It’s “Meghan Mania” & “A Rock Star Welcome” for ACU Engagement

Meghan wore Givenchy for today’s engagement with the Association of Commonwealth Universities (ACU).

This was her first engagement as the group’s Royal Patron, another patronage passed on to her by the Queen. The event was at City, University of London, where the Duchess was welcomed by throngs of fans. Victoria Murphy posted a photo of people awaiting Meghan’s arrival.

You can hear the cheering in this video from Richard Palmer of The Express.

The Duchess being welcomed.

You can also hear cheers in this video from Danielle Stacey, Yahoo UK‘s royal correspondent.

More about the crowds from Jessica Rach’s Daily Mail story:

Madeleine Harper, 25, who studies law at City University told FEMAIL: ‘It was chaos! They’ve got a huge area for her and closed off all the entrances to the university building – and there were crowds everywhere. My lecture was cancelled cause it was in that building and the library was full with everyone trying to see her!’

How eager were people to see Meghan? This tweet shared by Cathy gives you an idea.

From The Belfast Telegraph:

The Duchess of Sussex received a rock star welcome from students when she visited a London university to learn more about the work of a Commonwealth institution.

Hundreds of young people cheered and waved Union flags when the heavily pregnant duchess arrived in her chauffeur-driven car.

As Meghan entered the building you can hear applause in this ITV video.

As she arrived inside she was accompanied by Dr. Joanna Newman, Secretary General of the Association, and Sir Paul Curran, President of City, University London.

A news release notes The ACU is “…the only accredited organisation representing higher education across the Commonwealth, having held the role for the past 33 years.”

The Daily Mirror reports “It manages international scholarship schemes – including the Queen Elizabeth Commonwealth Scholarships – that offer life-changing educational opportunities for students.”

At today’s engagement the Duchess spent time with students and staff, including “…students from the Commonwealth now studying in the UK, for whom access to university has transformed their lives” per a KP news release. Below, the Duchess with Dr. Newman.

From Hatty Collier’s Evening Standard story:

..[she] skyped a delighted student in Ghana as she visited students and academics from the Commonwealth in London today.”

She spoke with Hilary Harawo, a student in Ghana, while attending a meeting with scholars from the Association of Commonwealth Universities (ACU) for the first time since becoming the institution’s patron.

Below, Meghan chats with Ishrat, a Commonwealth PhD Scholar from Bangladesh. The pair spoke about, about her work and the ACU Peace and Reconciliation Network, an initiative launched last year. The Network “brings universities together to boost their role in truth-telling and reconciliation as part of their wider communities.”

Meghan also spoke about an issue impacting girls’ education. This is from Zoe Forsey’s Mirror piece:

Meghan Markle has expressed concerns at how periods affect girls’ education around the world.

The Duchess spoke about how women in developing countries are stigmatised when they are menstruating during a visit to the Association of Commonwealth Universities.

Below, Meghan speaking about the problem with Dr. Ephraim Kisangala, a Commonwealth PhD scholar from Uganda studying public health.

Back to The Mirror article.

Dr Kisangala added: “The duchess said to me how shocked she was and how it was so important to raise awareness of this issue so that more can be done.”

“She has been to Africa and has also identified the problem herself in the past for the women who are suffering due to the attitudes towards menstruation across the world.

“My research is specifically targeted at finding solutions to assist women in refugee settlements in Uganda and the duchess said more must be done to help these women.

Emily Nash of Hello! tweeted this video of Meghan talking with students.

The Duchess speaking with Devika, a Marshall Scholar from the USA; she is studying Applied Theatre at the Royal Central School of Speech and Drama. 

When leaving, the Duchess decided to do an impromptu walkabout, as shown in Richard Palmer’s quick video.

The Duchess greeting fans.

Now for what Meghan wore today, starting with her Givenchy coat.

Many recognized it as the coat Meghan wore on Remembrance Sunday.

