After a short meeting with President Higgins, the Duke and Duchess of Sussex pivoted to an afternoon that made up the meat of their Dublin tour and included not a few walkabouts during which they met members of the public. Meghan also made a costume change, switching from her Roland Mouret dress to a black Givenchy suit.
First up was a stop by Croke Park stadium where football was certainly top of mind for everyone given England’s progress in the World Cup. Harry confirmed that it was most definitely “coming home.” 🙂 Croke Park, FYI, is the site of the original Bloody Sunday (1920), though the BRF has already smoothed over that particular moment in history by having the Queen make a visit to it in 2011. She was the first monarch welcomed since the shooting.
In one particularly adorable moment, the couple met a four-year-old player who greeted Harry by reaching out and tugging his beard. Meghan cracked up and Harry, after pretending to be outraged, told the little boy he better be careful as he might end up with a beard of his own soon. Naturally, all interactions with children are particularly heightened post-wedding – reporters jumped on a moment when Harry interacted with a mother with five kids, to whom he noted five might be a bit much.
Next up was the famous Trinity College Dublin where the couple viewed a facsimile of the Book of Kells, which dates back to the 9th century. They also walked through the Long Room, which was built in the 18th century and stores countless priceless and historic manuscripts.
Outside, the couple did an impromptu walkabout where they met with members of the public who had converged on the city to meet them. During one moment, Meghan declared Dublin was her very favorite city(!)
On a more somber note, they visited a memorial to the Great Famine situated near the River Liffey. The couple walked through life-like statues of people from the time period, while hearing a detailed history from writer and historian Mike Murphy. He noted that while they both had some background knowledge of the Famine, they were astonished by the “nitty gritty.”
He also stated that Meghan was well-aware that during this period Toronto (where she lived prior to her marriage) took in 38,000 Irish refugees despite only containing 18,000 residents.
Newspapers noted that during this tour, a group of young men were shouting “cat calls” from across the river, including a “crude remark” aimed at Meghan. Neither evidenced hearing anything, but Good. God.
Next up, the couple moved to the EPIC Irish Emigration Museum, an interactive display located in Dublin’s Docklands that illustrates the thousands of Irish who have moved around the world and their impact. At the Docklands, they also toured Dog Patch labs, which facilitates Irish start ups. The couple met with young entrepreneurs and learned about Coder Dojo, a global initiative for free coding clubs accessible to children.
A busy day by any standard, but let’s move to the fashion. As you may recall, I nearly lost my mind when Meghan wore an Alexander McQueen “tuxedo” trouser suit back in February – so far, it’s still my favorite thing she’s ever worn. I’m similarly a fan of today’s get up, which allowed the Duchess to move from Croke Park to a library to a memorial without ever looking uncomfortable or out of place.
Today’s Givenchy version is slightly different – the jacket is looser, the trousers are creased and belted and underneath it she’s wearing a t-shirt, not a bodysuit – but it was the perfect daytime version of the look. Paired with Sarah Flint heels and loose waves, this was a major win in my book. Now that we’ve seen Meghan in a coat dress and a fascinator, it seems only fair that the Duchess of Cambridge tries something like this at least once 😉
But before we go, I suppose we must acknowledge the one (debatable) rain cloud on the trip – Irish politician Catherine Noone tweeted after meeting Meghan yesterday that the two chatted about the recent national referendum on abortion and that HRH noted that she not only watched the lead up, but was pleased with the result, which legalized the procedure for women.
Of course, this is a bit no-no on the royal front, since members of the RF aren’t meant to express any political opinions. Noone subsequently deleted the tweet and clarified that it was misleading – that her conversation with Meghan was “benign” and she didn’t espouse any side. Frankly, I think this particular standard is a little over-wrought – no, royals shouldn’t be lobbying or persuading, but the absence of an opinion at all has always struck me as borderline ridiculous, particularly from those who will never wear the crown.
Anyway, that’s the rundown – a final walkabout was squeezed in and with that, the trip is over! The couple are likely back home at Kensington Palace right about now, and as far as we know to-date, we’ll next see them on Tuesday, July 17 for an engagement honoring Nelson Mandela.