Filed in Royal Tour: Australia Royal Tour: Fiji Royal Tour: New Zealand Royal Tour: Tonga

How Meghan Markle Made a Case for Sustainable Fashion on Her Royal Tour

Following Meghan Markle’s debut as part of the British Royal Family, there’s been plenty of discussion around the “Meghan Markle Effect” — that is, the bankability and sustained interest in the Duchess of Sussex’s fashion statements, the power of which was estimated to give the British economy a boost.

While it’s nothing new that royals are looked to as trend setters, Markle is cutting a different kind of fashionable figure from Buckingham Palace.

Since becoming a royal, Markle has demonstrated a keen understanding of how her fashion choices carry significance. Markle’s fashion diplomacy so far has been deft; she’s conscientious in supporting British designers, but also uses her wardrobe choices to pay homage to countries she visits, like Michelle Obama was known for during her time in the White House. Continue reading How Meghan Markle Made a Case for Sustainable Fashion on Her Royal Tour

Filed in Royal Tour Royal Tour: Australia Royal Tour: Fiji Royal Tour: New Zealand Royal Tour: Tonga

How always-composed Meghan Markle turned tour Down Under into a triumph for the Commonwealth

Four countries, 16 days, 41 outfit changes and 76 engagements later the Duchess of Sussex passed her first big royal test with flying colours.

No surprise she is now being dubbed The Duchess of Success. Not for her the rictus grin and stilted performance of other royal tours — this was pure Hollywood magic.

It was Meghan’s first international tour with husband Harry since their wedding in May. And she charmed her way through public walkabouts, formal dinners, hugs with kids and formidable speeches.

The pregnant Duchess even baked banana bread for her Aussie hosts and did yoga at 4am when the jet lag kicked in.

The Fijians and Tongans were delighted the royals had come to town, while the Aussies couldn’t get enough of Meghan and the Kiwis went wild, too.

On the tour’s own merits, she did a great job and didn’t put a foot wrong — even more impressive considering she only made her public debut with Harry just over a year ago. Since then Meghan has changed the face of The Firm for ever, and has made Prince Harry incredibly happy.

The Duchess is now very much a Republican’s nightmare; her natural charm and modern approach have set back their cause for a generation.

But it was never a given.

Meghan embarked on this mammoth tour with the dark cloud of her father Thomas Markle’s constant brickbats in the Press. To say he had been a thorn in her side would be the understatement of the year.

I’ve covered these tours for years and while they look like — sometimes literally — a walk in the park, they are anything but. Life under this kind of unrelenting microscope is tough, even for a royal veteran.

Meghan, 37, may well be a seasoned actress and used to meeting and greeting fans, but a royal tour is a completely different gig.

For every single person they meet, that five-second (or shorter) encounter with the young royal superstars is one that will be remembered for ever. So every handshake, every “hello I’m Meghan”, every “so nice to see you today” matters to the thousands of people they met on the tour.

The smile can’t falter, the grip can’t shake and they have to be on form at all times — for 16 days straight.

And it was here that Meghan’s Hollywood training kicked in. The former Suits actress didn’t miss a beat.

Harry often looked grumpy — it was extremely tiring with early starts and up to five engagements each day — and at one particularly long welcome ceremony in Fiji he looked like he wanted to thump someone.

Thankfully, when the red mist descended Meghan, always composed, always smiling, was ready to hold his hand to cheer him up. And it was clear that her extraordinary beauty was the tonic that could lift him out of his darkest mood.

Seeing them together, standing in the rain in Dubbo in Oz — with Meghan shielding Harry from the rain with a giant brolly while her husband made a speech — was a powerful image. Meghan, of course, knows the power of a picture. Right from the start of the tour, she used her wardrobe and jewellery to send substantial messages.

She wore two Aussie designers on Day 1 in Sydney — with her Karen Gee “Blessed” dress showing off the merest hint of a baby bump.

But it was her earrings and bracelet that caught the eye. The butterflies at her ears had belonged to Princess Diana, the bangle too, and showed that Harry’s mum was with them on the journey as they began their own family.

It was a clever piece of signalling — and a respectful inclusion of Diana, who is still hugely popular Down Under — and the crowds loved this glamorous new daughter-in-law.

