Thursday, 12 March 2020

A Bittersweet Final Solo Engagement For The Duchess of Sussex

It was a bittersweet and emotional final solo engagement at Buckingham Palace for the Duchess of Sussex on Monday. Before the Commonwealth Day service, Meghan brought a group of young scholars and bright minds together to hear about their work and discuss the challenges we are facing in her role as patron of the Association of Commonwealth Universities. 


Topics of conversation with the 23 invited scholars included health, innovation and technology, the environment and sustainable initiatives. Victoria Murphy noted Meghan discussed sustainable travel recounting "grabbing a backpack" and staying with Harry in a tent in Botswana. The Duchess said: "The link between tourism and how much money is going outside of the country instead of communities. There has to be a symbiotic relationship." Halima Ali Abdullahi, a Commonwealth Scholar from Kenya, studying MSc Energy and Natural Resources at Queen Mary University of London, told Victoria: "Meghan’s presence means a lot to us. For Commonwealth and African countries, to see her, her interest, her participation means a lot."


More from Omid Scobie:

'The students are all studying masters or Ph.D.s in the U.K. after receiving scholarships from the ACU’s three programs—Commonwealth Scholars, Chevening Scholars, and the ACU Blue Charter Fellow. “That’s what so powerful,” says Meghan, a long-time champion of the importance of universal access to higher education. “This incredible union and the ability to gain so much knowledge and to be able to take that back home.”
Chatting with the scholars, the duchess is eager to hear more about how their studies will contribute to tackling the many challenges our world faces today. As she talks with the students, it becomes clear that she’s already done her research on why each guest was invited. It’s inspiring to see someone so prepared for these types of engagements, as opposed to just showing up for the photographs. But Meghan doesn’t know any other way of doing it. “I think it’s so important to actually engage with people,” she explains. “I care about these things!”'

Sussex Royal added: "Paving the way as the next generation of leaders, these inspirational scholars, are spread far across the Commonwealth from Malawi to Malaysia, Ghana to Sri Lanka – all of whom will use the skills and knowledge they gain while studying in the UK to make a difference when they return to their home countries. The Duchess, who also attended university with support of a scholarship, is a strong advocate of accessible education for all. As the Royal Patron of The Association of Commonwealth Universities since January 2019, The Duchess has met and engaged with students, academics, and staff from ACU member universities across the Commonwealth to learn more about the vital work they do to address global challenges. As President and Vice President of The Queens Commonwealth's Trust,The Duke and Duchess thank all those who are working to give access to education for all."



Dr Joanna Newman, Chief Executive and Secretary General of the ACU, said "The Duchess became Patron in January last year, we have worked with her to raise the profile of higher education as a massive force for good in building societies in the Commonwealth and beyond. We thank The Duchess for her support and look forward to her continuing Patronage and advocacy for the causes that matter to us both". Dr Newman spoke to Omid Scobie during the event adding: "The headlines haven’t been about what our patron is wearing or the official engagement started at this time and ended at that time and there was a cup of tea in the middle, it’s about why we are doing what we do and why ACU exists. She’s been a real champion of the work that universities do."


The 1844 room at Buckingham Palace was a lovely choice for the event. It was named in honour of Russian Tsar Nicholas I visit to BP. Today, it provides the backdrop for receptions, often times welcoming dignitaries or world leaders. Indeed, the Queen's Christmas broadcast is recorded there. Vogue reports: "The interior is resplendent: according to Rizzoli’s Buckingham Palace: The Interiors, it has 19th century blue and gold silk upholstered furniture by Morel & Seddon, a portrait of King George IV and Frederick, Duke of York as children, and a neoclassical desk by famous cabinet maker David Roentgen from 1820. The walls are adorned with a blush-hued wallpaper." Below, a watercolour of the room painted for Queen Victoria by James Roberts in 1848.


Held just hours before Meghan returned to Canada, three reporters were invited to cover the event. The choices were telling. After two years of being effectively used as a national punching bag for the UK tabloid press, whatever trust or faith Meghan had in getting a fair shot at this was shattered before she walked down the aisle. Bryony Gordon, a reporter for The Telegraph and mental health advocate has had a working relationship with Harry for several years. During the Heads Together campaign he spoke candidly to her about his own mental health struggles following the loss of his mother. Bryony visited the couple at their Windsor home last autumn and found the couple deflated and battling to come to terms with the reality they found themselves in. In her article, Bryony writes:

'There is half an hour before the woman who will shortly be known as Meghan, the Duchess of Sussex, carries out her last private engagement as a working royal, and there is very clearly something in her eye. 
We are standing in a room at Buckingham Palace as she prepares to make her way to Westminster Abbey for the Commonwealth service and then onwards to Canada for her new life, and it is time to say goodbye. Tears glisten in those bright friendly eyes that have charmed and endeared so many during recent days. But behind the scenes the Duchess of Sussex is not as buoyant as she has appeared to be in public. In fact, she appears to be quietly devastated. 
I had been invited along to the Palace to sit in on a meeting with young scholars from the Commonwealth, but now it is over she comes in for a hug that lasts a little longer than normal, a hold, really, before moving on for a final embrace with two of her staff, both of whom also have something in their eyes. Then she is gone – for how long, nobody knows.'

Omid Scobie has covered Harry and Meghan's work every single step of the way since their engagement. Often the voice of reason surrounded by panels of "royal experts" determined to convince us all that ails the world is Meghan's fault, his excellent reporting has provided a calm space in a sea of vitriolic coverage. If I put forward my own hypothesis, and it is purely just conjecture, I believe Omid has impeccable sources within Team Sussex and is privy to information regarding what truly went on behind-the-scenes - information which has left him incredibly disappointed about this outcome and frustrated by a great deal of unfairness. As I've said on several occasions, we don't know the full picture here, the fact certain elements cannot be discussed for legal reasons is proof of that. In his article for Harper's Bazaar Omid wrote:

'While recent tabloid coverage has made it seem like the Sussexes’ half-in-half-out bid was about wanting it all, the reality was a couple who were left with no other choice but to create their own change after being left to fend for themselves against impossible circumstances—even during her pregnancy. They knew something had to change, but they also didn’t want to stop supporting the queen. One can’t help but wonder if things might have been different if a family member or two had stood up for them during the darkest times.
While the weeks and months ahead will no doubt present new challenges for the Sussexes, the couple genuinely feel a sense of excitement about what’s to come, which includes the freedom to work at a pace that suits them, no longer weighed down by protocol or threatened by toxic agendas. And while much has been (incorrectly) speculated about specific commercial endeavors they might be taking on, both Harry and Meghan are eager to get stuck into their work, which will still revolve around their humanitarian efforts and helping amplify the voices of young people around the world on a wide gamut of issues.
“The terrain may be a little different but their priorities are exactly the same as before,” a well-placed source tells me. “Keeping the family, most importantly Archie, safe is what will make all of this worth it.”

Former Daily Mirror reporter Victoria Murphy now writes for Town & Country. I've followed her work for years and can say she's always fair and never resorts to gutter reporting for click bait. Throughout the course of the past two years, she's kept the focus on the work whilst offering new perspectives and angles on engagements. I wasn't at all surprised to hear she was chosen to cover Meghan's last solo engagement.

