Meghan’s Been Busy Since Her Last Public Engagement

Meghan’s official tour schedule included only one formal engagement between last Thursday and this coming Tuesday, but she has not been sitting idly by while Harry carries out engagements in Botswana, Angola, and Malawi.  I don’t think anyone will be surprised to see the Duchess has remained busy with private meetings and events that were not listed on the formal schedule. Here’s a quick list showing those activities that we know about; there could well be others that have been kept private.

  • This morning she took part in a Camfed Skype session (L).
  • Yesterday the palace released a photo taken Thursday of the Duchess visiting a memorial for a young South African student who was brutally murdered (C).
  • Thursday she hosted a private breakfast with (R) a group of South African female activists. (This was shown on the schedule.)

We’ll start with today’s surprise “joint engagement” with Camfed (Campaign for Female Education). Many will recall the charity works to “break the cycle of poverty & inequality in rural Africa by educating girls and investing in economic & leadership opportunities for young women.”

You may remember that Meghan originally met Angeline Murimirwa, executive director for CamFed, at the International Women’s Day symposium she attended in March. In the photo below, you see Ms. Murimirwa second from the right. 

And in May the Duchess recorded a message for the annual CamFed gala in New York, as seen in a tweet royal reporter Omid Scobie shared.

Camfed receives support from the Queen’s Commonwealth Trust; Harry is the president of the trust, and Meghan is vice-president. A Sussex Royal Instagram post about today’s engagement noted, “As President and Vice President of the QCT, The Duke and Duchess both believe in the power of education to empower young girls, and change society as a whole.”

As explained in this Daily Telegraph story, “For the past 25 years the project has been tackling poverty by paying for fees, uniforms, and school books to allow teenage girls to complete their education and not being married off by families who cannot afford to support them.” 

Since 1993 the organization has provided support for 2.6 million children to go to school. That success only underscores Camfed’s determination to help more.

Today’s Camfed function with the Duke was in Malawi at the Nalikule College of Education, and the focus was on CAMA, the 20-year-old alumni network of women who were able to attend school because of the support they received from Camfed.

Below, Harry being welcomed by current students.
Embed from Getty Images
It turned out Prince Harry wasn’t the only royal taking part in the engagement. In this video from ITN’s Chris Ship, you’ll hear women singing “Duchess Wathu, Duchess Wamayankho,” which translates to “Our Duchess, Duchess with the solutions.”


A screengrab shows the Duchess on the monitor.
Embed from Getty Images

More from this Hello! story:

Harry introduced his wife, saying: “I know there’s somebody else you’d far rather hear from than me, hopefully if technology doesn’t fail us you may see somebody on the screen.” Meghan’s beaming face then appeared and she said: “I’m so happy to be with you, is there a delay?” to which Harry responded, “No, it’s great, keep going.”

When asked about Archie Meghan let everyone know he was just fine, telling the group “Archie’s taking a nap.” The Duke smiling at the Duchess via the video feed.
Embed from Getty Images

In addressing Meghan, Ms. Murimirwa said, “Since you yourself were a young girl you have advocated for women as equal beings with the power to make lasting change, and I know this is something you will instill in Archie.”
Embed from Getty Images

Below, Meghan clapping along with the group via Skype.

As the engagement was wrapping up, CEO Angeline Murimirwa lauded the Duke and Duchess in a tweet:

Our reunion with Prince Harry was everything we expected & more …that the Duchess of Sussex “Duchess wathu“ joined online was priceless-they have lived up to their commitment as President & VP of @queenscomtrust -to connect.. champion & amplify young people’s voices & efforts!

The Ceo and Prince Harry.
Embed from Getty Images

High Commissioner to Malawi Holly Tett noted that “over the past few years @DFID_UK [Department for International Development] has supported 35,000 girls in Malawi to complete secondary school.”

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The one engagement shown on the tour itinerary was a private breakfast meeting on Thursday with nine of South Africa’s leading female activists. Photos of that event were released Saturday. 

Among those attending the breakfast: Nompendulo Mkatshwa, one of the youngest women in Parliament; Professor Mamokgethi Phakeng, Vice-Chancellor of the University of Cape Town, and the first black woman to get a Ph.D. in mathematics education; Lindiwe Mazibuko, the first non-white person to lead the Democratic Alliance party. The Duchess met with the women in order to better understand the work they’ve done in their communities and the issues they’ve faced, including violence against women. On Instagram, Meghan wrote about the breakfast:

On Thursday we convened a meeting of minds – a group of women ranging from a legendary anti-apartheid activist, female parliamentarians, professors, educators and policy makers to discuss the rights of women in South Africa. 