The midi-length piece features a single-button closure, side pockets with faux welt pockets on the front (I think they are faux), four-button detail at the sleeve hem, and the distinctive capelet effect on the shoulders/upper sleeves.

Beneath the coat she was also wearing bespoke Clare Waight Keller for Givenchy.

You can see the tiered dress is pleated and has an asymmetrical or handkerchief hem. Below, three  styles from the Givenchy s/s 2018 ready to wear collection; it’s not hard to envision certain design elements from those styles being incorporated into Meghan’s skirt. The material has a light, floaty feeling, it could be a lightweight silk. Here you can better see a portion of the skirt.

It looks like the Duchess was in her Manolo Blahnik BB 105 in suede beige ($625), initially seen at the Stephen Lawrence memorial service in April

Meghan’s hair was up in a sleek top-knot.

She wore her Dean Davidson Signature Midi Knockout Studs in 22K gold over brass (CAD $160, about USD $125).

The Duchess did not carry a bag today. We’ll leave you with this shot of Meghan greeting well-wishers.

A reminder we’ll see you tomorrow for the Duke and Duchess’s day in Bristol!

This is about 4 minutes of raw video.


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  1. Am all for commenting on her look and all that but has it occurred to any of us ladies that she’s human as we all are and must be allowed to wear whatever she likes and comfortable in without any judgment whatsoever? Every woman’s taste is different.

    • Priscilla, nobody is judging the ‘person’. But this is a fashion blog, so yes, we judge the fashion choices just for fun. Also it seems to me that most comments are made from people, who in different ways, may work in the field, so maybe we know what we are talking about. What is wrong with that if it’s done in a polite and constructive way? Fashion is sometimes just a guilty pleasure’ that most women use to give themselves a rest from very heavy responsibilities. :-)) Ps : I believe that yes, taste can differ, but harmony, class and sense of style are universal.

      NOTE: Admin edit

  2. I like the coat and love her neater hair but that’s all. The chiffon skirt hem looks like rags hanging down beneath the hem of the coat and what on earth is she doing wearing nude heals with an all black ensemble???
    NOTE: admin edit

    • Ladies she’s human as we all are and must be allowed to wear whatever she likes. Every woman’s taste is different. I love the nude heels it is a perfect fit. Her Style is taste fully done with class and modern pop!

  3. Wow, so much criticism. Who are we to say what is and isn’t professional or what is or isn’t appropriate for a pregnant woman to wear? She looked happy and relaxed and the people she visited looked excited to see her — those are the important things.

  4. I guess I don’t understand the judgmental nature of some of the comments. The chief executive who met her (shown in some pictures as being outside) was wearing a white floaty dress with elbow length sleeves, and no one said how wrong it was for her to be out without a coat. I live in Michigan and I can certainly say that many of us wear winter coats that aren’t buttoned up all the way either. As to pantyhose/tights — Princess Diana stopped wearing those decades ago and women the world over followed suit. Is that really still a debate? AND the comment that a 20 minute exposure without wearing tights is going to harm the health of a baby? Seriously? I think a mature 37-year old woman like Meghan can make a reasonable judgment call on that for herself without needing anyone else to weigh in… Kudos to her for agreeing to step into this fishbowl and work to make the world a better place, while people snipe about the length of a hem…

  5. First, DOS is a lovely young woman and a radiant expectant first-time mother to be. A coat that is clearly too small and an evening skirt from a high profile designer, weird message. I look forward to her wearing it for cocktails in the future. Love the hair, the messy bun was, messy. Cute but messy, save it for polo or something casual.

    Note: Admin Edit

  6. The dress may have been a bit more like a cocktail piece but overall I think she looked impeccable. I’m SO excited that it looks like she finally got a pair of shoes that fit her properly. Thank God! I know she does the loose shoe thing on purpose but it drives me crazy. I loved her hair, makeup and the coat. She looked very appropriate and professional even with the dressier hemline of her skirt. I love that she wore her regular coat unbuttoned. It screams “I’m not so stuffy that I need to have coats tailored to my bump.” It makes her seem more down to earth.

