Meghan is Radiant in Floral Figue Dress for First Speech in Fiji

We begin Day 9 of Royal Visit Fiji with the Duke of Sussex laying a wreath at the Fiji War Memorial.

The ceremony was attended by Fijian soldiers, military, police chiefs & veterans, including some from Australia.

Below, the poppy wreath with a message from the Duke.


The Duchess of Sussex did not attend the ceremony.

Following the ceremony, Harry met veterans from the Republic of Fiji Military Forces and the Royal British Legion Fiji.

Harry returned to the hotel for a quick change of clothes; he and Meghan left for their next engagement. As they were leaving the hotel they were greeted by children eager to see the royal visitors.

Meghan and Harry’s engagement was at University of the South Pacific. The University, pictured below, is an international center for teaching and research on Pacific culture and environment.

USP, Suva, Fiji

With locations throughout the Australia, New Zealand and surrounding islands, including Fiji and Tonga, the University’s programs attract students throughout the Pacific region as well as internationally.

The Duke and Duchess as they arrived at the university.

Meghan chats with three-year-old Natasha Manuela, who attends the nursery at the university.

The Duke and Duchess met one of the Queen’s Young Leaders, Elisha Azeemah Bano. The Young Leaders program recognizes and rewards leaderships skills in young people between the ages of 18-29.

Meghan spoke at the university today, her first public speech of the tour.

More from the Daily Telegraph:

…she used her first speech of the royal couple’s tour Down Under to speak of her struggle to fund her own way through university, telling young women the opportunity for education is “worth every effort”.

Addressing students at the University of the South Pacific in Fiji, she said: “I am also fully aware of the challenges of being able to afford this level of schooling for many people around the world – myself included.

“It was through scholarships, financial aid programmes and work-study where my earnings from a job on campus went directly towards my tuition, that I was able to attend university.

You can watch Meghan’s remarks in their entirety via these two tweets from reporter Omid Scobie.

The Duke and Duchess then went separate ways as they were doing different engagements. Harry headed to Colo-i-Suva Forest Reserve.

More from The Telegraph’s coverage

Prince Harry was in the forest to formally recognise its dedication to the Queen’s Commmonwealth Canopy Project and to mark the occasion he unveiled a plaque and planted an indigenous Dakua tree, which is a threatened species in Fiji.

When the Queen visited in 1953 she used a shovel to plant a seedling. Below, the shovel she used in the forest all those years ago.

And today, that same shovel was used by Prince Harry today to plant a tree in the Col-I-Suva Forest.

From Kensington Royal:

I am truly delighted and grateful today to see you celebrating and honouring this extraordinary gift of nature. On behalf of Her Majesty, it is a great pleasure for me to welcome Coli-i-Suva to The .” — The Duke of Sussex

While Harry was in the forest Meghan attended a morning tea.

Meghan went to the British High Commissioner’s Residence where she attended a morning tea. There she learned more about the UN’s Women’s Markets for Change project before visiting the Suva market and meeting vendors empowered by the UN project.

The Duchess is welcomed by Permanent Secretary for Women, Children and Poverty Alleviation Dr. Josefa Koroivueta, Chief Executive Officer of Suva City Council Bijay Chand and Legal Advisor to Suva market vendors Association Shobna Verma.

Below Meghan speaks with with beneficiaries of UN Women’s Markets for change project.

More on her visit to the Market:

Meghan had visited Suva Market to meet some of the female vendors who have been involved in the U.N. Women’s project “Markets for Change.” Vendors were selling watermelons, pineapples and other fruit at the market, as well as handicrafts and fans.

Meghan chatted with one vendor and briefly greeted others at Suva Market, where throngs of people spilled into surrounding streets. She spent only about half of her allocated 15 minutes there as she was whisked through by security personnel in the enclosed and relatively dark market.

A Kensington Palace spokeswoman told The Associated Press that her visit was cut short due to crowd management issues.”

We now turn to what Meghan wore today.

