Prince Harry brought an unexpected guest with him to an Invictus Games event today – Miss Meghan Markle. After Meghan’s attendance at Saturday night’s opening ceremony, I was leaning towards the thought that we probably wouldn’t see her again until the Games’ close on the 30th, if at all. And yet, lo and behold, here she is, sitting directly next to and holding hands with Harry at an official royal engagement.
I think it goes without saying this bodes well for a certain announcement we all know is coming. The only question – as it has been for a while – is when. And at this point, all of our guesses are as good as anyone else’s because the rule book has absolutely been thrown out with this relationship (and good for them!). I’ve been saying “any day now” since the summer and, well, I guess I’ll keep saying it until it’s official.
There were some questions following Saturday’s event as to why Meghan didn’t sit next to Harry. The answer is frankly less one of “protocol” then it is one of optics. Given the government representatives sitting with Harry, it would have been a little inappropriate for Meghan to have joined unless she was formally engaged or married. It also considered the amount of professional pressure Harry was under to deliver a headliner speech and represent the Royal Family.
Today’s event, on the other hand, was much less formal and pressurized. As such, it was a perfect way to slowly introduce Meghan to the idea of a public engagement, also leveraging that the Invictus Games are personally significant to Harry.
And lest we think this is all one-sided, on the contrary – it’s been reported that while in Toronto, Harry paid a similar visit to the set of Meghan’s television show, “Suits.” He was given a tour, met cast and crew, and generally got a sense of what her professional life was like. Which is wonderful – I genuinely like that her career is being treated with as much respect as his, not just a roadblock around which they need to maneuver before she can become a “princess.”
As for today, Meghan joined Harry for the wheelchair tennis games. The couple sat courtside where reporters quickly pointed out they were watching, whispering, giggling and chatting with their seatmates. The Daily Mail noted that: “Word that the couple were attending together swept the arena when the prince’s private secretary, Ed Lane Fox, was seen busily preparing two seats and looking agitated.”
One thing that quickly jumps out from these photos is that not only is this their first public appearance together, but these are the first real photos we’ve gotten of the two that aren’t paparazzi shots of them walking in London or blurry long lens photos from when they are traveling. I mean, that’s fairly obvious of course, but it’s worth noting that if and when this relationship become formalized, these images are actually historic.
Should Harry marry Meghan, her very presence and inclusion in the BRF is a bit groundbreaking. Should it be? Probably not, but the fact of the matter is that it is – from her nationality to her marital status to her profession to the candor with which she has discussed being mixed race. This moment is an important one in Meghan’s “career” as a royal and this relationship is pivotol for the BRF.
Moving right along to fashion: Meghan is wearing a white Misha Nonoo shirt, Sarah Flint flats, Everlane’s Day Market Tote and Mother jeans. In the meantime, I’d like to point out how markedly relaxed Meghan’s style is in comparison with the Duchess of Cambridge’s. This is not to make the point that one is more or less effective as a public figure, but I think this does underline that how Meghan chooses to approach her role as Harry’s significant other and potential spouse is markedly different from how Kate did – and indeed, how Kate was expected to.
And then there’s this, because same:
A video of the two leaving the game:
Meghan’s attendance today begs the question as to whether we’ll see more of her throughout the week. The short answer is that we don’t know, but given that they didn’t make an effort to spread out her appearances, I would say it’s entirely possible.