Meghan in Local Label & Diana’s Jewelry for First Australia Engagements
The Duchess wore an Australian brand for her first official tour engagement today, along with some very special jewelry pieces.
It was the first appearance for the Duke and Duchess since this morning’s announcement by Kensington Palace that Meghan is expecting a child. (Our post on that news may be seen here.)
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The couple started their busy day at Admiralty House with a welcome ceremony hosted by Governor-General Sir Peter Cosgrove and Lady Lynne Cosgrove.
From Sir Peter’s remarks:
Lynne and I, on behalf of all Australians, are delighted to congratulate Their Royal Highnesses The Duke and Duchess of Sussex on the news that they are expecting their first child.
As you can see from the picture just above, the official Sydney residence for the Governor-General offers stunning views. This picture of the house by Simon Perry of People magazine was actually taken in 2014 when the Duke & Duchess of Cambridge were in Australia.
In addition to the ceremonial welcome, there was an opportunity to meet representatives of the eighteen countries taking part in the Invictus Games. A photo posted by The Daily Mail’s Rebecca English shows some of those representatives. The rain we saw yesterday was gone; it was a bright, sunny morning in Sydney.
Meghan and Harry received their very first official gifts for Baby Sussex from the Cosgroves. The Governor-General said they “…took the opportunity to give Their Royal Highnesses a gift to mark their big news.” You can see Harry holding the tiny pair of Uggs they were given and Meghan has a stuffed Kangaroo with its own little joey.
They were also given Akubra hats, a classic Australian brand that we have seen Prince William wearing.
The next stop for the Duke and Duchess was the renowned Taronga Zoo. You see them arriving in this quick video from Omid Scobie.
— Omid Scobie (@scobie) October 15, 2018
You can see that Meghan added a trench coat atop her dress.
They were on hand to officially open the Taronga Institute of Science and Learning.
The Duke and Duchess met two koalas and their joeys, part of the Zoo’s breeding program.
Their names: “Harry” and “Meghan.” They were a wedding gift to the couple from the people of New South Wales.
Meghan and Harry are chatting with Dasha and Finley after four-year-old Finley gave the Duchess a posey. You can see the plaque on the wall behind Harry commemorating the opening of the Institute.
ITV’s Lizzie Robinson noted that Meghan and Harry were also given gifts at the zoo.
The Duchess was given a large bouquet of flowers at the zoo; Harry’s response was cute.
“you can’t give flowers that big to my wife, what’s that all about?!” lmao harry is such a dork pic.twitter.com/LgWird2qzs
— barb (@nocompanies) October 16, 2018
The pair then left the zoo, boarding a boat for their trip to the iconic Sydney Opera House. 7News Sunrise presenter Natalie Barr noted that the Duchess slipped on a pair of flats for the boat ride.
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They landed at the Man ‘O War steps, a site British and Australian fleets have used for landing and embarkation for more than 150 years. A plaque at the site reads:
This Landing Area, Erected For The Royal Navy, Was Taken Over By The Royal Australian Navy in 1913. For 150 Years, Man O`War Steps Served As A Landing And
Embarkation Point For Men Of The British And Australian Fleets In Peace And War.
From These Steps 2,215 Officers And Sailors Of The Royal Australian Navy Left To Serve Their Country In The Great War 1914-1918, The Second World War
1939 – 1945, Korea, Malaya and Vietnam, Never To Return To Enjoy The Fruits Of Their Labours In Their Native Land
Ye Who Tread Their Footsteps, Remember Their Glory
The couple watched a Bangarra Dance Theatre rehearsal. The group is considered one of Australia’s leading First Nations performing arts companies.
All dancers are “classically trained and each has a proud Aboriginal and/or Torres Strait Islander background” according to a news release.
After the rehearsal the Duke and Duchess did their first walkabout in Australia.
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As you can see, there were an awful lot of people eager to see the royals.
This video from The Sun’s Emily Andrews offer a good view of the crowd.