The Duchess surprised us all again today when she appeared in a pink Bohemian floral dress by global brand Figue (pronounced “fig”).

It is the brand’s ‘Frederica’ style in their Fridas Wallpaper print and is 100% silk, $1495. We show the dress available at Neiman Marcus, Bergdorf, Moda Operandi, FarFetch, Net-A-Porter and ShopBop.

She wore her Castañer ‘Carina’ wedges in black which we saw on Day 4 in Bondi Beach.

We show the shoes still available at ShopBop, Forward, and Revolve, $120.

Another repeat wear for Meghan was the Shaun Leane ‘Serpent Trace’ bracelet in gold vermeil, first worn at The Queen’s Concert back in April.

A second gold bangle can be seen in the above photo which has not yet been identified.

The Karen Walker ‘Temptation’ yellow gold earrings first worn at Bondi Beach were also worn by the Duchess today.

Meghan’s clutch was made by a local woman and purchased from the local Suva Market. It is made from Fijian masi or tapa cloth and painted or dyed in a tribal pattern.

Tapa cloth is commonly made from the white inner bark of the tall and thin mulberry tree. Although other trees and shrubs are sometimes used as well such as the fig. Using shells, it is then stripped and scrapped, rolled into a ball and finally soaked in water. The soaked strips are finally pounded with wooden mallets until they become four to five times their original length. The designs are applied using paint or vegetable dyes. It is common product throughout the Islands of the Pacific Ocean.

UPDATE: Bags made with with masi fabric in the same pattern as Meghan’s can be found on Etsy from this seller: vitichicByNaniVK from Australia.

With thanks to Michelle at Perth’s Fashion for the tip!

This similar clutch from Eclectic Collective is made from coconut leaves and lined with cotton. The clutch, $50, is available for purchase online and ships internationally.

You can find more Fijian masi cloth items with similar patterns to Meghan’s clutch here.

For those interested in reading Meghan’s speech, here it is in full. (Thank you Emily Andrews, for posting it!!)

LINKS:

The Associated Press article is here; The Mirror’s piece is here;

41 Comments

  1. Rachel October 25, 2018 at 4:53 pm

    There is something oddly adorable and endearing about this look on Meghan. Loved it.
    Maybe it’s those awesome pom moms at the waist.

  2. TravelingBlush October 25, 2018 at 8:22 am

    Seems that this visit was poorly planned. Those shoes and that baggy, loose, multipart dress to a traditional market – narrow alleys, lots of stuff around that could snag, potentially wet slipperyfloor, questionable air circulation, etc. Maternity dress someone thought suitable for the markets.

  3. Melissa October 24, 2018 at 11:33 pm

    I love this dress!!! The color and pattern and the material are divine and the despite what a lot of commmenters are saying, the fit are relaxed and elegant and in style! When so often women are expected to wear things form fitting, she goes with the current fashion of clothes being on the boxier side and I love it. I’m doing that myself all the time in my current wardrobe. The pom poms are so fun!
    The shoes wouldn’t have been my first choice but then I noticed the clutch which is a nice touch.

  4. Lee October 24, 2018 at 8:48 pm

    This is the kind of outfit that makes me say out loud in exasperation: “If she has all the clothing in the world at her fingertips, why would she choose this?!”
    I can’t think of one nice thing to say about this dress, much as I’d like to. A busy pattern, tiered skirt, billowy sleeves, asymmetrical hem… And because that’s not enough, pom poms!
    I find myself wondering a lot at Meghan’s clothing choices. I think she is so busy trying to be the trendy, laidback, fashionable royal that she forfeits classy, tailored, and dignified styles. It seems that Meghan is more interested in fashion (which is all about trends) than style (which focuses on flattering clothing). If so, that would explain her clothing choices. I can’t get on board with that – give me a simple well-cut dress rather than the latest wild trend any day of the week, but everyone has their preferences, and this seems to be hers.
    That being said, I am in awe of her spunk and positive attitude! Pregnancy is the most exhausting ordeal ever, and she is going above and beyond by doing this tour! I don’t know how she does it…
    I guess I just wish she would wear prettier clothing.

