Posted on Author MaryComments Off on 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
Posted on Author KierraComments Off on Photos & Roundup: October 31 – Royal Visit New Zealand – Day 16
The final day of Their Royal Highnesses’ tour will take place in Rotorua, a town set on Lake Rotorua, renowned for its geothermal activity and Maori culture. The Duke and Duchess will firstly visit Te Papaiouru Marae, for a formal pōwhiri and luncheon in Their Royal Highnesses’ honour.
Next, The Duke and Duchess will head to Rainbow Springs to learn more about the centre’s kiwi breeding programme. Kiwi, which are New Zealand’s national bird, have become increasingly endangered in recent years, and Their Royal Highnesses will meet conservationists working to protect the species. They will also have the opportunity to name two young kiwi chicks at Rainbow Springs.
Later that afternoon, The Duke and Duchess will head into the city for the chance to meet members of the public gathered there. They will then travel to Redwoods Treewalk Rotorua. The treewalk is a 700m-long walkway of suspension bridges between 117-year-old Redwood trees. The forest is also the home to a thriving mountain biking community that draws people of all ages to the Redwoods. The Duke and Duchess will learn more about the forest’s history as they take on the tree walk, and will then meet invited representatives of the local biking community under the forest canopy.
Their Royal Highnesses will return to Auckland that evening, before departing for London the following day.
Posted on Author KierraComments Off on Photos & Roundup: October 30 – Royal Visit New Zealand – Day 15
Their Royal Highnesses will travel to Auckland, where they will firstly visit the North Shore to dedicate a 20 hectare area of native bush to The Queen’s Commonwealth Canopy. After unveiling the plaque, The Duke and Duchess will hear more about the ecological importance of the native bush, before joining children from the ‘Trees in Survival’ group in a ‘welly-wanging’ contest.
Their Royal Highnesses will then join the Prime Minister to visit Pillars, a charity operating across New Zealand that supports children who have a parent in prison through the provision of special mentoring schemes. As a wedding present to The Duke and Duchess, the Government of New Zealand gifted $5000 dollars to Pillars, and Their Royal Highnesses will have the opportunity to meet some of the children who have directly benefitted from this funding.
Later that afternoon, The Duke and Duchess will have the opportunity to meet the people of Auckland on the Viaduct Harbour, before attending a Reception hosted by the Prime Minister at the Auckland War Memorial Museum. This reception will include cultural performances and entertainment by members of the Pasifika community living in Auckland. The guests will be predominantly young people in the 17 to 25-year age group who are making significant contributions to the wellbeing of their communities, representing the future of New Zealand.
Posted on Author KierraComments Off on Photos & Roundup: October 29 – Royal Visit New Zealand – Day 14
The Duke and Duchess will visit one of Wellington’s most iconic cafes. Their Royal Highnesses will meet young people from a number of mental health projects operating in New Zealand offering support to other young people through helplines, social media, websites and school-based programmes.
From Wellington, The Duke and Duchess will travel to Abel Tasman National Park, which sits at the north-Eastern tip of the South Island, and is an area famed for its golden beaches and native bush walks. Their Royal Highnesses will be greeted by a traditional welcome ceremony on arrival, before embarking on a trail walk with one of the park’s rangers to learn more about the history of the forest and the environmental challenges of protecting the park’s habitat. Before departing, The Duke and Duchess will join some of the park’s young ambassadors and local school children at a barbeque lunch and for a tree planting.
That evening back in Wellington, Their Royal Highnesses will visit Courtenay Creative for an event celebrating the city’s thriving creative arts scene. Courtney Creative runs programmes to give young people the tools and experience to excel in the film industry, and The Duke and Duchess will meet a number of young creatives demonstrating their skills in props, make-up, and costume.
Posted on Author KierraComments Off on Photos & Roundup: October 28 – Royal Visit New Zealand – Day 13
The Duke and Duchess will depart on a Royal New Zealand AirForce flight for Wellington. Their Royal Highnesses will travel on the same aircraft as a number of the New Zealand Invictus Games competitors, and on arrival, will be met off the plane together by the Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern.
From the airport, Their Royal Highnesses will attend the traditional welcome ceremony on the lawns of Government House – the residence of the Governor-General to New Zealand Dame Patsy Reddy. Their Royal Highnesses will be invited to hongi with the Governor-General’s Kuia and Kaumātua (Māori elders), before the pōwhiri, which includes a haka performed by members of the New Zealand Defence Force. The ceremony will also include a 21-gun salute, and will be attended by school children.
Their Royal Highnesses will then travel to the Pukeahu National War Memorial Park. Here, they will lay a wreath at the Tomb of the Unknown Warrior, and will visit the newly unveiled UK War Memorial – whose design takes the form of two of the United Kingdom and New Zealand’s most iconic trees – the Royal Oak and a Pōhutakawa. This engagement will be followed by a public walkabout in the Memorial Park.
That evening, The Duke and Duchess will receive official calls from the Prime Minister and Leader of the Opposition at Government House, before attending a reception hosted by the Governor General celebrating the 125th anniversary of women’s suffrage in New Zealand.
Posted on Author KierraComments Off on 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.
Posted on Author KierraComments Off on 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.
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.
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.
Posted on Author KierraComments Off on 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.
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.
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.
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