Wednesday, 7 December 2022

Meghan Shines in Louis Vuitton for Ripple of Hope Gala

It's December in New York for the Duke and Duchess of Sussex who fulfilled a long-standing commitment to attend the Robert F. Kennedy Human Rights Ripple of Hope Gala at the Hilton.

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The couple were spotted arriving in the Big Apple yesterday. New York has become something of a hub for appearances for Harry and Meghan in the States; they've made several trips there since autumn 2021.

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A large crowd awaited the couple's arrival.

Another view.

From Carly Ledbetter who covered the event live.

The Duke and Duchess walked the blue carpet.

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For half a century, the Robert F. Kennedy Ripple of Hope Award has honoured exemplary leaders across government, business, advocacy, and entertainment who have demonstrated an unwavering commitment to social change and worked to protect and advance equity, justice, and human rights.

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Harry and Meghan were honoured to be chosen tonight and they are in incredibly good company. The organisation noted: "We honor Frank Baker, Co-Founder and Managing Partner of Siris; Brian Moynihan, Chair of the Board and Chief Executive Officer of Bank of America; Michael Polsky, Founder and CEO of Invenergy; Prince Harry and Meghan, The Duke and Duchess of Sussex; and President of Ukraine Volodymyr Zelensky. The ceremony will also recognize NBA legend and civil rights icon Bill Russell (1934 – 2022) with a posthumous award."

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A spokesperson added: "At the helm of major corporations, this year's laureates have prioritized equity, inclusivity, and sustainability in the workplace and the world."

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Kerry Kennedy, daughter of Robert F. Kennedy, spoke about choosing Harry and Meghan to be honoured tonight, praising their stance against "structural racism". Kerry said the couple exemplified the "moral courage" her father spoke so passionately of: "When my father went to South Africa in 1966, he spoke in front of a white audience and said that the problem in this generation is talking about racial justice. He also spoke of moral courage, saying that few would have the courage to question their colleagues, family and their community about the power structure they maintained."

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Speaking to El Confidencial's Vanitatis magazine, Kerry continued: "They went to the oldest institution in U.K. history and told them what they were doing wrong, that they couldn't have structural racism within the institution; that they could not maintain a misunderstanding about mental health. They knew that if they did this there would be consequences, that they would be ostracized, they would lose their family, their position within this structure, and that people would blame them for it. They have done it anyway because they believed they couldn't live with themselves if they didn't question this authority. I think they have been heroic in taking this step."

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Emcee for the night, Alec Baldwin and his wife Hilaria.

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Alfre Woodard.

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Joe Kennedy III and Cara Kennedy-Cuomo on presenting duties.

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Gayle King in neon green.

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CNN's Don Lemon and Tim Malone.

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Richard Kind and Keegan-Michael Key share a moment.

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Ukraine's President Zelensky was honoured and joined virtually. 

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Hello! confirmed the Duchess' stunning dress is a bespoke "ankle-length column dress with a Bardot neckline and folded detailing on the waist" by Louis Vuitton's Nicolas Ghésquiére.

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Vogue reports:

"For the special honor tonight, Markle chose a custom look by Nicolas Ghesquière for Louis Vuitton. It’s her first time sporting the French label at such a high-profile event.

The shade of Markle’s dress was significant. White symbolizes peace, which was a thoughtful nod to the philanthropy work the Duke and Duchess do on Ghesquière’s part. The structural silhouette was also right in line with Markle’s clean, modern wardrobe. Case in point: The gown featured a few of the same details as her most famous ensemble, her wedding dress".

I agree with Vogue's sentiments -- the look did offer elements immediately similar to Meghan's wedding style. In fact, the connection didn't end there. It's understood Harry gave his bride his late mother's aquamarine ring for 'something blue' on their big day.

Below, Princess Diana wearing the piece at a 1996 Christie's auction, to which she donated a number of her iconic gowns for charity (Harry also gave Meghan the diamond tennis shown below).

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A closer look at Meghan's dazzling earrings.

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As I watched footage of Meghan stepping in, I was reminded of the sleek, timeless style of a Kennedy woman she greatly admired -- Carolyn Bessette-Kennedy. Indeed, the Duchess once called Carolyn's wedding dress, "Everything. Goals." That her style has endured in the years since her untimely and tragic death is a testament to her consistent choices in monochromatic, tailored clothing with clean lines -- all elements Meghan favours.

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A lovely evening, underscoring an important message. I'll have updates as the evening continues.