  7. This is something so stupid to mention but I’m going to mention it anyways haha: Meghan is not wearing a top knot. That is a classic high ballet bun with not a hair out of place! I did ballet for years as a kid (and I was not very good!) but there is a huge difference. I know people probably think they are the same but if you do a search on Google images, a top knot is more of a high messy bun (the hairstyle people seem to take Meghan to task for!) and less structured than what Meghan is wearing. That is the whole point of a top knot, to look slightly disheveled and carefree (they are also closely associated with “man buns” which is not what Meghan is wearing!).
    As for this outfit, I really love it and so glad we got to see the full coat. I do wonder at the fit of the coat since it seems she can only button the top button at this stage in her pregnancy or maybe she was just hot? I wished we could have gotten a full look of the outfit below the coat with the handkerchief hem (had you not specified that word I would have used “fairy/witchy/” hem!).

  8. I like this outfit a lot. I absolutely like the fact that she wore a coat that would not button over her belly. Don’t we all do this at one time or another during pregnancy? Wear that piece you just love even if it doesn’t fit over your belly? I really like the whole outfit, the skirt pleating and asymetric hem peaking out and all. The welt pockets on the coat look functional to me. Love the Makeup, the hair, the no bag, everything.

  9. Ok. I really hope Meghan’s stylists will read this: a flapping voile skirt from under the coat hemline is always a huge miss: the fabric is not appropriated for a dailylight event and clashes terribly with the nude pumps and bare legs.
    either you decide to wear a cocktail dress with bare legs and black/ colored pumps, or you decide to wear a day professional outfit, so yes to nude pumps but with light stockings and a petite robe noir with the hemline shorter than the coat.
    On the bright side, the upper part was just amazing for the occasion: I absolutely adore the capecoat with the hair updo. I will copy asap.:-))

  10. First off LOVED her hair. She can wear the bun pulled tight on her face sooo well. Nice, neat and professional! The coat looked well on her but the dress was a miss. First you never really saw the line of the frock and the hemlines looked messy and odd just hanging out from under the coat. It looked more like a cocktail dress and fabric, not to be worn with a heavier coat. The earrings were again too small and a bit boring. But I do feel her hair was a real plus!! I hope she wears it that way again.

  11. Honestly, I think the thing that makes the biggest difference here is the ballerina bun. It looks chic, pulled together and neat without looking severe. Honestly, I hate the low slicked back bun she often wears because I think it makes her face look angular, and less welcoming even though I understand the appeal of the neatness. Updos are one of the things I think both duchesses kind of fail at as Kate’s tend to look to contrived and helmety while Meghan’s tend to be either too messy or too severe. Niether one of them really hits it right in my opinion but I think this one does. It also makes her look younger.

    • I think you are right! The style of the ballerina bun is fresh and young, and you hit it on the head about Kate’s updos (while I do love them), they DO sometimes come across as too prim and Meghan’s can tend towards looking unfinished.

  12. Love her hair and her radiant smile. She looks lovely, but I think her clothes are an odd combination.

    The skirt seems like a statement piece that’s not being allowed to make its statement. I don’t think the floaty material dangling below goes well with the structured coat. The sweater seems too tight, I think I see her belly button in some pictures. Properly fitting maternity clothes can be fitted and not “mumsy” with straining the chest and belly.

    Several of her outfits lately have been misses in my book mainly because they are a poor fit. Maybe maternity clothes are designed with more stretch or something. Money is clearly no problem, she’ll spend thousands in an outfit…why eschew properly fitting maternity clothes??

    • I guess we have different notions of “fit”. I thought this fit beautifully. I often wonder about expectations of clean lines, no fabric folding/stretching/pulling. We see celebrities posed like mannequins on red carpets and that somehow seems to translate to an expectation of perfection. I think clothes move as they are worn and it really doesn’t bother me the way it seems to bother a number of commenters. To me, this looks precisely like “properly fitting maternity clothes”.

