The Duke and Duchess of Sussex carried out a series of engagements in Bristol yesterday, braving the snow to move from walkabouts to theatres to boxing rings. This marked the couple’s first away day of 2019, akin to the Cambridges’ visit to Dundee earlier this week, however that day was very much anchored around a specific engagement to open up the new V&A museum. In general, however, we’ve seen a specific push to get the younger royals around the UK on a regular basis so that all of their domestic engagements aren’t concentrated in London.
The day began with a walkabout during which Harry and Meghan were charmed by local elementary school children. The video below captures them actually waving their little flags and is admittedly adorable:
Next up was a stop by the Old Vic Theatre where the couple learned about various programs hosted to support the local community and children.
The second engagement ended up the headline of the day and was on behalf of One25, an organization that supports transitioning female sex workers off of the streets. Per one article from the day:
“The visit was carried out under conditions of strict secrecy. No-one outside a small core knew they were coming – not even the sex workers using the drop-in centre next door, who were totally oblivious to the royal visitors just a few yards away. After meeting volunteers and donors, the couple sat inside the outreach van which tours the red light district five nights a week.
“Amy Sutcliffe, the fundraising and communications manager, said it included an ‘ugly mugs’ wall – descriptions of punters who are a danger to the sex workers. ‘We drive around the area. Women flag us down because they know us.'”
Harry and Meghan were given the opportunity to meet with women using the organization’s resources, as well as help prepare meals that are handed out. Meghan came up with the idea of writing empowering messages on the skins of bananas, an extra touch she picked up from a charity with which she worked back in the U.S.
Last but not least, the two made it over to Empire Fighting Chance, which seeks to teach non-contact boxing to vulnerable youth. If you follow this site or the Royal Family in general you will find a regular theme of supporting young people through facilitating access to sports and art. The Duchess of Cambridge, in particular, does quite a bit of work on these themes, as has the Prince of Wales for decades.
Overall, the day was certainly a success. Less so was Meghan’s outfit, at least in my book. I was not a fan of the printed Oscar de la Renta dress, nor the green Sarah Flint boots. And even the black William Vintage coat, which was generally fine, hit me as a little boxy and too big. Alas. At least it allowed all attention to be focused on the work at hand, which is hardly a bad thing.
We’ll next see Harry and Meghan this coming Thursday for the Endeavor Fund awards, and per Kensington Palace’s announcement this week, we’ll see Kate on Tuesday.