Friday, 17 January 2020

Harry & Meghan's Week in Canada & the UK

I had expected to be writing a post with news from Buckingham Palace on the Duke and Duchess of Sussex's future plans. For over a week now, advisers, courtiers, government officials and others have participated in talks to incorporate Harry and Meghan's plans in a "new working model". I know all of you have many questions, some of which the statement will answer. Certainly, it will be some months before it's all properly ironed out.

It's been a very interesting week for the Sussex family with Meghan and Archie on Vancouver Island and Harry undertaking official work back in the UK. After Meghan's surprise visit to Downtown Eastside Women's Centre in Vancouver, she spent time with an incredible organisation called Justice for Girls.


Omid Scobie reports:

'Justice For Girls was one of a few visits made by Meghan to local charities and organizations in Vancouver on Tuesday, January 14, after a Sussex aide reached out to share that the duchess finds their work "credible and compelling" and was eager to learn more.
Over tea (and note taking), Meghan spent an hour listening to stories from staff at the non-profit organization and spoke to the group about her commitment to advancing gender equity and other women’s issues. "We were very moved by the duchess visiting us despite terrible weather conditions in Vancouver and her very recent arrival," co-director Zoe Craig-Sparrow tells BAZAAR.com. "We were struck by how engaged and informed she was on the issues we discussed, and how quickly and gracefully she put us at ease."

Justice for Girls was founded in 1999  "in response to local, national, and international calls for 'girl only' programs and services that acknowledge and address the specific needs and vulnerabilities of girls, particularly in relation to homelessness, poverty, and violence. They believe it is necessary to eliminate violence and poverty in young women’s lives in order to bring about equality. Recognizing and addressing the intersecting/interlocking forms of oppression that young women face is fundamental to our work toward ending violence against girls and young women".


Omid Scobie says a number of topics were discussed including the epidemic of violence against indigenous women and girls.

'One of the key topics discussed during the meeting was Canada's current and ongoing epidemic of violence against Indigenous girls and women, which has seen over 4,000 Indigenous women murdered or go missing across the country in the past 30 years. "This work is critically important in Canada where the impacts of colonization continue to harm indigenous girls and women through epidemic violence, social and economic inequality, environmental racism and denial of the rights of Indigenous peoples," explains Craig-Sparrow, who was born and raised on Vancouver’s only First Nations band government, the Musqueam Indian Band.'

The Duchess with staff before departing.


During the visit Meghan was gifted a beautiful necklace (which she's wearing in the above photo) by artist Hollie Bartlett. Hollie personally selected the pendant from her collection. More from the Douglas Reynolds Gallery: "Hollie’s piece is an 18k yellow gold killer whale pendant with a solitary diamond. We carry a wide variety of B.C.'s First Nations art with a large selection of jewelry including the work of Hollie Bartlett. Her Whale Tail Pendants have always been a gallery favourite so we can see why it was chosen for the Duchess."


Seeing photos of Meghan in Canada takes me back to the very first days of this blog when most of our sightings featured the Duchess coming to and from yoga. I think she's eager to dive into this new life for her, Harry and Archie which is why it was great to see her smiling as she drove to the airport to collect her friend Heather Dorak.


Meghan and Heather have been close for well over a decade. Heather is the founder of Pilates Platinum in LA which Meghan attended. Heather's one of a number of friends the Sussexes have welcomed to Vancouver Island over the past couple of months.


We continue to see the return of pieces from Meghan's Canada wardrobe with the Duchess wearing her black Hat Attack hat, her Le Specs sunglasses and her Soia & Kyo Saundra Parka from her Suits days (with thanks to What Meghan Wore).

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Meanwhile, Harry has been busy in the UK with private meetings for the Invictus Games. He stepped out yesterday at Buckingham Palace for the Rugby League World Cup draw and was joined by a group of youngsters who enjoyed tag rugby on the lawn. Harry was on top form as he joked with the children about minding the grass and admired Australian comedian Adam Hills' "beautiful" beard.