    • I completely agree. She’s beautiful but her style often make me think of a pre-teen trying to dress like a grown up and not quite succeeding.

  13. I love this look. Beautiful!! I think the thing that most people don’t have is a chauffeur driven car with heat in it to take her from KP, where there are heated rooms to appointments where she is outside for a short time and then into another heated building. I think that would explain why she can get away with out wearing tights.

  14. Now THIS is fashion! First, no one can rock a topknot like the DOS. A powerful, business, fierce look until that gorgeous floaty bottom that looked simply divine as it moved while she walked. Nude heel was the correct choice so there was nothing competing with the hemline. She looked super comfortable, professional and unique in this look, and it fit perfectly in size and shape – nailed it!!

  15. Exciting to see this student demographic represented with Meghan. The individual students you highlighted in this post seem highly motivated and worthy of this exposure and emphasis. I think Meghan will be a wonderful Royal Patron for ACU!

    She looks every bit professional and ready for her work. Love the tiered, pleated and asymmetrical skirt which added a bit of youthfulness and playfulness to the Givenchy coat. The Rainbow Moonstone Earrings stand out with her no nonsense Ballet Bun. I imagine we’ll be seeing that hairstyle paired with post earrings on many collegiate campuses.

    • Interesting that you thought her look was professional. I thought the hemline was anything but professional. Looked like something you’d wear to a a cocktail party. Loved the hairstyle.

  16. This look from the top knot, to the caped coat with the semi sheer, pleated, handkerchief hem of the skirt peeking out… has glamour written all over it. I can’t help wondering, though, how the bright red shoes would look with this outfit. Nevertheless, the Duchess is two for two in my book with yesterday’s and today’s outfit being a complete home run.
    There was such excitement at this event. The kind of undiluted excitement that comes from young people who have yet to make their mark on the world and are still excited about all the world has to offer. Duchess Meghan is a perfect fit for this patronage and I wish her great success in this endeavor.

  17. Holy cow what an outfit! I LOVE IT! Easily catapults into being one of my top favorite outfits of Meghan’s.
    Meghan looks so phenomenally happy and confident at this engagement. It’s so great to see. Made me happy.

  18. As always, the Duchess looks beautiful. I love that coat with its shoulder detail! I also think her hair looks great in the high bun. We really can’t see what exactly she is wearing under the coat. However, if its anything like the examples from Givenchy 2018 Ready to Wear in the post, I don’t find it appropriate for this event. Not a fan of dresses or skirts with floaty pleated uneven layers for daytime.

  19. I think Meghan looked absolutely stunning today, pregnancy clearly agrees with her, and her the topknot has to take all the prizes: it’s sleek, practical and unquestionably royal.

    I’m still not comfortable with her penchant for wearing open full-length coats, it looks more harassed commuter than working royal. The full-length coats that worked for the Queen and Queen Mum were in a dress style which was less imposing. The Givenchy coat was superb when worn in coatdress style as the main garment, but I don’t think it works in this more casual, subsidiary mode.

    I’m also not comfortable with the boho style handkerchief hem flapping out from under the coat, it seems a contradictory vibe against the coat. On their own the Givenchy skirts look gorgeous but they don’t strike me as a natural fit with formal daywear. As a general style I can quite see it being trademark Meghan, it’s right up her street, but I hope we see it again in another context. It’s possible it may have simply been a more comfortable fit for maternity.

    I did wonder whether the return to equally trademark black might be a reference to the traditional robes worn by university professors and by graduates at their degree award ceremonies. The nude shoes were spot on, giving welcome light relief. And as I said, despite any of my own misgivings, Meghan continues to look wonderful and it was most heartening to have that rock star welcome highlighted here. Evidently negative press doesn’t fool everyone, praise be.

  20. She looks smashing. I just wish she would wear nude tights. So inelegant to walk around in winter withtout stockings. Someone needs to advise her.