In Fiji, Meghan had chosen the blue of the Fijian flag for her black-tie dinner gown. Her hosts loved the tribute to their country, which still fondly remembers the Queen and Prince Philip’s visit during the Commonwealth Tour of 1953. The couple had waved to the excited crowds in the island’s capital Suva from the balcony of the Grand Pacific hotel, in an exact replica of Harry’s grandparents 65 years before.

And in Tonga, Meghan stepped off the plane in a red Self-Portrait dress to echo the Tongan flag.
This kind of mirroring is nothing new — and sister-in-law Kate often chooses local designers of the countries she’s visiting. But Meghan carried it off with panache and style.

There were no structured coat-dresses, boxy hats or nude court shoes. This was a working wardrobe for a new working royal, Meghan Markle-style.

Skirts were longer, colours more muted than in her previous life as an actress. She looked the business.

And there was substance, as well as style. She gave three impressive speeches. Kensington Palace had billed her debut as a fully-fledged royal as “a few words”.

It was much more than that at Fiji’s University of the Pacific.

She spoke eloquently about how everyone deserved the opportunity of an education. A speech at the closing ceremony of the Invictus Games in Sydney paid tribute to all the friends and family of those who had been injured in the line of duty.

But the most powerful, and perhaps personal, speech came at Wellington’s Government House on Sunday.

To celebrate 125 years of New Zealand giving women the vote (the first country in the world to do so), the female Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern hosted a reception. Keen advocate of women’s rights, Meghan gave the keynote speech: “Women’s suffrage is about feminism, but feminism is about fairness. Suffrage is not simply about the right to vote but also about what that represents. The basic and fundamental human right of being able to participate in the choices for your future and that of your community.”

It was clear she had written these speeches herself and worded them in her language, not the formal words of a British royal court.

Again, here was that Hollywood sparkle in full effect.

And the message that she delivered — equality for everyone and be the best you can be — struck home.

From Maori kids in New Zealand to Aboriginal girls at a school in Australia, the fact a mixed-race American had been accepted by the royals showed them anything was possible. Time and again I heard that Meghan is a role model for young women. But does this new superstar in the royal firmament pose a threat for those already established? It is perhaps too early to say.

What we know is that Prince Charles adores her and their warm relationship has fostered a renewed closeness between father and son. Meghan views Charles as a new father figure after cutting off her biological one for incessantly speaking out and missing her wedding.

Camilla, too, knows what it’s like marrying into The Firm and has been a source of support. They are content to see Harry and his new wife steal the headlines.

But comparisons with William and Kate are perhaps inevitable.

If Meghan is in danger of eclipsing even Kate, 36 — and certainly in the battle of the evening frocks last week Sussex beat Cambridge — perhaps that explains why the Cambridges and Sussexes are thinking of separating their courts. Currently all the “Fab Four’s” work is handled by one office at Kensington Palace, but William and Harry are thinking of setting up one for each brother and their families next year.

Right now the only cloud for Meghan is her troublesome family.

Dad Thomas, 74, and half-sister Samantha, 53, have frequently offered their views on their new royal relation — much to Meghan’s distress.

It appears she has not spoken to her father since the wedding — and has no plans to do so. He claimed he heard about his daughter’s pregnancy from the radio.

However, her new family will be pleased with all the positive headlines and renewed royal fervour in the four Commonwealth countries.

After all, Harry and Meghan were representing the Queen, and everyone agrees it was a tour de force.

Granny will be delighted.


Filed in Royal Tour Royal Tour: Australia Royal Tour: Fiji Royal Tour: New Zealand Royal Tour: Tonga Royal Visit

Meghan Markle Proved She’s Her Own Kind of Royal on Her First Major Tour

In many ways, it seemed like Meghan Markle was entering an impossible situation when she married Prince Harry in May. No matter what she did, she would be seen as an American outsider in the British press, her every move scrutinized to an absurd degree, her every outfit or gesture compared immediately to either that of her new sister-in-law, Kate Middleton, or to any number of the royal women who had come before her. And in her first few months of her Duchess of Sussex-dom, though they went fairly smoothly, Meghan was accused multiple times of “breaking protocol” or committing some nearly invisible “faux pas.” She closed a door on her own! She isn’t wearing a hat when she should be wearing a hat! She shows P.D.A. with Harry!!!!!!