There was very exciting Invictus news as Dusseldorf, Germany was chosen as the location for the 2022 games. It's only four months until the games kick off in the Hague, Netherlands this year, and it promises to be an exciting and inspiring week.



View this post on Instagram

Here we come Düsseldorf 🇩🇪! The new home for the 2022 and sixth Invictus Games. Having previously been held in London, Orlando, Toronto, Sydney, and upcoming The Hague this year in May - Düsseldorf will welcome over 500 competitors as they showcase their talents, determination and camaraderie to the world! The #InvictusGames is an international adaptive multi-sport event, created by The Duke of Sussex, in which wounded, injured or sick (WIS) armed services personnel and veterans show the world what they’re capable of in a series of adaptive sports, ranging from wheelchair basketball to indoor rowing. The Duke, having spent 10 years serving in the Armed Forces, set up the @WeAreInvictusGames to celebrate the power of sport rehabilitation (both physically and mentally) and to generate a wider appreciation for those who served their country beyond their time in uniform. Participating in the Games plays a significant part in the recovery journey of WIS Servicemen and women. It doesn’t just heal the individual, it heals the whole family. • “I hope everyone in Germany is ready for what will be an incredible week of sport! I have no doubt that the German public will get right behind these Games and that every single competitor can expect a warm welcome and an amazing atmosphere.” – The Duke of Sussex For more information of the announcement, visit https://invictusgamesfoundation.org/ig2022-announcement/ Video © @WeAreInvictusGames
A post shared by The Duke and Duchess of Sussex (@sussexroyal) on


I'm sure Harry is eager to rejoin his wife and son in Canada soon. We should hear an announcement shortly with an update on how plans for the future are progressing.

37 comments:

  1. Dear Charlotte
    Thank you for this lovely update!
    Harry and Meghan are non-stop impressive.
    They are both entrepreneurial philanthropists. They see a need and create an organization (Invictus) or a cookbook or Smartworks to address the need and help people help themselves. I’m sure Meghan is busy working on a real way to address the plight of indigenous women. As Harry said, when he met her, he knew he had to up his game. Now, I feel the same. Together we can make our society better.

    Renee

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  2. What an...eventful couple of weeks. :-) I was surprised at the timing of the Invitus announcement; obviously this has been scheduled for a very long time and makes the timing of H&M's *other* announcement all the more odd. I have wondered about any engagements or commitments Meghan may have had waiting for her in the UK upon return from the Christmas holiday, and if they had to be cancelled or rescheduled upon her return to Canada.

    I am supportive of H&M finding a positive way forward, and appreciate that Meghan is continuing her philanthropic efforts during this time. I'm just still very confused as to why this situation is playing out in the way that it is. It all seems very messy and ill-timed. I wouldn't have expected that from these two. Hopefully, once BP announces a plan for moving forward, things will take on more clarity and better fall into place.

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    1. Their planned exit was leaked to the Sun before it was finalized which forced their hand. I'm thinking their plan to work as minor/part-time royals is really just the beginning of a gradual and complete separation from the RF so that people get used to the idea. I know if I were Meghan, I would never step foot in that country again, for any reason.

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    2. It does seem confusing. Is Buckingham Palace stalling? Why did the Duchess leave Prince Harry ? He needs her support. Was there an ultimatum? Something is amiss, and, of course, we will never know what has really happened. Thanks for the wonderful blog, Charlotte. Parthenia

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    3. I agree, Jenna. It does not seem to make sense. I do not believe the leak to the Sun forced their hand — there have been leaks in the past which were ignored until the time was right to make a proper announcement. Also, the fact that their dogs and their infant son were all left in Canada strongly suggests that Harry and Meghan had planned to announce when they did. They are devoted parents and would not have left Archie there unless they planned for at least one of them to return immediately. Regardless, I wish them well, as I do the rest of the royal family. All of them are suffering at the moment.

