After the Storm Meghan Shines at Invictus Opening Ceremony


The Duchess wore Gillian Anderson and Stella McCartney for tonight’s opening ceremony of the Invictus Games.

Severe weather wreaked havoc with the evening’s schedule. When we last saw the Duke and Duchess this afternoon, Meghan was watching Harry practice tonight’s speech and things were progressing on schedule.

But then the severe weather rolled in. Emily Nash of Hello! shared this photo of the approaching storm.  From The Mirror’s coverage:

Their arrival was delayed by around half an hour after a massive storm rocked Sydney on Saturday at 6.30pm local time – with videos showing lightning bolts and eerie dark clouds swirling overhead.

Spectators were forced to flee for cover until it passed and Prince Harry admitted he was worried the ceremony would have to be cancelled.

This video from Russell Myers of The Mirror gives you a sense of how nasty the weather was.

From The Evening Standard’s story:

Wild winds, heavy rain and thunder struck at the landmark Opera House just an hour before the planned opening ceremony.

Meghan and Harry arriving at the Opera House.

Below you see the Duke and Duchess at the reception with New South Wales Premier Gladys Berejiklian.

But the opening ceremony, being held outside, was delayed. There was some concern it would have to be canceled.

Ultimately there was a delay of less than 2 hours and things got underway shortly after 8:30pm local time.

What a difference a year makes. Below, a graphic from last year’s opening ceremony in Toronto. Patricia Treble of Write Royalty made it to show how far apart Meghan and Harry’s seats were.     

The Toronto games was where they famously made their first public appearance together.

A lot has happened in a year.

Embed from Getty Images

Prince Harry is patron of the games, which he started in 2014. 

The name came from the classic William Ernest Henley poem.

Background on the poem: Generations have drawn on the words of William Ernest Henley’s poem for strength during times of adversity. Henley was himself an amputee and the poem reflects his long battle with illness. The title means “unconquered” and the 16 short lines of the poem encapsulate the indefatigable human spirit, which is at the heart of the Invictus Games.

Tonight’s program included traditional aboriginal performances and welcome ceremonies.

The teams were seated, there were remarks from dignitaries, musical performances, and video pieces. The Invictus flag was brought into the ceremony.

And it was raised.

Prince Harry was the last to speak. 

You can hear how warmly he was received in this quick video.

He opened his remarks by talking about his grandmother.

On this day in 1973, my grandmother, The Queen stood in front of this Opera House and declared it open.

Forty-five years later, to the day, it is my honour to be standing in front of this iconic symbol of Australia’s place in the modern world at the start of the fourth Invictus Games.

ITV’s Chris Ship put together these three photos, including one showing the Queen at the Opera House 45 years ago. 

Harry spoke about the meaning of the games.

has become about the example of service and dedication our competitors have provided to the world. Our Invictus family has turned these games into a symbol of strength, honour and optimism for a new generation.”

He spoke about examples being set.

“Be inspired, get excited, and allow the example of service and determination you will see, to change something big or small in your own lives.

He spoke about the Invictus generation.

“When the families & friends of our competitors have lifted them up, overseen their recoveries & cheered them across the finish lines, the Invictus generation has redefined what shared sacrifice means”

And he spoke about Meghan.

Now for our look at what Meghan wore to the Invictus Games Opening Ceremony. (Unfortunately there is a dearth of photos we could license.) 

It looked like the Duchess might have brought back the Stella McCartney ‘Stella Cape Dress’ first worn to the Queen’s birthday concert in April. But the lack of photos means we may never know. 

That piece is done in a navy blue color, as was tonight’s coat. More from news.com:

The outfit repeating wasn’t Meghan’s only sartorial surprise this evening — she also out in a label no one could have predicted.

It wasn’t an Australian designer. It wasn’t a British name favoured by the royal family. It wasn’t an internationally recognised couturier.

No, no. The designer was one most of us didn’t even know had turned her hand to fashion — former X-Files star Gillian Anderson.

The Duchess appeared to be wearing the Gillian Anderson Soft Wool Swing Coat (£395 – about $514 at today’s exchange rate).