'Despite stepping back as a working royal, the Duchess is keeping the patronage and her work with the ACU will continue. Yet, as with so many of the events that Harry and Meghan attended during their whirlwind “farewell tour,” the intimate gathering felt like part of a final chapter. The significance of the moment was not lost on me when, following a last-minute phone call and a surprise invitation, I found myself in the room alongside just two other journalists.
You could be forgiven for wondering just quite how we ended up here. William and Harry, once so close, now exchanging seemingly strained hellos at the Commonwealth Day Service. Many of us may recognize from our own lives the family dispute that starts with a disagreement and somehow unravels until a huge chasm has opened up. We love to peer into their gilded cage, but members of the royal family are, after all, human.
There can be no doubt that Harry and Meghan still feel a great deal of frustration at how things have turned out. They didn’t get the outcome that they wanted, and their desire for a half-in and half-out model is still laid bare on their website. There is obvious ongoing anger towards sections of the media for coverage they feel left them no option but to pull out of public life.' 

Of course for the service later in the day Meghan chose London based, New Zealand born designer Emilia Wickstead.


For Meghan's first engagement of the day it was another Commonwealth brand - Australian based Scanlan Theodore.


The navy Crepe Knit Cravat Dress features a self scarf necktie and back slit (with thanks to Heaven).


You might recall the Duchess wore their crepe knit wrap garnet jacket in Sydney in 2018.


More on the background of the label:

'Scanlan Theodore is a women’s fashion and accessories brand offering a range of ready-to-wear, handbags, and footwear.  Scanlan Theodore was founded in Melbourne, Australia in 1987.
For over 25 years women have embraced Scanlan Theodore’s modern elegance and independent spirit as their very own. Synonymous with intelligent well-crafted designs, Scanlan Theodore’s devotion to simple, clean, modern aestheticism has not changed since its inception in 1987. The labels dedication to independent beauty is infused in each Scanlan Theodore creation, defining a new genre of femininity. The Scanlan Theodore woman is confident, intelligent and complex – for it’s all the layered facets of life that make a design, an image and indeed a woman, a timeless beauty of memorable quality.'

Meghan wore the Aquazzura Purist pumps in navy suede.


And accessorised with the £450 Fallen Star Hoop Earrings by London based designer Sophie Lis.
(With thanks to Laura).


More from the product description: "The North Star is a symbol guidance and direction. It can represent good luck, good health, faith, success and protection from evil amongst many other things. Set in 22ct gold vermeil with white diamonds."


I'll leave you with this take from Bryony which so eloquently sums up how many of us feel. "The pervading emotion on Monday, as I watched the Duchess carry out her final private engagement, seemed to be profound sadness. Sadness that it had come to this; sadness that they could not make it work and sadness that less than two years since that glittering fairy tale wedding, the first person of colour to join the British royal family was off. How ironic that her final engagement was to be a Commonwealth service that celebrated diversity, uniqueness, and the strength we draw from embracing each other and our differences." - Bryony Gordon.

131 comments:

  1. It saddens me that in a time where everyone is shouting #bekind and #womensempowerment that the very role model for such movements has been shut out and shut down. Meghan and Harry were/are a breath of fresh air in an establishment that is more concerned with protocol and keeping the past present than moving forward with the times. The BRF has certainly lost something by letting these two go, not only on a familial level but, in the eyes of the public as well. I hope that Meghan and Harry find the peace and happiness that they are searching for and continue to thrive as a family!

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    1. Perfectly written, thank you Cynthia.

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    2. Perfectly written, thank you Cynthia.

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    3. Well put. I 100% second this. Thank you Cynthia. It is so sad and I wish the all the luck and peace and fullfillment they can handle well. <3

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    4. On a side note, dear Bryony and dear all: Meghan is the third person of colour marrying into the British royal family. Mentioning this only because I love well researched facts. https://aaregistry.org/story/englands-first-black-queen-sophie-charlotte-born/

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    5. I absolutely agree. So well said. I can't help but think that the patriarchy can't stand an intelligent, unapologetically confident woman. Here is a driven, self-possessed, smart woman and she's been attacked on the most spurious grounds. It's a great loss to the BRF.

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    6. Well stated Cynthia. I couldn't have said it better. I can only guess, but my best guess is that the "Gray Men" as Diana called them are so firmly ensconced in the Palace that it's a way of life for the BRF, and not a good life. If Charles wants to "clean house" I could suggest where he might start.

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    8. oops deleted by accident. I so agree with you, Cynthia. Good suggestion Helena. Blessings and good fortune to Harry, Meghan and Archie. Bev W. in BC

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    9. Thank you Imke. I am always astonished how people created this narrative and no one ever challenged them.
      @Charlotte: that would be a fantastic post for a quieter time. I wish you luck with how you will keep on reporting about Meghan. There might be long times with nothing to report about. I will be around to see how you go on about it. My only wish: please don’t give in to the endless polarisations, rumours to write posts to fill up the breaks. I realise it’s hard to stay objective and it happens to all of us without realising.

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    10. Anon 06.06

      Wow that was such a lovely dig. 🤐 Rumours? She did her best and more and never gave in rumours.

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  2. I’m fine never knowing what has happened behind the scenes, but I do hope the family is able to heal any wounds that may (or may not) exist. As long as the Sussexes are able to find safety and security in their new arrangement, I’m confident they will do wonderful things and continue to inspire others to do the same.

    On another note, how does someone so striking not inspire jealousy in me? ;) Guess it’s that kind smile.

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  3. Lovely article Charlotte. And Bryony's piece is exquisite and honest. I hope this blog continues in some capacity as they transition to the next chapter. ♥️

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  4. "One can’t help but wonder if things might have been different if a family member or two had stood up for them during the darkest times."
    What a poignant statement. It reminds me of the interview H&M gave during their documentary in Africa: she mentioned that she didn't think it would be easy, just that it would be fair and how touched she was that the interviewer asked how she was doing then explaining that not many people have asked. I can't imagine feeling so attacked and defenseless as a newlywed and a new mom in a new country in a new job in one of the oldest establishments in the world and having no one from that establishment stand up for you. I'm so proud of them for taking this brave new step but incredibly sad over the circumstances that brought them to this.

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    1. This is an interesting comment. This suggests that the issue didn’t stem from a row with anyone it was something external that they needed support with and didn’t get it. I do wonder if there was some specific threat made to Archie or Meghan that the family didn’t take seriously.

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    2. I believe all that you stated was also a factor.I suspect that she had postpartum. Which is only made worst by a lack of support. So when you throw in the abuse by the press, as well as the institutions silencing of her ability to speak out. I think that she was losing her sense of self for those two years. Meghan was very much a go getter, who felt if you have a voice use it. The way the royal family seems to work is completely opposite to how she is naturally inclined to. Having to take abuse from the press but say nothing, getting story after story about her breaking protocol (which they all get), and the blatant racism that was happening. Which I want to touch on. If you look at Meghan's life she is a white passing biracial women, who very much may have been able to avoid racial attacks on herself personally. While I am sure she witnessed it, many times over. I don't think that she was prepared for the full on racist attacks that say someone like her friend Serena Williams, would be used to. As most of her life people would not have know she was black had she not told them. Therefore she hadn't developed a thick skin against it,as well as I stated further up I do believe she had postpartum.

      I do believe they have mad the right move to get her back to her support system, and I do hope that the Royal Family as a Family mends their relationship. I will definitely miss the post of her, I just love her fashion. However if we are lucky we will see this out spoken Meghan again.

      https://youtu.be/G6llUEn9678

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  5. Becca in Colorado12 March 2020 at 02:18

    Oh man, this was a gut punch. I really have soured on the rest of the royal family after all of this. Harry and Meghan aren’t blameless, but I do feel they were quite let down. I’m sure they will build a bright future for themselves, it will just take time. The BRF really lost out here. Their key to a diverse, modern, relevant future just stepped down.