    1. Trisha October 28, 2018 at 4:30 pm

      For the most part I think Meghan has good taste in clothing with a few exceptions. I did not like the pink dress at all. It reminded me of something a very old woman would wear. She needs to do something with her hair. She could look a lot better if she wasn’t always trying to tuck her loose strands behind her ears. Spray those suckers so they stay in place!

  5. SG October 24, 2018 at 7:33 pm

    The whole outfit from top to toe is relaxed and exotic. She’s in Fiji after all! She reminds me of a Hawaiian Barbie doll I had as a kid. The flower in her hair is is just beautiful. Didn’t initially understand the black accessories but the backstory behind the purse explains it. Plus, good for her on setting the record straight regarding the funding of her education. Go Meghan!

  6. Charlotte October 24, 2018 at 5:51 pm

    Oy – seriously horrible dress!

  7. Gwen P October 24, 2018 at 5:01 pm

    This is a bright, baggy, ruffly dress that I’m happy to find I actually like. Once before, she wore one to a wedding that seemed huge and ill-fitting, but this just looks cheerfully pretty and comfortable, both. It looks better to me at the shorter length she’s wearing than it does in the designer’s photos at floor length. The more informal length is a good call. Love the flowers in her hair, the wonderful bag – such a caring and fun choice – and her terrific speech.

  8. Laurie October 24, 2018 at 2:09 pm

    Very pretty colors and the silk must feel lovely and drape so well. But not my favorite look for these events. I agree with others that this seems like a garden party dress, but doesn’t seem to fit for a speech and a morning tea. I also don’t love the fit on her frame, but I do like that it’s a departure from her usual “uniform” of dark, modern, minimalism. Nice to shake things up from time time!

  9. Tanya October 24, 2018 at 2:09 pm

    I like the color and the pattern but it looks too big. there is a lot of fabric trapped under the belt. on the model, there is smooth fabric under the belt. Too much fabric on the arms as well. one size down would have looked tidier

  10. MaryKate October 24, 2018 at 1:51 pm

    Lovely color on Meghan! She looks even more youthful and radiant in that lovely pink. That said, this dress is too-many-things-at-once. The puffy sleeves, bagging at the bust, ruffied hem, pom poms, pattern…to me it overwhelms her. I know she may be “dressing for her bump”, but she’s such a small, slender person I find she gets lost in her clothes when they get too big.

    Does anyone else think the dress was intended with different shoes, but she chose the wear the black espadrilles to match the bag she purchased locally? My apologies if that’s already been discussed!

  11. MuchAdo October 24, 2018 at 1:22 pm

    This dress has a fun vibe. I’m charmed by it, but also feel that between the pom-poms, three tiers of ruffles, blouson sleeves, and pattern, it’s a bit busy. I wonder what it would be like with a simpler skirt OR sleeveless.

    And, can I give a round of applause to the hosts and writers? This post gives us bits of history, details of today’s events (which both showcases worthy organizations and provides context for the clothes), charming photos of Harry and Meghan interacting with people, and a breakdown of what she’s wearing. (The notes on the environmentally or socially conscious brands have been of particular interest in this tour.) You’re amazing researchers and writers!

    1. WhatMeghanWore October 24, 2018 at 4:46 pm

      Thank you! Our favorite part is connecting with all of you, easily the best element of the tour! 🙂

  12. Lesley October 24, 2018 at 1:11 pm

    Meghan’s hair is absolutely lovely.
    The flowers look beautiful. What a great idea. I love it.
    Like the colors of the dress, the print, and the fact that it’s silk.
    It doesn’t do much for her and sort of reminded me of the blue and white dress she wore to a wedding, but the frangipani in her hair must smell so fragrant, and look so pretty, the shortcomings of the dress pales in comparison.More flowers in your hair, Meghan!