In the lead up to this tour it weighed heavily on my heart to see the countless violations against women, and I wanted to spend my time on the ground learning about the situation at hand,

Below, Meghan with Sophia Williams-De Bruyn, one of the founders of the anti-apartheid movement, who led the anti-apartheid Women’s March of 20,000 women in 1956 when she was just eighteen. Now 81, she is the last survivor of the group of four people organizing the march. Meghan has described Sophia as an inspiration to both herself and women everywhere.

In the Instagram post, Meghan also said:

Issues of gender inequality affect women throughout the world, independent of race, color, creed, or socioeconomic background. In the last week I’ve met with women from all walks of life – religious leaders such as the first female rabbi in Capetown, grassroots leaders in Nyanga at Mbokodo, community activists, parliamentarians, and so many more.

In sitting down with these forward thinkers, it was abundantly clear – it is not enough to simply hope for a better future; the only way forward is “hope in action.”

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Yesterday, the Sussex Royal Instagram page showed a photo taken Thursday of the Duchess paying respects at the Clareinch Post Office in Cape Town where 19-year-old University of Cape Town student, Uyinene Mrwetyana, was murdered last month.

More from TIME Magazine’s story:

Her death launched a wave of outrage and protests as women across the country demanded South Africa address the issue of gender-based bias, launching the social media campaign #AmINext? 39,633 rapes and 6,253 sexual assaults were reported in the country in 2017, according to Amnesty International.

Meghan tied a yellow ribbon with a condolence message on it to the memorial. The Sun’s Emily Andrews reported that the Duchess wanted “…to pay her respects and to show solidarity with those who have taken a stand against gender-based violence and femicide.” 

From the Sussex Royal Instagram post above (GBV is an acronym for gender-based violence):

Visiting the site of this tragic death and being able to recognise Uyinene, and all women and girls affected by GBV (specifically in South Africa, but also throughout the world) was personally important to The Duchess.

Uyinene’s death has mobilised people across South Africa in the fight against gender based violence, and is seen as a critical point in the future of women’s rights in South Africa. The Duchess has taken private visits and meetings over the last two days to deepen her understanding of the current situation and continue to advocate for the rights of women and girls.’

Visiting the site of this tragic death was personally important to Meghan. ”She made the secret trip to the site in order to keep it a “personal gesture” according to CNN. Below, the railing just outside the post office showing the tribute ribbons.

Below, Harry and Meghan’s ribbon and the handwritten message.

Written in the local language of Xhosa, the couple’s message reads, ‘Simi kuyne kulesisimo’ Harry and Meghan September 26, 2019″.  The message translates to “We stand together in this moment.”

The Duchess met privately this week with Uyinene’s mother to personally offer her condolences.

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Also on Saturday, we caught a glimpse of Meghan heading toward her flight to Johannesburg with Archie in tow.

It appears Meghan may be wearing her J. Crew linen shirt again and black Mother denim jeans. She may also be wearing her Birdies slippers in the ‘Blackbird’ style which was replaced with a newer version, The Starling, in velvet, $95.

Harry will wrap up engagements in Angola on Monday and Malawi on Tuesday before meeting up with Meghan in Johannesburg Tuesday evening where they will continue their engagements together.

A reminder that Meghan will carry out several solo engagements on Tuesday in Johannesburg.

• The Duchess will attend a roundtable discussion with the Association of Commonwealth Universities in Johannesburg. She will meet academics and students to discuss the challenges faced by young women in accessing Higher Education.

• Meghan will then visit a school to learn about the work of a local charity, which receives UK Aid funding for its work to raise awareness of and tackle sexual violence in schools.

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We now look at what Meghan wore for the private breakfast meeting.

Meghan wore a skirt by J. Crew. It is the brand’s Pull-on flare sweater skirt in textured stripe ($128). Available in limited sizes. Our thanks to Meghan’s Mirror for their ID on the skirt.

We believe the Duchess’s top is by the label owned by close friend designer, Misha Nonoo, the Boyfriend Tank 2.0 in black ($70).

The piece is made of 100% cotton and fits close to the body. If looking for a more relaxed fit, the product description suggests ordering one size up.

Meghan was also wearing her Manolo Blahnik BB 105 (Tora heel) pumps in black suede, $665.

Meghan’s green outfit seen in the video clip from Sussex Royal Instagram today appears to be the Lisa Marie Fernandez ‘Rosetta’ dress she wore to the King Power Charity Polo match in July.