Before I sign off, the first three episodes of Harry & Meghan are airing on Netflix Thursday. The following week (the 15th) the remaining three will be available. I'll watch the series in its entirety before blogging about it.

47 comments:

  1. Meghan looks absolutely charming. She never fails to surprise with her style choices while still true to her aesthetic.

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  2. You're amazing to stay up to post this! I just love this dress! She looks wonderful! More tomorrow. :)

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  3. They both look relaxed & utterly gorgeous & I'm glad they've found acceptance & understanding here in the States.

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  4. Boy, will that Netflix doco be well and truly worth watching! Will probably give Netflix their highest watched ratings by a long margin. And then they won't be able to say H&M haven't earned their fees. Fascinating, literally cannot wait! She did look simply stunning tonight.

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  5. thanks Charlotte for a great post. i agree she looks lovely in this outfit. wish we could hear the speech they made. sad to see in the videos you are posting that awful man yelling at meghan that she destroyed the royal family... will be watching netflix like you and the fallout from it. Wishing Harry and his family dont break up for good from it.

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  6. Gorgeous dress and the whole look is so Meghan - simple and stunning, not unlike her wedding dress. Thank you for confirming your plans re the Netflix programme. Who knows what it will bring, but we need to watch it before we comment surely? My only comment at this stage would be why is there so much panic this side of the Pond if people have done nothing they may regret? LRB

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  7. Wow, what a beautiful dress. Meghan is glowing. So nice to see Harry and Meghan together at this event.

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  8. Lovely dress, fits her well. She looks stunning.

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  9. Meghan is stunning, perfect in this outfit.
    If this scourge of racism and the like really exists in the circle of the royal family, then it is a very deserved prize in addition to the fight that this couple leads in their multiple commitments.
    I look forward to your Charlotte report on the documentary and I will say only one thing: you can't make an omelet without breaking eggs. If in this circle of the royal family there are people who practice influence peddling and hide a face of hypocrisy behind angel facades by practicing and exercising injustices that they say they fight, then it is really time to make things change...

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  10. I forgot to say
    that I see that Prince Harry is very radiant; I thought I saw them stressed and uncomfortable with all the noise caused by this upcoming documentary...Harry is really radiant I think.

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  11. So good to read that Meghan and Harry are getting support and appreciation. If their story is handled properly, they can be role models for all of us who try and live an authentic life, even if it comes at a high price. Not living your own life and wasting your precious time is even more "expensive". - Meghan's dress is very elegant, I love it.

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    1. Actually, they are role models for many across the world. Meghan had that reputation before she became a royal. By her TIG, and many personal DM to friends and acquaintances across the world she possessed that ability. During her royal tours many came forward and thank her for her inspirational letters.

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  12. Hey Charlotte, People Choice Awards tweeted that Archetypes won for Podcast

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  13. I just love the dress. It is very flattering while also being a knockout. I love that she's wearing Diana's ring. I suspect that Harry did not take much of Diana's "royal" looking jewelry, probably because he thought it would be fine for the jewelry to stay within the lines of heirs. But Diana thought a lot of this ring and her watch, and that's a great legacy for Harry's children. I read a lot of coverage on this event, which tells me that H&M have star power in NYC. Some people paid up to $1 million to sit at a table with them. I read that Harry was really relaxed and funny and enjoying himself, and I know Meghan was in her element. I'm glad they continue to be happy. And yes it was so cool that Meghan's podcast won!

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    1. Royal jewelry? Most of what Diana wore were Crown Jewels. Of course Harry does not own them. And considering he and his wife believe royalty is racist why would she want to wear them?

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    2. Diana did not wear the Crown Jewels. Only a monarch or queen consort can wear them. Diana wore mostly jewelry that she owned privately, though occasionally she wore something -- such as a tiara -- from the royal collection, which is not synonymous with the Crown Jewels.

      The Sussexes do not believe that "royalty is racist". They believe that racism exists among royals as it does among most groups and that the Duchess's treatment by British tabloid culture was often racist. They are quite correct about that.

      By the way, I was not a Diana fan and observed evidence that she was not really the exemplar of social egalitarianism that she is sometimes made out to be, but one thing I never observed in her was anything suggesting racism. That being the case, why wouldn't the Duchess be pleased to wear her jewelry, gifted to her by Diana's son, who adored his mother and who clearly also adores his wife.