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    1. I feel the same, Becca. I don't have any interest in following the BRF anymore.

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    2. I watched the Vice doc on Meghan & Harry leaving the BRF; the idea that the BRF could've been more supportive outwardly was front & center. Sours my feelings too. - op

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    3. After watching the Commonwealth Day service my opinion about certain royals really changed but I became a fan of prince Edward.

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  6. Profound sadness is quite apt but at times felt like an understatement with what the couple had to endure. I feel like more happened then what has been reported on and that’s devastating to think people continue to treat others that way for imo no good reason. I feel the same as Omid - wondering what if someone in the family had spoken up and supported them publicly. If they did, I don’t recall. It leaves a sour taste for me that with all the mental health and anti-bullying advocacy by other RF members, that they didn’t step up for Harry and Meghan. Hopefully they find peace, safety and respect in Canada not because they are royal but simply because they are human beings.

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  7. Well said Cynthia. It's a real shame and hypocritical, especially after their Heads Together and Mental Illness Campaigns. To have such a powerful and influential platform, but exploit and toss away due to protocols and at times a facade of perfection and unity speaks volume of the disconnect between public and BRF. Harry always seemed to be the genuine and relatable one and after he married, that just raised the stakes and thus became a major threat to the rest of BRF. Walking away was the best thing they could do and I believe they will be a more powerful force and change for good.

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  8. Thank you again Charlotte for an informative and insightful post. As I've said many times, your coverage is superior to much of what we see in the press. The Duchess of Sussex is the epitome of what a modern, working royal should be. It is a shame that her talent was not valued nor fairly evaluated by the British press nor by elements of the Royal Family. I wish the Duchess and Prince Harry all the happiness and peace that will hopefully come with fulfilling work and a happy home life. I look forward to what comes next for them.

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  9. This is a sad time for all who rejoiced when Meghan married Harry, and wished for her to find a modern role in the stifling gilded cage of royal work. Not to be. Maybe some day. Until then this last image of a sophisticated, caring, deeply committed woman will remind us of what might have been. I don’t mean to say no one else in the family genuinely cares about the work: of course they do. I will miss Meghan’s fresh perspective and her efforts to break down the restricted life of royal women. May they be happy.

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  10. Oh my gosh...stunning! Absolutely beautiful! I think this is my favorite look on her...and her hair!! I love it!! 👍🏻

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  11. Alright....the tears are finally here... can't help it. But hey! They're not going for ever....not dying..so. I'm very sure that their light will outshine all these.

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  12. A Fallen Star is the name of the earrings. Wow! She was an asset. What a loss for the royals, and they dont get it yet.

    Some of us suggested it a lot here what if some members of the family would have stood up, after years of advocating heads together and men's mental health etc.

    But it is over now, Charlotte, thank you for the excellent coverage here. Hope these two will give you a lot of work in this site for the future.

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  13. I am very moved ... Now I am only waiting for the next plans of the Sussex couple to continue following them. I am really disappointed with the royal family ... Good suite in Sussex.🙏💓🥰

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  14. I realise that some people and media were unfairly criticising them, but I don't understand why they were unable to operate within the same system that William and Kate are part of. What was it about royal protocol that was preventing Harry and Meghan "moving forward with the times." If it was the system used for news media coverage, surely that could have been sorted out by negotiation as has been done previously. There has been considerable relaxation of Royal protocol in recent years, so which aspects were so restrictive that they felt they had to leave the Royal Family? Once the Prince of Wales becomes King in the next few years, he will need both of his sons and their wives to share the load alongside the Wessex duo and Princess Anne perhaps. There are several others due to retire or who are not interested or suitable for Royal duties. I do hope Harry and Meghan can make it clearer what it is that they want to do in future. It doesn't seem at all clear to me.

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    1. The systems weren’t the same. That’s exactly what’s been pointed out over and over. Meghan had such vile racist abuse heaped on her and then had both the family and institution of the royal family do nothing to stop it, when they absolutely had the power to. Kate being called waity Katie pales in comparison. So I’m sure they could have worked in the same system as William and Catherine but that’s not the system they got. They got racism and complete lack of visible support (while Andrew was being openly supported through a disturbing scandal) I agree with you they could have struck a deal with the press but that would have had to come from higher up than H and M and it didn’t happen. So what options were they left with? I think people have tried to spin this too much and it’s quite simple. No one should have to endure racist abuse in order to fulfill their job and role. So they quit. It’s as simple as that. And the sad part is it could have been addressed and stopped and it wasn’t. So faced with that lack of support it’s clear their situation became untenable. And I’ve said many times as a mother, if someone posted a racist image of my child (as what happened with the comparison of Archie to a monkey posted by the bbc reporter) I would leave ASAP and no king or queen or official role would convince me otherwise. That would be it. They were forced to endure a system that was objectively NOT what other royals have had to face so they left. And clearly hope to still do good work and promote the causes close to them, and I have no doubt they will navigate that role successfully. While disappointing I really think it’s as simple as that.

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    2. Please read their website sussexroyal.com at the very least nobody should negotiate with their abuser. Ever.

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    3. This 100 times over! It is one thing for the royal family to not address each and every negative article about Meghan, however at no point did anyone besides Harry publicly show that the clearly racially motivated harassment was unacceptable. The straw that broke the camels back, is the fact that not one person in the royal family released a statement condemning the racist attack toward an infant!

      There would have been no downside to them releasing a statement defending there nephew, grandchild, or great grandchild. Yet, it was the biggest betrayal that they didn't even acknowledge that it had occurred.
      The magnitude of them having said nothing is so obvious to me, however maybe being white affluent and never having to have dealt with these types of issues personally. Made them unsure of how to deal with it. With that said saying nothing at all about something so blatantly racist made them seem very cruel and unbothered by it. I am particularly disappointed in his brother and father of all people.

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  15. It’s our loss ! And the BRF will never learn will they ?
    First Diana and now her son’s family!
    Wish the best for Harry and Meghan !

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    1. Yes Rhea,
      First Diana and now Harry and his family.

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  16. I cried when I read those three articles by the three very different journalists and I cry again now after reading your post. I am feeling all sorts of emotions. Some will take time to sieve through. But I am grateful to Meghan and Harry for shining a light on wonderful causes, organisations and great individuals who are working hard to improve the lives of those in their communities and around the world.

    I will leave it here for now but, I look forward to a wonderful new chapter in the lives of Harry, Meghan and Archie. I wish them all the love, happiness, peace and fulfilment in their family life and in the work they aim to do next.

    I cannot wait to support them and cheer them on.

    thank you Charlotte for being a shining light in these sometimes dark world of royal watching/following.

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  17. A very sad day indeed. However, I believe it is imperative to avoid falling victim to Manichean thinking as regards the Sussexes. The polarisation applied to the Sussex phenomenon is alarming, leading people to adopt increasingly rigid pro/contra views… In my view, the truth lies somewhere between, missteps and ill judgements were likely made by all sides, amplified by the profitable toxicity propelled by the gutter press. Thus, acknowledging the nuances and complexities (to which we are not privy) of the situation – and with that the failures of all parties – without one-sided victimisation of one and vilification of the other might be the best way to move forward. On that note, I wish the Sussexes the very best in their future endeavours. Long live The Queen!

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    1. I agree Herminia!! There are no villains and victims, only a complex situation

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    2. Agreed, Herminia. The truth never lies all on one side in any situation. Prayers for their peace and safety, as well as for their personal/professional fulfillment as the Sussex family moves forward.