ID Update – Meghan’s Hamsa hand necklace worn earlier this week is by UK based Alemdara jewelry. Altan necklace in yellow gold and white diamonds, $553

“Designed to be worn every day, the fine jewelry collection centers itself around symbols of luck and protection.”

For those wondering, Meghan’s jeans worn in the Cape Town image above, are by DL1961 in the cropped style. Susan C. owns the brand and noticed the logo on the pair Meghan is wearing.
Meghan’s top is the Madewell embroidered strap swing top in ivory ($78  – 20% off at ShopBop with code STOCKUP19).

Are you following us on Instagram?! Our latest What Meghan Wore Instagram posts are below:

J. Crew skirt / Misha Nonoo top / Manolo Blahnik shoes

 

Lisa Marie Fernandez dress

LINKAGE:

  • Learn more about CamFed at the organization’s website here; the group’s Facebook page is here; its Twitter feed is here and Instagram page here
  • A Daily Mail piece about the Thursday breakfast meeting is here
  • A Time article about the Uyinene Mrwetyana memorial visit is here; a People story is here; The Sun‘s story is here.
  • A Town & Country piece on today’s Skype engagement is here

24 Comments

  1. Shannon October 17, 2019 at 8:00 pm

    The skirt is just delightful but the top is sheer not a good look and these faux pas need polished!

  2. Heather September 30, 2019 at 7:46 pm

    Thanks for the detail on each of these engagements. I’ve wondered if Meghan might be considering becoming a Patron of some of these organizations so it was nice to learn about the connection between QCT and Camfed.

    As for the fashion, I’m not a fan of the green maxi dress. The style just isn’t very flattering and I think it looks very similar to the maxi dress she wore last week. I do think olive is a great neutral for Meghan though.

    I’m also not a fan of the jeans for what ended up being a public engagement. We know Meghan has black jeans and trousers with her so I feel like she could have easily worn one of those instead and made the casual look a step up. The top doesn’t bother me as much as the jeans.

    I do love the J Crew skirt. I have a similar one in green and black from the US retailer Ann Taylor but it’s from last season. Mine also has a coordinating top. If Meghan’s skirt has a coordinating top, I’d love to see it sometime as well. I’m sure it’s super hot in South Africa but I do think the basic black tank top was missing something to complete the look.

  3. Anna September 30, 2019 at 3:27 pm

    She could have worn nondescript jeans and a top without wearing a short, strappy, cream-colored top over black undergarments that showed through the light fabric. The outfit looks like something my teenager would wear.

    The black and cream J. Crew skirt was spectacular on the Duchess. The semi-sheer tank top for the breakfast meeting was another puzzling choice. There are camisole tanks to layer underneath or any number of non-sheer tops that would have paired well with that skirt. She shouldn’t be surprised by the fact that camera flashes illuminate undergarments in photographs. She is very accustomed to be photographed.

  4. Passie Conway September 30, 2019 at 12:32 pm

    She’s make ng her clothes secondary to her mission. As she should.

  5. Maluhia September 30, 2019 at 12:15 pm

    That Jcrew skirt is everything!
    I have zero problems with her wearing jeans and a flowy tank top during her off-work hours. She is still a human being who isn’t “on the clock” 24/7. I think it’s pretty rude to insinuate that “grown women” don’t wear jeans and tank tops. Must be a cultural difference. I’m from Southern California, like Meghan is, and yes, “grown women” do wear jeans and tanks.

  6. Kay Khyabani September 30, 2019 at 11:19 am

    Meghan is such an amazing person. She’s been working even when she is supposed to have “down time”. Good for her.
    As to her outfit choices, I think everything she has worn has been beautiful and appropriate. The countries they are visiting are very impoverished and she is cognizant of that.
    I loved her J. Crew skirt and Misha Nonoo top as well as the Madewell Top and Jeans.

  7. ElizaMo September 30, 2019 at 10:04 am

    This is super-chic for a business meeting, even down to a take on pinstripes in the monochrome. It’s as if Meghan looks evermore like her old self when she rows back from the couture. I tended to get the feeling with the high-end that she was perhaps trying a bit too hard, and quite possibly — and understandably — in awe of the venerable monarchy which she now represents. But here she’s spot on with the occasion and her own style palette.

    The solid tank top is best against the mixed monochrome skirt, it works better than the confusion of the model top. I think Meghan is right to go for visual simplicity for meeting people and for the photos. The skirt is lovely, a flattering flare shape and the irregular lines of the print are quietly subversive but still all elegance. A terrific look.