All the while, Meghan—at least publicly—appeared to take it all, even as her father and half sister added additional tabloid drama to the mix, in stride. And on the royal tour she and Harry just completed, a 16-day sprint across Australia, New Zealand, Fiji, and Tonga, Meghan seemed more assured than ever in her brand-new royal role. Just a few months into life as a duchess, and with her first child already on the way, Meghan is turning the role into something very much its own—incorporating aspects of her previous jobs (as actress, advocate and lifestyle blogger) and making it clear she is going to use the platform to speak out about the causes she cares about. Continue reading Meghan Markle Proved She’s Her Own Kind of Royal on Her First Major Tour

Filed in Gallery Updates Invictus Games Royal Tour: Australia

Photos & Roundup: October 27 – Royal Visit Australia – Day 12

U.S.A. WINS GOLD: The last day of the Australian programme falls on the final day of the Invictus Games. After having the morning off Their Royal Highnesses spent the afternoon at the wheelchair basketball finals at the Quay Centre. Meghan cheered her native home team on to victory with the U.S. winning 29-17 over the Netherlands team. Meghan presented the medals with Harry with one competitor stealing a kiss on the cheek from Meghan.

UNTIL NEXT TIME: The Closing Ceremony that evening took place at Qudos Bank Arena. The event, at which both The Duke and Duchess will spoke, was full of celebration of the outstanding achievements and inspiring spirit of the Invictus Games competitors. You can watch the closing ceremony at the link below, you don’t want to miss Harry and Meghan’s incredible speeches, but also the performances by Grammy-nominated artist Aloe Blacc and The Kingdom Chior which performed at the couple’s wedding in May.

VIDEOS: Invictus Games: Sydney 2018 Closing Ceremony

Engagements In 2018 > Invictus Games: Sydney > October 27 | Commonwealth Tour – Day 8 – Set 1
Engagements In 2018 > Invictus Games: Sydney > October 27 | Commonwealth Tour – Day 8 – Set 2

Filed in Gallery Updates Royal Tour: Australia Royal Tour: Tonga

Photos & Roundup: October 26 – Royal Visit Tonga – Day 11

ARTS AND CRAFTS: The Duke and Duchess visited the St George Building for a call on the Prime Minister S. Akilisi Pohiva and members of the cabinet. From there, Their Royal Highnesses attended an exhibition with The Princess Angelika at the Faonelua Centre, celebrating Tongan handicrafts and products, including traditional mats and ‘tapa’ cloth. Their Royal Highnesses also had the opportunity to meet local Tongan traders and craftsmen.

VIDEOS: Harry And Meghan Meet The PM

FOREST DEDICATION: The Duke and Duchess then traveled to Tupou College, which is the oldest secondary school in the Pacific, founded by a British missionary in 1866. Their Royal Highnesses dedicated two forest reserves at the school’s on-site forest, the Toloa Forest Reserve, the last remaining forest area on Tonga’s main island of Tongatabu, and the Eua National Park Forest Reserve, located at the Island of Eua – to The Queen’s Commonwealth Canopy. The Tupou College Boys’ will perform traditional Tongan music to commemorate the event. From Tupou College, The Duke and Duchess will travel to The Royal Palace for an official farewell with The King before departing for Sydney.

VIDEOS: Harry And Meghan Bid Farewell | Harry And Meghan Sing

AUSTRALIA AGAIN: That evening in Sydney, Their Royal Highnesses attended the Australian Geographic Society Awards, an annual gathering of Australia’s brightest and best in exploration, science and conservation. Their Royal Highnesses will present youth awards to honour the highest achievements in conservation and adventure, and The Duke gave an address.

VIDEOS: Harry And Meghan At Australian Geographic Society Awards

Engagements In 2018 > Commonwealth Tour > October 26 |Commonwealth Tour – Day 11 – Set 1
Engagements In 2018 > Commonwealth Tour > October 26 | Commonwealth Tour – Day 11 – Set 2
Engagements In 2018 > Commonwealth Tour > October 26 | Commonwealth Tour – Day 11 – Set 3

Filed in Gallery Updates Royal Tour: Australia

Photos & Roundup: October 22 – Royal Visit Australia – Day 7

Their Royal Highnesses will travel to Queensland’s Fraser Island, or K’gari as it is known by the Traditional Owners the Butchulla people, as part of the dedication of the site to the Queen’s Commonwealth Canopy (QCC).

Fraser Island is the largest sand island in the world, and has a total of 206,970 acres of protected forest. Among its many striking features, the Island is characterised by its long beaches, tall rainforest, coastal heaths, freshwater lakes and ever-evolving sand dunes.

