MEGHAN & HARRY DAZZLE DOWN UNDER
Theirbond growsasthey sharethe limelight
Dazzling in a floorlength Ale Alexander McQueen gown and sparkling spark tiara once worn by Princess Diana, the Duchess of Cambridge looked look more regal than ever as a she and Prince William joined jo Her Majesty at a state banquet last week. we Commentat Commentators couldn’t help b but notice that the 36-ye 36-year-old
future queen seemed thoroughly at ease, her inimitable confidence and poise on display once again.
But on the other side of the world, as Prince Harry and the Duchess of Sussex continued their first overseas tour together, eyebrows were raised over mum-to-be Meghan’s surprisingly daring choice of dress. On a visit to Fraser Island, off the coast of Queensland, the duchess – who tours New Zealand with Harry this week – stepped out in a casual maxi dress, complete with shoe-string straps and a revealing thigh-high split!
“Everyone was surprised when the photos of Meghan’s dress were revealed,” tells our palace insider. “And the contrast with Kate couldn’t be more stark. From the moment she became serious with William all those years ago, she happily adopted the royal tradition of dressing conservatively and elegantly, but it’s quite clear Meghan is doing things differently. She’s rewriting the rule book when it comes to fashion choices for royal women and she certainly won’t apologise for showing a bit of flesh. She doesn’t see why she can’t show off her figure just because she’s married to a prince.”
But while the two duchesses appear to have little in common when it comes to fashion, our source says behind the scenes, they share an incredible bond, with Kate helping the former
Suits actress every step of the way on her 16-day Down Under tour.
According to our insider, Meghan – whose baby news was announced on the day she and Harry arrived in Australia – has been on the phone to her new best friend nearly every day, asking for her advice on everything from coping with exhaustion in pregnancy to royal tour etiquette. She might have 10 staff alongside her on the Commonwealth tour, but it’s Kate she turns to the most.
“Meghan has started
jokingly calling Kate her ‘guru’ because she goes to her for absolutely everything,” shares the insider. “She couldn’t have got through the first few months of pregnancy without Kate’s support and advice – she even packed a care parcel of anti-nausea and heartburn tablets, plus herbal teas for Meghan to take along with her on the tour.
“She’s been incredibly helpful with advice on how to chat to well-wishers and how to politely avoid uncomfortable situations. Kate’s biggest advice for Meghan is to be herself and when it comes to dealing with nerves, they both depend heavily on yoga and meditation.”
Kate even liaised with Meghan’s stylist about the need for flat shoes and comfortable clothing for the long days on tour, reminding the aides of the importance of making sure she always has plenty of breaks. It was the mother-of-three who reportedly encouraged Meghan, 37, to consider scaling back some of her engagements during the Australian leg of their tour after she admitted she was struggling with the gruelling pace.
“Meghan is still adjusting to royal life and feels she has so much to prove,” tells our insider. “She was really determined not to let her pregnancy get in the way of her first major tour, but it became clear she needed to rest. Kate was urging her to slow down. She’s learnt from experience that it’s never a good idea to push yourself too hard, especially when you’re expecting.”
But we’re told it was Harry, 34, who made the final call that Meghan should sit out an Invictus Games cycling event in Sydney and half a day of activities on Fraser Island, saying publicly that her pregnancy was “taking its toll”. Instead, Meghan spent the day at a luxury spa while Harry flew solo.
And it certainly seemed like a refreshed, energised and glowing Meghan who touched down for her whirlwind visit to Fiji and Tonga last week. Despite a security scare at a Suva market – where Meghan was hurriedly ushered out over crowd control concerns – the Pacific leg of the trip was seen as a huge success.
It was during a visit to the University of the South Pacific in Fiji that Meghan gave her first speech of the tour, where she spoke of the importance of women and girls in particular having access to education. She admitted that as a student, she’d had to rely on scholarships and grants to help fund her studies.
“Everyone should be afforded the opportunity to receive the education they want, but more importantly, the education they have the right to receive,” she said. “I know the personal feeling of pride and excitement that comes with attending university. From the moment you receive your acceptance letter, to the exams you spend countless late nights studying for, the lifelong friendships you make with your fellow alumni.”
And with each day of this royal tour, Meghan’s baby bump becomes a little more obvious, with the duchess often spotted resting a loving hand on her growing stomach.
While Meghan referred to her baby as her “little one” when chatting to a wellwisher, Harry answered “so do I” when a fan yelled that they hoped his baby is a girl.
And the duchess confessed that they’ve already begun thinking of what to call their arrival, who is said to be due in April next year. “We’ve been given a long list of names from everyone,” Meghan said.
While Harry and Meghan’s historic trip Down Under has understandably dominated headlines over the past two weeks, back in the UK, it
was Kate’s showstopping appearance nce at the State Banquet et for the Dutch royal family at Buckingham am Palace that really got ot people talking.
Her choice of jewels is seen as particularly significant ant – along with her favourite tiara from the royal collection, the Cambridge Lover’s er’s Knot, Kate upped the he glamour with Queen n Alexandra’s striking g pearl and diamond wedding necklace.
And for the first time, she wore the deeply meaningful Royal Family Order of Queen Elizabeth II. The honour is bestowed by Her Majesty to female ale members of the royal al family and features a jewel-encased image ge of the Queen pinned on a yellow ribbon. While it’s believed lieved Kate was granted hers ers in December 2017, the only others who hold the e order are the Duchess of Cornwall, Princess Anne and the Countess of Wessex. x.
Tells our source, “It’s hugely significant for or Kate to wear this. It’s proof of how much she’s valued, loved, trusted and respected ed by the Queen and a clear sign ign she’s been fully welcomed d into The Firm. It will be interesting to see if Meghan is one day y given the honour too.” o.”
Wearing the Queen’s badge of honour, all eyes are on a glowing Kate as she attends the State Banquet for the Dutch royals.
A slip sees Meghan showing off her summerlovin’ side as she meets well-wishers with Harry in Fraser Island.
Left: On boardrd for fun on Sydney ney Harbour, Meghan ghan finds her sea legs after missing some engagements. nts.
Left: Arriving at the opening of the Invictus Games in Sydney. Right: Pretty in pink, Meghan makes an impassioned speech in Fiji about the importance of education for females. “I know the pride and excitement that comes with attending university,” she said.