The Duke and Duchess of Sussex started their morning with a visit to Áras an Uachtarái, the official residence and workplace of Ireland’s President Michael D. Higgins.
Above, Meghan and Harry with President Higgins and his wife, Sabina Higgins. Below, an official photo portrait to memorialize the occasion.
The Duke and Duchess also signed the Visitors’ Book.
You can see a touch of Meghan’s skill as a calligrapher in her signature.
More about the President and Mrs. Higgins from The Daily Mail:
Mr Higgins was inaugurated President on the 11th November 2011 for a seven year term. With more than a million votes he had the highest ever number of votes of any politician in the history of Irish election.
Mrs Higgins has worked as a partner with her husband in every campaign and in public life for over thirty years. She is also still involved with the theatre and community arts, working with the world renowned Druid Theatre, An Taibhearc and other groups.
Harry has met Mr. Higgins multiple times before today, including the President’s 2014 State Visit to the UK.
The topic of England’s quest for the World Cup has been top of mind throughout the visit. This morning was no different, as reported in this Daily Mirror story.
At a meeting today with the Irish president Michael D. Higgins, when asked by journalists if “It’s coming home”, Harry replied “Most definitely”.
The royal backing will be a huge boost to England’s Three Lions tonight in their historic match – our first semi final for 28 years.
For those interested in watching England take on Croatia, the match starts at 2pm EDT.
The Duke and Duchess also met the couple’s two Bernese Mountain dogs, Bród and Síoda. Their names mean “pride” and “silk” and they stayed with the couples as the President and Sabina Higgins showed the Duke and Duchess the Peace Bell, located on the Áras an Uachtaráin grounds.
The Mirror reports the bell was “unveiled in 2008 by then President, Mary McAleese… designed to mark the 10th anniversary of the Belfast Agreement.”
The foursome stood together at the bell as Harry pulled a sash to ring it one time for peace. Here is a quick video that ends with the bell ringing. Kensington Palace shared a quick video of the moment.
— Kensington Palace (@KensingtonRoyal) July 11, 2018
We’ll move now to our look at what the Duchess wore for this morning’s visit with President Higgins and Sabine Higgins. Meghan wore a classic Roland Mouret dress.
The dress has some similarities to the navy frock worn by Meghan the night before she was married when she spent the evening at Cliveden with her mother.
But Meghan’s dress today doesn’t have the different panels on the bodice, and the back has vertical darts with a concealed zipper.
Today’s fabric appears like it might be a double wool crepe. The dress also features a broad boat neck, waterfall draping gathered at the waist, and vented sleeves. It did not appear to fit as well as the navy dress worn in May.
The Duchess carried a bag by Fendi.
It is the brand’s Peekaboo Essential in black calfskin. The Peekaboo line is a basic for Fendi, encompassing full-size bags, wallets, sunglasses and other items. Once again, Perth’s Fashion discovered the identity of Meghan’s bag; thank you, Michelle, for your fab fashion knowledge.
Meghan was in a pair of heels by Paul Andrew. The company tells us Meghan’s shoe is a custom version of the “Pump-It-Up” silhouette, done in black canvas. The style is part of the Pre-spring 2019 collection that will be available this winter. Our thanks to Meghan’s Mirror for their identification of the brand!
The British-born designer is based in New York. He launched his first women’s collection in 2013, followed by men’s launch in 2016. His own collection is offered through multi-brand retailer Farfetch. More about Mr. Andrew via this story in Elle:
Andrew grew up in Berkshire, west of London, the son of an upholsterer to the queen. After graduating from the Berkshire College of Art and Design, he quickly landed an internship at Alexander McQueen, working with Lee himself before relocating to New York. There, he logged time at three emblematic American brands: Narciso Rodriguez, Calvin Klein, and Donna Karan.
He has designed footwear for Ferragamo since 2016. In October of last year he was named women’s design director, responsible for womenswear and accessories.
Meghan wore her Birks Snowstorm Diamond Earrings in white gold ($$12,000 CAD, roughly $9100 USD).
The Duchess donned separates for the rest of the day’s engagements; we will be back shortly with coverage of those events.