ARRIVAL: The Duchess of Sussex arrived to Kingfisher Bay without the Duke of Sussex. The two split at the airport with Prince Harry continuing to carry out the previously scheduled engagements alone. Meghan continued on to the resort for more rest. It was reported that Meghan will return to the full royal tour schedule tomorrow in Fiji as a senior palace aide says she is “feeling refreshed following some rest” and looking forward to the rest of the tour.

KINGFISHER BAY: Harry and Meghan in the afternoon for a walkabout along the picturesque Kingfisher Bay Jetty. The Duke and Duchess stopped numerous times to carry on conversations with the excited locals and receive baby gifts.

Engagements In 2018 > Commonwealth Tour > October 22 | Commonwealth Tour – Day 7 – Set 1
Engagements In 2018 > Commonwealth Tour > October 22 | Commonwealth Tour – Day 7 – Set 2

Filed in Gallery Updates Invictus Games Royal Tour: Australia The Royal Foundation

Photos & Roundup: October 21 – Royal Visit Australia – Day 6

Although Meghan was scheduled to attend the Road Cycling event during the Invictus Games, she did not. Multiple royal correspondents on Twitter reported that a spokesperson for the Duke and Duchess said:

“After a busy programme, The Duke and Duchess decided to cut back the Duchess’s schedule slightly for the next couple days, ahead of the final week and a half of the tour.”

Harry and Meghan will fly to Fraser Island together as planned, but she may not undertake many engagements in Fraser Island due to the tough terrain. Reports are also clarifying that Meghan is feeling good, just tired as she has said herself for the last few days. It seems the Palace thinks it’s wise for Meghan to pace herself over the next week and a half.

Here at Simply Meghan we wish The Duchess the best and hope she takes all the time she needs to care for herself and her baby. We’ll be sure to keep track of all the latest updates regarding Meghan’s edited schedule, you can also follow us on Twitter @meghanmarkleorg where we retweet all updates.

INVICTUS GAMES: Their Royal Highnesses attended a lunchtime Reception hosted by the Prime Minister, with Invictus Games competitors and representatives from the community in the city’s central parkland, The Domain. The reception was held at the Pavilion restaurant where Harry and Meghan chatted with guests and posed for photos.

VIDEOS: Harry And Meghan Attend Reception

SMOOTH SAILING: Meghan did join Harry to watch the Invictus sailing event. The couple cheered on the competitors and Prince Harry received quite a big bear hug when one very excited Invictus competitor jumped into the boat. You can watch the video below. We just love the relationship Prince Harry has with the men and women of Invictus.

VIDEOS: A Bear Hug For Prince Harry

Engagements In 2018 > Invictus Games: Sydney > October 21 | Commonwealth Tour – Day 2 – Set 1
Engagements In 2018 > Invictus Games: Sydney > October 21 | Commonwealth Tour – Day 2 – Set 2

Filed in Gallery Updates Invictus Games Royal Tour: Australia The Royal Foundation

Photos & Roundup: October 20 – Royal Visit Australia – Day 5

Hello everyone! Welcome to Day 5 of Royal Visit Australia! The Invictus Games are here! Itn’t it amazing to think that just last year at the Invictus Games Harry and Meghan were just making their relationship public and now a year later they are not only married but expecting a baby! My, how time does fly!

MEMORIAL SERVICE: The fifth day of Royal Visit Australia started with an embargoed engagement. The Duke and Duchess of Sussex unveiled an Anzac Memorial in Hyde Park. During their visit Harry and Meghan received a tour of the new education and interpretation facilities, viewed the The Hall of Silence, and laid a wreath together. This was a very fitting way to start the day as Prince Harry had a very extensive career in the British Army, and his experiences helped him in his creation of the Invictus Games. Prince Harry looked very dapper in the tropical dress of his regiment, the Blues and Royals, including his new gold aiguillettes. He was appointed personal aide-de-camp to the Queen at the start of the tour.

VIDEOS: ANZAC Memorial Unveiling

INVICTUS GAMES: The Duke and Duchess then traveled by boat to attend the Invictus Games Sydney 2018 Jaguar Land Rover Driving Challenge on Cockatoo Island. The Jaguar Land Rover Driving Challenge is a test of skill and precision and is designed to test driving skills, navigational ability, observation and teamwork using Jaguar Land Rover vehicles. The Duke and Duchess made sure that they got to meet with competitors, their families, staff, and volunteers. Prince Harry of course had a go at the mini car driving course for children. Afterwards, The Duke and Duchess handed out the first medals of the game.

