Thursday, 5 March 2020

Harry and Meghan Look To "An Even Greater Future Ahead" At Endeavour Fund Awards

The Duke and Duchess of Sussex made their much-anticipated first joint appearance since it was announced they would be stepping down as senior royals in January for the inspiring Endeavour Fund awards tonight.


I think you'll agree, It was lovely to see these two again.


Prince Harry returned from Canada last week for several engagements including travelling to Edinburgh for Travalyst and a heartwarming collaboration between Jon Bon Jovi and the Invictus Games Choir ahead of the games in May. It's understood he spent a great deal of Sunday with Her Majesty at Windsor Castle discussing plans for the future in detail, not as a monarch and senior royal but as a grandmother and grandson.


It's understood the Duchess joined her husband at some point this week, and they are staying at their Windsor home Frogmore Cottage as they carry out a programme of events culminating in the annual Commonwealth Day service on Monday afternoon. The last time we saw them officially was two months ago for their visit to Canada House ahead of the major announcement. There are still many unanswered questions about plans for the future; it's very much going to be a case of the couple taking the time they need to choose their next steps. I have no doubt work is well underway in their temporary home on Vancouver Island. For now though, it was splendid to see them both looking so happy. They were both beaming upon arrival tonight.


In 2012, the Royal Foundation created the Endeavour Fund. The Fund offers seed funding for sporting and adventure challenges and helps emerging initiatives with advice, hands-on support and mentoring. The fund plays an important role in ensuring that more servicemen and women have the opportunity to rediscover their self-belief and fighting spirit through physical challenges. It aims to help those who are hard to reach and to support activities that contribute to the participants’ recoveries - either through mentorship, qualifications or work opportunities. As Patron of the Fund, Harry has launched a series of programmes and events in their support. In November 2013, Prince Harry joined one of three teams of wounded servicemen and women to trek to the geographic South Pole for the Walking with the Wounded South Pole Allied Challenge.


The Endeavour Fund Awards have become an annual calendar event for Harry, and now his wife too.  The awards celebrate the achievements of wounded, injured and sick servicemen and women who have taken part in remarkable sporting and adventure challenges over the last year. Meghan joined Harry at the awards last year and once again she's been involved in the process all the way. In January, she and Harry attended the judging for the awards privately.


Before the awards, Harry and Meghan spent time with nominees and their families. Roya Nikkhah reports Meghan discussed "going back to your sense of strength" with veterans. When it was time for a group photo, the Duchess asked: "Where would you like us?"


This year's awards were held at Mansion House and hosted by former Invictus Games medallist JJ Chalmers.


The Telegraph reports:

'Speaking to guests of the Endeavour Fund a moment later, Meghan told how she admired the simplicity of its premise. “It allows you to regain your sense of strength,” she told one. “It's huge.” At a reception with supporters, nominees and their families, the couple spoke to Claire Spencer, 52, whose husband, Lee ‘Frank’ Spencer was nominated for an award.
She complimented Meghan on how “amazing” she looked given that she had just had a baby.Relaying the conversation afterwards, she said the Duchess had replied: “Oh yes, well he [Archie] is ten months now and is into everything.”
Asked what she thought of Prince Harry’s decision to step back as a working royal, she offered support, saying: “I know what a difference Endeavour has made to my husband’s life since he lost a leg and I hold Harry personally responsible for that.”
J J Chalmers, the awards’ host, said: “There’s a lot of noise out there on social media and the like. But ultimately you have got to look at the last couple of years of their life together. The biggest change in their life is becoming parents and that changes your priorities.”

As guests took their seats they heard a number of incredible stories. The award for Recognising Achievement went to Danny Holland. The Fund revealed: "Danny was involved in an IED blast whilst serving in Afghanistan which left him with mental health difficulties. He is now thriving as a driver, achieving wins and podium places at races all over the UK and Europe. Danny is now working towards instructor qualifications that will help him to pass on all he has learnt and help others in their own rehabilitation."


Danny was delighted to win and during his acceptance speech he decided it was the right moment to ask his girlfriend a very special question :)


And this was Harry and Meghan's reaction.


She said yes!


The Duchess was visibly touched by the romantic moment and put her hand on Harry's knee and smiled as the newly-engaged couple embraced on stage.


It was quite the surprise and everyone in the room was thrilled for Danny and his fiancée.

Embed from Getty Images

Meghan took to the stage to present the Celebrating Excellence Award to Lee Spencer's wife Claire who accepted on his behalf.


Lee Spencer was nominated after completing a record-breaking solo-row of the Atlantic Ocean. Lee served in the Royal Marines for 24 years but lost his right leg after being hit by flying debris whilst helping at the scene of an accident.


