Following that announcement earlier this month, detailing their intentions to step back as senior royals, the Duke and Duchess of Sussex have already started adapting to their new transition period - which will involve dividing their time between the UK and Canada.
While Harry remained in the UK to attend official engagements and continue discussions with his family, Meghan flew back to Vancouver - where the couple spent their extended Christmas break - to be with baby Archie. The duchess has been staying on the remote and beautiful Vancouver Island - which offers ultimate privacy - but hasn't simply been putting her feet up; she wasted no time in trying to establish what her local working life might look like, and was pictured visiting two female-focused charities in downtown Vancouver on Wednesday.
Her choice of charities - the Downtown Eastside Women's Centre and feminist climate change group Justice for Girls - nicely complemented the initiatives she'd chosen to align herself with in the UK, indicating that she intends to continue this type of charity work transatlantically.
Yesterday, The Duchess of Sussex, Meghan Markle visited to discuss climate justice for girls and the rights of Indigenous peoples. Was great to talk about the importance of a holistic approach to social justice, and the power of young women’s leadership. #DuchessOfSussex pic.twitter.com/M9LaqEELl7
— Justice For Girls (@JFG_Canada) January 16, 2020
As Meghan will well know by now, what she chooses to wear for both her public and private appointments will be endlessly dissected (and, all too often, criticised) by the press - so she'll be very aware of making savvy wardrobe choices at this particular moment in time. For the visits, the duchess opted for a comfortable, casual outfit, consisting of all items she's worn previously and owned for a while (likely intentional, given the flack she's received for perceived 'overspending') - including black skinny DL1961 jeans, flat knee-high boots by Le Chameau, and a cream cable-knit jumper, which eagle-eyed fans recognised from her Suits wardrobe.
The former actress was first seen wearing the jumper - which is by luxury American fashion label The Row - in character as Rachel Zane back in 2013, in an episode during season three of the hit legal drama.
I will not post the new paparazzi pics. Just know that Meghan is wearing her The Row sweater which she already wore on Suits and her Barcourt coat pictured here from 3 years ago. pic.twitter.com/ZMTneUo8JS
— Ninou Desameau (@NDesameau) January 15, 2020
So what does this tell us about Meghan's new take on royal dressing? Her choice to wear old favourites was no doubt deliberate - given that she knows how much her outfits will be talked about - and her look felt pointedly far more casual and laidback than many of her previous, more formal, royal outfits. Here she was opting for comfort and practicality (it's currently snowing in Vancouver, after all), while being event-appropriate; there would be nothing more jarring than visiting a charity while wearing new expensive designer wares.
It could also be a nod to her previous, non-royal life, when Meghan was a successful working actress with the right to wear what she chooses; or perhaps the move has prompted her to dig out some old favourites from her time spent living in Toronto, which she's enjoying wearing again.
Whatever her reason for choosing to wear the sweater (perhaps she just likes it!), might this be the start of an unassuming, more down-to-earth approach to royal dressing? Time will tell.
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