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    3. Extremely well stated Hermina and H, and could not agree more.

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    4. Totally agree. This is one of the most sensible and pragmatic comments I have seen about the situation.

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    5. What a beautiful and well balanced comment @Hermina. Thank you!
      I find it sad, that not just tabloids but people feel the need to spread disappointment, anger, speculation and sometimes hate against either side. And I find it particularly sad, that even now people are overly invested and rigid in their polarisation (beautiful and accurate choice of words by the way my compliment). I can only imagine how hurtful that must be to the actually involved parties as they deal with a complicated situation and try to make the best out of it. They certainly don’t need „fans“ that think insulting/speaking negative of the others is helping them or the situation.
      I wish more people would go about it like you.
      C.

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    6. I completely agree, Hermina.

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  18. Courtney Providence Village12 March 2020 at 11:41

    This to me is by far the most beautiful she has ever looked <3

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    1. Absolutely radiant! Beautiful dress (love the neck line) and smile. The BRF's loss.
      -op

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  19. the duchess is happy and she a strong woman and i love she will ejoying her lofe as a normal life with her family in canada everyone is sad but will understand

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  20. I haven't commented for a long ,long time. It's been a difficult watch this last year and it's really sad that they have ended up where we are today. I look back at my giddy excitement, which only seems like yesterday ( before even the news of the engagement) at just how much potential these two had. These last few engagements have seen them shine which makes this all the more regrettable a situation. I'd just like to thank you Charlotte for always keeping things in perspective, reporting with kindness and with expert intelligence.

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  21. I hope she will continue her patronage with this very meaningful and promising association. She looks sharp befitting her VP professional leadership role. Her presence in this dynamic, diverse and scholarly involvement has a great potential in short and long term. These groups of scholars from various nations will be shaping the destiny of their countries with a link to UK. As an American who studied international studies, she understands its high value. I wonder why she prefers black and white images even for this, although it looks very nice. This role is also a nice link for her to UK and vice versa.

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    1. Symbolism perhaps? Black and white and the bi-racial bridge?
      Plus, I doubt that the "preference" is entirely hers. The photographers make important choices in these matters based on what they see through their lens.

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    2. In fact the important turning points of hers, the couple's. family of three and another one - family of four ( with Prince Charles) is in black and white black version unlike commonly practiced by BRF. I think she has an in put in this preference. Most likely they are making a black and white collection for a reason of art like presentation; it looks very nice for photos gallery. The one above looks distinctively lively and timeless including her outfit and image. The group around her has some significance; this engagement seems especially very important to her.

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    3. Philly – by the way you will be one link to this blog from Canada. You posted a comment recently that you were in the immediate vicinity of their area. The good news from other sources had been that their neighbors and their immediate community members are protective of them.
      I just read a January 18 article by BBC regarding their choice of place as Canada. The part time commitment between UK and Canada makes sense it is one of the reasons considering immigration laws. It seems both of them, (my assumption- is except unless they will become honorary Canadian citizens) have to renew visas every six months.
      “As a Briton, the prince is entitled to spend up to six months a year as a visitor in Canada - anything longer than that and he would have to apply for a visa. As an American citizen, the same rules apply for his wife.”
      Source: https://www.bbc.com/news/world-us-canada-51069091
      Why Meghan and Harry have Canada in their sights
      By Robin Levinson-King BBC News, Toronto
      18 January 2020

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  22. This is so sad and shocking. I am trying to be fair because one does not know what goes on behind the scenes. I hope someone will please convince me that I can enjoy reading about other RF members and not be angry. It is very hard for me to read what the reporters wrote above.

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    1. The Duke of Sussex has thanked the Queen for such support as she gave; she and her husband were in that sweet photo taken after Archie’s birth. The Duchess of Cambridge tried to support her sister-in-law a little eventually, at the visit to Wimbledon. Other family members, quite possibly less nice but what is broken can eventually be fixed. Personally, I will always be there for the tiaras and the castles, it may be shallow, but it’s also fun. I wish the Sussexes all the best, and truly think they are better off striking out on their own than tagging along with the Royal Family until they are too old for that.

      Maggie – short for magpie

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    2. Allison, I look forward to enjoying the Royal family even more without all the drama that has transpired over the last few months. It's been difficult to separate truth from fiction. The Sussex family seems to be on track for a wonderful existence outside the RF, the Queen will go on with business as usual, and other royals will carry on the work for the monarchy. I do believe the RF did more than we will ever know for H&M, but good news does not sell.

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    3. Sheila, I understand your position. Everyone will carry on, and we certainly do not know some truths because the RF has a job to do and they will do it. I expect support that was not subtle -- one outing a year with Medhan is not the same as a statement to the press to "stop this." I was perfectly happy royal watching until Meghan showed up and then it seemed so superficial. I just can't look at Camilla's smile, for example, without thinking of early smiles and wondering why she didn't do something, anything, with Meghan in public during the bad times. I guess the answer is that everyone has a busy schedule and not much time for family stuff. I understand your enjoyment but I feel angry and no one wants an angry poster! I have tried but this stony unfriendly gathering was unnecessary. Knowing their actions and faces would be photographed, why couldn't they be even a bit neutral? :)

      Delete
    4. Well said Sheila. Let's hope we can all move forward from the drama and hope the best for all concerned. This drama has taken away from the real purpose which is the charities and people involved who so need the help. Let's look forward to the energy being expended in that regard, rather than who is to blame. Neither H&M nor the RF are destitute that they warrant such pity and while I wish no ill towards either side, I just hope that all can find peace in their life and success in their endeavors and the charities they support.

      Delete
    5. Sheila US
      Yes, good news does not sell, that explains why Meghan and Harry’s incredible work was ignored.

      Delete
  23. “If a family member or two had stood up for them during the darkest times.....”. If.
    Thank you Charlotte and Omid Scobie.
    Renee

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  24. I agree with Cynthia, and also wish to bring up the issue of mental health. Harry has stated more than once his issues since his mother's death, and I think we might realize his experiences in Afghanistan as adding some PTSD to the previous trauma. The BRF has an opportunity here to really "walk the talk" here.Let's hope the year's rapprochement gives rise to that, although I am not so hopeful to be honest. There must be some compromise way to utilize the Sussexes' strengths (primarily military and Commonwealth ) for the good of the monarchy while giving them space for a healthy and happy family life while undertaking their private philanthropic interests. At this time it seems (although none of us know for sure) that HM is the only one able to achieve this.TG Harry has Meghan and Archie by his side!

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  25. Meghan looks beautiful. This article really brought a lump to my throat. The complete ignorance of the RF becomes more and more evident each day. What year are they living in?

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Don't forget it was the Queen who gave her and Harry their role in the Commonwealth, and 2 of her patronages. Objectively, the RF did a lot for them. I don't know what happened subjectively, but IMO the comments stating the RF didn't do anything are ungrateful.

      Delete
    2. I am torn between the many reasons that Meghan was not acceptable to so many. In addition to "mere racism," I think she would have fared better if she was just pretty and had thoughts other than to do and go as she was guided. She was admired by too many intelligent people, she had too many brilliant ideas, Harry enjoyed having such a helpmate and leader, she was more than just a pretty and nice-tempered girl.

      Ungrateful. That is like when you put a beautiful bird into a cage and give it all the toys and pretty mirrors and nuts and berries. Why isn't it happy?

      The RF is a pyramid -- when one of the occupants of the fourth level down looks too interesting, that upsets the whole scheme.