  13. Christina O. October 24, 2018 at 12:38 pm

    Meghan looks beautiful in her Figue floral-print, tiered dress. The pom-poms not only add texture and whimsy they also have quite a history and attachment to various cultures and eras. The red, blue, purple and pink wallpaper design is a nice proportion, not too small and not gigantic. The fabric flows like water.

    Her black wedges with jute detail compliments her clutch which I’m wondering if it’s tapa cloth, not straw. Hard to see in the picture if it’s woven straw with a tapa style printed on or the traditional tapa, bark with applied paint. Regardless, it’s a work of art and extra special coming from the local Suva Market. Is her hair in a french roll? It’s very elegant with the fresh island blossoms, perhaps plumeria.

    The Fijian lei with loops and braids made from fiber and fresh flowers is incredible and is a spectacular gift that looks like it might have been presented to her from the University? Thank you for posting the 2 video clips of her giving her speech. It was well written and beautifully delivered. I bet her comments about her own university experience were an inspiration to many in the audience and viewing online.

    Once again Harry looks very handsome in his uniform and I do love that red trouser stripe which must be 3″ in width. His Polynesian print shirt was a very kind nod to the people of Fiji, a great island look that falls between their formal and casual wear.

    Just saw a new way to carve a pumpkin this Halloween! It’s in the photo taken of the Chef and Meghan at the Suva Market.

  14. Kiara October 24, 2018 at 12:10 pm

    Such a festive and refreshing look! I love colors of this dress and think the black accessories looked great. The neckline is also very pretty on her. There are a few video clips of Meghan walking with Harry and watching a show, and she seems very relaxed, confident, and happy. This dress seem like it is joy to wear, especially while pregnant.

  15. Heather October 24, 2018 at 11:33 am

    I did not like this dress on her. It is not flattering. It is too much volume and not flattering from the back either. I do love the color on her, but she really needs to get these pieces altered to fit her frame. All the extra fabric blousing over makes her look wide and then add the balloon sleeves in addition to that – & she is not a wide person! It is a beautiful dress, and would be gorgeous on her with some alterations.

  16. Jordan Parks October 24, 2018 at 10:49 am

    Ok this is definitely one of my favorite looks of the tour. I love her updo with the flowers and the dress is just gorgeous, perfect for the tropical vibe. Of course, you can never go wrong with espadrille wedges. Thoroughly enjoyed her speech and always love her continuing theme of supporting and uplifting women.

  17. Jackie October 24, 2018 at 10:40 am

    This is a true maxi dress with a more dressed up attitude. The pom poms keep it from being formal and the floral design keeps it tropical. The dress checks all the boxes for Meghan…long sleeved and loose to protect against mosquitoes, dressed up enough to give a speech in, casual enough to meet locals in the streets or market place and again light colored to protect against mosquitoes . The clutch is killer and the espadrilles confirm the summer maxi dress theme. As to the fit…comfort is key here for a pregnant woman who has a long day ahead of here. Getting in and out of cars, meeting and greeting etc. love the hair style which is just a twist on the messy bun. Overall this look is well done.

  18. Juniper October 24, 2018 at 10:30 am

    The dress is really pretty and joyful, and very appropriate for the setting as are the shoes and clutch. I applaud her for plunging into color and pattern headfirst. But something just doesn’t work for me with this . . . my first thought is that everything is wearing her and not the other way around. The fit is off and I don’t think it’s b/c of being pregnant. And the shoes are clunky, which I know espadrilles innately are but perhaps if they weren’t in black and the wedge wasn’t so high they might not have been so blocky. I do like the angle of her hair (rather than a low bun) though.

    Do we know what the lei/wreath is around her neck? It is beautiful on her.

    Overall she and Harry make a nice tropical duo and she is a confident speaker, for sure.

    1. Christina O. October 24, 2018 at 5:09 pm

      JUNIPER –

      The Fijian lei is called a “salusalu” and you can find more info online and how to make one on YouTube.