      — MSDC

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  3. As usual (and most appreciated)your post is so informative and cheers up my day. I'm glad both Meghan and Harry are back to business. On the fashion front, loving these re-wears of pre-Duchess day things she obviously bought with her own earned money. Looking forward to learning more about many wonderful new charities. Oh, and yay! Invictus

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  4. Will continue to support Harry, Meghan, and Archie (also Doria). May God continue to bless this lovely family individually and collectively. Jesus be a fence around them always and build them up where they may be weak or torn down. I love this family! Strengthen their marriage and also pray they have a lifetime of happiness. In Jesus name I pray Amen Amen Amen!!!!
    #StayStrongHarryMeghan

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  5. I believe Meghan is in the city of Vancouver, which is different than Vancouver Island, where the family spent time over the holidays.

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  6. This does indeed remind me, too, of Meghan's prewedding days. I remember that our favorite leaker, her makeup artist friend, said that "We are worried about her" after the African tour. I think they worry no more. I notice that Harry continues to refer to himself as duke, which makes perfect sense! There is no reason for him to lose a title. I think it is very possible that both of them, or just Harry, will come back at times to support Charles and, I hope, William. Some people said that Meghan was using her charity work to get an important husband -- hope this shows that her heart is where it always was, and she has enough left over to include Archie and Harry. Her friend Jessica has an Instagram photo of the two of them saying, Happy wife, happy life. This makes me very very happy to see her free again. Didn't have to be this way, but she's a smart woman to fix problems early. Love that pendant!!! Something good, probably many things good, will come of Meghan's visits.

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  7. Meghan looks wonderful. The mention of her clothing being part of her past is interesting. North America living requires many different layers of fashion depending upon the region of the continent you live in be in Canada or the USA. We haven't seen her winter jackets/coats recently because I do not believe the UK especially in the London area has weather that commands serious warmth and cover up. I laughed to myself this morning watching Good Morning American listening to a British news reporter actually reporting from Canada discussing how cold it was and his description of not understanding why anyone would choose to live in this kind of cold weather. Its all relative, what ever you are use to becomes the norm. I do think we may catch a glimpse of Prince Harry in the parker we saw him wearing on one of his expeditions with Walking With The Wounded to the South Pole in 2013. In matters away from talk of fashion, as we all wait for news of final decisions from HM I truly hope that Meghan does not loose her titles as Harry was born into. They are not leaving the RF. They are relevant members of HM family. He is the son of the future king and the brother of a future king. They are intentionally looking out for themselves in a progressive way rather then be placed in limbo not knowing how life will progress in a cut back monarchy as Prince Charles continues to express if published reports are correct. I do remain hopeful for a happily ever after for all concerned rather then a loose loose situation on both sides. Only time will tell and patience will be required from all of us as it all unravels. The history books will have much to record as time goes by. We live in such interesting times historically speaking both at home in the USA and across the pond!

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    1. As ALWAYS, I so agree with you, USA Granny. They are not "abdicating" anything. He is not the heir. I hate the "lose their titles" talk in the UK. Fergie has her title, which doesn't really make sense. Edward's children have titles and they are definitely going to be "non-working royals." And no one was said that Harry (with or without Meghan) may not assist his father in the years to come. And, yes, history is happening all around us. :)

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    2. Absolutely 100 percent , yes, Granny and Allison. Breaking news today that they have settled several issues that vexed some. It’s all going to work out as they simply step back to be junior royals, leaving that designation to the heir and his eldest son, and their immediate families. Charlotte and Louis will have plenty of time to prepare for their new lives.

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  8. Meghan does indeed look more relaxed and in her element.
    I sincerely do hope that she and Harry, if they say that they want to be autonomous that they do indeed become independent ie no expecting other people or countries to pay for their security etc.
    I think people would respect them a whole lot more if they do really go it on their own without the HRH titles and expecting others to pay for them

    Greer (Canada)

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    1. Can we just all wait and see? We know nothing about their titles and costs and security. We will have plenty of time to moan about it when it is made public.