VIDEOS: Harry And Meghan Present Medals

OPENING CEREMONY: To start their evening Their Royal Highnesses attended a reception before the Opening Ceremony where they mingled with guests. The Opening Ceremony was delayed for an hour as a thunderstorm rolled through. Luckily, it cleared up, and the rest of the night went on as planned with a crowd of 4,000 attendees including competitors, family and friends, and dignitaries at the Sydney Opera House. Through song, colour and tradition, the Opening Ceremony showcased personal stories of recovery, endurance and rehabilitation, bringing together the rich and diverse cultures and experiences that make up the Invictus Games family. Prince Harry once again gave an uplifting and motivating speech that you can read here.

VIDEOS: Invictus Games: Sydney 2018 Opening Ceremony

Engagements In 2018 > Commonwealth Tour > October 20 | Commonwealth Tour – Day 5 – Set 1
Engagements In 2018 > Commonwealth Tour > October 20 | Invictus Games: Sydney – Day 1 – Set 1
Engagements In 2018 > Commonwealth Tour > October 20 | Invictus Games: Sydney – Day 1 – Set 2

Filed in News Royal Tour: Australia Royal Visit

Duke and Duchess of Sussex given ‘long list’ of baby names by family and friends

The Duke and Duchess of Sussex have been given a “long list” of potential baby names suggested by friends and family.

The royal couple, who are expecting their first child in the spring, told curious children in Australia they are “going to sit down and have a look at” the options.

During a trip on the Melbourne tram, the Duke and Duchess were interrogated by schoolchildren who spent the journey of just a few minutes asking them about their plans for parenthood.

Charlie Wolf, a 12-year-old pupil from Middle Park primary school, asked if the couple had any names for their unborn baby.

The children said the Duchess replied with: “We’ve been given a long list of names from everyone, we’re going to sit down and have a look at them.” Continue reading Duke and Duchess of Sussex given ‘long list’ of baby names by family and friends

Filed in Invictus Games Royal Tour: Australia Royal Visit

Photos & Roundup: October 19 – Royal Visit Australia – Day 4

And it’s back to Sydney for Day 4 Royal Visit Australia!

BONDI BEACH: Their Royal Highnesses visited Bondi Beach, one of Australia’s most famous landmarks. The Duke and Duchess met with a local surfing community group, known as OneWave, raising awareness for mental health and wellbeing in a fun and engaging way. Their Royal Highnesses took part in the “Fluro Friday” session, where people of all ages share their experiences of mental health issues, they also had the opportunity to interact with others enjoying yoga and surfing. Before departing, The Duke and Duchess had met with many excited members of the public gathered on the beach.

VIDEOS: Harry And Meghan Attend ‘Fluro Friday’ Session

YOUTH EMPOWERMENT: Later that morning, Their Royal Highness visited MacArthur Girls High School and the National Rugby League’s In Harmony programme, that aims to unite and inspire young people to be advocates for cohesion and inclusion in their communities. The Duke and Duchess met with representatives and talked with students about issues including social justice and youth empowerment. It’s reported that Meghan told the girls:

You guys all remind me so much of myself when I was growing up. I went to an all girls school which was incredibly diverse as well. I think being around such empowered young women, it becomes something that you all just grasp onto to understand your world. It’s made you confident and well-spoken. You have an intention set to really do something to change the world, and you have to keep it up. It makes me so emotional. You’re doing really, really good work and I’m so happy that we’re here. We give you our full support.” The teenage girls had worked on a project to make boxes for vulnerable women, taking donated supplies to police stations and refuges. They’ve also produced a book for young children teaching them about poverty and being kind to others.”

VIDEOS: The Duke And Duchess Enjoy A Performance

INVICTUS ARRIVAL: Prime Minister the Honourable Scott Morrison MP, and Invictus Games competitors with The Duke climbed the Sydney Harbour Bridge to officially raise the Invictus Flag, marking the arrival of the Invictus Games to Sydney. Meghan later joined Harry with calls on the Leader of the Opposition at Admiralty House, and the Prime Minister at Kirribilli House.