After previously rowing the Atlantic in a team of four amputees (with three legs between them), in 2019 Lee made a successful solo attempt, breaking the able-bodied record by an astonishing 36 days and broke the record for the longest solo and unsupported row by a disabled person. Lee now holds a total of 4 Guinness World Records.


On stage, the Duchess, who presented at the awards for the third consecutive year, said: "It's very nice to be back. It's the third year I have the incredible fortune of joining my husband here and as you all know and can feel it is just the most inspiring space. I will say, when we were watching the videos all the way in Canada we had the same moment as you do which is, how are you going to choose?"


Prince Harry presented the Henry Worsley Award to Tom Oates. Tom lost his fiancée to a road traffic accident just weeks after returning home from a difficult tour of Afghanistan. Tom’s mental health suffered and Deptherapy reached out to him. He now supports others with mental health difficulties, as well as taking part in charity programmes to protect the ocean. Tom has been so inspired by Deptherapy and his desire to protect the ocean, that this year he is due to start a degree in marine biology.


During a passionate speech Harry said: "Meghan and I are so happy to be back here with you, to celebrate each and every one of you for your achievements, your service and your resilience. For some, the military community represents a brotherhood or sisterhood that no other organisation can provide, and for others it’s a way of life which you never want to leave. For a lot of us, it’s both. Being able to serve Queen and Country is something we all are rightly proud of, and it never leaves us. Once served, always serving. I feel lucky to be able to count myself as one of you; and am deeply proud to have served among you as Captain Wales. A lot of you tonight have told me you have my back, well I’m also here to tell you, I’ve always got yours."


Meghan seated beside Fund ambassador Ross Kemp listening to Harry's speech.

Embed from Getty Images

It was particularly interesting to hear Harry touch on plans for the future: "The Endeavour Fund has grown into something far greater than I could ever have imagined. I firmly believe there is an even greater future ahead. Our ambition is to build on what has been achieved, to expand the Endeavour Fund further so that its impact can be felt around the world. For this reason, I am very pleased to announce that we are looking at opportunities - that's all I can say for now - to create a much closer working relationship with the Invictus Games Foundation. More will be announced in due time but it's been made possible thanks to the generous support of some specific people." You can watch the awards in their entirety below.

Sussex Royal shared a video of highlights from the evening (including the proposal) to the sounds of of Otis Redding's Down in the Valley.


The Duchess looked stunning in a turquoise Victoria Beckham dress styled with navy accessories, a sleek ponytail and a statement beauty look featuring a warmer shade of lipstick and eye shadow than we often see Meghan wear.


The £977 Pencil Midi dress is described as "a lightweight wool-blend crêpe, this short-sleeved style boasts a figure-framing silhouette that cinches in at the waist". (With thanks to Meghan's Mirror). It's available at My Theresa and FarFetch. We've seen Meghan in Victoria Beckham designs on several occasions since the engagement; it's great to see one of her tailored dresses for an evening event.


It appears Meghan wore her Manolo Blahnik BB heels in navy suede.



Meghan carried a custom Stella McCartney Lucia marble plexi clutch in blue. The original style is from the 2013 collection.


A closer look at Meghan's earrings.


Laura identified Meghan's bracelet as the £9,500 Jessica McCormack Chi Chi Rose Gold bracelet.


It was wonderful to see the Duke and Duchess doing what they do best tonight in aid of a very special event.

Embed from Getty Images

Earlier today, Harry and Meghan were photographed leaving the Goring Hotel after attending a private luncheon there. It may have been a catch up with close friends or perhaps a meeting related to their work. The Times reports they were also spotted at Buckingham Palace today.


Meghan wore a dark camel wrap coat by British brand Alex Eagle. The £1,590 piece is described: "Expertly crafted in London, Alex Eagle’s full length belted shawl collar wrap coat is effortless with a refined style." Meghan teamed it with a chic pair of Aquazzura Mae Pearl Pumps and the Loewe Small Postal Box Tote (with thanks to Meghan's Mirror, Heaven and Laura).


We'll see the couple on Saturday evening for the Mountbatten Festival of Music at the Royal Albert Hall.

71 comments:

  1. It's great to see them. They look well and very happy. Meghan is waaring color! And brighter lips. Beautiful!

    R

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  2. Been awhile, so glad to see both of them looking happy and so relaxed. Love the simple, classy yet elegant look.
    Glad they both chose to keep it simple as a way of trying to maintain focus on the purpose of the outing, honouring the service men and women.

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  3. Love this color on Meghan. Loving the more dramatic makeup as well. It's nice to see them- we missed them!!!