      Delete
    3. The RF didn’t do enough. The RF mounted palace statements over Botox question and Andrew. It most certainly can have stood tall with these two since they were working on behalf of the crown and country. But it didn’t.

      Delete
    4. To USA Granny
      I agree completely. Meghan is beautiful!
      The RF appears ignorant.
      What year indeed?
      Renee

      Delete
    5. I agree with you H. Whatever happened internally is not known, but to malign the RF is ungrateful. Their royal status helped provide the basis for their platform and their role in the Commonwealth and the patronages were gifts from the Queen, that they didn't refuse or give back. In the beginning, everybody was so overjoyed that the Queen had so much trust in them to give them those gifts and so quickly into their marriage, how quickly we forget.

      Delete
    6. Harry opened the commonwealth trust, giving them patronages was not a favour this was a job,saying they are ungrateful is what newspapers kept calling them and the family could have stopped that abusive language, as they have for others e.g. William over being called a bully just a few weeks ago

      Delete
    7. In my opinion, the Queen and the Royal Family did "invest" in Harry and Meghan, and as far as I can see, their return was great in a very short period of time. However, it seems they failed to "protect their investment", or at least appeared not to. I was very saddened to see the stoney faces of William, Kate, and Sophie during the Commonwealth service. Brava to Meghan for her gracious smile and cordial wave. Bless Prince Edward for being the only to not make the the Sussexes look completely an island. In this most public of events, with so many people watching, I wondered why there couldn't have been some warmth exuded. I saw three of the most hostile faces I have ever observed at a royal event.

      Delete
    8. Anon 17:12 what a great way to put it -- did not protect their investment. Perfect.

      Delete
    9. Anonymous at 17.12, some of them don’t seem to have any concept of their appearance to others, or perhaps they just don't care. I did not watch the Commonwealth video, but I did watch the Sussex wedding and saw some members of the Royal Family looking disdainful during the sermon. It is one thing to dislike this non-English style of preaching, it is quite another to show it quite so openly. And they can still deliver speeches against racism and cyber-bullying with a straight face, good for them.

      Maggie - short for magpie

      Delete
    10. Allison in US 23:51, you echo my thoughts. A pyramid--exactly. With the entrance of Diana there was a shift of attention away from Charles. We all know how that turned out with no innocent parties on both sides.

      After William and Catherine married, Harry hung around their happy couple-dom as the spare to the second tier heir and a sort of lonely third wheel to William and Katherine. Then their children were born pushing Harry even further away from the seat of power.

      With the entrance of Meghan that dynamic shifted exponentially in multiple ways. Look what she got done in less than 2 years. The BRF, the gray men and the press simply aren't on board with that level of action and achievement. (Look how long it took for Prince Phillip and Charles to make their trusts work and get some respect.)

      Alas, the RF didn't stand up to the press--only Harry did that from the get go. William didn't stand up for Harry either, but questioned his choice from the beginning. The RF could have quit the rota anytime they wished. They could have said, "You play nice, boys, or you don't get the photo ops and stories." The press played nice while William was in University. They can be brought to heel anytime "Nanny gives a little stick." It's what they understand.

      However, now the old order is back on keel. The interloper is out and she can be blamed for everything. And if the monarchy falls after the Queen's death, the blame can continue to fall on her though it's much more complex than that. How tidy for the grey men, the press and the status quo.

      Delete
    11. Why are all Meghan’s fans so sure the monarchy will disappear after TQ? This is a thousand years institution. Bigger than any person. Meghan has not the power to bring it down. There are many other RFs in the world that have existed and will keep existing without a Meghan.

      Delete
    12. Becca in Colorado15 March 2020 at 04:45

      Oooo Philly, I agree with you 100%. There was plenty that could’ve been done to publicly stick up for Harry and Meghan — things that had been done for other members of the RF in the past — which was what was needed. Whether or not they were supported in private was *not* enough. Clearly. Meghan shone too brightly for the rigid institution and was mitigated to being the national punching bag.

      Delete
    13. The 1000-year institution argument is not really true. 1000 years ago, a monarchy was the form of government and people couldn't do much about it. The world is evolving at a faster pace than ever, and I think Charles has been very astute to plan on giving back more, such as opening Buckingham Palace for public use, etc. After the queen is gone, I don;t know if the will to remain will be prevalent in Canada, Australia, and now the people's will is what wins out. Allison in US

      Delete
    14. To Philly 13 March
      Excellent points! Everything.
      Yes, the press played nice when William was in college. W and K had an extended period of freedom. Surely the RF could have pushed for a similar period of “nice” for H and M.
      Thank you philly!
      Renee

      Delete
    15. Anonymous at 19:23, I don't get the feeling that "all Meghan's fans are so sure the monarchy will disappear after TQ". No one can see the future. Obviously Meghan is not bigger than any person; she's only human. The question is: If the RF continuously sticks to olden protocols and rules, and don't stand up to racial vitriol, will they ever be relatable to the public like H&M have proven to be?

      Also, yes, many other RFs in the world have survived, but some have not. The ones that have survived seem to be more modern and tolerant than the RF AND the media in the UK.
      One example: Princess Angela of Leichtenstein the only woman of African descent to marry into a reigning European dynasty (while some members of the dynasty were said to be shocked and to consider the interracial marriage "the end of an era", others were said to have EXPRESSED SUPPORT) and lucky for her and her son Prince Alfons, they have not experience a high racist vitriol like Meghan and Archie received in the UK with no visible support from the RF.

      Delete
  26. What a lovely and appropriate final engagement as a senior working royal. Very fitting for a Duchess that came in from the start wanting to champion the diverse countries of the Commonwealth, shine a light on women and girls empowerment and raise awareness of the importance of access to education for all. She was the perfect choice for Vice President of the Queen’s Commonwealth Trust with Prince Harry by her side, they make a formidable team that are clearly well suited for the role and much appreciated by the young commonwealth leaders and citizens that they meet.

    The Duchess looks beautiful and elegant. I love the chic neck detail of the dress and her sleek, side swept ponytail. She has chosen her outfits so well for her last few engagements and has really shown how stylish she truly is, it’s clear that she was holding back before.

    I sincerely hope she and Harry will be allowed to continue their work without interference or sabotage over these next 12 months, but I feel things will continue to be made difficult for them. I wish the couple and their lovely baby the best.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Does anyone else get the feeling that all this emphasis on them empowerment of women and girls and youth (especially the more deeply melenated ones) has those powerful white men (whose whose toes are likely 5 to 15 years from pointing skyward from their graves) trembling in their skivvies? Would it be in the realm of possibility that they may have had a different agenda?

      Could what we have witnessed as they blamed Meghan Duchess for everything and fabricated all types of motives to her be a battle against any change in the Rule Britannia status quo?

      Aren't they are the ones profiting up to the billions from the photos and every vile headline? Might they not be working as actively as Meghan Duchess and fighting to maintain the status quo for the next crop coming up through Eton, Oxford and the rest?

      How else can you explain what has happened?
      Well, okay, maybe include a bit of very heavy karma and a weighty purpose in life. Historically those at the forefront of monumental change often don't have a easy time of it.

      Delete
    2. Must it be a fight? I believe everyone is valuable even old white men, what a terrible thing to say. And we are all pointing to our graves, aren't we? The world would be a better place if people understood there is no need to put others down to be successful. That's why I am afraid of activists, they only see their point of view and don't care about the feelings of those who don't think like them.

