Friday, 12 November 2021

The Sussexes Mark Veterans Day at Joint Base McGuire-Dix-Lakehust

To mark Veterans Day and Remembrance Day, the Duke and Duchess of Sussex visited Joint Base McGuire-Dix-Lakehust in New Jersey. The couple hosted a luncheon for servicemembers and their loved ones, and had the opportunity to sit down and discuss the military community and mental health.

Harry's experiences in the British Army forever changed his life and the course of his life's work. Captain Wales served for a decade, undertaking two tours to Afghanistan -- the first member of the Royal family in twenty-five years to serve in a war zone. Upon leaving to focus on his duties, he vowed his time in the army would "stay with him for the rest of his life". A promise he has kept in the years since, supporting veterans, military charities and his inspiring brainchild Invictus at the very heart of his work.

I always thought it incredibly fitting Harry and Meghan's first official public appearance as a couple was in support of Invictus. Through supporting her husband's work, it's became an important area of focus, too. I remember during the Invictus Closing Ceremony 2018 in Sydney, the Duchess spoke of her joy at being welcomed into the Royal family and shared background on her own work with veterans before she met Harry. Meghan said, "I’m not sure if many of you know this, but a few years ago, before I had met my husband, I had the incredible honour of visiting troops deployed all over the world; from the UK to Italy and Afghanistan, and several other countries. In travelling to these military bases, I was given a very special glimpse into the lives of those who serve our countries."

A post on Archewell read:

'Today, November 11, is a day for reflection, honor, and admiration in many countries around the world.

In the United Kingdom and Commonwealth Nations, it is Remembrance Day, an annual commemoration of those who died in world wars and in conflict. Families wear the Remembrance Poppy to memorialize soldiers whose lives have been taken, many lay wreaths, and coinciding with the moment when the Armistice was signed to end World War I—”the 11th hour of the 11th day of the 11th month”—there’s a period of silence and quiet observance at ceremonies held in the U.K. and across the world.

In the United States, it is Veterans Day, a national holiday to recognize and applaud all veterans of the U.S. military. Around the country, local communities gather and host events to celebrate those who served. And today at Arlington National Cemetery—which holds an annual ceremony to honor men and women who have worn the uniform during war and peacetime—the sacred Tomb of the Unknown Soldier is turning 100-years old.'

Below, President Biden at Arlington Cemetery today. During an address he said, "On Veteran’s Day, we have to always remember there’s nothing low risk or low cost about war. Our veterans represent the best of America. You are the very spine of America. All of us owe you."


First Lady Dr Jill Biden, who Harry has worked with in support of veterans, tweeted after the Arlington visit: "On Veterans Day, we honor those who have served. Our hearts are with you and your families today and always."


A spokesperson for the Sussexes said, "Throughout the week, and in reflection of each of these days, The Duke and Duchess of Sussex have committed themselves to remembering, appreciating, and supporting servicemembers, veterans, and military families. The Duke and Duchess believe that supporting the military community—which has supported, protected, and defended us—is among the most solemn obligations we have. Throughout the year, they have met with, volunteered alongside, and advocated for all those who have served or still do."

The Evening Standard reports:

'The couple attended the Intrepid Museum’s gala, honouring serving members and their families before going to the Joint Base McGuire’s-Dix-Lakehurst, which is the Department of Defence’s only tri-service base.

Over 46,000 members of the armed forces and their families live and on the base.'

Addressing guests at the Salute to Freedom Gala yesterday evening, Prince Harry said, "As we honor and reflect on Remembrance Day in the UK, which shares a date with Veterans Day here in the US, my hope is for all of us to continue to support the wellbeing (and recognize the value of) our troops, veterans, and the entire military and service family. We and they are better for it. I served 10-years in the military, including two tours of duty in Afghanistan—one as an FAC on the ground and in the dust with some of you, another as an Apache helicopter pilot in the air supporting and talking with you. Nothing was more valuable than the time I got to spend with my soldiers in a shell scrape, eating an MRE in the back of a tank (thanks for the swaps), flying a mission overhead knowing those below were safer, or making each other laugh when it was needed the most. My experience in the military made me who I am today, and I will always be grateful for the people I got to serve with—wherever in the world we were. But in war, you also see and experience things you hope no one else has to. These stay with us, sometimes like a slideshow of images."

Embed from Getty Images

"Once served, always serving." - Prince Harry.

Embed from Getty Images

Meghan wore a black wrap effect dress and a poppy for the occasion.


Meghan wore Armani's Draped Long-Sleeve Jersey Faux-Wrap Dress (with thanks to Meghan's Closet Chronicles). It features a surplice neckline and A-line silhouette.


The Duchess wore her Giorgio Armani velvety leather court shoes with an asymmetric top line.


Meghan accessorised with her staples -- Diana's Cartier Tank watch...




...and her Cartier Love bracelet.


If you're just joining us, today's earlier post covering Meghan's beauty look at the gala is here.

17 comments:

  1. Wow, I had to reread the first paragraph a few times to make sure I was reading it correctly. This base is ten minutes from my home and their visit wasn't in the news AT ALL.

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    1. It was only made public by Archewell after they had left.

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  2. How do you keep up with this? What a great activity! Some of the usual unpleasant remarks in tabloids have asked why a UK prince is engaged with US servicemembers? I say for the same reason he started Invictus -- all people currently or previously in the military have shared experiences. It doesn't matter the country, although clearly the US and UK are closely tied. I guess this occurred before the evening makeup session and gala. Thank you for so many posts -- I'm going to reread them all.

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    1. I guess the gala still had me stunned -- I see of course this occurred on Thursday. :)

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    2. Good Job Harry and Meghan. 🙏🏽

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    3. Again: Good job Harry and Meghan. 🙏🏽

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  3. Happy Veterans' Day to Prince Harry and all servicemembers in this base and beyond. Thank you guys so much.

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  4. I can't wait to see what else they will be doing for the remainder of the week. I really miss seeing them out and about in public.

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  5. How impatient I am to follow the next Invictus! Thank you Charlotte, it is very important not to miss an opportunity to thank all these soldiers.

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  6. This is an exceptionally flattering silhouette for Meghan. Very nice choice and elegant! -PB

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  7. The BRF try to deny him the right to honour veterans. Why? So glad he does it any way and lovely to see Harry and Meghan wearing poppies. His family should be proud of his service for our country. I am. LRB

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  8. I just saw some phots from this visit of H&M visiting some Afghan children in a classroom during this visit, and we could better see how great M looked in this dress.

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  9. Dear Charlotte
    Thank you for reminding us that H & M’s first official public appearance as a couple was in support of Invictus. That was in …. Toronto?
    How appropriate indeed.
    Great to see them at this Base, supporting Troups.
    Renee

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  10. wow the duke and duchess appearance at veterans as a coupled imn usa the duchess really good with her outfit

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  11. Loved this appearance covering so many facets of their causes. Speaking a few words to the children in their native tongue doubtless meant a great deal. Appearances with children always have a special glow with this couple.
    Why their poppies would cause an outcry is sad indeed.

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  12. nice to see thanks for sharing Charlotte

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  13. My belated comments ... Glad that Prince Harry found a way to honor the veterans in USA after being denied participation in UK Remembrance Sunday . "Service is Universal" said Harry. He is truly a prince with a global reach

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