Inside Duchess Meghan’s Emotional Farewell to Royal Life at a Private Engagement
Filed in Charities News

Inside Duchess Meghan’s Emotional Farewell to Royal Life at a Private Engagement

It was supposed to be a quiet day off in the countryside until my phone went berserk—the staccato buzz I set for palace correspondence almost sending it off the table. “His Royal Highness the Prince of Wales is delighted to announce the engagement of Prince Harry to Ms. Meghan Markle,” the November 27, 2017, email read, followed by a note inviting royal correspondents to join the couple for a special photo call to mark the occasion. A few road rules may have been bent to make the 80-ish mile drive from Oxfordshire to Kensington Palace—in traffic—but it was worth it. Standing by the lily-covered Sunken Pond as Harry shared his joy at finally finding his teammate, it was the perfect start to a chapter that would finally bring the royal family into the 21st century.

Over the months and years that followed, I closely shadowed the work of the Duke and Duchess of Sussex, getting to know the couple better through their humanitarian endeavors, engagements, and overseas visits. Their high-energy work ethic and passion for social justice attracted a new, more diverse demographic of royal watcher to the scene. As a young(ish), biracial royal correspondent, the change was exciting. And as their popularity grew around the world, so did a new golden era for the House of Windsor. Continue reading Inside Duchess Meghan’s Emotional Farewell to Royal Life at a Private Engagement

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Duchess Meghan Discusses Gender Equality and Violence Against Indigenous Women During Vancouver Charity Visit
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Duchess Meghan Discusses Gender Equality and Violence Against Indigenous Women During Vancouver Charity Visit

With the Sussexes continuing to be a trending topic around the world, Duchess Meghan is making sure that the spotlight remains firmly fixed on what matters most—their work.

The Duchess of Sussex began a series of visits to community-focused women’s charities close to the couple’s temporary Vancouver Island home this week, stopping by at an organization that has spent the past 21 years promoting rights and equality for young girls.

Justice For Girls was one of a few visits made by Meghan to local charities and organizations in Vancouver on Tuesday, January 14, after a Sussex aide reached out to share that the duchess finds their work “credible and compelling” and was eager to learn more.

Over tea (and note taking), Meghan spent an hour listening to stories from staff at the non-profit organization and spoke to the group about her commitment to advancing gender equity and other women’s issues. “We were very moved by the duchess visiting us despite terrible weather conditions in Vancouver and her very recent arrival,” co-director Zoe Craig-Sparrow tells BAZAAR.com. “We were struck by how engaged and informed she was on the issues we discussed, and how quickly and gracefully she put us at ease.”

“She was well-informed about the rights of girls and women and the need to challenge social inequality in a way that is holistic and global,” adds Craig-Sparrow. “Some of the issues we talked about included violence against girls; poverty and how it impacts access to education; girls’ rights in relation to the environment; leadership globally on issues of social and environmental justice; parallels between the struggles of girls in Canada with girls around the world; the need to approach social change in a holistic [and] integrated way, and how our proposed Justice for Girls Center aims to do just that.”

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

Founded in 1999, Justice For Girls was created to address the needs and vulnerabilities of girls, particularly in relation to homelessness, poverty, and violence. As the charity underlines, true equality can only exist once these issues have been eliminated.

On the same day, Meghan also paid a visit to the Downtown Eastside Women’s Centre, which provides a safe space offering everything from meals to internet access to women and children in one of Vancouver’s poorest areas.

For the the women working at Justice For Girls, Prince Harry and Duchess Meghan’s plans to spend substantial time in the region makes for an exciting time. Says Craig-Sparrow, “[Meghan] will bring her commitment and intelligence to the issues she cares about, especially the rights of women and girls, and will use her position to help.”

Source: https://www.harpersbazaar.com

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Filed in Association of Commonwealth Universities Royal Tour Royal Tour: South Africa Royal Visit

Photos & Roundup: October 01 – Royal Visit South Africa – Day 9

On the final leg of The Duke and Duchesses tour of South Africa, The Duchess of Sussex travelled to Johannesburg for a number of education themed engagements.