The piece is described as a swing coat that looks good worn open or belted. It is made of a “double-faced specialist handcrafted wool fabric,” a blend of 60% wool, 20% viscose and 20% nylon.  I digitally lightened these images of the coat to better show some of the detail.  

As mentioned it is from the Gillian Anderson for Winser collection.

More from a Page Six story:

The “X-Files” star, 50, announced on Twitter on Tuesday that she has teamed up with the brand Winser London to produce a capsule collection that will be available in stores and online Sept. 1.

“I’m so thrilled to finally be able to share my new @winserlondon capsule collection!” the actress tweeted. “This week I’ll be highlighting a few of my pieces and sharing some design sneak peeks. I want to live in them and I hope you do too!”

The collection just launched in September, and it has proven very popular.

The brand makes sense for Meghan. Kim Winser felt there was a need for “affordable, luxurious, easy-to-wear clothes” and launched her eponymous line in 2013; more about the entrepreneur from a March 2018 Daily Mail piece.

The first female director of Marks & Spencer, chief executive of Pringle of Scotland, CEO of Aquascutum and advisor to Natalie Massenet at Net-a-Porter, Kim was uniquely placed to launch her own luxe digital shopping brand. Her services to the fashion industry earned her an OBE in 2006.

From a quick scan of the Winser site there are great styles and at reasonable prices.

It looked like Meghan wore her Stuart Weitzman ‘Legend’ pumps in the ‘haze’ colorway ($375). We show the shoes below when they were worn on Tuesday.  

Meghan carried her navy Dior satin clutch (shown below at another event).

Meghan wore a new pair of earrings (to us), the Birks Cushion Cut Sapphire & Double Diamond Halo Drop Earrings.

They are 18kt white gold with cushion-cut sapphires surrounded by diamonds. The Duchess wore another Birks piece, the Rosée du Matin 18kt white gold Flex Wrap Bracelet ($2595).

Tonight Meghan wore three rings by Ecksand, a Canadian jewelry brand using ethically-sourced stones. 

The rings all showcase bezel set stones; from top to bottom: a Bezel Set Sapphire in 18kt gold; Bezel Set Marquis Diamond; a Bezel Set Emerald in 18kt gold. Our thanks to Monique Jessen at People for the information on the rings! UPDATE Sunday morning 1am: Monique also reports that Meghan wore the Ecksand Emerald Secret Heart Stackable ($1182 CAD, about $900 USD).  

This is another company that dovetails with Meghan’s preferences for socially conscious and environmentally sound businesses using sustainable, ethically-sourced materials. More from the company’s “About” page:

We aim to make the world a better place by supporting honest, ethical and environmentally responsible business practices. Our commitment to traceable gems ensures that all our diamonds and precious gems come from conflict-free mines. Meanwhile our use of 100% recycled gold reduces our overall environmental impact. Finally, our use of only natural, untreated gems ensures that our clients receive only the finest quality jewellery

The jewelry is made in Montreal, Canada, where the company is based. The firm was started 10 years ago by Erica Bianchini, who is also the creative director.

Again we see key components of an ensemble from companies created and run by women.

The entire opening ceremony can be viewed here, it runs just under 2 hours.

LINKAGE:

29 Comments

  1. shannon maxwell April 7, 2019 at 6:43 pm

    I didn’t know gillian anderson designed clothes!

  2. Maluhia October 22, 2018 at 12:20 pm

    I don’t care what anyone says, Meghan’s messy buns are the best thing ever and I hope the palace never tries to take them away from her. That hair style is stunning.

    1. Emily October 23, 2018 at 3:43 pm

      I love them too. And the loose bits on the side of her face. It’s obviously a style choice, not an accident, and they look fresh and friendly to me.

  3. sally October 21, 2018 at 12:35 am

    Give the poor girl a break, who care what colour she wears. I think she looks elegant, stylish and refined on the whirlwind tour. Now let’s see tomorrow Meg might have a red dress on and then the comments will flow, too bright, too large, too small, too tight, too long and the list goes on.
    Let’s celebrate the importance of the events and not the colour of the clothes.