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    3. Anon 18:32 I admit I don't often understand what jewels were personally owned by Diana and which were hers to use in the role she had in the RF, but what belonged to Diana were to be given to both sons for their wives. We seem to have not seen much, although I have no idea how much she owned personally. It seems that Kate has wore some but they are more elaborate pieces, and of course we see them on her is her role, not on personal downtime. I doubt H&M believe Diana was racist. As far as "royalty" being racist, my belief is that the players behind the scene are the problems. I do not believe Harry's family is racist -- indeed the best we can all do is to determine to not act in a racist manner, to undo all we have been taught by society. I of course do not believe Harry owns the Crown Jewels!! Aren't they maintained by the monarch for public? I'm not clear on that. Maybe you could watch some of the Netflix episodes and see what Harry really does think.

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    4. Meghan is stunning! Her and Harry are both glowing.

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    5. Though the above commenter is correct in stating that Diana did not wear “Crown Jewels,” any jewelry that were gifted to her, for example from foreign countries and dignitaries, whilst she was The Princess of Wales, belong to the current Princess of Wales” to be used & passed on to the future “Princess of Wales.” The jewels of the Princess of Wales belong with the position/title, and do not belong to the individual. That is why the aquamarine ring, that was purchased by Diana after her death, was owned by her privately for the year before she died, and the watch that was a gift to Diana from her father, are now owned by Harry; they were not jewelry of “The Princess of Wales.”

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  14. Two things to add. Zelenzky won Time Person of the Year, which was a slam dunk in my view. I don't know how he keeps going. And I just love Richard Kind and see he was at this ceremony. :)

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  15. Interesting post thank you.

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  16. This dress is the epitome of Meghan's style and it might just be my favorite so far. Agree with most above that Harry looks joyful and that the stars seen to be aligning with the public/private future the couple want. There will doubtless be a blowup after the Netflix series, but afterwards I hope true change comes to the RF and that peace can be made on the personal level.

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    1. BonnetG, I share your analysis and hopes for predictions about the documentary and its consequences for the future: I don't think the Sussexes woke up one fine morning with a whole bunch of false, invented and baseless stories, no no, they are not crazy...I think that if there are injustices they must be revealed because the truth is more important especially within a family which on the surface shows us that it is without sins. The life, survival, flourishing and sanity of the Sussexes do not have to be sacrificed or sold for anyone in the royal firm...

      As for the dress, it's also my favorite even as I hesitate with Oscar De La Renta's princess dress that she had worn with birds on it.

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    2. They royal family has \ choices
      1. Same-o, same-o with denials and threatening Harry and Meghan with the removal of titles as if that would change the positive trajectory of Archewell. It definitely would not help the reputation and enhance their positive contribution to society.
      2. Publicly ask the press to stop the smear campaign and announce that they would solicit Harry and Meghan to work with monarchy on their terms, which means with a common goal of betterment that matches their established passions. No doubt Harry and Meghan would oblige. Of course, that means jealousy and envy must be set aside because by their personalities, Harry and Meghan will always be more popular than other members of the royal family into the conceivable future.

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  17. Great dress. The Duchess looks terrific in white, and I appreciate the minimalism of this design. She is, in fact, very much a minimalist in her design preferences, so this is the sort of thing I would have expected her to commission. I love the earrings -- a little glitzy but restrained -- and the black heels with the white.

    The dress opens a little high on the leg for my personal comfort; these days, at my age, I'm always fretting about revealing more than anyone wants to see in a 66-year-old woman, so I avoid high slits now. And I tend to worry, whenever I wear one of my two off-the-shoulder dresses, that they will slip right down to my waist! Possibly I'm getting too old for certain types of fashion risks and should just content myself with admiring them on other people.

    I see the rubbishy British tabloids are bleating noisily about the release of trailers for the Sussexes' documentary. I think we need to be aware that Netflix is running the show here and that its people clearly made a business decision to drop the trailers in the context of the Waleses' visit to the US. It was unfortunate timing from one standpoint, but from Netflix's, it was the perfect opportunity. And let's face it: all the hysterical screaming the tabloids are doing merely provides the documentary with reams of free publicity. Their outrage therefore strikes me as more than a little disingenuous -- as is usual when they're whining about something.

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    1. Vittoria, They create the drama and then breathlessly report on it.

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    2. I think the context was solely American. The week after Black Friday to give the Black Friday audience to do something leading up to Christmas. Dropping to align with royal American visits does not help Netflix because the average American are only interested in Harry and Meghan in spite of the many British articles that says otherwise - that is the reality; and it is not a bashing of the royals. Not many Americans know that 7 royal visits were plan for the winter months and most have been completed.

