November 27, 2017 was a Monday, for those that recall. It was the Monday after Thanksgiving, I had just gotten to my office and was struggling to get into the groove when my phone, email, and Facebook started lighting up – Harry and Meghan were engaged!
I knew that this was inevitable after Meghan had appeared on the cover of Vanity Fair in September 2017. There is no way, I knew, that she would be proclaiming such declarative statements about their love unless they were already engaged. (Which, turns out, they likely were, though the exact timing of their engagement is still unconfirmed.) I was actually going through probably one of the worst breakups of my life at that time, so this announcement both made me believe in love again and accentuated my grief. I cried right there at my desk.
Do you remember where you were when you heard?
Okay, so let’s talk fashion: The Meghan Markle effect began when she appeared with Harry for the first time at the Invictus Games in Toronto in September 2017.
Meghan in Mother denim jeans – The Looker Ankle Fray – Love Gun (similar here and here), Sarah Flint ‘Natalie’ flats, $345 (take $50 off with code: SARAHFLINT-BMSM), Misha Nonoo ‘Husband’ shirt (reg. $185 – now 20% off) and carrying the Everlane ‘Day Market’ tote in cognac (similar here, here and here).
But she and Harry’s engagement announcement, held symbolically in the Sunken Gardens at Kensington Palace, sealed the deal. Meghan wore that gorgeous white LINE coat, a Canadian brand; it promptly sold out. Underneath the belted jacket, Meghan wore a green crepe crew-neck dress from Italian label PAROSH, which was further shown off in their engagement interview. (She would go on to rewear the dress on at least one occasion.) On her feet, Meghan wore a favorite – the nude Matilde criss-cross pumps from Aquazurra, which she had been seen wearing publicly before, as well.
The accessory that everyone cared about was the engagement ring Harry gave Meghan, made by Cleave and Company, a gold band setting with three diamonds, the center stone from Botswana – the country where they took that first trip together in August 2016 – and flanked by two from his mother Diana’s collection.
Later that same day Harry and Meghan’s engagement interview took place with the BBC, where you can see the PAROSH dress better.
Since then, the couple has experienced beautiful moments – their wedding in May 2018, the birth of their son one year later – and heartbreak, like Meghan’s pregnancy loss this summer and, well, everything else that’s gone on. But one thing has remained constant: This couple really loves each other. Here’s a throwback, on this three-year anniversary, to a post I wrote about the Sussexes the night before their wedding.
credit: Alexi Lubomirski / i-Images / PA Images / James Whatling
I was excited about William and Kate’s wedding; with Harry and Meghan, I’m emotionally invested.
Yes, cynics, I’ve never met Harry nor have I met Meghan; no, I probably never will; hell, I’ve never even been to the U.K. But hear me out, Harry and Meghan, to me, represent all of us whose journey to love and happiness is messy as hell but so damn worth it.
Harry was more affected by Diana’s death than anyone in the world, save for William, and forced, at 12 years old, to walk behind his mother’s coffin while the entire world watched, all because of a life he did not choose. He rebelled, he made public mistakes, but he never settled, and he eventually found himself in global humanitarian efforts that are truly remarkable. And finally, when he wasn’t looking at all, here comes this woman who ticked all the boxes that made her not a common Royal bride, and Harry put that rebellious spirit to great use and said to hell with tradition, I love this woman, and I am going to fight for her. And he won. And today is the culmination of bucking every kind of tradition the monarchy has and choosing what is most important in this life – true love.
Meghan is also a child of divorce like Harry; she’s 36 years old (for comparison’s sake, when Diana married Charles, she had just turned 20 less than a month prior). She’s independent, strong, made her own money, made a name for herself and did global humanitarian work long before she met Harry. She’s divorced, she’s biracial, she’s American – and she’s going to change the world. Again, when she wasn’t looking at all, there was true love, in its imperfectly perfect form.
credit: World Vision Canada
So I guess what I’m saying is Harry and Meghan are all of us imperfect people – people who have lost parents, had familial strain, made mistakes, gone through stages of our lives we aren’t super proud of, tried at love and failed, come from broken homes and messy pasts – yet still believe in true love, are willing to wait for it, are good people with good souls who believe in love and even fairytales. That in the end, good can come; that two souls can find each other across the Atlantic Ocean and make a whole WORLD believe in love again.
So, when you ask why I care about today, it’s not just about a dress or a crown or even a wedding – it’s about hope. Hope that love can win. Hope that true love exists. And hope that, in the middle of a perfectly imperfect life, we can all find it.