UNIVERSITY OF JOHANNESBURG: Meghan’s first stop was to the University of Johannesburg in her role as Patron of The Association of Commonwealth Universities. The Association of Commonwealth Universities is the world’s first international university network, and is the only accredited organisation representing higher education across the Commonwealth. The ACU manages international scholarship schemes, including The Queen Elizabeth Commonwealth Scholarships, and convenes universities to address key policy challenges such as gender and equity, climate resilience, and peace and reconciliation.

During her visit The Duchess of Sussex attended a round-table discussion at the University joining students and educators who openly discussed challenges for girls gaining access to university. Meghan also revealed three new gender grants for the University of Johannesburg, Stellenbosch University and the University of Western Cape. Of which the grant for Stellenbosch will fund a ‘unique campus walking route’ designed to make both men and women feel safer at university. Duchess Meghan also revealed four new Queen Elizabeth Commonwealth Scholarships for students from Tanzania, Zambia and Nigeria.

ACTIONAID: Next, The Duchess of Sussex visited a local school in Johannesburg to meet with representatives from ActionAid to discuss a range of issues including gender based and sexual violence in schools. Prince Charles is currently the Patron of ActionAid, a charity that is working to achieve social justice and gender equality, and working to eradicate poverty. Focusing specifically on women right’s which is a thread throughout their work. One of the projects Action Aid works with is the Teddy Bear Clinic, which provides essential support to children and families affected by domestic and sexual abuse. After the meeting with representatives The Duchess traveled privately to meet young girls who are being supported by ActionAid and The Teddy Bear Clinic.

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Appearances & Engagements Photos > South Africa Tour > October 01 | South Africa Tour – Day 9 – Set 1
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Behind the scenes with Meghan Markle: Duchess tells Bryony Gordon how vulnerability is one of humanity’s greatest strengths

Back from her African tour, the Duchess of Sussex pays a visit to a project for disadvantaged women – and tells Bryony Gordon how she encouraged Prince Harry to speak openly about his mental health

In a small, sparse room at the back of a bakery on the urban streets of Camden, north London, the Duchess of Sussex is comforting a crying woman.

Tanya’s tears fall over the scars that will remain on her cheeks for the rest of her life; stark reminders of the violent ex partner who is now serving a lengthy prison sentence after he stabbed her repeatedly.

Tanya is explaining what this, the bakery that doubles as a social enterprise, has done for her since that terrible day back in 2016. By a cruel twist of fate it was International Women’s Day when her attacker lay in wait for her outside the doors of the London university she was studying at.

Tanya had been a victim of domestic violence for a decade. “Society judges women for staying in abusive relationships,” she says to me and the Duchess. “But I don’t ever feel judged here. I feel I can be free. I feel I can be myself.”

Here is the Luminary Bakery, a small, grass roots organisation that helps to empower disadvantaged women through training and employment opportunities.
Continue reading Behind the scenes with Meghan Markle: Duchess tells Bryony Gordon how vulnerability is one of humanity’s greatest strengths

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Photos & Roundup: September 23 – Royal Visit South Africa – Day 1
Filed in Charities Gallery Updates Queen's Commonwealth Trust Royal Baby Royal Tour Royal Tour: South Africa

Photos & Roundup: September 23 – Royal Visit South Africa – Day 1

NYANGA TOWNSHIP: The first stop on the tour was to the township of Nyanga, whose name means ‘moon’ in the local dialect of Xhosa, it is one of the oldest black townships in Cape Town and was established in 1946 as a result of the migrant labor system. At present time unemployment is above 50 per cent and HIV/Aids is a community issue. The community also has the highest murder rate in the country and tops the lists for car jackings and house robberies. Last year there were a reported 308 murders.