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    3. Anon 15:28 I wish it didn't need to be a competition but I disagree completely with your conclusion about who the average American is interested in. I am American and in my experience and conversations with friends, I find the opposite is true. Most Americans are enthralled with the royal couple William & Kate, who will one day be king and queen, and who appear with fairy tale crowns, castles, carriages, sashes, parades, and pomp. It is the stuff of fairy tales. Americans don't do this stuff. It's a wow!

      This does not diminish the fascination that also exists with Harry and Meghan who are carving out an identity with philanthropy, speaking engagements, advocacy, entertainment, autobiography, and fashion. But these are not as unusual qualities to Americans. There are other philanthropists and other celebrities who champion causes and have high-profile engagements . . . but there is only one British royal family!!

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    4. Absolutely! I am American as well and Will and Kate are extremely popular here.

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  18. Something else to consider regardless of your opinion of H&M's award -- the charity charged $500 to $1 million per person, according to what I've read, and there were 1500 people. I don't know anything about the charity, but that sounds like a good return. And Meghan knows how to give them their money's worth. I found the earrings but don't know if they are diamonds (I'm really into earrings!)

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  19. What a knock-out couple! The best revenge is glowing beauty!

    I love the beautiful sculpture and drape of the dress, and Meghan's perfect face, make-up and hair. Harry looks fab, too. Their physical attractiveness is enhanced by their inner light and their love for each other.

    This radiant night is one to hold onto for the tumult ahead.

    R

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  20. I don’t find the dress to have clean lines at all. It seems too busy in the front with the large off-the-shoulder horizontal bit, the long sleeves, the crossover draping in the front and the high front slit. Something should have been edited out.

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    1. I disagree. While it is intricate in its design, the all white color keeps it clean looking. It flatters her figure in all the right places. I think it's her nicest look to date, besides her wedding dress.

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  21. I want to add that I really love Meghan's sleek, modern look -- no outdated gaudy jewelry!

    R

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  22. True and judicious journalism is a force indeed equal, if not more than other "power" "of the three states. It is very bothersome that the profession's title is used by all kinds of media who go by that name. There are times that I wish you to establish yourself as a journalist or start contributing to major magazines. I truly believe you have a calling in this profession. I am aware you are drawn to history, and you have a day job in finance. In most cases, you also introduced or reminded your readers about your own country as well as any other place related to a story. An excellent blog is as invaluable as major publications. As it is your preference to continue doing that, no matter what the ups and downs of your blog's main characters are, you had remained true to yourself. There were times when you did not post my own comments, and I left it up to you. The collection of opinions you had gathered here, however, briefly gives the window into the underlying facts that remained out of view of the common tabloid media.
    Charlotte, I continue to wish you all the best.

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  23. Gorgeous Meghan, I love her look from head to toe. Great to see Diana’s ring again. It’s wonderful to see Meghan & Harry so happy. I think it’s terrific that they have been honoured for the great work they’re doing with their Archewell foundation. They’ve accomplished so much in the few years it’s been established & I look forward to more successful projects & collaborations in the future.
    Congratulations also to Meghan & her team for the People’s Choice award for Archetypes, an informative & entertaining podcast.
    I look forward to watching Harry & Meghan’s Netflix docu-series & hope it is as well produced as the award winning Archetypes.
    Deena

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  24. What a stunning dress! Just beautiful.

    On another note, I'd really like your opinion on something, Charlotte. When leaks to the press are said to have come from KP, does this mean staffers or Prince William and Princess Catherine, or both? There is much reported and verified that KP baited the press with negative stories particularly aimed at Megan, but does this also mean that William and Catherine were part of this? It is never discussed anywhere. Only the term 'KP' is ever mentioned, and I'm never clear WHO this exactly means?

    There is so much personal vitriol against William and Catherine from those who support the Sussexes. There is a targeted campaign against the Wales from the Sussex Squad. Is this justified? Should it be targeted against KP? Can we separate the royal family from the staffers and their respective 'houses'? I genuinely don't know and would love to find out. I enjoy reading about both couples and see so much positive work being done by their respective foundations. Does this effect your support and coverage of William and Catherine, Charlotte? It effects my following of both families.

    I really fear the Netflix doco will not lay any issues to bed, but just add more fuel to the fire of those who have chosen to support either the Waleses or the Sussexes. It seems to have come down to two camps.