Video: a little @byEmilyAndrews tour of the crowds outside Sydney Harbour House with Meghan & Harry in there shaking as many hands as possible. #RoyalVisitAustralia #royalvisitaus pic.twitter.com/bh6kkAK8UG
— Emily Andrews (@byEmilyAndrews) October 16, 2018
One of the more touching moments of the walkabout came when Harry took Meghan over to meet 98-year-old Daphne Dunne. The Prince met Daphne on two previous occasions when he visited Sydney.
A still photo shows the trio.
Both Meghan and Harry weren’t shy about getting down on a lower level to chat with people.
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This photo by the Sydney Opera House of Meghan is lovely.
Now to what Meghan wore for today’s engagements. She was in a dress by Karen Gee, an Australian brand. She was wearing the “Blessed” style, from the company’s ‘classics’ line.
It is described as featuring “… a simple, structured fit designed to contour the body for a sleek silhouette. A timeless classic that will take you from day to night with ease.”
Jessica Ridley of 7News Sydney posted a video showing the garment.
‘Blessed’ by Karen Gee – the most talked about dress of the day, worn by the Duchess of Sussex, on her first appearance in Sydney since announcing she and Prince Harry are expecting a baby! #royaltouraus @7NewsSydney pic.twitter.com/9S7CjeHHF4
— Jessica Ridley (@jessicaridleytv) October 16, 2018
The brand was founded just five years ago. All pieces are made to order in Australia using ethically sourced fabric. More from the company’s ‘about page’:
Encompassing the utmost importance of positive body image, inner beauty and self-worth, the brand was formed with a primary focus on style and helping women feel not only comfortable but confident, each design promises the perfect fit and the ability to celebrate all women, regardless of shape or size.
The dress retails for $1800 AUD, roughly $1300 at today’s exchange rates.
UPDATE: The flats Meghan changed into before boarding the boat to the Sydney Opera House are from Rothy’s; the pointed-toe flats in black, $145.00
You may be familiar with the brand from seeing their promotional ads on Facebook and Instagram. Known for their knit uppers which are made from 100% post-consumer plastic water bottles. The company aims to use recycled and renewable materials in all of their shoes as well as their packaging products.
From Rothy’s site:
At Rothy’s, our mission is to create a new kind of shoe for women: one that is versatile, chic and durable. And we want to do it right, with as little waste and impact to the environment as possible.”
Her trench coat is by designer Martin Grant from the S/S 2019 collection.
It is from the designer’s s/ 2019 collection and called the Classic Cotton Straight Cut Trench Coat. It retailed at $1690 when available for pre-ordering from Moda Operandi. It is currently shown as sold out, but I wouldn’t be surprised to see it become available again. It is described as a “timeless trench silhouette with a collared neckline and seam detailing.”
Meghan was wearing a pair of butterfly earrings that belonged to Diana, the late Princess of Wales.
The Royal Order of Splendor shared a photo of the late Princess wearing the bracelet.
Meghan is wearing Diana’s butterfly earrings today, and I believe her gold bracelet with blue stones is also one that belonged to Diana. pic.twitter.com/gDo69tF68h
— Order of Splendor (@orderofsplendor) October 16, 2018
Meghan wore her Stuart Weitzman ‘Legend’ Pumps ($375).
We have not yet identified Meghan’s coat.
This is roughly 3 minutes showing the events at the Taronga Zoo.
A quick note: on the right sidebar we have added a clock that shows the current time in Sydney. (Because yours truly cannot do time zone conversions to save her life. – sek) This shows you where the widget is on the page.
NOTE: A request that comments about Meghan’s status be respectful. The fact she is expecting does not mean she is a target for inconsiderate or inappropriate comments.
- The Governor-General’s website is here; the Facebook page is here
- The Invictus Games Sydney website is here; the organization’s Facebook page is here; its Instagram page is here; the group’s Twitter feed is here
- The Taronga Zoo website is here; the Facebook page is here, Twitter feed here and Instagram page here; the Institute of Science and Learning site is here
- The Sydney Opera House website is here; its Facebook page is here; the Instagram page is here; the Twitter feed is here
- The Bangarra Dance Theatre site is here; its Facebook page here; the organization’s Instagram page is here and its Twitter feed is here