Categories 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

Categories 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.

Source: https://www.thesun.co.uk/

Categories 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

Categories Gallery Updates Royal Tour: Fiji Royal Tour: Tonga

Photos & Roundup: October 25 – Royal Visit Fiji & Tonga – Day 10

FIJI DEPARTURE: The Duke and Duchess traveled to the city of Nadi in Western Fiji, where they attended a special event at Nadi Airport. The couple arrived on a seaplane after spending the night at Vatuvara private Island resort. After an official welcome ceremony, The Duke and Duchess unveiled a new statue commemorating Sergeant Talaiasi Labalaba, a British-Fijian soldier who lost his life in the 1972 Battle of Mirbat. The event will be attended by the President of Fiji, and senior representatives from government and the Armed Forces.

VIDEOS: Fiji Pays Farewell To Harry And Meghan | Farewell Ceremony

TONGA ARRIVAL: From Nadi Airport, Their Royal Highnesses took a chartered flight to Tonga, where they were met at Fua’amotu Airport by Her Royal Highness The Princess Angelika Latufuipeka. Harry and Meghan received a warm welcome from the locals. To the delight of many Meghan wore a red dress. A nod to sartorial diplomacy as the Tonga flag is red and white.

VIDEOS: Warm Welcome For Harry And Meghan

RECEPTION AND DINNER: That evening, The Duke and Duchess visited Consular House in central Nuku’alofa for a private audience with His Majesty King Tupou VI and Queen Nanasipauʻu, followed by an official reception and dinner, and traditional Tongan entertainment.

GALLERY LINK
Engagements In 2018 > Commonwealth Tour > October 25 | Commonwealth Tour – Day 10 – Set 1
Engagements In 2018 > Commonwealth Tour > October 25 | Commonwealth Tour – Day 10 – Set 2
Engagements In 2018 > Commonwealth Tour > October 25 | Commonwealth Tour – Day 10 – Set 3

Categories Gallery Updates Royal Tour: Fiji

Photos & Roundup: October 24 – Royal Visit Fiji – Day 9

WOMEN & EDUCATION: Their Royal Highnesses visited the University of the South Pacific campus in Suva, where they observed a cultural performance on the effects of climate change, before meeting students studying subjects from agriculture to women’s development. The event was streamed to a number of the university’s campuses throughout the Pacific region. The Duke made short speech in his capacity as Commonwealth Youth Ambassador, and The Duchess announced two new grants awarded to the University, which will allow them to run workshops to empower female staff and to support students during their education. They will be provided by Her Majesty’s patronage. Kensington Palace had reported before the tour that Meghan would say a few words, but no one was ready for the powerful speech she gave about her own college experiences, and the right for young girls and women all over to further their education. You can watch Meghan’s full speech below:

VIDEOS: Meghan Gives Powerful Speech

MARKET SHUTDOWN: Afterwards, The Duchess attended a morning tea at the British High Commissioner’s Residence to showcase women’s organisations which operate throughout Fiji. In particular, Her Royal Highness heard more about a UN Women’s project, ‘Markets for Change’, which promotes women’s empowerment in marketplaces throughout the Pacific. The Duchess then traveled to Suva Market to meet some of the female vendors who have become empowered through the project. Unfortunately, Meghan’s trip got cut short due to a “security risk”. A Palace aide told The Telegraph:

“Kensington Palace indicated the decision to leave early was down to security concerns. She was scheduled to spend 15 minutes at the market, but had to leave after around eight minutes. A palace aide said: “It was hot, humid and uncomfortably busy and there were far larger crowds than expected. She met everyone she was meant to meet and left. “There would have been a lot of people who would have been keen to meet her but she did meet those who had hoped to. On advice she was taken out due to crowd management issue.”

VIDEOS: Morning Tea For The Duchess | The Duchess Suva Municipal Market

GALLERY LINK
Engagements In 2018 > Commonwealth Tour > October 24 | Commonwealth Tour – Day 9 – Set 1

Categories Gallery Updates Royal Tour: Fiji

Photos & Roundup: October 23 – Royal Visit Fiji – Day 8

The Duke and Duchess traveled by charter flight to Fiji’s capital of Suva, where they will embark on a three-day programme, experiencing the rich Fijian culture and generous hospitality.

OFFICIAL WELCOME: Their Royal Highnesses were greeted by a Guard of Honour at the airport, before calling on His Excellency The President of Fiji at Borron House. The Duke and Duchess attended an official welcome ceremony in the city centre’s Albert Park. The ceremony, known as the Veirqaraqaravi Vakavanua, embodies Fijian cultural identity and heritage, and mirrored in format that of the one attended by The Queen and The Duke of Edinburgh in 1953. It involved a number of traditional elements of Fijian culture, including dance performances, the presentation of the Tabua, and a Kava ceremony. Members of the public from across Suva were invited to attend.

STATE DINNER: From there, The Duke and Duchess left Albert Park for the Grand Pacific Hotel to attend a Reception and a State Dinner hosted by The President of Fiji, at which The Duke said a few words.

GALLERY LINK
Engagements In 2018 > Commonwealth Tour > October 23 | Commonwealth Tour – Day 8 – Set 1
Engagements In 2018 > Commonwealth Tour > October 23 | Commonwealth Tour – Day 8 – Set 2