    • This is really a cultural thing. Few American women under the age of 50 wear nude tights. It’s probably not what she’s used to and why should she change that if she’s comfortable?

    • I agree, Barbara. I know that people think it is “old fashioned” to wear tights; however, Meghan would have a much more finished appearance. The shiny legs are not attractive. Also, the maternity clothes she has worn this week are too tight.

      • My goodness: Meghan looks beautiful and I envy her glowing, healthy, beautifully exfoliated skin -even in the midst of winter! I can’t understand why not wearing hose (an innovation from 1959 that thankfully largely went out of style about 50 years later, and that are not comfortable in the best of times let alone during final months of pregnancy) and showing her svelte shins could possibly be considered inappropriate in anyway? I believe she looks absolutely lovely, royal, well-healed, comfortable in her own skin, and age appropriate -bravo!

  21. I think I’m showing my age in not being a fan of this look; having your skirt dangle below your coat hem was always a big no no when I was her age! Also the epaulette things rise up and make her look hunched in some shots, and in all pictures give the effect of a short sleeved coat over a long sleeved top, which seems odd to me.

    • I agree with your thoughts Elizabeth about the skirt that hangs below the coat. We are likely the same vintage and in our day this would have been considered sloppy. Also the fringy, sheer, handkerchief, hemline looks more party wear than for a daytime outing meeting students.

      While I was fine with this coat for Remembrance Day, it seems overly sombre for this event. A bright scarf may have made things look more cheery.

      I do have to give Meghan credit for twice in a row having her hair under control. And I always give her credit for the interest and enthusiasm she exhibits.

      • I think we’re in the minority, Bonnie, but I agree with your comments on the fringy, sheer skirt being an odd choice for a day event. I love the hankerchief hemline (though I’m not fond of the pleats), but the sheerness seems a miss with the time and location. Perhaps black tights would have lessened the concern.

    • I agree with this too. Even though I didn’t mention it in my initial post. I do not normally care for dangly hems, or handkerchief hems for that matter, that hang past a winter coat. I also do not normally find chiffon a winter-friendly option for the season; it doesn’t seem appropriate in winter. All that criticism aside, Meghan is from California, so perhaps her breezy style is at odds with our expectations. AND, I think the dark color (e.g. black) allows the outfit to become more appropriate than otherwise?

  22. I’m old school. Your coat should cover what’s underneath, unless you’re wearing a ballgown. This just looks haphazard — a coat that doesn’t fit over a dress/skirt with all kinds of hanging bits. If this were an evening look, it might be excusable, but it seems kind of misplaced for day, especially to meet with students. Also, it’s her choice to go without tights, but it’s winter, and she could risk her health doing it too often.

    • risk her health because she is not wearing tights… Go into the upper corporate world, women wearing amazing outfits including those who are pregnant. High shoes and not one wisp of a stocking, tight, pantyhose or whatever they are called. Tights sometimes but usually because there is a percentage of their time spent outside. If you are transporting to work in a heated car, train, bus etc and then straight into a heated office no one wears tights…old fashioned and boring.

      • I 100% agree, I go to church on Sundays, my husband drops me off at the door and brings the car to pick me up after. I dress to the nines sans the tights/hose. Tights inside a hot crowded building would be so uncomfortable and distract from my purpose which is worship.

  23. Wow! I love the structural element of the coat balanced with the filmy floaty pleats of the skirt.
    This is a gorgeous and elegant ensemble.
    What a fun hairstyle! Playful and chic at the same time. I appreciate the way Meghan varies her hairstyle depending on what she is wearing.

  24. I think she looks great. Love the hair up in a bun.
    But it looks like she is wearing separates, a sweater with a skirt, rather than a dress. Is that right?

  25. The DoS looks great! The updo is cute and is nice swept back to show off her pretty face, and her makeup is glowing as always.. I remember this coats last outing but I guess I didnt notice the details since we didnt quite get the full effect of it before. I really like the shoulder detail and the length is elegant, especially paired with the floatiness of the skirt.