  4. Amelie October 20, 2018 at 11:22 pm

    I have to say I never thought I’d see Gillian Anderson on this blog! I became a huge X-Files fan but only the show was off the air and I own all the DVDs (this was before Netflix became a streaming service!). I was too young to watch the scary show when it premiered in 1993 (I was only 5!) but once I was old enough, I became very invested in it. I love Gillian Anderson so much, she’s aged so beautifully (in comparison to her costar David Duchovny) and she was amazing in The Fall. Fun fact: she can also pull off a convincing British accent since she lived in England until she was 11!
    Er oh yes this blog is about Meghan: yes another navy/black outfit, at this point I don’t really care about the lack of color. She’s pregnant and she can wear whatever she wants as far as I’m concerned! She’s looked appropriate at all the events so far and if that’s the only thing people are complaining about, that’s fine! While the coat looks fabulous on Gillian, I really can’t tell how it hangs on Meghan because she has it hanging on her shoulders so it looks pretty shapeless to me from the side angles we have. Again I think she’s putting a tad too bush blush/bronzer/whatever the makeup thing is called that is on her cheeks. I hope that isn’t Jessica Mulroney’s advice to her!

  5. Christina O. October 20, 2018 at 10:05 pm

    On 10-19-18 @ 11:14 am WMW blogger , “Dee,” had a great post regarding the Roksanda dress. Dee used the phrase “work engagements.” That’s how I understand the Royal Tour…16 separate work days for Meghan. Each day is full of numerous engagements and I accept Meghan’s neutral monochromatic color preferences because each day when I log on to WMW I find her taking those preferences and coming up time and time again with an ensemble that is classy, not overdone or overworked, and original. No one dresses like her and I find that refreshing.

    The photos of tonight’s reception and Opening Ceremony show Meghan looking glamorous, proud, engaged, supportive and animated. I’m so happy Meghan and Harry are seated next to each this year and sharing this spectacular event together.

  6. Moqi October 20, 2018 at 9:43 pm

    1) Scrumptious earrings.
    2) Appreciate that, for Meghan, Fashion Forward includes socially and environmentally responsible items! Her niche…
    3) Yah. Another navy look… but, those earrings!!

  7. Gail October 20, 2018 at 9:04 pm

    Maybe Meghan’s not resting but out shopping looking for a new outfits that are not navy or black???

  8. Carol October 20, 2018 at 8:46 pm

    I have now left 4 comments and they have all disappeared instantly. Not enough time has elapsed for them to be read for administration edit. What is wrong?

    1. WhatMeghanWore October 21, 2018 at 2:06 am

      Hi, Carol, and thank you for letting us know about the comment problem. I’m sorry the system is not functioning as it should from what you report. We will get in touch with the software folks and see if they can provide some guidance on correcting the issue. -sek

  9. Carol October 20, 2018 at 8:44 pm

    Few people have mentioned the DoS might be dressing not to overshadow the event. That is the case with most Royal Tours, the event is much more important than what the Royal is wearing. This is standard so I don’t understand why some of Meghan’s advisors haven’t suggested she wear brighter colors so she’d stand out in the crowd. The Queen feels this is important and the Duke and Dutchess are representing the Queen, right? Especially at this event, which was founded by Harry. I don’t feel the navy photographs well. I can’t see the details which make the dresses unique. But I am looking at this on my cell phone. Jewel tones would look so wonderful on the DoS. I understand the learning curve of her new role but she has been photographed for many years. I would think she would understand what type of things photographed well. Her hair and make up are always beautiful and photograph well so hopefully the clothes will follow. I don’t understand how she keeps going. I hope she gets to rest soon. I’m tired watching all she does.

  10. Nicola Johnson October 20, 2018 at 6:30 pm

    ‘The Navy Dress Tour of Australia’.

    1. shannon maxwell April 7, 2019 at 6:40 pm

      *Giggles*

  11. Jessica October 20, 2018 at 6:27 pm

    I had no idea about the Gillian Anderson line. I have the biggest girl crush on her, and I wasn’t even an Xfiles watcher. I love her in period dramas and I thought she was amazing in The Fall.

