Muted Tones for 25th Anniversary Memorial Service for Stephen Lawrence

Today Meghan and Harry attended a memorial service commemorating the 25th anniversary of the murder of Stephen Lawrence.

Meghan and Harry arrive at St Martin-in-the-Fields church

Stephen Lawrence was killed when he was 18 years old, murdered by a white racist gang. From The Daily Mirror:

The horrific death of Stephen Lawrence has become one of Britain’s most notorious racially-motivated murders. The 18-year-old schoolboy was stabbed to death at a bus stop by a group of white youths in an unprovoked attack. The Lawrence family’s long struggle for justice exposed institutional racism and corruption within the Metropolitan Police.

Here you see Stephen’s parents greeting Harry and Meghan.

A program for today’s service.

From The Express story about the service:

Meghan and Harry shook Doreen Lawrence’s hand as they arrived at the service before the prince addressed the congregation. He spoke of his “profound shock” after learning of Stephen’s murder in 1993 but also of his admiration of the determination shown by his family to “build something positive from the tragedy”.

A look inside St. Martin-in-the-Fields during the memorial.

More from The Guardian:

Harry read a letter of support on behalf of his father, the Prince of Wales. It said: “I remember vividly the profound shock that I felt at [Stephen’s] senseless murder, a feeling shared by so many people across this country and beyond.

“I remember, too, just how deeply moved I was by the determination of his family to build something positive from the tragedy they endured and to ensure that Stephen’s story did not end with despair, but continued with hope.”

Harry at the podium.

Beneficiaries of scholarships from the Stephen Lawrence Charitable Trust were at the memorial service. The trust is “….a national educational charity committed to the advancement of social justice; the alleviation of poverty and community cohesion.

  • The Trust has become synonymous with the promotion of positive race relations; diversity and community empowerment.
  • “Helping young people achieve a meaningful stake in society”.

Below, Doreen Lawrence at a City Hall event following this afternoon’s service. Prime Minister Theresa May announced that in the future April 22 will be known as Stephen Lawrence Day, saying it will prompt a day of reflection for the country and the “positive change he has inspired.” From the BBC:

Prime Minister Theresa May said that Stephen’s mother Doreen – now a peer in the Lords – and his father Neville “have fought heroically to ensure that their son’s life and death will never be forgotten”.

Baroness Lawrence said she looked forward to delivering the first Stephen Lawrence Day in 2019 alongside the government, adding: “I feel honoured she has recognised the changes that have been made in Stephen’s name and the changes that are still needed.”

Meghan and Harry leaving today’s memorial. As this was a somber event today, we have opted not to emphasize what Meghan wore. Below, a very brief look. Meghan’s dress was by Hugo Boss from the Boss Ready-to-Wear 2018 Collection. It is not yet available.

Boss Spring 2018 Ready-to-Wear

The collection was Jason Wu’s nautical inspired contribution to the Hugo Boss line. A more relaxed look with stripes and bright color-blocks coupled with long flowing fabrics for this German-owned line. You can see the entire collection here. The Boss line has a dress in the same print seen below, available here.

Boss – ‘Deleara’ Printed Belted Dress

Her clutch was by Wilbur & Gussie – Bespoke Charlie Silk Clutch in Oyster £205, about $285 US at today’s exchange rate. The bespoke or Charlie ‘Build A Bag’ offers a variety of color options along with a selection of brooches to choose from to customize the bag. Wilbur & Gussie is a British brand created by childhood friends Brett Tyne and Lucy Lyons.

We’re thinking that she also had on the Cartier “Galanterie de Cartier’ style earrings. A pair we first saw her wear on Saturday at the Invictus Games Reception.

Meghan wore a pair of nude suede pumps originally thought to be Gianvito Rossi 105 Pumps in Beige.
After looking at additional images from the engagement and seeing the heel and finally the sole of the shoes with the designer name showing, we can confirm that Meghan wore Manolo Blahnik BB 105 in suede beige, retail $625 US.

Please be aware that the style also comes in a suede “taupe” appearing just slightly darker than the beige suede color.

Below we show both colors.

Manolo Blahnik BB 105 Suede Beige

Manolo Blahnik BB 105 Taupe Suede

Meghan has been known to favor the brand and owns several of the designer shoes in various colors worn to recent engagements.

