New York, NY – September 7, 2019: Duchess of Sussex Meghan Markle attends womens final match at US Open Championships between Serena Williams (USA) and Bianca Andreescu (Canada) at Billie Jean King National Tennis Center (Photo: Lev Radin/Gildshire)
Presidents and Prime Ministers all say the same thing. “The United States and Great Britain have a special friendship.” Mostly true…except for that dustup over taxes, tea, and Benedict Arnold in 1776. But, since then it has all been smooth sailing between the two countries…save for Great Britain’s belligerence over getting schooled in the Revolution, which helped cause the War of 1812. Okay, so it hasn’t all been hot dogs and crumpets between the two. We share a language with our British cousins, but we fight now and again. It takes something special to bring us together. Or, someone. Princess Diana bridged the gap. When she toured the United States, the reception she received said, “The past doesn’t matter. Colonize the heck out of us.” Diana’s death was felt on both sides of the Atlantic. Now, Meghan Markle, Diana’s daughter-in-law, is enchanting the United States with her own brand.
Meghan Markle, the fashion designer:
Ms. Markle’s personal sense of style has been hailed as “exciting,” and “accessible,” all at the same time. Not an easy feat for someone this new to royalty and with a background in film and television in the United States. But, she launched her five-piece high street line in Oxford Street Thursday, Sept. 12, to much acclaim!
Her line includes a $24.00 Marks & Spencer shift dress in blue and black, a John Lewis $130.00 tote bag in tan and black, and a $244.00 Jigsaw jacket, $144.00 Jigsaw trousers and a $152.00 white shirt. The tote bag has already sold out its initial run.
How was it received? Fashion expert Rochelle White said it “perfectly reflected the Duchess’ everyday style,” and praised it for being accessible. Celebrity stylist Lucas Armitage described the cut as “perfect to ‘suit most body shapes’.
High praise indeed. But, is that the only contribution Ms. Markle has made to international relations? Not even close.
Meghan Markle, the charity ambassador:
Ms. Markle’s support for the Royal National Theatre, as well as Smart Works, the Association of Commonwealth Universities, and Mayhew all reflect her interests in the arts, women’s empowerment, access to education, and the well-being of animals, respectively. The Duchess’ rise to prominence within the halls of British influence was further cemented by her appointment as vice president of the Queen’s Commonwealth Trust. The ceremony for that appointment took place in March of this year. The Trust focuses on projects having to do with the welfare of prisoners, as well as children’s issues throughout the United Kingdom and even the world.
Also earlier this year, Ms. Markle became both a contributor and a guest editor for British Vogue. The September issue that she influenced highlighted the works of fifteen women around the world, describing them as “Forces for Change”.
Meghan Markle, the tennis enthusiast:
It is not unusual for members of the Royal Family to appear in a box at Wimbledon. In fact, sightings of the Royals are as much a part of the Wimbledon experience as strawberries and cream and occasional rain delays. However, the Royals’ attention to tennis doesn’t extend to attendance outside their own country. Not so, in the case of Meghan Markle! She combined her visit to New York Fashion Week with a chance to see the world’s greatest tennis players have at each other on the hard courts of New York City’s Arthur Ashe Center. She sat courtside to cheer on her close friend Serena Williams as she competed in the US Open final. Ms. Williams lost to Canadian Bianca Andreescu. Unfortunate, perhaps, but Canada and Great Britain are forever united, so it stayed all in the family. That would be Meghan Markle’s family, as it extends through friendship and collaboration around the world.
Brexit, trade wars, tariffs, and upheaval. Those are the things of the daily news. But, a friendly smile and a good heart can do wonders to salve burned spirits and heal a broken world. Meghan Markle, Duchess of Sussex may be a part of the healing process. Gildshire bends a knee.