The Sussex Family’s First Official Tour & 1st Trimester Maternity Poll – UPDATE

We are back with some news updates and our first poll on Meghan’s maternity wardrobe.

We begin with the day’s big news, official word the Duke, Duchess, and Archie are heading to South Africa this autumn. The news was shared on the Sussex Royal Instagram account

The key sentence about Archie’s participation is at the end of the post: “This will be their first official tour as a family!” Thus, we expect to see him on the trip. Below, the official news release from Buckingham Palace. 

As noted in the Palace release, Harry will be traveling solo to Angola, Malawi, and Botswana.

We thought an announcement was imminent after a Wednesday statement by the British High Commissioner to South Africa. Commissioner Nigel Casey spoke of the visit at an event in Pretoria marking the Queen’s 93rd birthday.

If you listen to the audio in the clip above, you can hear the Commissioner say that Harry and Meghan “…will be coming back to visit us in South Africa this autumn…that’s great news for us…I predict it’s also good news for the South African economy because I predict a hat and frock buying frenzy to rival even SONA, which could restore economic growth.” SONA is South Africa’s State of the Nation Address, which was late last week.

The visit will take place in the spring season, which runs from September through November in the southern hemisphere.  On his trip to Angola, the Duke is expected to follow in his late mother’s footsteps and work with the Halo Trust in its efforts to clear landmines. Below you see Harry when he visited Angolan minefields in August 2013. He is with Gerhard Zank, HALO Programme manager Angola (l) and Maria Ilda, Minefield Supervisor (c). 

In Botswana and Malawi, it’s likely Harry will visit people and projects connected with Sentebale, the charity he co-founded with Prince Seeiso of Lesotho that is dedicated to supporting children and young people affected by HIV in those countries as well as Lesotho. You may remember the couple at last July’s polo match that raised funds for the charity.   

As well as their attendance in August at a Hamilton performance benefitting the organization. 

And the couple’s participation at a January Cirque de Soleil performance that was a Sentebale fundraiser.

The Angola and Malawi trips are being undertaken at the request of the Foreign and Commonwealth Office; the Botswana trip is a working visit. Of course, Botswana is where the couple spent a week camping in 2016, at a location the Duke described as being “…in the middle of nowhere.” More from a Town and Country story:

Botswana, in short, is about as close as one can get these days to untrammeled Africa. As Harry put it: “We camped out with each other under the stars, sharing a tent and all that stuff. It was fantastic.”

Many will recall that the Duke and Duchess celebrated Meghan’s 36th birthday with a visit to the country in August 2017. During that trip, they spent time volunteering with Elephants without Borders, where they assisted in equipping a bull elephant with a satellite collar. 

This looks like it will be an amazing trip. We will keep you updated with all the developments here on the site, as well as on the Facebook page, on Instagram and also Twitter.

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Also today, news about Harry’s involvement this weekend at a London event with a uniquely American twist. 

Tomorrow the Duke will attend a Major League Baseball game being played at Olympic Stadium at Queen Elizabeth Olympic Park, now simply known as London Stadium. It is one of two games between arguably the two biggest rivals in the sport: the Boston Red Sox and NY Yankees. It is the first time regular-season games have been played in Europe. How is Harry involved? The official charity partner for the event is the Invictus Games Foundation

In a statement, the Foundation’s CEO, Dominic Reid said, “The support from these groundbreaking games will significantly enhance the Foundation’s ability to provide recovery opportunities for international wounded, injured, or sick serving or veteran armed forces personnel.” Harry is scheduled to go to Saturday’s game.

Here is a quick video about the event from the Foundation:

There will even be mascot races at the games. More from the NY Times:

So, a Twitter vote was held to determine Britain’s four most mascot-worthy figures. The queen didn’t quite make the cut, although Freddie Mercury of the rock bandQueen was one of the winners. The other three to battle it out during the game will be Winston Churchill, King Henry VIII and the Loch Ness Monster.

(The Beatles and William Shakespeare failed to make it. And you thought the voting for the Baseball Hall of Fame was controversial).

How do you turn London Stadium, now home to West Ham United, from a rugby field into a baseball diamond? With a lot of work and a lot of people.

Today there was plenty of activity at the stadium. Below, Yankees legend CC Sabathia with Invictus Games competitors. 

There is a remote chance the Duchess could join Harry at the game, although we think the chances are very slim. Meghan has been pictured a couple of times sporting a Yankees cap (photos here), so if she did turn up we’d expect her to pull for the Yanks.

Tomorrow’s game is at 1:10pm ET, 6:10 in London; Fox will do the TV broadcast. Sunday’s game (which Harry is not scheduled to attend) is at 10:10am on the east coast, 3:10 in London and ESPN will have the TV rights for that matchup.

