It’s a busy week for Meghan, potentially because they’re squeezing in a bunch of socializing with her new patronages before her body is like, “NOPE, not moving today, sorry.” Today, it’s the Association of Commonwealth Universities — a network that joins about 500 schools from 40 countries, the idea being to offer international support for research and scholarships and such. It’s the oldest such network and the Queen became patron in 1986, and now it’s Meghan. And so I’m not totally sure why she’s dressed for a funeral. Literally. She last wore this Givenchy coat at Remembrance Sunday. I’m glad for a re-wear in theory, as I have indeed carped a bit about the fact that she owns so many nearly identical coats in nearly identical colors, but the all-black ensemble — more monochrome! — is so heavy for a meet-and-greet with students. Academia is not dead, Meg! Do not grieve it!

In all seriousness, it’s possible they all re-wear stuff from their Remembrance appearances at other less somber events; I don’t personally cover them enough to know. But the gist of my reaction is really that this is a daytime event with students, likely to have been lively (and indeed the chat seems to have been), and none of this seems chosen with that in mind. It’s not that she looks actively bad in it, at all. It’s just odd. It’s for the wrong time of day. The top-knot is lovely, though. You can probably predict with exact word accuracy what I think of the shoe choice, so I barely need to type it. But a beige shoe with this does not make it feel any more daytimey, or any less like she’s popping by before she hits up a cocktail party; it just the ones she meant to wear got lost under the bed. Sadly, as I type I don’t have any details on the outfit underneath — such as whether it’s a dress or separates — but I assume it’s Givenchy as well (the skirt certainly seems like it). That hem doesn’t look stylishly layered or floaty to me so much as choppy. The whole outfit is a bit of a throwaway. I wish she’d tried something akin to the Veronica Beard shirt-dress (the slits might have been an issue now, as far as a re-wear, now that the baby is bigger) or this striped one. You can get away with being a bit more youthfully smart-casual at something like this. I know people might think those types of things are seasonally wrong, but with a coat over it… hey, it’s a long grey winter for much of the world; find your brightness where you can, right?

As usual, a big cheer greeted her:

And there was a lot of moaning as she left:

And a fair bit of chat inside — apparently she stayed 20 minutes longer than scheduled at this one.

To the slideshow!

[Photos: Rex/Shutterstock]