  8. Bonnie September 29, 2019 at 9:31 pm

    Harry and Meghan have done a fine job on this tour of highlighting causes and showing support for people, especially women. Meghan’s wardrobe has been very secondary to the events. The
    J Crew skirt is fun and it looks fine with the very plain, black top. The army green, linen dress will never be a hit with me. I just recall how baggy the fit was, although I hope the belt has helped. It was a truly lovely gesture for Meghan to visit the memorial to Uyinene Mrwetyan, but I feel that the choice of outfit was inappropriate. Jeans and white ruffle top, are not conservative enough, especially for a member of the royal family to wear for this occasion. Yes, it was a private visit, but then the photo was posted on The Sussex Royal Instagram site, which made it very public. If Meghan wanted to be casual then a simple white blouse with sleeves would have been more respectful.

    1. WhatMeghanWore September 29, 2019 at 10:56 pm

      If I may, I understand some of your views on Meghan’s choice of jeans and top for the secret visit in Cape Town. I’d like to bring something up, from my understanding, this is a very dangerous area. Meghan’s choice of clothing, IMO, was also a strategic one. She wanted to visit the site secretly – to of course keep it personal – but also for safety reasons. To be more “incognito” and to try and blend in and go as unnoticed as possible. There were students from the nearby school who spotted her and wanted to take photos. Her security officers would not let them take photos. It sounds as though, she quickly tied the ribbon on, the photos were snapped by her staff, and she left quickly.
      Emily Andrews of the Sun was the reporter who had the exclusive story. I could be wrong, but I think Emily may have been there with her and the only reporter to go ? – I was trying to figure that out. Regardless, I don’t find her outfit inappropriate or disrespectful considering when she and Harry have paid respects she is always nicely dressed. This was a different scenario that involved a concern of safety – IMO. Thanks, Susan C.

      1. Bonnie September 30, 2019 at 8:43 am

        We’ll have to agree to disagree on this, Susan. In my opinion this was not a secret/private visit, if Meghan takes a reporter and photographer and later the photo and story appear on their Instagram site. Reports say that Meghan met with Uyinene’s mother. Perhaps this was at a different time, I don’t know. Nevertheless, as Rachel and SuzyQ say below, this is not an appropriate outfit for a royal to wear. Meghan didn’t have to be dressed up, but casual has many forms. As I said previously, a plain white blouse with sleeves would have been more respectful.

        1. Karen D September 30, 2019 at 6:18 pm

          I agree with Bonnie. I thought the outfit was a little disrespectful given what she was standing in front of. A casual outfit is fine, but I wish more attention to her clothing choice had been made.

      2. MJ September 30, 2019 at 11:16 am

        I agree with Susan here, and would like to chime in that I have visited Cape Town and Joburg and that is how people dress. I saw a LOT of skin and very casual attire there among “the people” and I think that outfit fits in with that and makes her look relatable. There were groups of women in jean cutoff short shorts and tube tops/tiny cotton tank tops with midriff out all over

    2. Lisa September 30, 2019 at 12:54 pm

      I respect your opinion, Bonnie, but I disagree. Firstly, Meghan has made it clear that she and Harry want their work to be the focus of this tour, not her clothing, which is why we’ve seen so many repeats IMO. I also think she’s made a point of seeming approachable, and not as formal as we might be used to from royals. A good example is when she sat on the floor and kissed that little girl’s hand.

      And this extends to her wardrobe. I believe she understands that if she’s more casual, people will be less intimidated, and that seems to be the case.

      Personally I thought she looked beautiful and appropriate at the memorial (based on what little we saw) and agree with Susan that it’s easier to get around under the radar if dressed casually. And she’s purposely been wearing relatively inexpensive items. If she’d worn shorts, for example, I’d probably agree with you, but jeans and a pretty top really seem fine to me.

      I do understand why some people think it’s too informal, but my takeaway from the visit was that she really did raise awareness of the situation there and I, and many others, learned so much from the causes she chose to highlight. Uyinene’s family was apparently extremely touched and grateful that Meghan acknowledged it, and I don’t think they would notice or care if she had long sleeves on.

      I love her approach and think she’s a real breath of fresh air, but I’m definitely interested to see what others think about the visit to the memorial.

  9. rachel September 29, 2019 at 6:53 pm

    jeans and white top to a memorial site is not appropriate
    I like the striped midi skirt. However I think I would have liked it even more with a fitted 3 / 4 sleeve solid shirt rather than a sleeveless. None of the others at the table are in sleeveless.

    1. Jmae September 30, 2019 at 3:20 pm

      The twin towers memorial site in New York attracts many visitors and people are dressed in a variety of clothing. I’ve seen people in shorts and tank tops stop and pay their respects. It is not a religious building where there is a dress code. The post office “memorial” in South Africa is at street level where any passersby can take a moment out of their day and reflect or leave a ribbon. In my opinion nitpicking at her clothing completely misses the point of this outing.