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Also today, the first of our polls covering the Duchess’s maternity style. A bit of background on how we put the polls together:

  • We are following the conventional wisdom that Archie was due at the end of April, but arrived roughly a week late. So we are counting the trimesters this way:
    • 1st Trimester: August, September, October
    • 2nd Trimester: November, December, January
    • 3rd Trimester: February, March, April
  • We have elected to exclude outfits worn to events where we have no photos or only pictures shot through car windows, or other situations where we really don’t see the Duchess well enough to consider her outfit.
  • There will be separate polls covering the tour wardrobes.
  • You are voting on the whole look, regardless of how many items of apparel Meghan is wearing.
  • This is the first time we’re using thumbnail photos with a poll, something i’ve not tried at the Kate site. If you like the thumbnails I can incorporate it on WKW.
  • The poll is broken into three categories: daywear, semi-formal looks, and formal wear.

UPDATE 6/30: It was brought to our attention that we inadvertently included pieces from November and December which would’ve been included in our Second Trimester poll. Our apologies for any confusion! The next poll we post will start with January through April.

DAYWEAR:

Our first look is from September of last year when we saw the Duchess in a Smythe coat and Misha Nonoo pleated skirt for a party celebrating the publication of Together: Our Community Kitchen cookbook.

Also in September, the Oscar de la Renta top/Altuzurra trouser combo worn for a Coach Core graduation event at Loughborough University in Leicestershire.October kicked off with the Duke and Duchess’s first visit to Sussex. Meghan chose an Emporio Armani cashmere coat, Hugo Boss lambskin skirt, and silk shirt by & Other Stories, the H&M offshoot. 

For Princess Eugenie’s wedding, the Duchess debuted a Givenchy ensemble topped by a Noel Stewart hat. 

At the Festival of Remembrance in mid-November, the Duchess brought back her Stella McCartney coat and wore a new dress from British retailer Marks and Spencer

At her first Remembrance Sunday observance Meghan wore Givenchy. 

There was also a service at Westminster Abbey that night, for which Meghan wore a belted jacket and matching skirt in dark blue. The separates remain unidentified, although many found them similar to Prada pieces Meghan has worn. Official photos released for Prince Charles’s 70th birthday show the Duchess in a bespoke Givenchy dress.  

For a mid-November mental health volunteer workshop at the BBC Studios (embargoed until this May), Meghan wore a Stella McCartney coat.  

The Duchess was in a Canadian favorite, Club Monaco, when she visited the Hubb Community Kitchen in November.

Meghan paid a visit to the Royal Variety Home in December, wearing the Odilia dress by Brock Collection. For her second Christmas with the Royal Family, Meghan wore Victoria Beckham. 

Now it’s time to vote.

SEMI-FORMAL LOOKS:

Now for our review of semi-formal styles. Our first look is the Judith and Charles tuxedo dress worn for the August 29th gala performance of Hamilton, a Sentebale fundraiser, as we mentioned above.

At the WellChild Awards in early September, Meghan chose an Altuzarra trouser suit.  Another semiformal look, the Jason Wu Pintucked Cady Dress (now $568, originally $1895) worn for the 100 Days to Peace concert in September. 

Meghan previewed the Oceania exhibit at the Royal Academy in September. It was her first solo engagement and she chose a Givenchy cocktail dress for the event. 

Let us know your favorite semi-formal look!

FORMALWEAR:

Now for our two fully formal ensembles in the first trimester. At the Royal Variety Performance in November, the Duchess was in separates by Safiyaa, the Bicolour Strapless Bustier Top in black and white, and a custom version of the Gayeta Fishtail Skirt. 

The Duchess surprised just about everyone with an unannounced appearance at the annual British Fashion Awards in December. She was there to present Clare Waight Keller the British Womenswear Designer of the Year Award and she wore a Givenchy gown for the occasion.
And now for your vote.

We are excited to see the votes on Meghan’s first-trimester style. We hope everyone has a terrific weekend!

11 Comments

  1. Sally July 2, 2019 at 11:31 am

    I love the thumbnails. Great idea to make the polls easier. I do think this poll covers too much time. That said, I also think it took a bit for Meghan to get in the swing of maternity dressing. Her normal style of the larger coats and fitted outfits didn’t really help since as her bump grew, it made dresses look too tight (some definitely were) and the open coats a bit too large and overwhelming. For that reason, i couldn’t vote for any of the coat looks.