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    2. Haters will hate, no respect will be forthcoming from them. I am aware there are also non-racist critics, but the double standard of the tabloids in particular is very striking. While the Sussexes do royal work, which includes interaction with an unfrisked public, they will need state-level security which they cannot pay for themselves. They need this kind of protection to make sure they do not end like the Princess of Wales, or Jo Cox for that matter. In the event that they should transition out of royal work they will need less security eventually and be able to afford it. As for taking titles, non-working HRHs include The Duke of York and his daughters, the children of the Wessexes and, possibly depending on how it goes with the streamlining, Princess Charlotte and Prince Louis. Nobody is calling for them to give up their titles, most of them were born with them after all.

      Maggie - short for magpie

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    3. I agree, Anett. The rest is speculation, nothing more. But the media must speculate on the name Meghan or lose their primary cash cow. I glance at the headlines as the come to my news feed, but I don't read the articles.
      SMH

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    4. No moaning here. It’s all going well for them.

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  9. Great post Charlotte thank you so much for it all. Also thanks for your empathy towards Meghan. It is a difficult time but one we all have to accept and move forward with them. Nice to see Meghan doing so much great work back here in Vancouver wishing them both the best for the future. I would have preferred them to stay full time royals too but it is nice we will still see them in some capacity and that they will continue this charity work.

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  10. The duchess look relax as the step down as a senior royal i hope she got her peace she wanted

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  11. As usual, great coverage Charlotte. Meghan’s recent visits to these Canadian charities dovetail and reflect nicely her interest and passion. Missing and Murdered Indigenous Women (MMIW) is an issue that is finally gaining some public traction in Canada and the US. There is cross border cooperation among these advocacy groups to bear pressure so that these women and their families will receive more resources as well as better better responses from law enforcement and the justice system. But like many things, it takes persistency and a squeaky wheel to grab and hang onto the attention. For people who are historically marginalized, they know all too well how easily they can become invisible and and their needs overlooked again.

    On a more lighthearted note, I’m enjoying Meghan’s casual wintry look after a crazy weather week in the Pacific Northwest . Yes, Vancouver got a foot of snow and wind this past week that pretty much paralyzed the city. A city which usually sees more rain than snow (nothing like pushing a bus out of a snow rut to bond with your fellow commuters). Meghan looks comfy and approachable for the more laid back, not very protocol driven Canadians. I think this more hands on, less formal approach suits (pun intended) the Sussexes’ personalities. This is their natural element. Good to see them moving out and about.

    - Martine

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  12. Dear Charlotte, I want to express my admiration and gratitude for your work - not only last week, but especially with all the latest events. It must have been a great challenge to handle the sheer amount of information and comments. And you went through it all - with so much care and clarity.
    I am happy to see Meghan out and about in her element and her well trusted wintry clothes. We see her and Harry working on two different continents at the same time focusing on their duties and interests. I am confident that these two will find a way to carve out this new path to live happy and meaningful lives.

    New ways are challenging to old patterns and they raise a lot of discomfort and criticisms in the beginnings. But often they are very important to breathe fresh air into something and challenge old structures to evolve, to become better and stronger. Maybe one day people will have different perspectives and see the good in it. I feel relieved that the Sussexes are going their way and I am sure they do it likewise to honour Harry’s heritage as grandson of the Queen and their passion for people.

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  13. Nicole from france18 January 2020 at 13:50

    Definitely H and M’s sense of time is different from the BRF’s ... which explains that all decisions and actions have been taken and revealed in a short time . Meghan has already managed to go on with he charitable work , that’s remarquable.
    Glad to see Meghan true to her real self, and Harry’s genuine smile . I assume that, whatever the trouble their decision caused, they are at peace with themselves, having worded what are their needs , and therefore able to discuss the situation . I do hope they keep a good relationship with Prince Charles and Camilla , Charles gesture at the wedding and’ his attention towards Doria was really touching , and meant a lot, so let’s hope this has not been spoiled ....
    I wish they could release a photo of Archie ....
    D o you all think Meghan could keep her patronages in UK ?lots of’ people had great hopes with her, it would be sad to disappointed them .
    Anyway, that would’be Nice to hear from them regularly , I know Charlotte will definitely relay any good news about this family !