On an upbeat, happy note today, We would like to congratulate HRH The Duke and Duchess of Cambridge, William and Catherine on the birth of their baby Boy! Prince George and Princess Charlotte will be amazing big brother and sister to this new little prince! Tweet via Kensington Royal.

Please visit our sister sites What Kate Wore and What Kate’s Kids Wore for more on this historic and joyous occasion! We are back here on Wednesday for Anzac Day in London, where Meghan and Harry will be attending early morning services and wreath laying. Please see our Meg Events page for more details.





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  1. The shorter dress with sleeves would of been a far better and formal choice of attire for this sombre event also the hair is too messy and distracting.

  2. She’s a lovely woman, but I am starting to have reservations about her “messy bun” look. I am particularly not fond of the strands of hair hanging down on either sides of her face. She has such a pretty face and I feel as if the hair gets in the way. Casual events, no problem. But I am not a fan of the messy bun on formal occasions. I am looking forward to seeing how she wears her hair on the Big Day. I’m really rooting for a beautiful coiffure!

  3. So by some people’s dress standards, I guess every Bride that wears a sleeveless or strapless dress in a church is dressed inappropriately! Meghan looks absolutely stunning as usual. I love what she is wearing.

  4. Thank you for focusing on the event rather than the fashion. What a horrific tragedy that was in 1993–thank you for giving us some background information. Overall, I like Meghan’s look. I too prefer the version of the dress with sleeves and knee-length hemline, and I would like to see her hair a bit neater (perhaps just one loose piece instead of several). She is the queen of accessories though, and as usual, I love her shoes and also her clutch. She is a lovely woman, and I think it’s wonderful that she and Harry attended the service.

  5. I love everyone’s comments on this blog. However, there is such as incredible hubbub, especially on other sites, about the inappropriateness of Meghan’s glimpse of ankle or sleeveless dresses and, oh my gosh, the wispy hair! that one would think we were still living in the Dark Ages. The royal family’s tradition of charitable work is a tradition to be lauded and preserved. But outdated conventions about the propriety of a perfectly modest sleeveless dress deserve to be consigned to the dustbin of history. To me this kind of hand-wringing is an indication of how much potential Meghan has to help modernize the monarchy and make it more relatable to people’s lives.

    • I think it’s the location of the event, a church, that is the overriding issue regarding a sleeveless dress. I’m not a religious person but churches and other place of worship have their protocols regarding dress. It’s a sign of respect, and applies to everyone including members of the RF. The fact others had bare shoulders does not change what another individual can wear. I think changes in protocol have been happening steadily over time and I don’t see the pent up demand for Meghan to modernize the RF. For example, Harry, William and Kate getting hugged at the London Marathon last year. Look at Charlotte, holding her place in line to the throne with the arrival of her baby brother. That’s huge and far more impactful than an outfit.

      • Mine was a comment about Meghan, and this is primarily a blog devoted to her fashion choices; no criticism of Harry, William or Kate was intended. But since you brought it up … modernization still has a long way to go. For an interesting commentary on the symbolism of the current Kate Middleton birth mania, including the “grotesque public ownership” of her body, see

        • I have to admit, I’m not quite following the point you are trying to make with the link to the article. The interest in fashion and the family in general is because they are Royals and this website and others exist because of that. If agree the whole photo op after having a baby is strange yet the public and media happily lap it up. Births used to take place in a palace. If they went back to that or didn’t allow for pictures, the uproar and criticism would be massive. They are darned if they do and darned if they don’t. Much like our observations of Meghan’s fashion choices.

  6. Thank you for a well-informed post on a solemn occasion. I think the choice of clothes for these occasions as important as any given the need for discretion. I simply love Meghan’s dress for today, it hits just the right note of restraint without loss of femininity.

    I hadn’t see the Jason Wu link mentioned elsewhere and it helps explain how Hugo Boss arrived in the mix of Meghan choices. I love the fabric, it hangs well, and the dark navy base is works for the occasion, the lighter flecks help prevent it looking funereal and provide the excuse for pretty nude accessories. That is one fantastic clutch, such an original design.

    I have no problem with bare shoulders in hot sticky London but I’m having a bit of a struggle with Meghan’s hair though. I don’t want to fall into irritation with the hanging strands and I’m afraid that if she tidied all the ends away we might lose something of her special character.

    But I still wish we could see at least one updo free from them. Apart from anything else the impracticality of socialising while peering through them is evident given that Meghan herself had both sides tucked away behind her ears by the time she left the church.