VIDEOS: Meeting Bill Shorten And Scott Morrison

Engagements In 2018 > Commonwealth Tour > October 19 | Commonwealth Tour – Day 4 – Set 1
Engagements In 2018 > Commonwealth Tour > October 19 | Commonwealth Tour – Day 4 – Set 2

Filed in Gallery Updates Royal Tour: Australia Royal Visit

Photos & Roundup: October 18 – Royal Visit Australia – Day 3

After banana bread and rain storms, Day 3 of Royal Visit Australia kicks off in Melbourne! The third day of The Duke and Duchess’s visit to Australia was a busy one with six scheduled engagements and a few embargoed stops along the way.

OFFICIAL RECEPTION: Their Royal Highnesses will fly to Melbourne where the day will begin with a short walk to Government House, meeting members of the public along the way, before attending an official Reception at Government House. A diverse group of young Victorian leaders and community members will attend the Reception, including Queen’s Young Leader Hunter Johnson from The Man Cave. A demonstration of various sporting activities will take place in the grounds, with ambassadors from the This Girl Can campaign. Meghan was even persuaded to toss a rugby ball during the demonstrations. Once inside Harry and Meghan raced a scaled, miniature Formula 1 car designed and made by Trinity Grammar students. A hysterical moment ensued when the cars were launched, watch the video before to see Meghan get a surprise!

VIDEOS: Meghan Gets A Surprise | Meghan Joins In On Rugby Demostrations

ENTERPRISE CAFE: The Duke and Duchess visited Charcoal Lane, a social enterprise café which offers leadership, mentoring and training programmes for young Aboriginal people. Upon arrival the pair were shown a mural outside the building created by artist Robert Young, of Gunnai and Waradgerie heritage. Inside, Meghan was totally comfortable in the kitchen chatting with the head chef, Greg Hampton as he offered a crash course in indigenous Australian ingredients with a “touch, taste and smell” session. Afterwards, Harry and Meghan had lunch at the cafe.

VIDEOS: Harry And Meghan Get A Lession In Australian Food

WASTE WARRIORS: After a quick outfit change, and a ride on the iconic Melbourne tram Their Royal Highnesses visited Albert Park Primary School and met students who are involved in sustainability programmes. They call themselves the ‘Waste Warriors’. The Duke and Duchess learned how they use compost bins, a worm farm

VIDEOS: Speaking With Students About Sustainability

SOUTH MELBOURNE BEACH: Upon departure from the school, The Duke and Duchess headed to South Melbourne beach, where they met volunteers from a local beach patrol programme. Here Their Royal Highnesses learned about efforts to keep Port Phillip Bay beaches and foreshores clear of litter to reduce the negative impact on the marine environment.

VIDEOS: Harry And Meghan In South Melbourne

Engagements In 2018 > Commonwealth Tour > October 18 | Commonwealth Tour – Day 3 – Set 1
Engagements In 2018 > Commonwealth Tour > October 18 | Commonwealth Tour – Day 3 – Set 2

Filed in Gallery Updates Royal Tour Royal Tour: Australia

Photos & Roundup: October 17 – Royal Visit Australia – Day 2

After a successful first day The Duke and Duchess spent the second day of their sixteen day tour in Dubbo, Australia. Engagements of the day had them interacting closely with the Dubbo community and surrounding areas. Engagements include visiting the Royal Flying Doctor and Victoria Park.

ROYAL FLYING DOCTOR SERVICE: Their Royal Highnesses will fly to the town of Dubbo, situated on the Macquarie River, 300 kilometres northwest of Sydney. On arrival in Dubbo, The Duke and Duchess visited the Royal Flying Doctor Service to learn more about the life-saving role the aviation service provides for people living in rural and regional areas. During their visit they helped celebrate 90 years by unveiling a new aircraft for the Royal Flying Doctors Service and cut the celebratory cake.

VIDEOS: Harry And Meghan Greet A Young Boy | Unveiling New AIrcraft For Royal Flying Doctors Service

MOUNTAIN VIEW FARM: With most of the state of New South Wales suffering from drought, Their Royal Highnesses will see first-hand the hardships local farmers are facing by visiting a local property. During their visit Harry and Meghan met with the Woodley family who have been running a livestock and crop farm for over five generations since 1887. The Duke and Duchess pitched in when it came time to feed the cattle. In a very hospitable gesture The Duchess of Sussex brought the family a load of banana bread she had baked at the Admiralty House the night before and Fortnum & Mason Royal Blend tea. A Palace aide said: “She loves baking and just decided to take something along with her on the spur of the moment.”

