This should cover the last slate of events on Royal Tour: Southern Hemisphere, unless we get an unexpected airplane photo on the way back to London. Rest assured we will have a whopper of a round-up tomorrow of every outfit Meghan wore, so that we can stand back a little and gaze upon them in their fullest, widest context.
The Mysteries of Meghan continues today, however, with an installment I like to call “The Case of the Potentially Needless Navy.” In the first round of pics, I genuinely thought Meghan wore the same dress to both the first events and that it was just different lighting that seemed to separate them, but no: One is a custom navy crew-neck three-quarter sleeve custom Stella McCartney, which I think might actually get you bingo on a Duchess of Sussex Wardrobe card, and the other is bespoke navy crew-neck Givenchy separates (ditto). Which means that — having just worn an outfit yesterday that’s a near-carbon-copy of one she wore on Day 1 but with entirely different pieces, and THEN another navy piece — Meghan here changed from one dress into a similar second ensemble in basically the same color. I am flummoxed. One of them seems superfluous, no?
I understand that they’re not identical in vibe, but to me this is a weird hitch in planning, to have her go to the trouble of changing yet stay within the same portion of the color wheel AND have the tops be cut the same way… Some have posited that Meghan is trying to steer the conversation away from her clothes by keeping them so simple and similar, but I don’t believe that. By now they know better than to think people will stop reporting on the outfits, especially when there are entire blogs and Twitter accounts and fan pages devoted exclusively to what she wears. Besides which, it would be faulty logic, because it’s having the EXACT OPPOSITE effect. These strange micro-changes and not-quite-duplicates are actually giving us more to talk about and furrow over and debate, which in a way draws even more focus from the events, or makes them run together. I’m not accusing her of doing any of that intentionally; I’m just saying, I don’t think she would have employed the “samey means no one will talk about it” logic because she is aware we’re way past her clothes flying under the radar. But it also does mean that I don’t know what the logic here is. Why not just keep on the first dress? I don’t particularly like the first one — it’s so blah — but there doesn’t seem to have been a burning need to change? It’s intriguing to me.
Since both pieces are custom, I’m wondering if Meghan felt contractually obligated to wear them both and simply hadn’t fit one of them in yet. Maybe one had been assigned to an event she ended up not attending — though there weren’t many of those, in the end, so I doubt that’s it — or maybe she thought the second might snag on the ceremonial garb from the first appearance. Or perhaps the first one did snag. Or maybe it got hot and she wanted a sleeve that was three inches shorter, or — or! — space and time have ceased to matter in the wormhole that is this tour and everything has folded in on itself and she actually wore one of these three weeks from now. Who knows. In the vein of many a Grinch before me, I have puzzed and puzzed ’til my puzzler was sore.
To kick off the day in Rotorua, Meghan wore the Stella and Harry wore a Foam Dome and a t-shirt that said “Please, Sir, I Want Some Mordor.” Meghan’s nod to the host country was present in her accessories: Gold Boh Runga earrings that were a gift from PM Jacinda Arden on this trip — Boh is a New Zealand musician who started designing jewelry while living in Los Angeles, a neat nod to Meghan’s own country of origin — and a Kiri Nathan necklace made of Pounamu, a valued Maori greenstone that “has spiritual significance. It is highly prized and is only found in the South Island of New Zealand. Pounamu is under guardianship of the Ngai Tahu Iwi (Tribe). Each piece holds it’s own mana (integrity, strength) denoting status and power. Pounamu is traditionally handed down as a valued heirloom or given as a gift to affirm relationships, peace, love and safe journeys/life.” That’s lovely. Harry got one, too. Also, Kiri Nathan is run by a husband and wife whose About Us page talks about their creative partnership and shared commitment to professional and cultural integrity, which ALSO seems applicable to Meghan and Harry.
The Givenchy came out on a trip to a kiwi hatchery in Rainbow Springs, and then the sweater portion stayed for a tree walk among the Redwoods. That may have solved the mystery of her switching into separates, but doesn’t entirely explain why she didn’t start in them, unless she didn’t want to wear one thing for all three events. But then, why wear two in the same basic color and cut?!? This is the eternal Sussex sphinx. Anyway, she wore it with Mother denim and some black flats that I believe are these Birdies. Shortly after Meghan and Harry became public, Birdies started running ads for “the shoes Meghan Markle can’t get enough of,” or somesuch, with pictures of her going to yoga or whatever. She clearly does like them. They’re meant to be slippers that you can wear as flats without anyone noticing, and that feels SO RIGHT for a pregnant lady who’s just spent 16 days on her feet.
From social media:
#harryandmeghan meet Royal flagstaff bearer Shaloh Mitchell, 44, & his daughters (with great hongis). The flag had been in his family since 1901 when the duke of Cornwall gifted it in recognition of their loyalty. pic.twitter.com/pMISHg2wCe
— Emily Andrews (@byEmilyAndrews) October 30, 2018
— Melissa Davies (@MelissaDaviesNZ) October 30, 2018
How stunning is THIS:
Here at the stunning Whakarewarewa Forest for Harry and Meghan’s Final engagement of the #RoyalTour where I’ll be joining the couple as they walk along a 700m suspended walkway through these 117-year-old Redwood trees pic.twitter.com/FlyaECGPqI
— Omid Scobie (@scobie) October 31, 2018
And, a shot of them on the tree walk:
— Emily Andrews (@byEmilyAndrews) October 31, 2018
It’s been fun, you two. Thanks for the memories.