Meghan Markle appeared to take a leaf out of the Princess of Wales’ style book on Tuesday night, when she donned a daring off-the-shoulder white gown, complete with thigh-high slit, to accept an ‘anti-racism’ award in New York alongside Prince Harry – days after Kate wore a near-identical design to the Earthshot gala in Boston.
The 41-year-old Duchess was beaming from ear-to-ear as she made her way into the Ripple of Hope Gala in New York City – pulling her husband, 38, along by the hand.
Meghan and Harry are attending the gala – an event for which tickets were being sold for up to $1 million each – to accept a human rights award from the Robert F. Kennedy Human Rights Foundation, a prize that counts Barack Obama and Hillary Clinton among its former recipients.
Meghan went all out with her ensemble for the evening, opting to wear a form-fitting white gown that left her shoulders completely exposed, and also featured a racy thigh-high split that flashed her lean legs as she strutted through the Manhattan rain.
She paired the look with a boxy black clutch and long gold earrings, while her brunette locks were slicked back into a low bun, allowing her glamorous makeup look to shine through.
The couple – who profess themselves to be eco-warriors – arrived at the event in a convoy of three SUVs, accompanied by five security guards who helped them out of their vehicle, having jetted into New York City on a private jet yesterday.
Prince Harry and Meghan Markle beamed from ear to ear as they arrived at a glittering New York City gala on Tuesday night – when they will accept an award for the ‘heroic’ stance against ‘structural racism’ in the Monarchy.
The couple – who profess themselves to be eco-warriors – arrived at the event in a convoy of three SUVs, accompanied by five security guards who helped them out of their vehicle
41-year-old Meghan’s dress bore an uncanny resemblance to the off-the-shoulder gown modeled by the Princess of Wales at the Earthshot Gala in Boston last week – an event that was overshadowed by the Sussexes’ Netflix trailer release
Both Meghan and Harry flashed wide smiles as they arrived at the Ripple of Hope Gala, where they will be presented with an award for their ‘heroic’ stance against ‘structural racism’ in the Royal Family, organizer Kerry Kennedy said
RFK’s daughter Kerry Kennedy revealed last month that she had chosen to honor Harry and Meghan for taking a ‘heroic’ stance against ‘structural racism’ in the Royal Family – comments that likely only served to drive an even bigger wedge between the Sussexes and the Monarchy.
News that the pair were set to be awarded the honor by the RFK Foundation, which is run by Kerry, ex-wife of disgraced former New York Governor Andrew Cuomo, initially sparked bewilderment, even from within the Kennedy clan.
Her brother, RFK Jr., admitted to DailyMail.com that he was left ‘baffled’ by the decision, saying: ‘It’s a bewildering choice but still an encouraging step up from 2020,’ referring to Anthony Fauci, who won the award two years ago.
However, any confusion over the decision to present the couple with the humanitarian award quickly turned to shock when Kerry, 63, told Spanish news site El Confidencial that she had chosen to honor Harry and Meghan for their ‘heroic’ stance against the ‘structural racism’ of the Monarchy.
Harry, 38, held an umbrella over himself and Meghan, who guided her husband into the event by the hand
The Duchess paired her white dress with a boxy black clutch and matching heels, and she had her dark brunette locks pulled back into a low bun, allowing her glamorous makeup look to shine
The Duchess of Sussex wore a pair of long gold earrings – and she flashed a glimpse at her large engagement ring as she and Harry walked into the event
The couple made their way into the gala through a side door of the hotel – under the watchful eye of several NYPD cops – and made a speedy dash down the red carpet, refusing to stop to speak to press
‘They went to the oldest institution in UK history and told them what they were doing wrong, that they couldn’t have structural racism within the institution; that they could not maintain a misunderstanding about mental health,’ she said.
Kerry went on to speak about her late father’s visit to apartheid South Africa in 1966, saying that Harry and Meghan have the ‘moral courage’ that many people didn’t to discuss racial justice.
‘Few would have the courage to question their colleagues, family and community about the power structure they maintained, and this is what Meghan Markle and Prince Harry have done,’ she continued.
She doubled down on those comments at the gala this evening, telling the waiting press that she was ‘proud’ of Harry and Meghan for ‘standing up’ and ‘talking about racial justice and mental illness’.
‘They’ve stood up, they’ve talked about racial justice and mental illness in a way that was incredibly brave,’ she said, adding that she was particularly impressed by Meghan’s decision to speak out about her own mental health battles during the Sussexes’ bombshell interview with Oprah last year – when the Duchess revealed that she had struggled with suicidal thoughts.
While Meghan and Harry made an appearance in New York, the Royal Family – including the Prince and Princess of Wales – threatened to ‘out-glitz’ them at a Buckingham Palace reception, which took place just hours earlier
The Princess of Wales wore a red lace dress by Jenny Packham with the Lotus Flower tiara she has worn on occasions before
King Charles III and Queen Consort Camilla arriving at the palace for the reception this evening
‘For Meghan to get out there on national television and normalize a discussion about mental health is incredibly important and brave,’ Kerry added. ‘The issues around racial justice are also incredibly important. I’m incredibly proud of them.’