      1. Heather September 30, 2019 at 7:37 pm

        The World Trade Center Memorial in NYC was visited by Sophie, The Countess of Wessex a few years ago. She was not wearing jeans. She wore a dress with a tailored coat over it because as a member of the Royal Family, she is representing the Queen first and foremost. That is always the most important thing when on a Royal engagement and unfortunately, fashion reflects that too.
        This is a fashion blog where people come to discuss fashion choices, both good and bad. People are discussing their opinions, not nitpicking.

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        1. Amelie October 3, 2019 at 12:08 am

          Not to bring up Kate but since the WTC Memorial was mentioned: Kate Middleton wore a bright pink coat when she visited the WTC Memorial and Museum in NYC and many people found the bright color to be disrespectful and a bit confused why she would wear such an attracting getting color during an official visit. When you go back and look at the photos, everyone surrounding her are in darker, somber colors and she sticks out like a sore thumb. It didn’t necessarily offend me (I’m from the NY tristate area as well and 9/11 deeply affected me) but I thought it was an odd choice if she is “representing the Queen.”

      2. rachel September 30, 2019 at 8:13 pm

        Yes, it’s a public area, on a street side….BUT, Meghan represents the Queen on this visit, she is a royal. You just don’t wear jeans to this type of event. I also have to respectfully disagree about comparing to the Twin Towers memorial, which is basically a tourist site now. When the First Lady visits the 9/11 site to pay her respects she would not be wearing jeans. I highly doubt this was as “secretive” as some are saying. There are cameras and security and journalists with her. Nothing the royals do is ever without thought or in secret. They do everything with a purpose. A pair of trousers and a blouse would have been more appropriate. Sorry if I sound on a soapbox. In another setting the jeans and tank blouse are absolutely gorgeous on her!! 🙂

  10. Jessica September 29, 2019 at 6:35 pm

    I really love the JCrew skirt. It reminds me of the pleated Givenchy skirt she wore early in her pregnancy, which I also loved. I have a similar skirt–midi-length, knit, pleated, though mine’s black–and it’s incredibly versatile and comfortable. I much prefer the Duchess’s styling, with the simple black top, to the model shot.

    I’m glad to see the green dress from the polo again; I liked it then but thought it needed the belt; looks like she is wearing it in the video call.

    These “unofficial” events seems like a really nice way to balance out the trip. It allows Meghan and Archie some relative downtime, while still giving the Duchess a chance to connect with her patronages, but without the press corps and all the hoopla that goes with it. I’m assuming that she has a photographer traveling with her, but that’s one person instead of dozens–which I imagine works much better for some of these more intimate gatherings. But still, the photos do the job of bringing attention to the organizations’ missions.

    What a horrible story about Uyinene Mrwetyana. I didn’t know anything about it before, but the Duchess’s visit made me look into it. It was a small gesture, but when you have an international stage like the Duchess does, it can really make an impact.

  11. SuzyQ September 29, 2019 at 5:15 pm

    I like the J Crew outfit, but I’d like a jacket/cardigan with it even better.
    Nothing will make me like the olive drab dress. Even the belt doesn’t redeem that.
    The jeans and white ruffle top looks like a young teenager’s outfit. Even in Her “down” time I’d expect her to dress like a grown woman and especially if she was going out to visit the memorial knowing her picture would be taken.

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    1. Dawn C September 29, 2019 at 9:07 pm

      There have been many comments on their Instagram account of local women who appreciate her not dressing up as she would for occasions in the UK. They said they are better able to relate to her and they feel like she really cares about their country’s issues more than how she looks. I think that speaks volumes, especially coming from a people who are so marginalized by society and feel like they don’t matter to anyone. Trust is a major issue for them so good on Meghan for making them feel THAT comfortable. I like everything she wore. Especially the jeans and ruffle top. Probably her way of dressing so as not to overshadow the purpose for her visit.

      1. Elisa September 30, 2019 at 7:07 am

        Well said Dawn C! I agree 100%. I also think Meghan is at her best at smaller events like this, for causes about which she truly cares and wants to help. She seems more at ease and confident, and she puts the emphasis on the cause and not on her clothes. This is especially true when she wore jeans and a ruffle top.

      2. Patty Rasmussen September 30, 2019 at 10:21 am

        I could not have said it better myself so I won’t even bother. Thank you, Dawn.

  12. Janet September 29, 2019 at 3:36 pm

    She should have worn the coordinating top from JCrew

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