her long slightly wavy hair framing her face (very glamorous!) yesterday at the Field of Remembrance but I equally love tonight's look. Looking forward to waking up tomorrow, grabbing a coffee and enjoying your post, Charlotte ...thank you for all your hard work!

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  24. Thank you, Charlotte, for the lovely post. I think Meghan looks spectacular! I love the dress, but was a bit shocked that she wore it for this event, which seems to call for something more somber and subdued. I believe Meghan and Harry will give themselves a little time before they get pregnant again.

    R

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  25. Meghan's biggest asset is her absolutely gorgeous and radiant smile
    Elle

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  26. Meghan's make-up and earring are gorgeous. I like the dress but absolutely not on her. It doesn't fit her right. And it has nothing to do with post baby weight. She has a short waist and this cuts her horribly. I think someone else said above that Kate and Meghan should have swapped shoes and I agree!

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  27. Another reminder of why I dislike Erdem. It’s always TOO MUCH. In this case too heavy too much fabric. Kate wore an Erdem 5 or so years ago that was incredible. Every other one I’ve seen, on either of them, is a head scratcher.

    On a positive she is positively glowing. I’d be shocked if she was pregnant.

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  28. I love the dress and love her style. I just wish the fit was better. It remains the only thing that keeps her from being super chic. She's such a small person that tailoring is really essential to maintaining proper proportions and knocking it out of the park. I'm sure that will get better over time, despite being a celebrity, she's still quite new at the world-wide attention that comes from being a member of the BRF.

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  29. Well it’s clear that Duchess Meghan dresses based on the event she’s attending and not what anyone expects since the cut of the neckline is of a heart shape like the earrings and the floral on the dress represents the poppy’s just like the belt she wore on Thursday. I also believe that her dressing is very strategic for people to not focus on her clothing but the causes and her work

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  30. I know I'm in the minority but I don't like it. The dress is pretty, but not flatter. I never like the severe bun. And while I love those shoes, not in navy.

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  31. Meghan is so beautiful,happy and glowing.

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  32. she looks fantastic in that dress hmm i love her she nude shoes and plus fact radiant and happy its nice to see duchess cornwall well and healthy

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  33. I wonder at times how many of these people commenting haven't liked anything Duchess Meghan wears always complaining. She is living for herself and her family and working to help others. I pray her and Harry physical and mental health. Be blessed and continue to do you Harry, Meghan, Archie, and Doria!!!!

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    1. Lovely comment it’s very irritating sometimes well most of the time another thing they don’t seem to understand is that pictures makes things look bigger and you also have to take into account the angle in which it was taken . O and another thing is if some don’t like/ ware something the duchess has on its like she shouldn’t have worn it at all

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  34. Meghan looks gorgeous, and I love that dress and earrings. What a grand event this is--I can certainly understand Meghan's goosebumps.

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  35. I don’t think Meghan would get pregnant before at least a year has paased since her delivery. But this summer will be interesting! :)
    I love her look but I agree with some of you on the neckline, it is not my favourite style. I do think Meghan’s, Kate’s and Sophie’s necklines are showing a bit too much skin for the occasion. Must be getting conservative in my old age! ;)

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  36. I can see why she liked the idea of that dress, Grace Kelly vibe and all, but it just doesn’t look good on her. I could actually see Camilla pulling it of perfectly.

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  37. Love Meghan's dress. Beautiful and flattering neckline. The waistline is too high, it is not the best for her figure, otherwise she looks lovely

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  38. This dress is a rare miss for me. Substantial amount of fabric and bulk, same with the belt. Giving a very heavy look. Shoes are not a good match with the dress, they look navy. Hair and makeup, stunning. Love the ruby heart earrings they are lovely

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  39. I like the hair and make-up! The dress, on the other hand, is incredibly unflattering..it makes her look way bigger and “rounder” than she is.
    It’s a problem she’s had with lots of outfit; if she has a stylist I think it’s time to find a new one.

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  40. I'm going to say it....both Kate and Meghan both wearing black and navy and they both look great

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  41. That is the most GORGEOUS look .. classic elegance and so classy. Not a foot wrong. The earrings so pretty and understated. The boat neck is so flattering as it draws attention to her gorgeous skin and away from the very slight baby body she is still carrying. I love that she hasn't gone into DIET mode to regain her pre Archie figure. Time enough for that. I also wondered if she was carrying again, too soon ? One pic shows her protective hand at the waist. What a star 👑🎉🎉💥

    Time enough for that

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  42. At least in photos, the dress looks heavy, bulky, and just too much in brocade. I like the retro shape on her, but not in this fabric. She looks beautiful all the same, but. I wish both young royal ladies would stop wearing Erdem.

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  43. Not a fan of the Duchess' dress; but there's no denying her beautiful, beaming smile!

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  44. Interesting. I am not a fan of the look but it seams for completely different reasons than the majority. This obviously depends a lot on personal taste.
    I like cut of the dress (not the belt though) and I do think it flatters her figure. It’s a classic vintage silhouette that makes you look curvier. But the material/pattern make it a miss. Erdem is a nice brand for 50-60year old mother in laws at the wedding - 10 years ago. The pieces that come to my knowledge are 90% misses in my opinion. There is always something too much. I think the green coat she wore pregnant might have been Erdem too. That piece was gorgeous but even then, it could have done without the black decorations.
    I am also not the biggest fan of a sleek bun. When she puts her hair back that way she needs something to balance it out. In SA at the Woodstock Exchange she wore big earrings and this was a much better look.
    C.

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  45. Meghan's smile and make up are amazing. However, I don't think this dress flatters her. Too much fabric for a small person. The navy/black combo can work, but it doesn't work here. The black version of this style would have been much better.

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  46. Fashion "rules" about "works" on one body type and not another are silly in my opinion, and can easily be used to pick people apart because they highlight "flaws". If you love something and it's appropriate for what you are doing I say wear it. People are entitled their opinions but it becomes annoying when they are stated as facts. I you are short-waisted like Meghan and love the belted look go for it! I wouldn't wear this myself (not a fan of Erdem) but she looks great and wears it with confidence.

    Ronelle

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Welcome to Mad About Meghan! We do so look forward to reading your thoughts. Constructive, fair debate is always encouraged. Hateful, derogatory terms and insults are not welcome here. This space focuses on Harry and Meghan, not any other member of the Royal family. It's not the place to discuss politics either. Thank you for reading, we look forward to your comments :)