No doubt her remarks will have done little to heal the ever-widening rift between the Sussexes and the Royal Family – particularly as they came just days before the couple released the first of two bombshell trailers for their upcoming Netflix docuseries, both of which hinted that the pair will launch a fresh barrage of attacks on the Monarchy.
Meghan and Harry’s appearance at the gala comes hours after they were spotted arriving in New York on a private jet – their first public outing since their explosive Netflix documentary trailer was released to the world.
The Duchess beamed as she and Harry stepped into a waiting SUV before making their way into the Big Apple, with the 41-year-old sporting an all-black outfit and large sunglasses, while her 38-year-old husband wore a buttoned-down white shirt and black trousers.
But while the Monarchy has no doubt been rocked by the release of the couple’s second Netflix trailer, senior royals proved this evening that the show will go on – even in the face of incoming attacks from the Sussexes – when they put on an incredibly glitzy display at their own glamorous event.
King Charles and Queen Consort Camilla were joined by the Prince and Princess of Wales at Buckingham Palace, where they attended the annual white tie diplomatic corps reception – with all four putting on an incredibly glamorous display.
Camilla, 75, looked stunning in an Anna Valentine gown with the Queen’s much-loved sapphire and diamond tiara with its matching necklace.
Meanwhile the Princess of Wales wore a red lace dress by Jenny Packham with the Lotus Flower tiara she has on occasions worn before.
She had her GCVO and Royal Family orders pinned to her dress and sported a pair of Queen Elizabeth’s diamond earrings.
Tonight’s event comes after the Prince and Princess of Wales looked loved up as ever in heart-warming behind-the-scenes Instagram snaps taken at this year’s Earthshot Prize awards ceremony in Boston.
The royal couple, both 40, appeared to channel Prince Harry and Meghan Markle – who recently shared a slew of intimate photos in the explosive trailer ahead of their documentary later this week – in theatrical black and white shots.
Mother-of-three Kate was effortlessly elegant in an off-the-shoulder dress, with her chestnut tresses cascading down her back; she was snapped walking along in the figure-hugging ensemble, which featured a slit along the back.
Harry and Meghan arrived in New York on a private jet on Monday, and were pictured leaving the airport and getting into a waiting SUV
It was the first time the couple had been seen in public since the release of their incendiary Netflix documentary trailers
Making their appearance at Buckingham Palace on Tuesday, the royals maintained their stoicism – embodying the age-old mantra ‘Keep Calm and Carry On’, despite ongoing scandal and controversy surrounding the release of Harry and Meghan’s upcoming docuseries in less than two days’ time.
In a second trailer for their documentary, which was released yesterday, Harry alleged the couple had suffered from leaks and planted stories that backed up the Royal Family ‘hierarchy’.
Meanwhile, allies of the couple told the Netflix cameras that there was ‘a war against Meghan to suit other people’s agendas’, with one claiming ‘it’s about hatred, it’s about race’.
In clips for the show, the duke also took aim at royal aides, smirking as he commented: ‘It’s a dirty game.’
But royal sources insisted it was ‘absolutely wrong’ to suggest the couple had been briefed against, and insisted ‘unprecedented steps’ had been taken to support them.
One insider told The Daily Telegraph that royal staff were instead ‘bending over backwards to work with them’.
They added it was ‘non-stop on their behalf’ when it came to defending them against negative stories – which began when rumors emerged of the couple’s behavior towards staff.
Another said the narrative comparing Meghan to Kate was ‘fabricated’ with no difference between how they were treated by the press.
During the second teaser for the series, a friend is heard claiming that the couple’s experience has been ‘about hatred, about race’ as a strikingly intimate and previously unseen clip flashes up of an exasperated Harry, 38, holding a hand to his face as Meghan passes behind him while heavily pregnant with their daughter, Lili
Prince Harry describes life in the Royal Family as a ‘dirty game’ in the second Netflix trailer
Royal experts have warned the series could be particularly uncomfortable for the Princess of Wales by focusing on the ‘early days’ of her relationship with William.
Jack Royston, chief royal correspondent at Newsweek, today said the trailer’s content suggested the documentary would not just concern itself with recent events but also delve into the more distant past – including the rocky early days of William and Kate’s romance.
He told Good Morning Britain: ‘We’ve had Kate in both the trailers. In the most recent one there’s a strapline underneath which is a headline from a magazine cover…
‘That particular magazine included an allegation that the Queen was embarrassed of her and photographs of her drunk in public were on the front cover.
‘So if they’re going to go into the early days of Kate and William’s relationship that could be very uncomfortable.’
The royal watcher also predicted Netflix would revisit a story from 2018 which claimed Meghan made Kate cry when she unfavorably compared Princess Charlotte to her best friend’s daughter during a bridesmaid fitting.
He added: ‘In the Oprah interview that was described as a major turning point where everything changed, then in this latest Netflix trailer you have Harry saying, ”this was the turning point” – they don’t say what he’s talking about but you kind of already know.’