Meghan Markle and Prince Harry performed their duties in difficult circumstances for their final royal engagement. The Duke and Duchess of Sussex joined the rest of the Royal Family in honoring the Commonwealth and honoring the late Queen. That was their final season as working royals, and they did not attend this year’s ceremony, which was the first for the new monarch King Charles.
Building a Sustainable and Peaceful Shared Future was the theme for 2023, which comes at a time of great upheaval in The Firm following Harry’s revelations in his Spare and the Sussexes being forced to leave Frogmore Cottage. The annual ceremony is one of the few times when the senior royals gather at Westminster Abbey for a grand service and there was a lot of tension in the air back in 2020.
Two weeks before the big event, Harry and Meghan announced that they will step down as senior royals and leave the UK. Meghan wore a vibrant green Emilia Wickstead cape dress to the service, which started to blow in the wind as she exited the Abbey.
According to Christine Ross, the editor of Meghan’s Mirror, the Duchess of Sussex wore the gown to send a quiet but strong message. She thinks it was a clear message to the designer and those who thought the two women had a “complicated” relationship.
Speaking previously on the Mirror’s royal podcast Pod Save the Queen, she said: “One of the most iconic looks is going to be her green Emilia Wickstead cape dress. “That cape blowing in the wind as she walked into the church and then walked out of the church, which was such an emotional moment for so many people as it was their last formal engagement as royals.
“That green dress will stand out in history books I think.” Christine then went on to detail Meghan and Wickstead’s “complicated story,” which stemmed from an interview the designer gave to a magazine. Wickstead characterized Meghan’s wedding gown as “simple,” which when taken out of context in other sources led many to believe she was criticizing the dress, according to the irishmirror.
“It was a pull quote from a larger interview, she really didn’t say anything negative,” she explained. “People thought Emilia Wickstead had really wronged Meghan, and it turned out that Emilia Wickstead hadn’t wronged Meghan, it was a pull quote. “Maybe a month or so later Meghan actually wore a custom Emilia Wickstead dress, and that situation shows the power of Meghan’s fashion choices.
“She was able to say with this fashion choice, Emilia Wickstead and I are great. We’re on great terms, that whole thing was a huge misunderstanding, and look at the lovely dress she designed for me.” There was some drama on the day, as Meghan and Harry were said to be “quite sensitive and emotional” over not entering the Abbey with the main party.
In an attempt to address the matter, William and Kate reportedly did not walk in the procession, despite the rules of service suggesting otherwise. Harry stated in their Netflix documentary that he was anxious about meeting certain family members for the first time after announcing his resignation from The Firm. “The first time that we saw the other members of the family was in Westminster Abbey,” explained Harry.
“We were nervous seeing the family because of all the TV cameras and everybody watching at home and everybody watching in the audience. It’s like living through a soap opera where everybody else views you as entertainment. “I felt really distant from the rest of my family, which was interesting because so much of how they operate is about what it looks like, rather than what it feels like. And it looked cold. But it also felt cold.”