In this town The Duke and Duchess visited the Justice Desk initiative, which teaches children about their rights, self-awareness and safety, and provides self-defense classes and female empowerment training to young girls in the community. The Justice Desk is supported by The Queen’s Commonwealth Trust, of which Harry serves as President and Meghan as Vice-President. While there the Duke and Duchess met Jessica Dewhurst, Justice Desk Founder and Queen’s Young Leader, Theodora Luthuli, Justice Desk Community Leader, and Sylvia Hobe, Theodora’s mother and the center’s founder. Harry and Meghan observed the Mbokodo project which provides self-defense classes and female empowerment workshops to young girls who are overcoming major traumas. This project’s powerful motto is “wathint’ abafazi wathint’ imbokodo” which means “you strike a woman; you strike a rock” before getting the chance to talk with the girls.

Following the tour of the center, Harry and Meghan both made fantastic speeches which you can view here. Meghan said in part: “While I am here with my husband as a member of the Royal Family, I am here with you as a mother, as a wife, as a woman, as a woman of color, and as your sister. I am here with you and I am here for you.” The couple were then presented with a South African Xhosa name for their son Archie, “Ntsika” which means pillar of strength which was given to him by the township’s godmothers, referred to as Gogo’s. In a fun spontaneous moment at the end of the engagement Meghan joined in with the women who were dancing upon their departure. I’m sure this moment will be a favorite of many today.

DISTRICT SIX MUSEUM: In their second engagement of the day The Duke and Duchess of Sussex visited the District Six Museum. District Six Museum is located in an old Methodist church in the former inner-city residential area. The District Six Foundation was founded in 1989 and the museum in 1994, as a memorial to the forced movement of 60,000 inhabitants of various races in District Six during Apartheid in South Africa in the 1970s. The Duke and Duchess toured the museum viewing the old traffic signs, exhibits of historical moments and lives of families from the area, historical declarations, exhibits about the demolition, and hand written notes of former inhabitants, which indicate where their houses were located.

After a short walkabout, Harry and Meghan went to the nearby Homecoming Centre where they joined former residents of District Six in a community cooking workshop. The Duke and Duchess were treated to food cooked by local women that showed a variety of recipes. This engagement goes hand in hand with Meghan’s work with the Hubb Kitchen back in London, which showcases the importance of how cooking can bring a community together. It was reported that Meghan did indeed gift the local women a copy of her ‘Together’ cookbook.

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Appearances & Engagement Photos > Engagements in 2019 > South Africa Tour > September 23 | South Africa Tour – Day 1 – Set 1
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September 12 – Smart Works Capsule Collection Launch
Filed in Charities Gallery Updates Smart Works

September 12 – Smart Works Capsule Collection Launch

Today, September 12, 2019 The Duchess of Sussex along with her patronage Smart Works launched the Smart Works Capsule Collection in London on the rooftop garden of John Lewis & Partners.

The collection brought together fashion & retail brands, Jigsaw, John Lewis & Partners, Marks & Spencer and Misha Nonoo to create a five piece collection of work wear that includes shirts, trousers, blazers, dresses and bags.

The idea for the collection came after Meghan noticed that while donations to Smart Works were plentiful the sizes weren’t always right or the pieces didn’t always fit together.

With this new collection for every item bought, one will be donated to Smart Works.

In a statement released before the launch, Meghan said:

“Since moving to the UK, it has been deeply important to me to meet with communities and organisations on the ground doing meaningful work and to try to do whatever I can to help them amplify their impact.

It was just last September that we launched the ‘Together’ cookbook with the women of the Hubb Kitchen in Grenfell. Now, one year later, I am excited to celebrate the launch of another initiative of women supporting women, and communities working together for the greater good.

When you buy any item in the Smart Set Capsule Collection for Smart Works, the same item will be given to a Smart Works client, and with it, the confidence and support she needs to enter the workforce and take an important step in building a career.

Thank you to the four brands who came together in supporting Smart Works on this special project – placing purpose over profit and community over competition. In convening several companies rather than one, we’ve demonstrated how we can work collectively to empower each other – another layer to this communal success story, that I am so proud to be a part of.”

Meghan also gave a wonderful six minute speech at the launch which you can watch above.