VICTORIA PARK: The Duke and Duchess then traveled to Victoria Park to join people from Dubbo and surrounding areas at a picnic in the park to celebrate community spirit within the region. Members of the public were invited to attend, and His Royal Highness gave an address in the pouring rain much to everyone’s delight. Meghan held the umbrella for Harry as she stood by his side.

VIDEOS: Harry And Meghan Bring The Rain To Victoria Park

SPORT AND EDUCATION: In the afternoon, The Duke and Duchess visited a local school working to improve the education outcomes of young Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islanders. Their Royal Highnesses met students and staff learning more about their work to improve life skills and employment prospects for Indigenous men, and reduce barriers keeping Indigenous female students from completing their education. In a separate embargoed (not previously announced) engagement Meghan stepped out on her own for her first solo engagement of the tour to meet and speak with students from Girls Academy.

VIDEOS: Harry And Meghan Get Warm Welcome From Students

Engagements In 2018 > Commonwealth Tour > October 16 | Commonwealth Tour – Day 2 – Set 1

Filed in Gallery Updates Royal Tour Royal Tour: Australia

Photos & Roundup: October 16 – Royal Visit Australia – Day 1

It’s an exciting day, and it’s not just because it’s the start of the tour! This morning Kensington Palace confirmed that The Duke and Duchess of Sussex are expecting a baby in Spring of 2019! How unexpected and exciting! Rumors kicked into high gear last Friday at Princess Eugenie’s wedding, and reports say that’s when Harry and Meghan actually informed the family of the pregnancy. Looks like 2019 will be another busy year for the couple and all us Royal Watchers! Now onto Royal Visit Australia!

It is currently (October, 16 2018) in Sydney, Australia and the official start of the tour. Harry and Meghan arrived yesterday to Admiralty House, their official home away from home for this leg of the tour. The couple reportedly spent the day relaxing and prepping for their busy schedule. You can view those photos here. The Duke and Duchess had a packed day with a variety of different engagements including visiting the Taronga Zoo and Sydney Opera House.

OFFICIAL WELCOMING: The Duke and Duchess of Sussex kicked off the royal tour around 9:00 AM (Sydney, Australia) at the Admiralty House where the couple were officially welcomed by Australia’s Governor General Peter Cosgrove and his wife Lynne Cosgrove with a formal reception. The Governor General and his wife Lynne welcomed Harry and Meghan with Akubra hats and the first set of gifts for the new baby including a pair of baby UGG boots and a stuffed kangaroo and it’s joey! During the reception The Duke and Duchess met with representatives from each of the eighteen countries who are participating in the Invictus Games Sydney 2018 will be present.

VIDEOS: Official Welcome To Australia

TARONGA ZOO: For their first stop The Duke and Duchess of Sussex visited the Taronga Zoo to officially open the new Taronga Institute of Science and Learning with New South Wales (NSW) Premier. The Duke and Duchess will meet two koalas and their joeys that are part of the Zoo’s breeding programme, Their Royal Highnesses seemed to be really taken with the koalas as they spent ample amount of time petting them. The pair concluded their visit in the laboratory where they met female conservation scientists who are working on efforts to reduce illegal wildlife trafficking.

VIDEOS: Meeting Koalas At Toranga Zoo

SYDNEY OPERA HOUSE: The next stop was to the Sydney Opera House! Arriving by boat the duo sailed across Sydney Harbour to the Sydney Opera House where they viewed a rehearsal of Spirit 2018 by the Bangarra Dance Theatre, an internationally acclaimed Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander modern dance company. Upon their departure, the pair walked along the Opera House forecourt, taking the opportunity to meet and shake hands with many members of the public who offered lots of congratulations, flowers, and gifts for the expecting Duchess.

EVENING RECEPTION: The first day of the visit concluded with a Reception hosted by the Governor-General at Admiralty House, attended by Australians from a broad range of sectors including charity and community, business and industry, arts and culture, sport and entertainment.

Engagements In 2018 > Commonwealth Tour > October 15 | Commonwealth Tour – Day 1 – Set 1
Engagements In 2018 > Commonwealth Tour > October 15 | Commonwealth Tour – Day 1 – Set 2