  26. Hmmm. Altogether the look is elegant and classic. And along with monochromatic looks, I also like black, a lot. However, there are a few things that I don’t love: 1) the coat does not fit at this point, 2) I don’t care for the cape effect on the shoulders of coat, and 2) her hair looks like it needed a bit of pomade or spray to make it more sleek. I believe I am at the same point as Meghan in my first pregnancy; I am also built similarly to her (slim with a fairly indistinct waist), and I GET that she probably doesn’t like a lot of maternity styles out there (I do not care for many either). But I feel she should be wearing coats that can at least close in the front. Secondly, while I think the coat’s cape-like shoulders are elegant, at this stage in her pregnancy I don’t think this detail hangs as it should. Lastly, I enjoy her affinity for slicked back buns and messy chignons, but this one needed a tiny slick of pomade or spray to make it a bit neater.

    • I think we are now seeing her natural hair without the Brazilian Blowout/Straightening chemicals that are harmful to an unborn child.

    • Ettennyls, your thoughts on the coat are close to my own. I loved this coat in the first showing, but wearing it unbuttoned makes it lose its clean lines and alters the structured look with the cape shoulders. I have been enjoying these monochromatic looks of late–this just isn’t a favorite one.

  27. I absolutely adore that coat and wish I could afford it for myself! Those sleeves are everything.

    I was also laughing today at all the headlines about her top knot. Apparently it was highly newsworthy. I think her hair looks nice, though I prefer her looser styles and sometimes wish she would wear her hair down more often. It’s so pretty. But maybe it’s too high maintenance to have it down.

  28. What is making us think that is a dress rather than a skirt and a sweater? It looks like the latter to me. Look at the pics of her especially standing in front of the desk.

    This coat is wonderful, but I think it looks odd unbuttoned over the baby bump, partly because the interior buttons don’t match the one large exterior one, and they clearly aren’t meant to be seen. And it hangs so awkwardly by just that single large button. It’s just a disservice to such a lovely garment.

    But also–I mean, I have almost no money at all, but I still invested in a work-appropriate maternity coat for my January baby. I just couldn’t see covering up my whole body for winter weather *except* for my belly. And of course the DoC has shown that there are all kinds of pregnancy-appropriate coats that can continue to be used post-pregnancy (she might even have some available for borrowing). I just don’t understand the insistence on non-maternity looks. Why deny that your body has completely changed for this wonderful reason that needs special care and accommodation? /rantover

    I think the high bun and the sparkly studs are very chic. The beige shoes aren’t doing it for me here, but I’m not sure more black would have been the answer either. The animal print ones she wore recently might have been fun.

  29. Words cannot describe how much I love this look, but first, the patronage! What a great fit for her interests, and what a wonderful opportunity for her to speak to young people about their research, and them, what an opportunity to share their hard work and incredible knowledge. I think this patronage is an amazing choice for her, and she will represent the Commonwealth Universities perfectly.
    On to the clothes! I love this look, from the sleek bun to the nude pumps. For me, black shoes would have been too severe for such a dark outfit. I love the sleek coat with the beautiful dress underneath, and the delicate handkerchief hem adds a touch of fun, femininity and whimsy. Very chic, elegant and professional, and so flattering to her figure! She looks confident, polished, glowing and gorgeous.

  30. I was out and about in London today, well wrapped up, and it was still bitterly cold. For the DoS to be out without tights in this weather is remarkable. She must be very hardy.

  31. absolutely love the look. The skirt is fashionable pleated and the graduated hem looks stylish and on trend. Would love to see the outfit under the coat in full to get a better look but just think Meg looks amazing. The coat is beautifully tailored and elegant. Again love the shoes, certainly rocking the current trends and tells us young mums who are in the corporate world that we can dress in current trends and not have to subscribe to the mumsy daggy look with billowing and shapeless garments.


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