Buy The Items: M&S COLLECTION Crepe Shift Dress | John Lewis & Partners Leather Smart Set Tote Bag (SOLD OUT) | Jigsaw Smart Set Paris Trouser | Jigsaw Smart Set Paris Seam Detail Jacket | Misha Nonoo The Smart Set Shirt

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Appearances & Engagements Photos > Engagements in 2019 > September 12 | Smart Works Capsule Collection Launch

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Meghan Markle Makes a Surprise Appearance at a Photo Shoot and She Couldn’t Look Happier
Filed in Charities Smark Works

Meghan Markle Makes a Surprise Appearance at a Photo Shoot and She Couldn’t Look Happier

Meghan Markle shared a glimpse of her highly-anticipated charity capsule collection of work-appropriate attire in two Instagram Story videos today.

The clips show the royal-turned-designer behind the scenes at a photo shoot promoting her range of work attire, which launches this autumn. In the footage, the duchess is seen hugging models, working with photographers, and smiling proudly from the sidelines.

“Meghan surprised everyone at Smart Works when she showed up for the shoot, ” which took place today in London, a source tells BAZAAR.com.

Following the theme of office-inspired fashion, Meghan wore a blue and white striped button-down shirt by Frank & Eileen, skinny jeans, and nude pumps for the shoot.
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Duchess Meghan is collaborating with the brands Marks & Spencer, John Lewis, Jigsaw, and Misha Nonoo for the collection. The initiative will support the charity Smart Works, one of her royal patronages, which helps women entering the workforce by helping them dress for jobs or prepare for interviews.

The pieces in Meghan’s capsule will sell on a “one-for-one” basis, meaning an item is donated for each item purchased. “Not only does this allow us to be part of each other’s story, it reminds us we are in it together,” the Duchess of Sussex explained in British Vogue in July, when she first unveiled the project.

Source: https://www.harpersbazaar.com/

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Meghan Markle Is Launching a Collection of Workwear for a Good Cause
Filed in Charities News Smart Works

Meghan Markle Is Launching a Collection of Workwear for a Good Cause

Meghan, Duchess of Sussex, is on a roll with her fashionable projects this week. Days after revealing that she guest edited the September issue of British Vogue, Meghan has announced that she’s launching a capsule collection of workwear to benefit her royal patronage Smart Works, a charity that benefits disadvantaged and unemployed women who are entering or returning to the workforce.

Meghan broke the news in her British Vogue issue, according to royal reporter Omid Scobie. She recruited an impressive set of collaborators for the project: British department stores Marks & Spencer and John Lewis, the brand Jigsaw, and her close friend and fashion designer Misha Nonoo.

The collection will launch later this year and will be sold on a “one-for-one basis,” meaning an item is donated for each item purchased. “Not only does this allow us to be part of each other’s story, it reminds us we are in it together,” Meghan explained in the magazine.

The duchess became the royal patron of Smart Works in January and had a public engagement at the headquarters that month. During her visit, she helped style one woman for a job interview.

Meghan said during her trip, “It’s not just donating your clothes and seeing where they land, it’s really being part of each other’s success stories as women.”

Smart Works has grown quickly ever since Duchess Meghan became involved. In February, the organization helped 187 women in London, which is almost 50 percent more than it assisted in the same month last year. Considering the ever-persistent “Meghan effect,” the phenomenon of an article of clothing selling out after the duchess wears it in public, we can only imagine the impact her upcoming collection will have on Smart Works.

Source: https://www.harpersbazaar.com/

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HRH The Duchess of Sussex Interviews Michelle Obama In The September Issue

In formulating the content of the Forces for Change issue, I knew that I wanted to create a magazine that would speak not just to where we are, but to where we hope to be. In doing so, I knew we needed to both open and close strong. Like a beautiful meal: the first bite sets the tone and the final spoonful leaves you satiated, smiling, and sometimes (if you’re dining under the direction of a forward-thinking chef) even inspired. So how could I bring this issue to its logical conclusion? How could I meet that very lofty self-imposed goal?

