The Duchess of Sussex: Best of 2019
The past three years have all been big ones for the Duchess of Sussex. After meeting her now husband, Prince Harry, in 2016, announcing their engagement in 2017 and getting married in 2018 it seemed unlikely the Sussex's could outdo themselves again this year. However, 2019 was yet another big year for the couple; they welcomed their first son, moved from London to Windsor, announced their own charitable foundation, launched their new Instagram and undertook their first oversea tour as a family of three.
Here are my top ten moments from the Duchess of Sussex in 2019.
10. International Women's Day 2019
The Duchess of Sussex attended a panel for International Women's Day convened by the Queen's Commonwealth Trust to discuss some of the most pressing issues regarding gender equality. During the panel the Duchess revealed a quote that she was enjoying her pregnancy saying she could "feel the embryonic kicking of feminism."
9. Supporting Serena
Meghan attended both Wimbledon and the U.S open this year in support of her friend, Serena Williams. While Williams did not win the matches it was incredible to see her at both events. The Duchess of Sussex attended the match with her sister-in-law, the Duchess of Cambridge and Catherine's sister, Pippa Matthews. Meghan had previously attended Wimbledon last year after her marriage to Prince Harry but had not attended the U.S. Open since joining the Royal Family. She smiled for the crowd on the jumbotron and was seen enthusiastically cheering on Serena from the Players box.
8. The Smart Set Capsule
The Duchess's official return from her Maternity leave came in September with the launch of the Smart Set Capsule. Meghan partnered with Misha Nonoo, Marks & Spencer, John Lewis and Jigsaw to create a capsule collection of professional workwear for women. The collection sold on a 1 for 1 basis so with every purchase, another was given to Smart Works, a charity that the Duchess of Sussex is patron of.
7. Royal Visit Morocco
During their first tour of the year, the Duke and Duchess of Sussex visited Morocco. Their first first tour of the region focused on female empowerment, local artists and Moroccan Culture. Meghan had a (pregnancy safe) henna tattoo done by a local girl and the couple enjoyed a banquet at the British Ambassador's residence.
6. Patronage Visits
Since receiving her first four patronages at the beginning of the year, The Duchess of Sussex has made solo visits to each organization to learn more about the work they do. Throughout the year it has become clear that the Duchess of Sussex is trying to identify the best ways to help these organizations. Her Smart Set Capsule collection came in response to several visits to Smart Works and discovering that they were lacking the workwear basics most professional women need. Towards the end of the year she announced new grants for women in education as part of her role as Vice President of the Queens Commonwealth trust.
Like many of the younger royals, Meghan seems to be focusing in on a few key issues and identifying a few organizations within those categories to work with. Many of the older generations have taken on hundreds of patronages and do not have adequate time to dedicate to all of them so focusing on quality over quantity seems to be the way of the future for the Royal Family.
5. Visit to Justice Desk in South Africa
Their first engagement on their South Africa tour was absolutely my favorite on the entire tour. The couple visited Justice Desk which is an organization that teaches women and young girls who live in high crime areas how to defend themselves. Meghan and Harry danced with locals during the visit before they each gave speeches.
The Duchess of Sussex spoke about how she was visiting the country in an official capacity as a member of the royal family but that the visit was incredibly personal to her as well. Prince Harry has spoken about his love of Africa throughout the years and Meghan seemed to enjoy the country and the people just as much as Harry.
4. The launch of @SussexRoyal
This year marked the official split between Prince William and Prince Harry's courts and charitable organizations. As part of the split, Harry and Meghan launched their own instagram, @SussexRoyal. Throughout the year they have been highlighting different charitable accounts based on a monthly theme as well as sharing private photos of their growing family. Just before the new year the account officially reached 10 Million followers and shows no indication that it will be slowing down in 2020.
3. Archie meeting Archbishop Desmond Tutu
Archie Harrison Mountbatten-Windsor marked his first official royal engagement when he came with his parents to meet Archbishop Desmond Tutu. It was the only engagement that Archie was present at on the South Africa tour and it did not disappoint. The new parents brought their four month old son to the Archbishop's residence where they had tea and spoke about the progress that had been made in South Africa as well as what still needed work.
After the visit it was revealed that the Archbishop gave Archie a book on the power of words. The Duke and Duchess of Sussex also released video of Archie dancing in his mother's arms with the rest of the group. It was the first time we were able to see the family of three since Archie's birth announcement. Meghan later spoke about the meeting during the couples Africa Documentary and about how special it was to have Archie meet someone as accomplished as Desmond Tutu, especially in regards to his work with ending apartheid.
2. Guest editing British Vogue
The September issue of Vogue is also a big seller for the fashion magazine because of the upcoming fashion weeks around the world. For this years September issue, British Vogue had the Duchess of Sussex as the guest editor. Meghan chose to title the issue as "Forces for Change" and featured fifteen women that she views as change-makers.
The magazine featured articles written by both the Duke and Duchess of Sussex as well as interviews with Michelle Obama, Jacinda Ardern, and Greta Thunberg. The cover echoed how they have been running their Instagram and for the month of September they had fans pick the fifteen accounts that they should follow.
1. Archie Harrison Mountbatten Windsor
While not surprising, the highlight of the year for the Duchess of Sussex has to be the birth of her first son, Archie Harrison Mountbatten-Windsor. Archie was born in May and introduced to the world's media two days later at Windsor Castle. The Duke of Sussex did reveal that he was a bit past his due date when talking to the press after his birth but that both Archie and Meghan did very well.
Do you have other favorite moments with the Duchess of Sussex this year? Leave a comment below!