  2. ElizaMo June 30, 2019 at 12:28 pm

    Terrific news about the South Africa tour, I’m really looking forward to it. And thanks for the lovely polls, I hadn’t realised how much I’d been missing Meghan and her style until I saw the review of her outfits.

    I was pleasantly surprised that my own first pick for daywear, the two-tone Givenchy sheath worn for Prince Charles’ 70th, came up in top place at the time of voting, and now still at No.2. It was a tough one as I loved two other Givenchy outfits, for Eugenie’s wedding and for Remembrance Sunday, as well, but the smart navy on cream combination carried it for me. I notice how well Meghan’s choices are standing up as time passes, her classic take on daywear is proving its worth. What a great team she and Waight Keller make.

    I wasn’t so keen on the semi-formal looks, but eventually plumped for the royal blue Jason Wu. Here I am delighted to see I gave my vote to the least favourite, I do like to buck the trend! I was glad of a change of colour from black and also admire the original use of pleating for the feature down the front. I remember this looked better in some photos than others. The top-place Judith and Charles tux was too short for my liking which doesn’t play well with Meghan’s body shape and ultra slim legs.

    The binary choice formal wear was a no-brainer for me and many others – that divine Givenchy off-shoulder sleek column dress with its heavenly cut, subtle curves across her chest and complementing her pregnant shape below. Wonderful. When it’s that good I forget that it’s another one in black.

  3. Cersei June 30, 2019 at 5:29 am

    I love the votes and am definitely in favour of the thumbnails!
    I’m confused though, about the timeline here – it says on top 1st trimester but many of the looks go well into December – wich by your Definition further up is about halfway through second trimester

    Also I’m surprised about how many outfits I never really liked. My altogether-impression is often “untidy”, “bordering inappropriate” and “too many mixed features”. With the daywear I seriously picked a “least disliked” look, rather than a favourite, wich I’m surprised about myself, because having followed Meghan here ever since this site got announced on WKW I never felt that I hate all her Outfits.
    There is always something I like, but the overall Impression hardly ever does a lot for me.
    Honestly love her shoes though, Kate really could be inspired by Meghan’s shoe-game.

    1. ElizaMo June 30, 2019 at 12:33 pm

      I was surprised how several outfits had become more likeable to me during the maternity lull. I find there’s quite a bit of negativity about over Meghan’s choices and it can be hard to be objective. But because I’ve missed her I must have become more forgiving! I’m getting used to the big coats and the fondness for black because now it seems that’s just who she is. I really like that her choices are so individual and she is no fashion clone, I think that is to be admired. I’m sure we’ll see her choices expand more as time goes by.

  4. LadyLeah June 29, 2019 at 9:27 pm

    Such a fun poll!
    I have loved seeing Meghan’s style, and have really enjoyed her style and fashion. This was a great trip down memory lane which included a whirlwind year of fabulous clothes.

    Thrilled to hear about the autumn tour!!

  5. Ellis June 29, 2019 at 7:54 pm

    So much fun looking back through all of the outfits included in this post! I’m somebody who tends to get very caught up in the details of an outfit when it’s first worn/photographed, and was pleasantly surprised at how much I really love most of what Meghan has worn in the wider context given here. My favorite of any of these has to be the blue coat/black skirt/black top combo worn to the Hubb cookbook launch–that silhouette is so, so elegant, and the overall effect is is very “royal” while still being undeniably Meghan. I would have gladly voted for any of the evening looks aside from the Safiyaa separates, but the chic, edgy black blazer dress ultimately won out.

    Can’t wait to read more about (or, in all honesty, drool over) today’s Stella McCartney dress!

  6. Brandi June 29, 2019 at 12:21 pm

    The use of thumbnails is a great idea! Its always fun to look back at the outfits, there were some great ones I had forgotten about.

  7. Juniper June 29, 2019 at 11:30 am

    This is a great post that covers so many exciting and interesting topics . . . a Saturday Smorgasbord! Thank you so much. I am definitely in favor of the thumbnails as well.

  8. Slanted and Enchanted June 29, 2019 at 5:49 am

    Love the thumbnails! I can never remember exactly what the other styles looked like after I make my decision on my vote—it’s great visual reminder when looking at the poll results.

  9. Sarah M June 28, 2019 at 10:36 pm

    Love the polls. It’s so fun to look at all the fashion together and see the progression of her choices as the pregnancy progresses from the “hiding it” stage to the “flaunting it” stage.
    I think the December looks are solidly in the second trimester though. As an obstetrician I feel qualified to say so!
    My personal favorite of all was the mini tuxedo dress. So confident and fabulous!

  10. Faith Crisley June 28, 2019 at 7:50 pm

    I think the thumbnails are really nice especially when voting on the styles.

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