    Thank you for your time on these blogs. I would love your personal opinion on KP and the Waleses in light of the Sussexes moving to America.
    Cara, Australia

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    1. I think you have it wrong. Look at the KP IG site and also study the comments from British and Australian sites. There are sites that are supposed to be William and Kate fan sites but 90% of the postings have nothing to do about them but a constant bashing of Harry and Meghan. The Pro Meghan sites were established and supported by people from more than 100 countries and the majority of their postings are about Harry and Meghan or push back from the lies of Meghan haters.

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  25. Klara from Croatia8 December 2022 at 16:10

    They look beautiful! I hope they finally get better public image, the one they deserve. I was so sad about the docu, but after watching first two episodes, I am kind of having a good feeling... Maybe I am just an optimist. It's a complicated story. I am sorry my comment on the previous post didn't go through, and I still don't understand why? I am a supporter of this young family and wish them only good.

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  26. Marci Andy in Utah8 December 2022 at 21:12

    What a very lovely look Meghan put together here. Harry is his charming self. Good that they were given the Ripple of Hope award.

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  27. I so admire Charlotte’s ability to present an even keeled perspective on the situation, and wish her continued fortitude as I imagine the type of commentary she receives.

    My own view on H&M is shifting and not to the better. This comes from someone who hosted a watch party for their wedding, in the wee hours of an American morning, and has tried to present an opposing POV to a dear friend who has been steadfast in her dislike of Meghan.

    The shift started when they disengaged from their Royal roles, which I thought they handled gracelessly, much as I understood what a bad match their sensibilities were for the rigid rules that were carved out for them. The Oprah interview was ghastly. I hated the way Meghan played into the Kate v Meghan dynamic by narrating a one-sided view of the bridesmaid dress fiasco, knowing Kate would never “fight back.” And Meghan’s comments about why her children weren’t getting Royal titles (when others in the same situation were) were baffling. She’s intelligent and diligent (she’s recently boasted about much she enjoys getting intimately involved in the production of her podcasts) but she couldn’t research the protocols on the bestowing of Royal titles? Made no sense to me, and I felt like it was a waste of the Oprah platform to even bring it up, especially as it seemed like their whole point in leaving the UK was to shake off all the silly trappings of royalty.

    And now with this Netflix series, my estimation of H&M shifts a little farther, and I’m sad about that. I’m definitely gaining more appreciation of how difficult it must be to live as a Royal, and especially to marry into the lifestyle. And how horrifyingly scary it must have been for Meghan to be subject to the racial hostilities that were thrown at her. But as I see more of their personalities, I’m starting to feel less warmth towards them, especially Meghan. Harry has always struck me as a damaged soul, and it will never not be heartbreaking to see him walking behind his mother’s casket, but I just don’t understand how he could subject his newfound love to all those alien royal situations with absolutely no thought as to how to prepare her for what was expected of her. They just drive up to the castle, and he says, “time to meet my grandmother, can you curtsy”?

    And Meghan seems like she’s spinning an image of herself that doesn’t carry a lot of introspection. Mocking the way she was expected to curtsy to the Queen was such poor form that even Harry seemed taken aback by it. In the first part of the series, we’re again seeing Meghan portray herself as a wide-eyed innocent who just didn’t understand the ways of the royal world, and that simply isn’t consistent with my image of a woman who has the energy and curiosity to study and master her situational awareness skills. When she relayed how Kate and William reacted to her hugging them on first meeting, and blamed that on the formality of being royal, I was surprised at how lightly she treated her faux pas. She clearly made Kate and William feel uncomfortable with that physical gesture. Just like everyone else, Kate and William have the right to put up barriers to being touched when that’s not welcome to them. Maybe that’s because they are royal, and maybe it’s because they just don’t want to be hugged by someone they don’t know well. But we saw no recognition of that on Meghan’s part, and I think that detracts from her messages about respecting other people’s uniquenesses.

    Sorry for the long post. I was hoping to come away from watching the Netflix series with a genuine hope that H&M were coming to a place of being at peace with the past and approaching some kind of reconciliation with his family, but I just don’t see how that happens now. Very sad. I hope their next steps are forward looking.

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  28. Congratulations- for the deserved awards and a wonderful look! Very contemporary and so elegant that it will be timeless.
    Actually I never liked Diana’s jewels very much. The big pearl necklace’s and the big sapphires, the tiara she preferred. But I do like very much what Meghan is wearing from Diana’s jewellery - smaller pieces or lesser known pieces. It makes a family connection in a very nice way without screaming for Diana’s presence.

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  29. She is so strong, so courageous.Thank you Meghan for being such a role model.

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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 :)