      Delete
    3. Becca in Colorado15 March 2020 at 04:52

      Uhh Helen, take a look at the entire history of the patriarchy and the treatment of women and minorities, and then maybe her comment will make more sense. Also, activists are championing the rights of others, often those who are overlooked or put down by the world. It is people who are afraid of that who perpetuate the rigid, backwards, unhealthy (often racist) thinking that contributed to Harry and Meghan stepping down. Just saying.

      Delete
    4. Helen, while I can grant you that all beings are valuable as souls per se, I can't value the actions of the owners of the papers who print the vile and false spew for click bait, advertising profits and to keep their grip on the status quo. Or the photographers profiting from selling their pictures to these editors and publishers, as well as the so-called journalists who rant on and on about how vile Meghan is.

      That's not a put down. That's describing what has happened. I'm describing what people have witnessed in the public domain. That's all. And sorry, I don't value it or the perpetrators. Why would I value abusers?




      Delete
    5. But Philly, you can be against abuse or not value unethical actions and not imply that those who committed the actions you reprove did it because of their age gender and color. Being a white old man doesn't make you a better or a worse journalist or automatically threatened by Meghan. You are not describing what happened, you are assuming motives and stigmatizing and wishing ill a category of people.

      Delete
    6. Helen

      This whole mess was created by white people who feel insecure and threatened by other people's success. Sorry to break the news, but this is happening every day, now they were caught and some can see that.

      Delete
    7. Helen, I did not assert anything. I did not wish anyone ill. I didn't make assumptions. I observed behaviours and I asked questions about possible motives: Could it be? How else can you explain it? Et cetera.

      The age issue is very much part of the relevant questions along with the race issues being discussed in this forum. I'm reminded of the adage "What of the King Stag when the young stag is grown?" It may very well be relevant in this case. Age, gender and colour are central to the seat of the aristocracy, royal tradition and power as well as those on the fringes of it by association.

      There are more examples, but I'll stop at two. Someone fired for making horrific remarks about Archie quietly rehired elsewhere in the same industry. Someone going on and on and on about being ghosted by a woman then vilified repeatedly. Not quite objective journalism by any standards.

      Therefore it does not seem unreasonable for me to question whether there could be motives behind those acts. MIGHT motives such as feeling threatened or a needing to protect privileged positions at be play?

      Questions. Answer the questions any way you like.


      Delete
  27. Thank you for the excellent posts on all of Meghan's events on this trip to London as a working royal. And thank you again for declaring that you will continue to post on Meghan's next chapter.

    I'm going to read the wearing of the North Star earrings as a symbol of Meghan remaining her true self- a kind and loving human being; intelligent, hard-working; an effective supporter of her causes, beautiful and charismatic. The BM and yes, the Royal Family, have crushed her a bit, but they have not dimmed her spirit. Her loving husband has removed her from the toxic environment to prevent that from ever happening.I feel that with Harry, she will continue to lead an exemplary life of service, and be fulfilled as a wife, a mother, and as a human being who has sought to help others and do good in the world.

    I've read all three of the pieces by the chosen reporters. Murphy's was factual, but lacked the nuance that gave a real "feel" of the event found in the other two. I thought Gordon's was insightful and spoke from the perspective of her reporting of Harry's involvement with mental health, offering an explanation of why "it has come to this." Scobie's was so moving it brought a tear to my eye. Finally, someone who gave Meghan her due, and gave a sense of the person that she is. It was both insightful and sensitive.

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  28. Simply radiant! Can't wait to see them soar now that they have been set free.

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  29. Sad! Sad! Sad! that the Sussexes are gone. Thanks, Charlotte. You and those you trust maybe the last fabric of integrity reporting. For that, I’m grateful.

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  30. Wow, I can’t believe not a single person on this blog has defended the royal family. In my opinion, Harry and Meghan planned to leave the rf as far back as the wedding. Harry long expressed his discomfort with the role. I also think this plan was the trouble with Harry and William. Meghan was welcomed to the family with open arms. Show me how/when she wasn’t? It is extremely disappointing that no one is seeing the other side of this story.
    Beth in SF

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    Replies
    1. I think there are a lot of people who do see the other side of the argument, but they just don’t comment here. This blog is a Meghan fan site.

      Delete
    2. When her baby was compared to a monkey in a vile racist attack and nothing was said or done by this supposedly powerful family to address it. Your question is easily answered.

      Yet Andrew was given open and visible support by the queen despite being a credibly accused rapist.

      Delete
    3. Zora from Prague13 March 2020 at 20:57

      Beth, I think a lot of people see the other side of the story, they just chose not to comment here; I am one of them. I was a sincere H+M fan at the beginning, I was overjoyed when they were getting married and I saw them a fresh and powerful element with a big potential. However, after a while I started having doubts. The whole matter is complex and I do not think anyone can really know what happened; what I'm pretty sure of is this is not black and white. Instead of accusing the RF of not supporting H+M enough, it might be useful to consider whether they ever wanted to be supported, or perhaps why some members were hesitant to support them. My feeling over the 2 years has been that H+M were sometimes trying to show the others that they knew better/ best and wanted to have things their own way. Maybe I'm mistaken but this was how I felt. It will be interesting to see them carving their new path now. When I read comments about how terribly the RF were behaving, I often felt tempted to comment but decided not to; your comment made me as I want to let you know there are people who see things from this point of view.
      Let me add that at this time of health concerns over the coronavirus crisis, I do not want to stir an unkind discussion.

      Delete
    4. Susan in Florida14 March 2020 at 00:27

      The RF did not issue any rebuffs to the racist press. The only statement for easing up on racist remarks came from Harry when he was engaged. William or Charles should have backed up the Sussexes in the press during Meghan’s pregnancy. One press release would have done wonders. It wasn’t a “let’s ignore and rise above” situation. Not with a 24/7 news cycle, not with social media. It’s one thing to open arms, but in a public family with one person being smeared every day, they needed more press releases. The one person who said anything to stick up for Meghan in public was Sarah , Duchess of York on her Twitter. The Royal Racist Press needed a comeuppance and it never happened. If Her Majesty had even said something more formal it would have gone a long way. Harry and Meghan were hung out to dry. William even went to the BAFTAS when the slur-king himself Piers Morgan was nominated for a show that smeared Meghan in an interview with her pond scum father. William could have made a huge impact by not attending that year. He could have said he and Catherine would not be in a audience with someone who was nominated for a show that disrespected his sister-in-law. I don’t expect the RF to answer every article written about them. However , the horrid racist things they were writing about H&M should not have been ignored .

      Delete
    5. I agree with your comments Beth, and if privacy was ever an issue there were examples to follow in the form of Princess Anne, D&DofCambridge, Prince Edward and his wife, also Prince Charles and the Duchess of Cornwall for example, who all live privately while working in the public arena. I feel sure they all would have been happy to help and advise, given the opportunity.
      Bronwyn in Sydney

      Delete
    6. Oh yes. Open arms. And with a racist brooch. And so much more that you can find if you go a bit deeper than appearances. There is a really ugly side of this story, Harry stated it many times, if we knew what he did, eveybody would have done the same.

      Delete
    7. This is the first time I'm commenting on this blog. This statement resonates with me so much!

      There are so many people here who say they wish the royal family did not outwardly support H&M, and I disagree so much with that statement. I remember their first 6 - 12 months, everyone was so over the moon with the support they got from everyone in the family - the queen, PoW, W&C. It seems like all that is not being discarded by everyone because the RF did not make dramatic statements in support of the couple.