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    1. I'm not a fan of the makeup, but the dress is a great color!

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  4. Sincerely Charlotte, seeing these first images, I can assure you that it heals my long impatience to see Meghan again: she is too too too beautiful. What a sparkling couple! I ask even more from Sussex 😍👌👌👌

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  5. Lovely in her simplicity as always.

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    1. USA Granny, you make me realize that I have come to expect simplicity and solid colors. And realize that this format looks good on everyone!

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  6. Oh I wish wish wish things were all ok & they were staying! I have missed them & have missed the hope of what the whole family (the BRF) could be together with them & of course Archie too!.... Oh my, they will be much missed! They look so wonderful & I absolutely love her darker eyes & lips & her earrings & her dress..... & oh my, I just love her whole look & their whole look together! xoxo

    I feel like they are finally home & it's hard to comprehend that they will be leaving in a few days & things will never be the same....... ahhh..... just have to enjoy these next few days! xoxo

    Becca USA

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    1. Agree with you, well your first paragraph anyways! Home is no longer the UK which is very sad but I truly believe we could not have expected them to keep living there in light of all the abuse and without the support from the “family”. For the Palace not to have said a word in the face of so much bullying toward Meghan is reprehensible. Not to have said anything when Archie was abused was repugnant to say the least. I definitely view the ‘family’, especially the queen in a different light now.
      The UK has definitely lost something quite special.
      Meghan is simply a class act.

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    2. A dialogue from The Crown sticks with me when I think about their situation and your points, Carrie Virginia. When Charles visits the Duke of Windsor he speaks of his struggle in the family and then, in their defense remarks: They want what's best for me. The Duchess of Windsor says point blank: No. They don't.

      Now whether that is a verifiable conversation or one in the imagination of the scriptwriter, I believe it hits the mark.

      They want what they believe best serves the institution and the status quo. Sadly, sometimes they have a miracle right under their noses but can't see it--or end up quashing it.

      Kudos to H&M for making the hard choices and choosing to be the masters of their own fate. How it will all play out is anyone's guess. But my money is on the dissolution of the Commonwealth after the Queen's death. I think H&M were its only hope.

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    3. Wow Philly, Meghan is a 'miracle' and H &M are the monarchy's 'only hope', and the 'dissolution of the Commonwealth after the Queen's death" is the safe bet?. That's quite a burden to bear, so then its for the best that they are securing their own life and destiny. Their talents and legacy are better spent on creating their own dynasty rather than saving a dying one.

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    4. Anonymous 15:24, that's not a "safe bet" at all. That's my prediction. I could be way off the mark. However, the population of many Commonwealth countries is young and not white. The injustice of colonialism and its taint the globe runs deep.

      In spite of those (who I refuse to dignify by name but we know who the worst offenders are) who are bullying and blaming Meghan for everything; it won't be Harry or Meghan's "fault" that this could happen on account of their decision to carve out their own destiny apart from the RF.

      However, I think it very short-sighted of the RF not to do everything possible for them to continue in their P/VP Commonwealth roles. That's all. They have this miracle handed to them in Harry's choice of a bride and (my opinion here, disagree all you want) they squander it just as they did Diana.

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    5. They’re not P/VP of the Commonwealth.

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  7. I actually yelled out "ohmygod wow" at work when I saw this. She looks radiant! Beautiful color on her, love the simple, classic elegance of the dress and the sleek ponytail, and the makeup is fun.

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  8. They both are glowing with more happiness than I have seen since they announced their engagement.

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  9. The Duchess looks stunning. Her sleek ponytail, striking reddish-brown eye makeup and vibrant blue pencil dress makes for a very fresh and modern look for the event. She and Harry look happy and I’m glad they can continue to support the Endeavour Fund Awards together for the third year running.

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  10. She looks great! Hair, makeup, and a lovely blue dress.

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  11. Emily in Houston5 March 2020 at 20:16

    Meghan looks so beautiful and healthy and happy! I’m really happy for them.

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  12. Looking at pictures from last year and today you can totally see this difference! They are so much more relaxed, confident and happy now like they both were when they first got engaged. This alone lets me know they made the right decision for their family. So happy for them and excited for their future.

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    1. I’ve MISSED them so much, but I have to agree. They both look so great and so in their element.

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  13. Omg, I just don't have the words to express how delighted I am right now!! The Duchess looks absolutely radiant tonight and as Anon 20:19 stated it certainly points to them making the right decision for their family! I know that I've been missing seeing the Duchess on a fairly regular basis but I didn't realize just How Much until I saw her tonight!

