The Duchess in Vibrant Red Coat for Birkenhead Engagements
Meghan was in rich jewel tones for today’s visit to Birkenhead.
The community is located on the River Mersey opposite the city of Liverpool. The Duke and Duchess visited to take part in multiple engagements. Here you see them meeting dignitaries and local officials.
Their first stop was Hamilton Square, where they viewed a new sculpture commemorating the life of WWI poet Wilfred Owen. More from The Evening Standard: “The duke and duchess visited a sculpture in the town’s Hamilton Square that marks the 100th anniversary of the death of the First World War poet, killed a week before the end of the conflict.”
From The Daily Mail’s story: “The statue, which is named after one of the Birkenhead war poet’s poems, ‘Futility’, is cast in bronze and represents an exhausted World War One solider.”
The couple getting a closer look at the piece. On a tan easel to the right, you can just see the plaque commemorating today’s visit.
There were hundreds of people waiting to greet the royals.
They did a walkabout after viewing the statue.
Sophie McCoid of the Liverpool Echo tweeted this photo of a young lady in the crowd with a very creative sign. Sophie reports that is four-year-old Eliza Morris, her family is from Birkenhead. It turns out the sign paid off, as the Prince came to see Eliza. Here is a video shared by Victoria Murphy with the couple chatting during the walkabout.
— Victoria Murphy (@QueenVicMirror) January 14, 2019
How darling is this little girl?
— barb (@nocompanies) January 14, 2019
In addition to flowers and other goodies, Meghan was given cardboard hearts that say “Love works.”
The duo then visited ‘Number 7,’ a citizens supermarket and community cafe.
It is part of ‘Feeding Birkenhead,’ a project under the Feeding Britain umbrella:
Café Number 7 is a new project developed by Feeding Birkenhead- a coalition of community organisations chaired by Frank Field MP with the mission to eliminate hunger in the UK. The shop is an innovative model of Citizens’ Supermarket which seeks to ensure that everyone can access affordable and good quality food…
Products available to members are discounted, sometimes as much 50-75%.
Kensington Palace reports that Feeding Britain “…is a coalition of churches, food banks, community groups, and other organisations working together to eliminate hunger…”. Below, the Duchess chatting with staff and volunteers.
Feeding Britain notes that Number 7 also offers “…a vital wraparound support service, which includes a wide range of professional and community services.”
Meghan and Harry spent time at the facility’s café.
The Duchess was presented with a Moses Basket while at the market, one of many gifts given to the couple during the day’s engagements.
The pair unveiled a plaque marking their visit.
Meghan and Harry’s third stop was Tomorrow’s Women Wirral.
— Lizzie Robinson (@LizzieITV) January 14, 2019
Tomorrow’s Women is a program for all women more than 18 years old that is “… committed to reducing female imprisonment, offending, and to provide assistance to those women who want to make positive lifestyle changes.”
The duo heard about the program from those using its services, as well as staff and volunteers.
The organization was short-listed for one of the prestigious Guardian Public Service Awards. In this Wirral Globe story, Margaret Greenwood, the Member of Parliament nominating the organization, said:
“Tomorrow’s Women Wirral provides vital support to women from across Wirral in a welcoming and positive environment. Their work is outstanding.
The duke and duchess sat in on a flower arranging class.
Here Meghan is speaking with Carol, who enjoys the Knit ‘n Knat program. You can see some of the pieces made by program participants on the table.
A closer look at some of the knitting.
Meghan delivered brief remarks.
— Lizzie Robinson (@LizzieITV) January 14, 2019
The final stop for the couple was the Hive Youth Zone, “where young locals have a safe place for leisure, building key skills and confidence building.” It is part of a national program called Onside Youth Zones.
Prince Harry has been involved with the charity for some time; below you see him in July 2016 when he visited the Wigan Youth Zone. And here you see the Duke at the annual gala for Onside Youth Zones, held at Kensington Palace Gardens last June. Rhiannon Mills of Sky News tweeted a video of the couple seeing children perform a dance set to the song “Born This Way.”
— Rhiannon Mills (@SkyRhiannon) January 14, 2019
Watching some of the kids individually.
The couple spent time speaking with program participants.
They unveiled a plaque here as well.
Thoughts on today’s look from The Telegraph’s Chloe Mac Donnell:
Visiting Birkenhead in Merseyside, Duchess appeared to be strongly referencing the city’s football heritage via the colours of her outfit.