    I’m not 100% sure this is the same Stella McCartney dress. Like ElizaMo said, wearing a swing coat over a cape dress seems- sort of odd. But I have no issue with blue and black–like others have said, I think that this can look beautiful when it’s well done, which I think it has been here.

    I’m such a fan of the DoS’s taste in jewelry, and I love these stackable rings. Simple but beautiful.

    1. ElizaMo October 21, 2018 at 9:31 am

      I don’t have a problem with the blue/black combination myself, I’ve found it pretty useful over the years. And given Meghan is now taking more of a step back to ensure she gets enough rest I no longer care if she wears dark colours every time — just as long as she’s well. I came over like this with Kate when she had the HG sickness and found I no longer cared about her various fashion idiosyncrasies.. It puts things in perspective and reminds me that the person we’re commenting on is only human!

      1. Jessica October 22, 2018 at 8:25 am

        Oh, sorry–I didn’t mean to suggest you’d criticized blue with black. Two separate thoughts.

        Turns out we were right and it wasn’t the Stella McCartney!

  12. Lesley October 20, 2018 at 5:29 pm

    Drab, I’m sorry to say.
    I love navy and I love black, separately or together. But except for the earrings, this ensemble is a miss.
    I guess I disagree with those who think it’s best for her to downplay herself in favor of the event.At least in this case, the Invictus Games, Harry’s creation, should warrant something more celebratory from her, something joyful.Not only is this outfit bland, can we be sure she’s wearing the cape dress? With a coat? It makes little sense. So far the repeat navy hasn’t seemed dull to me, but this time it does. Lackluster.

  13. Crystal October 20, 2018 at 4:29 pm

    Here’s the thing: Does Meghan always look beautiful because she is beautiful? Yes. Is her wardrobe waaaaaay more put together than mine on her most schlumpy day? Yes. Is there anything wrong with dark colors? Not at all. And there are some events where they are most appropriate.
    But some of us will get bored of the abundance of navy and black regardless of how beautiful the garment is because we prefer some color. We get it. She’s in a -beautiful dress in a dark color-phase.
    Just as some people are bored of Kate’s nude shoes and her repeat of the same style of dress… even though she whips that repeat out in a beautiful new color. It’s just preferences.
    Personally, I’ll take a gorgeous raspberry colored repeated style over another navy or black dress any
    day. But no matter my personal love of color, Meghan is certainly glowing and wearing beautiful
    clothing (even if I personally would have loved to have seen some of those outfits in some different colors).
    P.S. finding out Gillian Anderson has a clothing line is maybe the most interesting things fashion wise that’s happened this tour. But there’s lots of tour left!

    1. kitty October 21, 2018 at 1:26 am

      Agree. Its spring in Oz, the flowers are blooming, the birds are chirping, its a tad boring when she turns up almost each day in black/navy and yesterday ALL 3 outfilts were just that.

  14. Ava Pittman October 20, 2018 at 2:04 pm

    The Duchess looked very elegant at the opening tonight. Her makeup and hair looked lovely. Really like the earrings. How well did Prince Harry do with a really impressive speech. Such a wonderful ambassador, he really has come into his own. He is his mothers son, you only have to watch him with people, it all comes from the heart, there is definitely no going through the motions with him. He cares and it shows in abundance. Thank you for a great page

  15. Kiara October 20, 2018 at 2:02 pm

    This is all too heavy and somber for my taste. There aren’t any interesting details to draw the eye. Perhaps she was just feeling tired and cold didn’t feel like being on display. If so, that’s totally understandable. She has been going non stop!

  16. Brenda October 20, 2018 at 1:29 pm

    All of Meghan’s clothes on this tour have looked like they just fit. I wonder if she is self-conscious about this, and keeps her coats on as camouflage as she previously did to keep her pregnancy under wraps. Hopefully, over the next week, we’ll see some things that look a little more comfortable for her.

