MEGHAN & HARRY DAZ­ZLE DOWN UN­DER

Their­bond growsas­they sharethe lime­light

Woman’s Day (NZ) - - Contents -

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.”

Cute­con­fes­sion

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.

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