  19. Barbara October 24, 2018 at 10:11 am

    The Duchess looks beautiful but I don’t like this dress. It reminds me of that blue and white number she wore to a wedding a few months ago. The colors are pretty and I really like her hair with the flower embellishment. The shoes, bag and jewelry don’t work well with the dress in my opinion.

  20. Lauren October 24, 2018 at 9:49 am

    Love this dress! Although I don’t think the length is quite right on her, on the model is is more floor length which I think would have flattered her figure more. But color and style is appropriate for the setting. Also, how cute is Harry in the casual printed shirt? Love!

  21. LauraG October 24, 2018 at 9:47 am

    Lovely dress! Meghan looks radiant ! A total win 👍🏻

  22. Lr October 24, 2018 at 9:26 am

    Actually really liked the dress and shoes are great. Nice touch with clutch from local market. Thats how small designers get launched. It was a great looking bag perfect for summer. But again her dress it seems not fitted well.

  23. Jessica October 24, 2018 at 8:49 am

    Well, I guess those clamoring for more color got their wish! For me, this is not my cup of tea. I’d have liked it a lot better in cotton (though I’ll be honest, it’s still not in my color wheel), but those high-pitched colors PLUS ruffles PLUS pom poms PLUS blouson sleeves PLUS a low v-neck PLUS silk–its just a bit much for me. I raised an eyebrow, too, at the choice of this dress for a speech about women in education that touched upon a communal struggle to be taken seriously. I mean, we should all be taken seriously no matter what we’re wearing, but really? You’re going to deliver that message wearing pom poms?

    Accessories are on point, though, as usual. Very sweet of her to carry a clutch from the local market.

    1. Christina O. October 24, 2018 at 5:15 pm

      JESSICA –

      Believe it or not there’s quite a history and significance to pom-poms! For centuries military and clergy as well as designations for women, etc. have worn them and integrated them into their culture.

      1. Jessica October 24, 2018 at 6:32 pm

        Well, go figure. I had no idea, but you are not the only person to mention that, so now I am going to look it up! Knowing this does not increase my affection for the dress, but I will no longer malign pom poms as frivolous–at least not in a Fijian context!

      2. Donna October 25, 2018 at 12:20 am

        What is the significance of pom-poms?

    2. Donna October 25, 2018 at 12:14 am

      I have to agree Jessica. I loved what Meghan had to say but the way she was dressed somehow detracted from her message. I do like the dress, as I have a deeply ingrained boho spirit, and I think the Duchess looks lovely in it. But, it would have been better suited for say a patio drinks reception or casual outdoor dinner, not a speech about the importance of education and empowerment of women.

  24. Amelie L Milet October 24, 2018 at 8:36 am

    Well you guys wanted color… and she delivered! Haha.
    I would never wear this dress in a million years, this is the kind of dress I’d see on a hanger in a store and go “Ugh, no” especially when seeing the pompoms. Even if you cut the pompoms off, I think there’s just a lot of… dress if you know what I mean. I don’t think it necessarily looks terrible on Meghan, it goes with the casual island theme and most people surrounding her seem to be wearing lighter colors so she does fit in with them sartorially. I think the bottom of the dress could be a really fun skirt, I think it’s the top of the dress with the flouncy sleeves I don’t like. Has Meghan always been a fan of the bohemian style?
    Nice to see her promoting local business with the clutch! It is too bad she had to be whisked away from the market after only a few minutes. Looks like her and Harry’s security team really were unprepared for the extra crowds that showed up, which is a major oversight.

  25. Bonnie October 24, 2018 at 8:23 am

    Oh this dress is so much fun! Those of us wanting to see colour and perhaps a print certainly got it today. I love the happiness that this dress radiates….the brightness, the ruffles the pom moms. Obviously Meghan has got the island vibe. I still wonder why, in the city of Sydney, she felt she has to be so somber, severe and formal with the navy and black repetitions. Other than the memorial service, where a dark colour was required, she needed to brightened things up. But this dress reaffirms that she has a light hearted and playful side.