    It’s such early days though and I’m sure Meghan has a lot of things to work on right now in preparation for such a radical life change. Given how brilliantly her outfits are coming on, I think I must work on patience with the occasional hint of Hollywood and the Sunshine State.

  7. I think she looks very nice, and very appropriate. It’s not an attention-getting outfit, and that’s as it should be for an occasion like this. I don’t think that the sleeveless thing was inappropriate; as someone else pointed out, other women there were also without sleeves. She continues to choose wonderful bags.

    Side note: it has always seemed to me that Meghan is just about as slender as it’s possible for a person to be without looking unwell, and when you look at her in the dress next to the model shot, you realize just how emaciated we expect fashion models to be. It really can’t be healthy, and next to a super-slender but non-model person you realize how absurd it is. I can’t quite figure out why after all this time it still hasn’t changed.

    • Agree with you side note. Not a positive image for young ladies to see and still want to emulate. Teenagers have it hard as they want to fit in and anything other than a slender body is shamed and so they begin with bad choices that continue beyond their high school years for some.

    • I agree. Keep in mind that she is an actress and has always been aware of the fact that one looks heavier on camera. Actresses hired to be the attractive/hot characters are usually as slim as high fashion models. Thankfully, I do see more and more female characters who seem to look like the rest of us. We’ve got a long way to go though.

  8. The dress is nice, but I think it makes a look waistless, despite the belt! And she needs some kind of cover up for the upper body. Something’s missing…

  9. I think the sleeved version, as long as it came to the knee, would’ve been the perfect choice for this event. On first glance, the dress looked sparkly – which combined with the neckline and sleevelessness, obviously struck a really bad tone. For a memorial service I feel things need to be severely toned down. On a positive note, I am so so glad to see Meghan out and about, immersing herself in the culture as much as she is. It’s a delight to see!

  10. I like Meghan and think she is a beautiful person in both her looks and her character, but I often feel she is not dressed appropriately for the occasion. While this dress is an excellent look on her, the skin of the bare arms and the V neckline seems out of place for a memorial service. In many churches around the world a woman cannot enter with bare shoulders. On Monday it was 16.C or 61’F, so not exactly a hot day. She was likely chilly in the very thick walled, cold church. The version of the dress with sleeves would have been a perfect choice, or this dress with a black blazer. As for the messy bun…well it is just too messy.

    • You can clearly see another woman in those pictures with bare shoulders so Meghan wasn’t the only one. Apart from the Vatican I have never had to cover my shoulders for any sort of church I’ve entered. I usually do because inside churches made of stone they tend to be cooler but that’s just because I get cold so easily.

      • Yes, you can see one other woman in a sleeveless dress…she is inappropriate also…two wrongs do not make a right. There are many, many others with their arms covered. I have been in churches in Spain, Portugal, Italy, Malta, France, India and elsewhere, that ask women to cover their bare shoulders and shorts are a no-no. Perhaps it is a rule to the individual church, but it is a sign of respect to all churches to be covered from neck to knees.

        • A lot of urban churches, like this one, that are striving to be of service to marginalized populations–recent immigrants, the homeless, etc.–have very intentionally let go of both rigorous rules about dress and unspoken attitudes about what is or is not appropriate as per middle-class Anglo Saxon traditions. This is as it should be, of course; all should be equally welcome in God’s house. Meghan is obviously not economically disadvantaged in any way–though she is, in fact, a minority and a recent immigrant–but I think it’s very appropriate of her to dress according to what is apparently the norm in this particular church.

  11. I think it’s perfectly appropriate to not emphasize Meghan’s fashion for this event. I was reading up on Stephen Lawrence today on Wikipedia as I was not familiar with it and it was truly horrific how he died. As a biracial Black woman, I’m sure this memorial was meaningful to Meghan. Not to make it all about race but it was especially great that she attended.
    As for what she wore–I will keep my comments brief. Overall I thought this look was perfectly fine. In some shots the dress looks a tad too long, in others it looks fine. My only gripe really is her hair. I don’t mind the loose wispy look she favors but this is one occasion where I would have liked to see her hair pulled back as it was a somber event.
    I can also see the influence of Jason Wu, in fact my first thought when I saw Meghan’s dress was “This is something Michelle Obama would wear” as she basically made Jason Wu famous when she wore that unforgettable inauguration dress in 2009 (and other subsequent dresses).


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