The Duchess of Sussex celebrated Independence Day yesterday by attending Wimbledon to watch close friend Serena Williams take the court. Flanked by two friends from her university days, it marked the third time we’ve seen Meghan since she gave birth to Archie two months ago. As was noted at the time, she will continue to pop up now and again for specific engagements, and given her friendship with Williams, and the precedent set forth by the Duchess of Cambridge during her own maternity leaves, yesterday’s attendance makes sense.
As for the outfit details, the pin-striped blazer is a repeat from Meghan’s visit to Australia with the Duke in October, while the jeans are Outland (a brand debuted by Meghan during the same tour), Finlay & Co sunglasses, a Madewell hat, and a new gold necklace featuring an “A,” presumably for Archie.
On the whole I like this outfit fine (except maybe minus the hat, which doesn’t seem to quite fit).
Yesterday’s appearance raised speculation that Meghan’s two friends are in town because they are serving as Archie’s godparents. That’s entirely possible, however the fact that they made such a public outing with the Duchess does undermine the Palace’s announcement that they’re not disclosing the name of Archie’s godparents because said individuals are private citizens and requested not to be highlighted.
I can’t emphasize how much I don’t care about this particular issue, but royal reporters really seem to, so here we are. Some of this comes from the christening following so closely on the heels of the disclosure of the Frogmore Cottage renovations price tag, and some of this, it’s fair to say, goes back to how the Palace handled the announcement of Archie’s birth. (As a reminder, the Palace seemingly announced that Meghan was in labor after the baby was born, which contradicted to the state-of-play reporters had been led to believe).
I have a hard time jumping up and down about this, though I’m generally not a fan of the Royal Family creating needless friction with the media. Part of that stems from the fact that Harry’s children occupy a very different position than the Duke of Cambridge’s, and part of that from the fact that I tend to give both brothers a lot of leeway when it comes to how they handle their children. The idea that we’re owed access to children is frankly kind of gross, and I would extend that even to Prince George. I think it’s smart that William and Kate have struck a balance in which the public still gets to “watch” their children grown up (and thus have that intangible bond with them), while controlling the environment as much as possible.
As I said last week, I think Harry and Meghan are going to have to find their own groove here. It took William and Kate a couple of years (in my opinion), and Harry and Meghan are still in uncharted territory given that they’re full-time working royals raising a son without a professional future within the monarchy.
So, I understand the angst, but…I just don’t think it matters.
That extends to the most recent claims from The Daily Express that reported the fact that the Palace isn’t disclosing the godparents’ name is “illegal.” That’s the phrasing widely reported, but to put this into a less hyperbolic context, the fact that members of the Royal Family register godparent names in a private register technically violates Church of England rules. Typically this information is logged in publicly available parish registers, but royals traditionally circumvent that by using one held by the Queen.
My issue with this is that if we’re going to decide the Royal Family needs to comply with this rule, then technically the public should be upset with the Queen, not Harry and Meghan. They’re only the latest to follow a course already forged. As for the Queen, well, I think a reasonable argument could be made that she can circumvent said rules – fairly or not – as the literal head of the Church of England.
As royal reporter Richard Palmer noted, one of the best comparisons to Archie’s position in the Royal Family at the time of birth is when the Queen’s sister, Princess Margaret, gave birth to her daughter, Lady Sarah, in 1964. At the time, Sarah was seventh in line to the throne, like Archie is today. Her godparents weren’t disclosed, and somehow the monarchy stumbled on.
Unless there’s some earth-shattering new development on this front, I think I’m going to avoid this back-and-forth when I cover the actual christening, which will be whenever we get photos. That may be as quickly as tomorrow, or as late as some time next week, but it’s a happy occasion, so let’s just plan on enjoying some new family photos, yes?