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  14. Great post, Charlotte - I'm so glad to see both M&H working & active in the wake of this tempest. Meghan seems so much happier. Love the sweater:)
    Was reading on another blog that the Queen "must" take the HRH titles to protect the BRF "brand"; I find that opinion very dated and not creative-minded. What does this community think about 21st century titles and what they symbolize/mean? Curiously, - op

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    1. I though Charlotte had said that this blog was not the space to comment about another blog.

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  15. Martine, I so agree. Both Harry and Meghan have said that their ability to attract attention is what they need to use for good causes, while people are still interested in them. Right now, Meghan is a very squeaky wheel, and I hope she can help some. I think their drawwill decrease with age, which makes it imperative that they work now.

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  16. "The Story Continues," indeed! I do not read The Daily Mail of any of its ilk (only about it on this blog), but based on the embed Charlotte provided, there already seems to be a change in tone. I know it's only one headline, but it's not nothing. Beam on, Meghan and Harry. We are with you.

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  17. Hope she and Harry are able to linger in that beautiful area of Canada (far from the madding crowd) if they so desire. I's a much shorter trip for her mom from LA and very far away from her last home. She looks relaxed and very comfortable in her surroundings. Let's hope they let Harry loose to join Meghan and Archie.

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  18. Maybe it is just me, but Meghan seems totally happy and relieved.

    I think it sank in only now for me, what she must have been through. She left behind everything and moved to a new country, had a new family, husband, married life. She managed all this without her friends, her mum, her close circle for 2 years and suffered this barrage of abuse alone. I think we can all give her that! She is strong willed and though it seemed she gave up and ran away for some, she only started a new page. She will continue and will be as useful and helpful as she was before as the member of the royal family.

    I hope their new life will turn out as they plan, and even better.

    From now on, I suppose she will take those gifts with pleasure and designers will compete for her. Can't wait to see this next chapter!

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    1. Combining two very different adult lives is difficult. It will now be difficult for Harry and of course at some point they will have to chose a primary residence to accommodate Archie. I hope this all works out for all three of them and is not too difficult for their relationships with family and friends.

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    2. I don’t think she can get gifts and have designers competing for her if they keep their titles and are still working members of the family.

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  19. Like KB 15:49 above, I do not read The Daily Mail (or any of the other papers abusive to Meghan). Fair and reasoned criticism, fine. But not the endless barrage of vitriol aimed squarely at her.

    Even the tone of the headline embedded in this post, is misleading. Meghan is not "beaming." This is not one of her radiant smiles. At best this is a half-smile while she is driving. However, to headline with the idea that she is "beaming" could lead anyone reading it thoughtlessly to think that out from under the RF's thumb and calling the shots herself she is ecstatic. All for a half smile while concentrating on driving. Others might not call that example out as a micro-aggression, but I do.

    Therefore, I have a question, Charlotte. Would you kindly share your reasoning for running photos from The Daily Mail and their misleading headlines here? Given their record, I'd like to understand why anything that they print should be perpetuated by being shared anywhere, but most especially on this blog. I'd prefer it (and perhaps others might as well) that you boycott those publications which have persisted in maligning Meghan. However, if I can understand the why of a position, I'm always open to shifting my own.

    SMH


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  20. That pendant is a gorgeous thing, although I would like it more without the diamond. They will prosper and forge a new path as this hereditary monarchy evolves for the 21st century. They are trailblazers.

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    1. Due to the recent media press this item is by order only. 18k with Diamond $2,160. Also available without diamond in 14kt yellow gold, 14kt white gold, 14kt rose gold and sterling silver. Please contact Douglas Reynold Gallery for orders.

      It can be had without the diamond.

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  21. Thanks, Charlotte. I do hope the Duke and Duchess of Sussex find peace and happiness.

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  22. So glad to see her smile and shine again ❤️ Hope they both now have the peace and power to continue their wonderful, inspiring job.

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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 :)