The Duchess wore Gillian Anderson and Stella McCartney for tonight’s opening ceremony of the Invictus Games.
— Rebecca English (@RE_DailyMail) October 20, 2018
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.
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.
Live scenes!! ⚡️⚡️ pic.twitter.com/4eBnyDdjIG
— Russell Myers (@rjmyers) October 20, 2018
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.
Video: Harry & Meghan battle through the Sydney ☔️ ⛈ to @InvictusSydney reception at Bennelong Restaurant at the Opera House. Meghan is in a Stella McCartney dress & Gillian Anderson coat (we think…) pic.twitter.com/66q9vgcpuI
— Emily Andrews (@byEmilyAndrews) October 20, 2018
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.
— Russell Myers (@rjmyers) October 20, 2018
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.
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.
— Invictus Games UA (@invictusgamesua) October 20, 2018
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.
@WeAreInvictus 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.)
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.
- a schedule for the games is here
- the full text of Harry’s remarks may be seen here
- a photo album from the ceremony is here
- Invictus Games Sydney:
- Invictus Games Foundation