Kate and Meghan’s best moments of 2019 (and the decade!)
2019 – what a year! Not only did The Duchess Commentary launch – which is clearly the most important moment of 2019 for all members of the Royal Family – but the year saw Kate confidently hit her stride and step into her own, while Meghan’s year had the highest of highs (becoming a mom!) and the lowest of lows (having to file a lawsuit against the abusive press and a constant barrage of criticism from the media). Let’s take a look back at both Kate’s and Meghan’s 2019 – the best parts and the worst parts – and the highlights of their 2010s.
· Kate turned 37 at the start of the year – January 9 – and, though she’s always been a strong senior Royal, really hit her stride this year. Nothing exemplifies that fact more clearly than she and William’s Pakistan tour, which, quite honestly, was flawless. Kate has conquered being both relatable and regal, and that was on full display in everything from her mannerisms to her fashion to her causes while in the Middle East.
· Kate’s work with the Royal Family is more defined than ever, and it seems the way forward for the Duchess of Cambridge in 2020 and beyond will be a focus on children and mental health. These are two causes she has always championed, but it seems Kate’s focus has narrowed to these two causes – her passion projects. She also was given the patronage of the Royal Photographic Society by the Queen herself this year to honor Kate’s love of photography, and her Back to Nature Garden was a smashing success. She also undertook her first engagement with the Queen this year – which only took her eight years of being in the Family to do (for comparison’s sake, Meghan’s first engagement with the Queen happened in her first year of marriage). In 2020, unless she gets pregnant again – which I think could happen, as I’ve always felt four is she and William’s magic number – I would expect her to undertake her first solo Royal tour. If you’ll remember, she was supposed to travel solo to Malta in 2014, but her pregnancy and hyperemesis gravidarum with Charlotte prevented that. I think a solo tour is imminent eventually.
· To honor her work, Kate received the Royal Victorian Order, a major honor from the Queen, this year. You’ll see that RVO sash on her at pretty much every state banquet from now until forever.
· After what she calls a “style rut” in 2018, Kate revamped her look in 2019, rolling out riskier fashion choices, lightening her hair, and looking better than ever.
· After missing George’s first ever day of school because of her hyperemesis gravidarum with Louis, Kate got to attend Charlotte’s first ever day of school (and, of course, George was there as well). It was Kate’s first appearance after her summer holiday in August and she looked tan, she was wearing a gorgeous Michael Kors look, and she debuted her new, lighter hair color. Also, Louis made his Buckingham Palace balcony debut at Trooping the Colour, and it is expected that George and Charlotte will make their Sandringham church debut this week for Christmas Day. All three children are thriving, and to a loving mom, nothing is more important.
· Despite a rough year for rumors about her marriage to William – it seems those affair rumors were so long ago, but, nope, they were rampant this spring – the Cambridges seem to be more in love than ever after 17 years together, even landing the cover of People this week about why their marriage works.
· 2010s highlights: I mean, can we say that everything happened for Kate this decade? She got engaged in 2010. She got married in 2011 and became a working member of the Firm. She had children in 2013, 2015, and 2018. She went on tours to Canada, the United States, Denmark, Singapore, Malaysia, Solomon Islands, Tuvalu, New Zealand, Australia, France, Belgium, India, Bhutan, Germany, Poland, Sweden, Norway, and Pakistan (whew!). She received the Royal Family Order and stood up for herself by suing media that invaded her privacy. This decade has taught Kate the ropes of being a future Queen, and in 2020s, expect her to shine brighter than ever.
· When I was writing my post about Meghan’s fashion last week, I realized that Meghan was off duty most of 2019 – and rightfully so, by the way, as she was becoming a mom. She was off duty the back half of March, all of April, May, June, July, and August (though with some notable appearances thrown in there), and then off most of November and all of December. Yet, no one can call Meghan anything but hardworking. Even though she is “off duty” right now, she’s still working on Sussex Royal’s U.S. operations. In fact, I think Meghan is one of the hardest working Royals there is, just not always in a front-facing capacity. Major work wins for her this year? Guest editing British Vogue, launching the Smart Works collection, and the creation of Sussex Royal, both the charitable foundation and the brand. She has proven this year that she is formidable and committed to doing things her way as a Royal, and I like that.
· There was no bigger moment in 2019 for Meghan than the birth of her son Archie Harrison Mountbatten-Windsor on May 6 and his christening exactly two months later on July 6. Meghan was 37 when she gave birth and turned 38 not long after, and I know that becoming a mother was a long-delayed dream of hers that finally came true. Despite constant criticism from the outside world, inside the walls of Frogmore – where she and Harry relocated to this year – the Sussex marriage seems unbreakable. One thing that is for sure? Harry and Meghan continually show they will do whatever they have to do to protect, guard, and defend their marriage, and that it comes first. She also redesigned her engagement ring, which was first noticed at Trooping the Colour in June.
· The Sussexes went on two tours this year – Morocco and South Africa – and unprecedentedly made a documentary in South Africa. Right as the tour in South Africa was ending, Harry announced a lawsuit against News Group Newspapers, which owns The Sun, for allegedly hacking his voicemail. In November, Meghan also filed a suit, this one against Mail on Sunday, for publishing a private letter between she and her father, Thomas Markle. The Sussexes aren’t playing games with the press, and these dual lawsuits are proof.
· Plus, our duchess met Beyonce, and that alone would make for a great year.
· 2010s highlights: The then Meghan Markle probably never could have imagined in 2010 where she would be at the end of the decade. A working actress in Hollywood at the start of the decade, Meghan landed the role that would define her – Rachel Zane in the television show Suits – in 2011, married in 2011, divorced in 2013, launched lifestyle blog The Tig in 2014, and launched two clothing collections in 2015 and 2016. Then, the seismic shift – meeting Harry in 2016 and their life-changing trip to Botswana, enduring a long distance relationship before getting engaged to him in 2017 and moving to London, marrying him in 2018 and becoming a working Royal (including her first Royal tour to Australia, Fiji, Tonga, and New Zealand and her first major Royal initiative, Together: Our Community Cookbook), and in 2019 giving birth to their son. This decade was a whirlwind for Meghan, and in the 2020s, I expect major things from Meghan – for her work to be meaningful (and to mostly focus on women and girls) and for her to continue to blaze her own path as a nontraditional member of a very traditional Family.
Stay tuned in the coming days for my 2020 predictions for not just Kate and Meghan but the entire Family.