    While the purse matches with the shoes, it has too much pattern to go well with this dress. Hot pink shoes and purse, or bright blue accessories would have really added to this look. It is amazing how generations change and become casual even for Royals. I totally can’t imagine Prince Philip or Prince Charles wearing the patterned shirt that Harry has on. But Harry ROCKS it!

    Meghan’s speaking is very polished. Obviously her acting skills have taught her plenty about voice projection and phrasing.

  26. Heather October 24, 2018 at 8:13 am

    Perfection. Easily my favorite look of the trip so far. Though I wonder if the silk was too hot? And those wedges are terrific—I can think of at least 2 more occasions this trip where those would have been perfect as well.

  27. Marie October 24, 2018 at 7:50 am

    Meghan looked beautiful! The color suits her very well. Love this the fabric’s print. Funny how long sleeves and long skirt is fine for Fiji, which is hotter and more humid than Fraser Island at the time of her visit. Wish she had similar outfits for the Australia part of the tour.
    Her speech was eloquent, as always. I found it interesting that it seems she contradicts her father’s claims that he supported her education financially. I wonder, though, if the truth lies somewhere in the middle between their two views, as it often does. Some of her previous speeches and Instagram posts right up before she was engaged to Harry explicitly stated gratitude towards an emotionally supportive father – things she didn’t have to say but did anyway. Anyway, loved her dress, found her speech eloquent – win for Meghan today 🙂

  28. Kitty October 24, 2018 at 7:29 am

    I thought her dad paid for her Uni. Lovely dress. Love the print. How nice to have some tropical flowers in her hair. Would have been nice if she had pink frangipani in her hair. White does not complement the dress. Nice touch too to carry a Fijian bag but unfortunately the colours again do not complement the dress .

  29. Melanie October 24, 2018 at 6:50 am

    A very cute dress in theory, but as a fellow short-waisted girl, I will say that this style would look better on the long-waisted, like the model. You can see the fabric bunching around her side ribs because there’s nowhere for it to go before the belt cinches it in, and that highlights short-waistedness. Add the blousy sleeves and she looks much broader than she really is. Love the jewelry, but think the shoes are too dark and the dress already has enough going on with the flounces and pompoms, the ankle ties are a distraction. The clutch was a sweet doff of the cap to local design but perhaps the natural color would have worked better. However she looks happy and healthy and is doing a great job waving the flag for Queen and country with all these engagements while pregnant.

    1. Tessa October 24, 2018 at 10:29 am

      As a fellow short-waister, there’s no amount of money you could pay me to be caught in a tie waist. It amazes me every time I see her in one!

  30. Becky October 24, 2018 at 5:58 am

    I really like the dress, minus the pom-poms lol. the dress obviously seems perfect for Fiji and fits her changing figure very nicely. I don’t like the shoes but I just hate espadrilles, ha.

    Her speech was perfect.

  31. ElizaMo October 24, 2018 at 3:35 am

    This kind of go to garment is not my cup of tea though the colour is very pretty on Meghan. All I care about is that she is safe and well and being taken good care of

    1. ElizaMo October 24, 2018 at 8:48 am

      *go to* apparently is phonespeak for boho 🙁

  32. Bea October 24, 2018 at 1:50 am

    This is a lovely dress and is clearly a style Meghan favours. She looks good in it although I’m sure some posters will talk about her short frame needing less fabric. But for me it seems an odd choice for day wear. Sure she had some very different types of engagements: a visit to a market and a speech at a university but the dress struck an odd note at both. More a garden party dress or evening drinks? Not that I attend either sort of event and I’d love to wear anything like it but to me it didn’t seem business like enough for the speech and was over dressy for the market. Lovely colour which I think really flattered her though and I hope we see more! Thank you for the amazingly informative and balanced post WMW!

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