Meghan wore a mix of designers for today’s snowy visit to Bristol with Prince Harry.
Bristol is located on the River Avon in southwest England. The Duke and Duchess arrived a bit behind schedule for their walkabout in front of the recently renovated Bristol Old Vic. They were originally going to travel by helicopter but that plan was nixed because of the weather. Harry joked about the travel conditions getting there; more from Bristol 24/7:
“Thanks for coming out and saying hello,” Prince Harry tells a woman in the crowd who thanks him for coming to Bristol.
“You know who you can thank. You can thank Great West Rail. They managed to get us here. We were almost guaranteed that it wasn’t going to work. It’s the only thing that works at the moment, right.”
Despite the cold temps and snow, there was a good-sized crowd waiting to meet the Duke and Duchess. Emily Andrews of The Sun shared some lovely photos of Meghan.
From The Mirror’s coverage:
Meghan told fans: “We tried our best to get here fast.” She later apologised and said “Sorry my hand is cold.”
And they made sure to greet some of their youngest fans seen waving flags – although a few were more excited by their snack of digestive biscuits than their brush with royalty.
Meghan giggled: “They are very good at waving flags.”
Emily also posted this video of Meghan chatting about the cold and Harry coming over to meet some little ones.
Video: #meghan beckons #harry over to meet the gorgeous tiny tots from Abbeywood nursery pic.twitter.com/BFG2OoLIFi
— Emily Andrews (@byEmilyAndrews) February 1, 2019
Harry’s sense of humor was on display. The Mirror has more.
While dad-to-be Harry joked to the nursery staff: “How do you keep them all under control?” before adding to the youngsters: “You know you guys can run anywhere you like?”
Meghan greeting people.
There was a lovely moment from the walkabout when a woman shows Harry a photo of his mother, Diana, Princess of Wales, when she was in Bristol 25 years ago. If I understood what was being said, the mother of the woman with the photo was supposed to give Diana flowers on that occasion, but she “was so excited she wouldn’t let go” of them.
Prince Harry was stopped by a woman in Bristol who showed him a picture of his mother Princess Diana from 25-years-ago. Visibly touched, the Duke tells her to look after the photograph.#PrinceHarry #DukeofSussex #Royals pic.twitter.com/FUhchXLQoO
— The Royal Family Channel (@RoyalFamilyITNP) February 1, 2019
Then it was time to head inside and learn more about the Old Vic.
From Hannah Furness’s story in The Telegraph:
As they arrived in the new foyer of the theatre, the Duke and Duchess were greeted by dignitaries who sympathised over their journey in the cold weather.
The Duchess spoke to Lord Mayor Cllr Cleo Lake, who told her of an upcoming black women’s theatre festival to be held in June, featuring the work of established and new playwrights and performers.
“That’s very exciting, wow,” the Duchess exclaimed.
The Duke and Duchess saying hello to Ocean, daughter of the Old Vic’s executive director, Sally Cordwell.
Harry and the little one really hit it off.
This is the oldest continually operating theatre in the English-speaking world. Below, a photo of the Old Vic in the 1900s.
And a look at it following the renovations.
The Bristol Old Vic was built in 1766 and has a unique place in British theatre history having nurtured the talents of countless famous actors from Daniel Day-Lewis and Greta Scacchi to Peter O’Toole and Jeremy Irons.
The BBC details some of the work done on the historic structure, including:
…a full-height timber and glass-fronted foyer that reveals the original auditorium facade to the street for the first time.
The internal layout has been transformed, with the restoration of the Georgian Coopers’ Hall, a new studio theatre created in the old barrel vaults and mezzanine galleries.
From The Daily Mail:
Viewing an exhibition about the history of sound in the theatre, they watched a group of young people demonstrate how things have progressed.
At the first station, which showed how sound was ‘spliced’ or mixed together on reels of tape, the Duchess asked questions about whether it was easy to do, while the Duke wondered how it compared to modern apps.
Below, the duo watching a performance by the theatre’s Young Company, a group ages 5 – 25. The group attends weekly drama sessions and also stages three events a year.
Some of Meghan’s comments to the group via The Daily Mail:
‘There’s so much of the emphasis in after school clubs on sport. Channeling the energy you have into the creative arts and theatre and all of that is equally as important.
‘Sport isn’t for everyone, just as theatre isn’t for everyone.
‘You can know that there’s a place [here] where you can find community, and sort of explore self discovery and other things you might be thinking about.’
The couple unveiled a plaque marking today’s events.
The next stop was Empire Fighting Chance, a local program that uses boxing to help at-risk young people ages 8-21 “who are failing at school and facing bleak prospects.” Here you see the Duke and Duchess shortly after they arrived in a photo shared by Bristol Live’s Bronwen Weatherby.
The charity’s mission is described this way: “Empire Fighting Chance aims to fight the impact of deprivation on young people’s lives through boxing.” Below, 7-year-old Aziah Selassie has his gloves on and he is ready to spar.
The organization works with around 250-300 children per week, using programs that “…help instill discipline, self-control, and respect, whilst building self-confidence, life skills, and improving both physical and mental health and fitness.” Below, a terrific black and white photo shared by Empire on its Twitter feed.
ITV’s Richard Payne posted this photo of the Duke and Duchess at the Empire facility.
The Duke and Duchess spoke with some of the girls in the program.