    From head to toe, this look is pure perfection!! The sleek ponytail, her sparkling eyes and and that lip color Wow! and this dress, omg I love how to hugs her curves without being too body conscious.

    I'm looking forward to seeing more photos of tonight's event and commenting more when I've calmed down a bit LOL!

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    1. If I could wear that dress as well as she does I would die a happy woman.

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    2. Me too bluhare, me too!! I forgot to say it but her posture, as usual, enhances this look!

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    3. Her posture is incredible. It's all that yoga and core work!

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  14. I concur with Anonymous 20.19 statement Good luck Harry and Meghan your life will be sorted !!

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  15. fantastic color! complements well with H's, adds a pop, but not so much that it takes the focus off the event.
    the dainty hoops are nice surprise, too. the clutch and shoes coordinate well, too. all in all, a great look.

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  16. Charlotte, I found two photos on Instagram about Meghan and Harry seen leaving Goring Hotel this afternoon. They are very good quality, I must say. I sent them to you.

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  17. Just WOW! She looks amazing!!!! I really don't want them to go. I love this dress. The color.

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  18. Becca in Colorado5 March 2020 at 21:23

    Meghan looks stunning and happy. I've missed seeing her so much!

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  19. Not a fan of the dress. Way too tight. Her make up is pretty

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  20. Looking fab. Bless them. Long live the Sussexes!

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  21. It's really good to see them. Meghan is truly beautuful.

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  22. Wow!! They look amazing!! So happy and relaxed - just beautiful. So nice to see them again. Her smile lights up a room.

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  23. Sigh she looks beautiful. Love the color of the dress and the shoes. Harry looks happier too. Both of them look really good and happy which is what's important.

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    1. She does look beautiful. :)

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  24. She has a wonderful smile.

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  25. I gasped when I saw this stunning blue dress! Meghan looked stunning and her make was on point. Although I’m sad and will miss them, their faces show pure happiness which is all that matters.

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  26. Charming! Oh how good to see them again! They look happy - love Meghan's look overall, esp the bright blue on her. Her hair is so long now! Glee. -op

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  27. A beautiful appearance for a wonderful cause. These are Harry's people for sure,as the women at the Hubb are Meghan's. Seeing them so happy again, I'm more than willing to wait for whatever we receive in the future.

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  28. Rita in Florida5 March 2020 at 23:50

    Holy Comebacks Batman - it's Meghan and Harry! Wow did they ever shine!! I agree they look happy, radiant, and in love as ever. Meaghan entire ensemble was on point! The dress - I am literally dying I love it. A statement dress if you will. I prefer a slightly larger earring in the evening but why quibble? They are not here for long.

    Let's be honest. Selfishly I hope that they hate North America and go back to being FT Royals next spring. Can't a girl dream?

    In the interim, I wish them nothing but the very best and I look forward to tracking both their philanthropic and professional endeavors. Sounds like a good bit is already in the works. No surprise.

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    1. same here! I would love to have them back as full time royals.

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  29. Charlotte if I understand correctly, it seems that Prince Harry will continue to sponsor the Endeavour Fund? please review it as soon as you can Charlotte. Thank you for this beautiful post so enriching and full of hope.

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  30. Oh, it is just so wonderful to see them again. I almost hate to comment because I don't want the moment to go away. Her day look with that lovely wrapped coat and those incredible pumps with pearls was gorgeous! And this dress is pure joy -- unlike the model, Meghan has a rear and she looked super sexy. The dress looks rather plain on the model. And what a bracelet!! So great to see them beaming and happy.

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    1. I agree. She fills our the dress in all the right places. A “cutie with a booty”.

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  31. Megan looks gorgeous in this dress. I adore the blue colour. Yes Charlotte it is indeed lovely to see them. Will be sad to not see them in active royal roles like this. I am very happy to see how happy both her and Harry look

    thank you for this post

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  32. are her earrings from Marco Bicego?

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  33. Omg! Meghan looks fantastic. Everything was so on point, the colour, dramatic make up, accessories. Wow!

    They both seem to be much more relaxed today. I just wish to see them both like this even after this month, is it gonna to be too much to hope for?


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  34. It is so great seeing Prince Harry and Meghan. I hope all continues to go well for them. They looked happy and Meghan looked beautiful. Thank you, Charlotte.

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  35. So, so, happy to see them again. Oh, the dress is so prim & proper from the front, and then that jazzy zipper in back. What a great day for them and for us.

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  36. This is the happy, vibrant woman who won a prince’s heart. Love the color, simplicity, and modernity of this dress, but the fit is difficult in motion. She looks incredibly gorgeous and of course Twitter is being nasty because she smiles at photographers. No wonder they had to get out.