      At one point of time Camilla and Charles were 'the' most hated couple if not the world over, atleast in the UK. The change from that situation to today did not happen in a years time, it took perseverance and time and adjustments. It was the same with Kate, who came from a not-famous background and was actually 'hounded' by the media for years before she became a part of the family and then snubbed for many years after that for not doing enough - by the same media outlets. Not once did any member of the family make statements for them. With time everyone started coming around. And I believe that is the British way to do things - which I admire very much. Each statement you make adds more to the fire, as in the case of H&M.

      Personally, I have been disappointed with the couple over the way things have been handled & more so for making it seem that it is "them against the world". I'm sure there are two sides to the story - and because the RF will probably never make a statement on it, we will never get to hear it.
      While this blog is one of the few places on the internet where one can make fair arguments, it's been very sad to see so many people criticize the RF and much fewer people to defend them. Just because we haven't heard that side of the story, doesn't mean that they are in the wrong!

      All the same, now that H&M have decided to step out, I wish them the best.

      - Madhu

      Delete
    8. Do people know how RFs work? William is President of an organization, there’s a big event, he’s invited, he is asked to deliver a speech on such and such topics and that’s it. He can not boycott anything especially to allegedly defend a member of his family.

      Delete
    9. Really? The royal family is constantly defending William and Kate, which is good, but the left Meghan to defend herself. She was portrayed by tabloids as rude and demanding, even though people and charities she worked with only praised her. All her public outings and foreign tours were very successful. In fact everything Meghan did in UK was successful but she was hounded by tabloids and then public opinion turned against her and Harry as well. All this time RF was silent on the subject. I am sad they left the royal family but nobody should put up with the bullying.

      Delete
    10. There is a new documentary titled Meghan Markle: Escaping The Crown by Vice which investigates the role that the monarchy and British tabloid media played in vilifying Meghan.

      Delete
    11. I see the other side, and have tried to explain it. But it is very frustrating when people are stubbornly convinced the RF is to blame. They are so prejudiced they cannot even see the support the RF gave. What about objectivity? And going back and back to the monkey twit when the author was sacked and punished, why make that an argument against the RF?
      I don't even know if my comment will be published.

      Delete
    12. Natacha we go back to that “monkey twit” because the depth of its racism was stunning. Perhaps you do not understand the historical context, violence, and oppression associated with racist monkey comparisons. Far more significant than a person merely being a twit as you have minimized.

      No it was not the royal families obligation to fire this person. (Who incidentally I read was quietly rehired by the bbc, though in a different role) but it was ABSOLUTELY their obligation to denounce such racism forcefully and openly. Especially about a member of their own family that was supposedly so warmly welcomed. The fact that they didn’t continues to disappoint me deeply.

      Delete
    13. Probably, the royals will never make any statement what went down, and one of journos did mention the fact that they must not talk about it because of legal reasons. Can you imagine if it got out, that would shake some heavily.

      But I do believe in biographies, and one day I am pretty sure either from H or from M we will hear the details.


      Delete
    14. Because biographies are 100% true. So whatever H or M would say would be the truth. An interesting and biased approach...also, why are you assuming the legal reasons would be negative for the RF? Maybe they would be for H&M.

      Delete
    15. Negative for the Sussexes, very likely indeed. They had no problem to throw them under that bus any time, so why not now?! And before commenting I take a chill pill, think about it.

      Delete
    16. @MD: People should stop watching or reading "documentaries and biographies" that are not officially approved. Why? Everyone can make one without the slightest credentials and without doing good or any research. You might be lucky to stumble upon one that did but even then they have never talked to any of the poeple they report about. It is all interpretation and imagination and the ones with a pretty one sided title do in fact no use all the ressources but only the ones that suit their narrative. Most of them just use this situation to cash in, which I think is pretty bad character trait. As is spreading rumours, badmouthung and gossiping by the way. Just think of Mr. Hewitt, his Diana biography and his countless interviews and the the disgust Harry and Wiliam expressed about him cashing on their dead mother. If we support people like that (and he at least knew Diana unlike the people who now bring out stuff) we are not much better.
      I am more and more sad to see thatthis place is starting to become a place of hatred against the BRF instead of supoorting Harry and Meghan in their new endeavors.
      Please give me one exapmple where the BRF (not Wiliam or Kate themselves) publicly defended Wiliam and Kate. I am a royal watcher since before their wedding and I cannot remeber one instance. If you can back your claim uo with proof I would be very much obliged.

      Delete
  31. This is a beautiful dress. Stylish, smart and elegant. Love the navy shade combined with bag and clutch, great choice. The neckline is superb adds interest and softness. The Fallen star earrings are simply divine, beautiful sparkling diamonds gorgeous.

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  32. BRF: "Like Ships that Pass in The Night"

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  33. Charlotte I would like to thank you so very much for your hard work and excellent blog. Am very sad about this all. It is going to be very tough going for Harry and Meghan in the post Covid world. The economic hurt will be massive world wide and certainly in the next decade I suspect very little appetite for monetarised celebrity charity and the speaker circuit. I also suspect that there will be a groundswell of demand from the British taxpayers to cease payment of security costs for the couple, as there are going to be so many other urgent demands on the public purse. This is not a comment on the ability of the couple to achieve but that their model will be out of step in the changed world.

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    Replies
    1. The BRF pays into the Sovereign Grant directly and indirectly via their enormous taxes. The tax payers paying for their security is overblown nonsense by anti-royalist. Since 1992 the BRF pays taxes and they gave the government some of their revenue earning properties. In reality, the tax payer contribution is next to nil; and furthermore, the BRF brings billions of dollars into the British treasury. The Meghan effect was worth more than half a billion.

      Delete
  34. Beautiful as always

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  35. Meghan looks so beautiful, with such a sense of tristesse in her expression. I've read numerous times that she is absolutely stunning in person. Love the dress, and the fit is perfection.

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  36. she looks gorgeous so sad to see them go they could have done so much in their roles as they matured and would have been nice to have a woman of colour in a prominent senior role in the royal family

    thanks for the nice post Charlotte

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  37. Some of you need to take a step back and think. What if it was you or one of your family members? what would you do? They have had NO support for the last three years. Not one royal family member has defended them. And don't tell me it is because of the never complain, never explain crap or that they were supported behind the scene. When you can give a statement on botox and not racism let alone a baby being called a chimpanzee, there is a serious problem.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Can you stop repeating the botox story? The statement was because they were advertising a product using Kate’s image and was benefitting from her image as a member of the RF. it was not a denial that she was using botox.

      Delete
    2. I agree 100%. I have long admired the queen but I’ve really been shaken by decisions made the past few years. And I agree with you “never complain never explain” is not and has never been exactly accurate. And it’s ridiculous and unfair to lambast H and M for not following that when no one else does. They always find ways to explain themselves or their side of a story. Sometimes subtlety but it happens.

      The royal family I’m afraid, while admired, is a victim of the very thing that people admire. Tradition and longevity. These are inherently slow to change but to survive they must change. I realize this is a delicate growth but for heavens sake in a 1000 year old institution they successfully abandoned slaves in their service and the beheading of ex wives. And much of this is bigger than Harry and Meghan. I think their situation is more an outcome of an unwillingness to do things differently than the cause of it.

      I certainly don’t suggest they become trend setting hipsters. Their traditional and symbolic role is important, but they have had many opportunities the past few decades to update. Communication styles as far as statements, social media use, more integration of causes and events supported...

      Like it or not the royal family is an institution inevitably linked to colonialism, and all the racism and paternalism that goes with it. There are so many things they could be doing to strategically re brand themselves and I’m increasingly shocked that they won’t. Eventually they’ll have to or they’ll be abandoned. The Prince’s Trust is a wonderful example but I have seen no top down initiative. And I again I say this with much admiration for the Queen.