The royal couple are having a chat with some of the girls taking part in a programme at the gym, and how empowering taking part can be pic.twitter.com/frdARHCa34
— Sarah Turnnidge (@sarah_turnnidge) February 1, 2019
More from The Bristol Post’s coverage:
Meghan asks the girls: “Do you feel strong and confident”.
The young girls replied ‘yes’ and Meghan said: “That’s great.”
Another outstanding B&W image. There was a poignant moment while at the boxing facility. Hannah Furness of The Telegraph explains in this tweet.
The couple as they were leaving.
The Duke and Duchess were presented with personalized boxing gloves at the engagement.
The couple then had a previously unannounced engagement at One25, a charity focused on “helping women to break free from street sex work, addiction and other life-controlling issues.” Below, the couple in a van that is used to deliver food, hot water bottles, blankets and other things to sex workers.
The Duke and Duchess heard from staff, donors and volunteers. One25 provides women with practical and emotional support; from basic needs (such as a hot shower, free clothing, or nutritious lunch) to expert advice and crisis care from a caseworker or visiting professional.” Its name comes from its location at 125 Cheltenham Road.
From the website: “We work with an extremely vulnerable group of women. Our values guide and influence all our work: person-centred, justice, unconditional love, non-judgemental, compassionate, truthful, willing to see things through.”
Meghan helped pack meals for delivery later today. While doing so she had an idea – why not write messages on the bananas that were going in the lunches?
In this video you’ll hear the Duchess ask for a Sharpie marker.
— The Royal Family Channel (@RoyalFamilyITNP) February 1, 2019
A few of the affirmations the Duchess put on the fruit.
More from The Daily Mail, quoting Meghan: :
She explained: ‘I saw this project this woman had started somewhere in the States on a school lunch programme. On each of the bananas she wrote an affirmation, to make the kids feel really, like, empowered. It was the most incredible idea – this small gesture.’
NOTE: The caption on the Royal Family Channel Tweet saying the bananas were going to children is incorrect. Combined with Meghan’s quote above, it may appear they were for children. That is not the case; they were part of the meals being delivered to Women the program serves.
And from Australia’s News.com:
A volunteer named Sam (not her real name) said the women would appreciate the gesture.
“I think they might not eat it. I think that banana would be at home until it is rotten. Because I would do the same,” she said. “It sounds really cheesy, but little things like that when you are out, especially tonight with the weather – just to get that little thing (means the world). Meghan took her time out to write that one.”
Now for our look at what Meghan wore, starting with her coat from William Vintage.
While not what I would call a trapeze cut, it is a loose, roomy silhouette in a single-breasted design. Hitting Meghan at the knee, the style has a yoke at the front (I haven’t yet seen a good pic of the back), on-seam front pockets, and a broad diagonal cut “scarf.”
The Duchess was in an Oscar de la Renta dress, the Enchanted Forest Silk Chiffon style (most recently sold at $1245). From the Fall 2018 collection, the frock features a black background splashed with colorful “flora and fauna of an enchanted forest.”
There is also a self belt and a detachable black slip “so you don’t need to worry about the sheerness of the floaty fabric.” The midi-length dress is all silk with a deep v-neckline, pleats at the waistband , sheer balloon sleeves with extended fitted cuffs and a concealed side zipper and hooks.
Meghan’s boots are by Sarah Flint, one of her go-to footwear brands. They are the Marina style in olive crosta leather with a 3.3″ heel ($695). Crosta is a premium leather often used for footwear like hiking boots. They are available in limited sizes at Sarah Flint, as well at Orchard Mile.
Meghan carried the olive green clutch we first saw at Prince Louis’s christening.
It is a Ralph Lauren piece; it looks like the Ricky style crossbody. The suede color is ‘loden,’ and the bag features the signature Ricky push lock on the front flap. Below you can get a sense of the color from the photo of a bucket bag in the same suede; we also show a current style Ricky alongside Meghan’s. (Meghan’s does not have the exposed key fob, the flap shape is slightly different, and there are other small distinctions.)
A ‘thank you’ to UFO No More for their help on the bag!
Meghan also carried a pair of gloves we haven’t started to look for just yet, but hope to shortly.
The Duchess had on a necklace we have not yet identified, and her Pippa Small Herkimer earrings.
We’ll leave you with one more of the black and white photos shared by Empire Fighting Chance.
Here is a 4-minute+ video chronicling the day’s events from ITN’s Royal Family Channel.
Here is 50-seconds of the couple doing the walkabout.
The Duke and Duchess of Sussex didn’t let the snow put them off on their visit to #Bristol today. Our camera was there to film #HarryandMeghan arrive and greet the hundreds of people who’d braved the weather to meet them.
— ITV News WestCountry (@itvwestcountry) February 1, 2019
- You can visit the Bristol Old Vic website here; the Facebook page is here; the historic theatre’s Twitter fee may be seen here and its Instagram page is here
- Read about Empire Fighting Chance at its website here; this Bristol Post story is a good backgrounder; follow the charity’s Facebook page here; its Instagram page is here and Twitter feed is here
- Visit the One25 site here; the charity’s Facebook page is here and its Twitter feed may be followed here
- The Bristol Post’s piece is here; The Daily Mail’s story is here; The Mirror’s coverage is here; The Telegraph’s piece on the Old Vic portion of the day is here & its story on the visit at One25 is here
- PopSugar‘s gallery is here; the Fug Girls slideshow may be seen here