  17. Tessa October 20, 2018 at 1:05 pm

    Amazing to think that just a year ago they weren’t even engaged, and now they’re married, pregnant, and on a major world tour! She looks exquisite and perfect for the evening event. Everything from hair to accessories looks just right and just the right amount of ease vs. elegance. The whole thing has a silky glow. I know there will be “navy nay-sayers” but for some reason she’s got a navy fix going on and it’s just fine. Lovely look all around.

  18. Hde October 20, 2018 at 12:35 pm

    I think Meghan is like a lot of professional women who are in new roles (or in the case of the corporate world, roles not traditionally held by women) who choose to stick to a very refined palette. It may not be exciting, but it always looks appropriate and never detracts from the event. Especially with this type of event, I can see her wanting the attention to be on the athletes (and be comfortable and confident at the same time – a time when most pregnant women feel terrible). And it’s working, I’ve seen far more pictures of the ceremony and learned far more about the event because her clothes weren’t a focus. Also, because she came into this role later in life, she hasn’t let the monarchy and traditional royal fashion dictate her look.

    Also, thank you for the write up on Winser. I have found some of the fashion brands she has worn to be just as interesting and “worthy” as the events themselves and its nice to learn more.

  19. Bonnie October 20, 2018 at 12:22 pm

    I didn’t take time to watch the entire two hour video of the Opening Ceremony of the Invictus Games, but will likely do so later tonight. I did skip through it and for those interested, Harry’s speech comes at 1.38. The ceremony seemed to be inspiring, upbeat and fun. The concept of these games, founded on the amazing ideas and compassion of Harry, have such meaning to veterans, to the wounded and to their families.

    What Meghan is wearing is of far lesser importance than why she is there. I will sum up her look with words many of us have been saying throughout this tour….she looks lovely, the whole black/navy theme has become so boring in its repetitiveness, that nude shoes do nothing to enhance the navy. I can’t remember a tour by any female, Royal Family member, sinking to such lows regarding mundane fashion. Then again, compared to Meghan’s ripped jeans look at the Toronto Invictus Games, she has come a long way. Tomorrow is another day and dare we hope for a colour other than black or navy?

  20. Dale October 20, 2018 at 11:43 am

    I think she looks great, and just dressy enough for this event. I’m apparently in the minority who love the sophistication of navy and black together. It takes some getting used to, but it’s a great way to inject a subtle twist into an outfit.
    But, are we sure about the dress? I can’t quite imagine how – or why – she would wear a caped dress under a coat. In the picture of them seated, she looks like she has the coat over her shoulders. That is a lot of fabric!

    1. Katinka October 20, 2018 at 1:36 pm

      You are not the only one! Navy with black is the most stylish combination of colors. I personally love looks that are not perfectly “matched”, for me something has to be a little off, a little surprising and this look is perfect.

      1. SG October 20, 2018 at 5:09 pm

        Agree navy/black has always been a very chic combo. Maybe more popular over the years in Europe than the U.S. I’m thrilled that navy is popular right now and hope it stays that way. It works for any season or occasion. It’s practical because it’s dark but not as severe as black. It works with so many other colors and looks great on almost anyone.

  21. ElizaMo October 20, 2018 at 11:34 am

    Am I allowed to be puzzled as to why anyone would wear a coat over a cape dress? I’d have thought the cape dress would be best kept for occasions which didn’t require any extra layers as its chief feature is the extended layering built into its own style.

    The coat is clearly beautiful and I’m intrigued to see a second British outfit after the Anzac memorial event. It seems her new country holds some sartorial advantages after all. It’s just great she has featured a new UK label I don’t recall having seen on other royals and the Winser London range looks wonderful. I might regret the return to unrelenting navy with only minimal jewellery to offset it all, but she is admittedly sitting in a dark stadium and little might have been seen of any print or colour. The earrings at least are enough to provide a spark of interest amid the gloom.

    Even so I’m finding this tour a bit hard-going as there are only so many things I feel I can say about plain navy however beautifully tailored. But I have to remind myself of how long Kate stuck to neutrals in her first year and acknowledge how very recently Meghan has joined the royal family and what a huge learning curve she will be on. She continues to show exquisite taste even if her present style palette occasionally seems restrained to the point of rigid.

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