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  37. Tammy from California6 March 2020 at 04:51

    If I was them, that picture of them under the umbrella in the rain with all the light coming in around them, would be framed in my house. Not too often you get a choice shot like that.
    To be very honest, I think he looks happy to be back in the UK.

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  38. I absolutely love this engagement! The fund, the rainy photos (somehow I have the feeling we will see them for decades to come, I think they are marvellous), her dress, shoes and clutch. It's great to see them again.

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  39. Beautiful color, and from the front she looks stunning. The dress is too tight to be elegant.

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  40. Wow, just wow! Any doubts over the wisdom of their move away from mainstream royal life have to be dispelled by their obvious, glowing happiness. Meghan look simply stunning and I am so happy they will continue to support Endeavour.

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  41. I do like the colour and the style of dress but I think the fitting is bit off. Victoria Beckham's designs are for a different bodytype- sometimes it can still work but sometimes you find wrinkles and stretching seams in the wrong places. It is not one of the best pieces she designed. Sleek ponytails are not my favourite hairstyle for Meghan. Hoop earrings are a big trend right now- but I think they don't flatter most people. Especially the small ones.
    Her make up is just beautiful.
    I am happy that they can end their previous royal carrer on a good note. Hopefully they and the BRF can rebulild and strengthen their private family relationships.
    C.

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  42. The Duchess looks lovely, beautiful shade of blue, but the dress is too tight. Love the colour of her shoes, but the clutch is divine. The subtle, delicate choices of jewellery are superb. I love her makeup.

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    1. I concur. Meghan looks very polished and that shade of blue is gorgeous on her. However, she should have gone up a size on the dress. It's too tight, which spoils the line.

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  43. Harry and Meghan are a wonderful couple, so glad that they were able to attend this inspirational awards event together! I like hearing directly from the Sussexes. In Meghan’s speech, we learnt, she and Harry worked on reviewing the awards together in Canada. Harry’s speech continued the commitment to the service people and combining projects of the Endeavour awards with the Invictus Games, both meaningful and important causes.

    It was lovely to see Meghan and Harry happy, both head to toe gorgeous! I’m looking forward to seeing and supporting their projects as they continue their good work.

    Dena

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  44. A lovely royal outing the duchess of sussex looks so genuinely happy she her element i love her dress she in better place her eyes say it all

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  45. Hello Charlotte. Thank you for your brillant coverage as usual. There is one picture that speaks volume to me : H&M under the umbrella looking at each other ( the picture below the bracelet). To me this summerized H&M at this stage of their life :
    1) Our love for each other is strong is strong and our marriage survives the chaos surrounding us ( symbomized by the rains and people at the background. Fortunately no security details or official close around them to ruin the picture)
    2) United and on the same page we move forward aware that there will be ups and down; it doesn't matter we trust each other and we know that together we will overcome any challenge.
    A very beautiful picture especialy if you look at it in full screen. Brillant.
    Christelle1

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  46. I love everything about this outing for both of them, they look happy to be here. I especially love this look on the Duchess: the color, the beautiful warmer make-up than usual, the combination between the two shades of blue is gorgeous. I also really like how the dress is sophisticated but may be used again in other work events if needed!

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  47. Meghan looks lovely and this colour is just amazing on her. Styled beautifully but I too think the dress may be a little too tight. Still in shock they are stepping back they do bring such energy to their patronage’s.

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  48. They look tremendous! Love the berry lip on Meghan. I don't think the ponytail is her best look, but I think it works considering the pouring rain. It was so great to see them again! And so happy!

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  49. Wow! Thanks Charlotte. Your post is on a few screens here at work —while we are on break;) A bit of lighter news helps our tired eyes.

    I’ll echo the comments above; it’s great to see them back in the UK to support the people, the charities and foundations. Connecting Endeavour to Invictus makes sense as both organizations serve veterans and their family. I wish them success.

    Meghan is wearing her classic silhouette dress. Love the simplicity and the color burst here. They look terrific, at ease, and as corny as this sounds, in love.

    Stay safe and healthy everyone.

    -Martine

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  50. I love this look so much. Seeing these photos really made me so so sad that they’re stepping back. I can’t help but wonder (and would love to hear others’ thoughts on this) whether things may have been a bit easier if they’d taken the privacy Will&Kate did in Wales and started their family life a bit more removed from the RF and media.

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  51. What a treat to see these two radiant & at their best! Loved the fantastic fashion, but more importantly, Harry & Meghan's joyful smiles. I agree with the comment about framing the pic of them looking adoringly at each other, under the umbrella, with the rain falling down around them. Picture Perfect!

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