      Finally, serious missteps were made when recent issues of racism were at the front. Princess Michael’s brooch, the chimpanzee photo. All needed to be addressed swiftly, sternly, and unequivocally. Some may call this a violation of the supposed never complain never explain ethos but I completely think they do not have a choice when it comes to such blatant racist hostility. Not in today’s world.

      The salt in the wound is within this context we see the complete bungling of the Prince Andrew situation. I was frankly shocked at how problematic and tone deaf the entire mess was an continues to be. The queen should not be seen in public with him full stop. It is often argued her role is bigger than her existence as a person, well then this was a perfect example to follow through on that. I will not speak to what goes on privately behind closed doors between a mother and son, but a public queen supporting a prince in his situation so openly with the multiple church visits and photo ops is stunning in its depth of an error.

      Delete
    3. Well said Anon. - Martine

      Delete
  38. I am really impressed with Harry and Meghan- how they handled these last events as senior royals. And I absolutely loved Meghans fashion choices. I am looking forward to their future endeavours!

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  39. The Queen should have positioned herself quite clearly, for exemple in the Christmas speech. Why didn't she say something, like how unfair it is how the press treats her new granddaughter-in-law and Archie. That would have helped. She must have known how desperate Harry and Meghan were. It's time for her to step down, like it happened in other countries, let the younger generation take over. Just like Spain, the King stepped down, when it became clear, that he was not made for this century and he insisted in going elephant hunting. The Queen let it happen to Diana and now she did exactly the same thing to Meghan. Good for Harry to tell them all where to go! This man lost his mother at 12 and was about to loose his wife!

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    1. Would it have helped? Not sure.

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    2. Annette New Zealand15 March 2020 at 21:41

      It is really presumptuous of any of us to be telling the Queen to step down. She is the hereditary monarch of the United Kingdom and several Commonwealth Countries as well as the Head of the Commonwealth. It is up to those countries and their citizens to pronounce on those matters. Otherwise anyone of us could suggest that the another Country leader - the US President for example- should step down and that is certainly none of our business! We don't know all the facts anyway. Most of the stories circulating are just speculation. The Royal establishment traditionally does not comment every time adverse publicity happens. Experience has shown them that sitting tight until it dies down works best. Diana and Charles escalated the problem and made it worse by giving interviews and selectively leaking to favoured reporters. It does seem that this may be starting to happen here so I do hope they can all pull back and try to mend fences. If the report of the Duke and Duchess going to visit the Queen at Balmoral with Archie is true, that is an encouraging sign,

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    3. I believe the Queen was much more welcoming and supportive of Meghan than folks on this blog tend to give her credit for. It may seem like a no brainer and nothing but things like having her at Sandringham before M and H were married; giving them the patronages she gave them as well as making them President and VP of the Queen’s Commonwealth Trust - a very important organization to her Majesty- shows that she supported and believed in them. The Queen has never been touchy-feely-emotive and with M and H I believe her actions showed great belief and support of them. My 2 cents for what it’s worth...

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    4. Lol the king of Spain did not abdicate because he was a fan of hunting and that activity does not belong to the 21st century. That’s a terrible over simplification, I can tell you the whole story if you’re interested. The story that H&M are victims of the jealous and racist BRF is another -possible untrue- simplification of the situation.

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  40. I hope most likely this blog will continue to be active as D&D of Sussex still continue to have important UK patronages, Harry's Travelyst office in UK, and their roles as President and Vice President of The Commonwealth. I wish they make some kind of plan to make the controversial Frogmore cottage leased out to a very special entity they like and trust. A home is not a home with this much controversy. Why can't they buy or build their own house in UK like PC did with Highgrove?

    I wish Harry, Meghan and Archie - safety, peace, love and a meaningful life.

    Charlotte- Thank you for having been a constant voice of reason with factual posts, informative background history, well selected photos and definitely special thank you for your occasional and very well written opinion whenever you find it necessary. You have truly overcome and maintained the blog in spite of the time consuming, tireless screening of undesirable and vitriol comments. Along the way the many posts by the intelligent and thoughtful community of commentators on this blog had enhanced it all positively more interesting. They make it another reason to keep returning to this blog. You had faith and confidence when many doubted this relationship. You did not decide to start a blog on Meghan during just their courtship not just mainly because she was dating Prince Harry. I remember among your reasons to start the blog was the outcome of your research on Meghan; her UN participation, advocacy, and some philanthropy work. Of course it is a fantastic love story of a very interesting couple from different worlds united as one in their love and values. I followed this blog from the very first time way before their engagement for marriage. If you plan to close the blog, I hope you will leave the archive accessible for viewing, reading and researching.

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  41. What a wonderful way to end her visit. This isn’t goodbye but ending of one job to start another. It’s a new beginning for this family to embark on a more independent life. It’s healthy and I wish them and the RF well.

    Thank you Charlotte for the research, analysis and your insightful and informative writing. This is a stressful time for many people. I haven’t been able to sit down and enjoy things as leisurely as normal, so when I can rest my brain, your blogs give me great delight.

    To you and fellow readers, please take care and stay healthy.

    - Martine

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  42. She is a beautiful talented person with much to offer. Losing Meghan and Harry is a huge loss for the firm. I will miss them. It is regretful that they were not adequately supported behind the scenes. It is so sad it has come to this but I admire their courage to walk away from an uncompromising situstion. I wish them well for their future lives and hope they find happiness as they choose their own adventure.

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  43. To Anonymous 20:23
    I agree with you that it took “courage for them to walk away from an uncompromising situation.”
    Harry, especially, left the life he has always known.
    As another commenter wrote above, you cannot negotiate with your abuser.
    The RF failed to visibly support M & H last year and appeared to visibly reject them this year.
    I wish this beautiful family peace and joy as they move forward.
    Thank you Charlotte for your reporting.
    Renee

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  44. “you cannot negotiate with your abuser” - I really don’t feel the RF was abusive.

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    1. The RF wasn’t. . No one has suggested that. But Meghan WAS being abused by the tabloid press. And while some seem to think there could have been a way to negotiate for better coverage many are saying that’s that’s not fair to expect the victim of such hostility to engage in that type of negotiation. The abuser is the press. As far as the RF though I agree with many comments that they could have been more visibly supportive and protective of her. I think the press sensed it was fair game because they escalated and escalated and and the racist and sexist attacks were never shut down. And they could have been greatly mitigated by some more forceful and visible support of Meghan. This is a family that knows the value of an image and symbolism more than most.

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    2. I don’t either!

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  45. Why do people still have to take sides (in a fight that isn’t theirs) and bring up the BRF ALL the time. Can we not finally concentrate on the Meghan and Harry around here? This constant negativity (and continuing to spill rumours and gossip without proof or inside knowledge) makes the blog more and more look like a hate blog of the BRF and less as a blog that highlights and concentrates on the work and fashion of Meghan and Harry. People show themselves as pretty entitled and scandalmongers instead of lovely supporters.

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  46. While the ending of this chapter is sad, I look at it as finishing one job and moving on to the next. Prince Harry's job was second in line to the throne. When Prince William had his children, Harry's job was done and he had to find another one.
    With the love and support of an intelligent, strong woman, he has found his next career.
    All the best to them.
    When one door closes, another one opens.
    Lesley in Dallas

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    1. Beautifully stated,Lesley. I couldn't agree more.

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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 :)