As expected, Prince Harry and Meghan Markle stepped out in New York last night to accept their honour at the Ripple of Hope Gala hosted by the Robert F Kennedy Human Rights organisation. They both joked that it was “date night” for them, with Harry quipping that they don’t get out much because their children are so young.
Harry and Meghan were recognised for calling out racism and raising awareness for mental health. In conversation with Kerry Kennedy during the event, Meghan was asked why she decided to share her own experience with depression and anxiety and explained that she revealed that she ultimately decided to talk about how she struggled with suicidal ideation because she didn’t want “anyone to feel alone”. Harry added that, “We collectively can heal together if we share our stories”.
Sharing their story is the theme of the week though because of course Netflix’s Harry & Meghan drops tonight and by tomorrow at this time, a lot of people will be talking about the stories that Harry and Meghan are about to share in the first three episodes. If this goes according to formula, I suspect the first episode will mostly be about their beginning – how they met, how they fell in love, with exclusive never-before-seen photos and perhaps video of their early time together. Because that sets up the high, the fantasy, and you need that contrast with what’s about to come next. This is how it works in any romance, comedy or drama. From a narrative perspective, that’s the track that you put down so that the viewer will root for the couple. It’ll be interesting to see how the audience responds to that romantic energy before the ride gets more bumpy for our protagonists.
But even that is part of the controversy. Harry refers to a “hierarchy of the family” in the trailer for Harry & Meghan, and by British monarchical primogeniture, he and his wife were never supposed to be protagonists. Harry the spare was always meant to be in a supporting role and it’s a role he says he’s been happy to assume. But as his mother’s child, he’s never really blended into the background. And in combination with his wife, well, look at these two. Look at them in New York last night. That is not supporting character energy. And as much as their detractors will insist that they made themselves the main characters and that’s where the problems started, no camera could resist these two and blur them out of focus. That was actually an asset for the crown until, well, until it was perceived as a threat.
Now, though, the Sussexes have quit the crown life and are based in America where they don’t have to distinguish between royal and celebrity. In England, they try to sell you on the difference when in reality, royals are just the OG celebrities, they are celebrities with titles who insist they’re not celebrities because of their titles. It’s the same sh-t.
Palace life is like a film set with a call sheet to match. On a Hollywood call sheet, #1 is always your lead performer and the numbers that follow represent the other members of the cast in relation to the size of their roles. In royal terms, this is basically the line of succession. Harry and Meghan were #6 on the call sheet with #1 energy. Back then at least. These days they can be #1 on their own set. And they are definitely leaning into that.
Meghan was serving a #1 on the call sheet look last night on the Sussexes’ first step-and-repeat in some time. It’s one of her best outfits of all time, in fact. This is custom Louis Vuitton and it’s perfect for the occasion – Vogue points out that white symbolises peace which is in line with their appearance at a philanthropic event, but the function of it also works because the design looks great when she’s both standing and seated. Also, just a note in case it wasn’t obvious, custom means it wasn’t chosen two days ago. Custom means it was in the works for a while, well before last week – if you know, you know.
But this was also a familiar silhouette for Meghan. Not unlike her wedding dress with its bateau neckline. The Louis Vuitton is a true off-the-shoulder but the point here is that the Duchess often opts for a wider cut around the neck. This look suits her beautifully and its also well-constructed, no issues with gaps or creases or wrinkles. A really great outfit accessorised by another wedding memory – Princess Diana’s aquamarine ring, seen for the first time since Harry and Meghan’s wedding day when she wore it for the reception. Very smart and strategic styling decisions on the eve of the premiere of the docuseries as the last visuals they’ll leave with people before they watch the show.