However, football theories aside, it’s perhaps more likely that the Duchess was simply experimenting with one of spring/summer 2019’s biggest trends – colour clashing.
Now to what Meghan wore for today’s engagements, starting with her vibrant red coat by Sentaler.
The brand’s Long Wide Collar Wrap Coat ($1395) is crafted from baby alpaca material in a color called Scarlet Red. It features a wide collar, oversized patch pockets with flap detail, one-button closure at the chest, ‘dramatic’ vented back hem and a self-belt. It also showcases Sentaler’s signature ribbed detailing at the cuff. It is the same design as the coat Meghan wore to Christmas services at Sandringham last year.
Meghan’s dress is from another Canadian-based favorite, Aritzia. It is the Babaton Maxwell style (most recently priced at $49) in a color called ‘acai.’ The dress is 100% polyester, with a round neck, deep front slit on the right side, a keyhole neck in back, and hidden back zipper; the back seam looks like it is open below the zipper as well. The slit on Meghan’s dress was shortened a good bit.
Several people pointed out on Twitter and Facebook that purple is the color of the Tomorrow’s Women logo. Natasha also noted on Facebook that the colors are almost identical to the Liverpool Football Club’s away uniforms.
The Duchess carried another of the wildly popular Gabriela Hearst bags.
It looks like the
Demi Tote in ‘cognac’ leather (£1495, roughly $1930). It is available on the Net-a-Porter UK site, but not on the US site. You may remember that Meghan carried this style the Demi Tote in emerald satin when she and Harry visited Sussex for the first time. UPDATE JAN 14: On its Instagram page Gabriella Hearst says it is the larger Nina size, *not* the demi tote. Above we show the Nina in an updated photo. The bag is available via a waiting list at the Hearst site. A Tip of the Tiara to Gabi on Twitter for her ID of the bag as the Nina.
Meghan wore Stuart Weitzman heels today, the brand’s High Heel Pumps ($266) in a rich red suede. The style is a classic point toe design with a 4.3″ heel. Now for a look at Meghan’s jewelry. We saw a new bracelet (new to us), Bar Jewelry’s Wide Ripple style ($358). The piece is made from gold-plated recycled sterling silver, handmade and finished in London by local artisans.
The brand is relatively new, launched in 2016 by former ready-to-wear designer Sophie McKay. The company notes that “positive, ethical and sustainable practices are central to the brand ethos. Even small choices are carefully considered, ensuring that they are responsible and not harmful to the environment.” That very much sounds like a good fit for the Duchess.
Meghan’s earrings appear to be the Pippa Small Nosheen ($60), first noticed at the British Fashion Awards in December. They are handmade by the “… men and women artisans of the Turquoise Mountain Foundation,” a charity founded in 2006 by Prince Charles and the president of Afghanistan at the time, Hamid Karzai. Its purpose is …to preserve and regenerate historic areas and communities with a rich cultural heritage and to revive traditional crafts, to create jobs, skills and a renewed sense of pride.”
We will see you on Wednesday for two engagements!
- Meghan will visit the Mayhew charity, one of her new patronages. She will learn more about the organization and spend time with some of the animals being cared for and trained.
- The Duke and Duchess of Sussex will both attend the premiere of Cirque de Soleil’s TOTEM. The evening is a fundraiser for Sentebale.
NOTE: No comments on Meghan cradling/not cradling her bump, please. We’ve been there and done that sufficiently, I think.
Here is 27 minutes of raw video from Channel 5. It covers the Hamilton Square statue event and walkabout.
If looking for more abbreviated coverage of the Hamilton Square goings-on, here is roughly 3:30 via the Royal Family Channel.
- Learn more about the Wilfred Owen Memorial at this website and follow that entity’s Twitter feed here. You can also read more about the poet at The Wilfred Owen Association, a volunteer-based organization.
- Learn about Tomorrow’s Women Wirral at the group’s website here; its Facebook page is here; its Twitter feed is here; there is also a blog you can read here.
- You can read more about the Hive Wirral Youth Zone at its website; the entity’s Facebook page is here; its Twitter feed is here. The Hive Youth Zone is part of OnSide Youth Zones, a national organization. The national group’s Facebook page is here; its Instagram page is here, and Twitter feed here.
- The Evening Standard’s story is here; The Daily Mail’s coverage is here; The Daily Mirror’s piece is here; The Telegraph’s story by Hannah Furness is here
- The PopSugar story on the visit itself is here, and the fashion piece is here; People’s piece by Simon Perry and Stephanie Petit is here