Turns out British Vogue famously has a back page Q&A feature that is equal parts informative and whimsical, with a special guest each month. My first thought was that it needed to be someone kind, inspirational, motivating, funny, with gravitas and as much depth as levity. My second thought: it needed to be Michelle Obama.

So, over a casual lunch of chicken tacos and my ever-burgeoning bump, I asked Michelle if she would help me with this secret project.

It wasn’t a huge ask, so to speak, because the back page of Vogue comprises a few simple questions to garner a few simple answers – tidbits that would leave you, the reader, feeling all of the aforementioned sensations of this analogous culinary experience. She graciously said yes (because she’s Michelle, she’s gracious), and then very promptly sent answers (because she’s Michelle, she’s prompt).

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HRH The Duchess of Sussex Introduces The September Issue In Her Own Words
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HRH The Duchess of Sussex Introduces The September Issue In Her Own Words

It was in early January, on a cold and blustery London day, that I sat down for a cup of tea with British Vogue’s editor-in-chief, Edward Enninful. Though we have several mutual friends, our first encounter had been years in the making, the impetus for which was my asking him to support an organisation I strongly believe in called Smart Works.

What evolved over the next hour was a promising pow wow of two like-minded thinkers, who have much in common, including our love of writing. Over a steaming cup of mint tea, we teased through how one can shine light in a world filled with seemingly daily darkness. Lofty? Of course. Worth it? Without question.

Within hours of our meeting’s end, we were already texting one another – philosophising about how to communicate this shared understanding and the lens through which we see the world, how to pivot from a perspective of frustration to one of optimism.

So I asked the question. Actually, I typed and deleted the question several times until I built up the courage to ask the question in question.

“Edward… instead of doing the cover, would you be open to me guest editing your September issue?”

(Mind you, I know how important the September issue is for the fashion industry. I realise the reach, and I see the opportunity to be a part of fashion’s push for something greater, kinder, more impactful. But I am also a little nervous to be boldly asking the editor-in-chief, whom I’d only just met, to take a chance on me.) Continue reading HRH The Duchess of Sussex Introduces The September Issue In Her Own Words

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June 29 – The Duke and Duchess of Sussex Attend The Boston Red Sox VS New York Yankees Baseball Game
Filed in Charities Gallery Updates Invictus Games

June 29 – The Duke and Duchess of Sussex Attend The Boston Red Sox VS New York Yankees Baseball Game

Today, June 29, 2019 Meghan, Duchess of Sussex made a surprise appearance at the Boston Red Sox VS New York Yankees Baseball Game.

In her second public appearance while on maternity leave, The Duchess of Sussex joined Prince Harry, Duke of Sussex to watch the first of a two game series of the Major League Baseball (London Series), in support of Invictus Games.

Tonight’s game between the New York Yankees and Boston Red Sox took place at London stadium, Olympic Park and is the first time Major League Baseball are hosting two regular season games in Europe.

Invictus Games has been selected as charity partner for the Major League Baseball 2019 Series. The Invictus Games Foundation is the international charity that oversees the development of the Invictus Games, an international adaptive multi-sport event in which wounded, injured or sick armed service personnel and veterans participate. It celebrates the power of sport in recovery and how it can help, physically or psychologically, those suffering from injuries or illness.

As part of the partnership, the Invictus Games Foundation have a team participating in London’s Softball 60, the social softball series built for the city and targeted to introduce the sport to new audiences and demonstrate that it is an inclusive sport.

During their visit The Duke and Duchess of Sussex met with players from The New York Yankees and Boston Red Sox where they received gifts for Baby Archie. Afterwards, the couple attended a reception for Invictus Games competitors and their friends and family.

Before settling in the watch the game Harry and Meghan headed to the field with competitors to observe the national anthems performed by the Kingdom Choir, who performed at the couple’s wedding and to see the first pitch be thrown.

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Appearances & Engagements Photos > Engagements in 2019 > June 29 |Boston Red Sox VS New York Yankees Baseball Game

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