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2019 in review: The Sussexes

Picture by Stephen Lock / i-Images

It has been a busy year for the Duke and Duchess of Sussex. The Duchess took on her own patronages, we saw a couple of royal tours, and they welcomed their first son, Archie Harrison Mountbatten-Windsor. As the year comes to a close, we take a look back at the Sussexes busy year.

January 2019:

Starting off 2019, The Duke and Duchess paid a visit to Birkenhead, England. Meghan was about six months pregnant at the time. In many photos, the Duchess can be seen cradling her baby bump and in one of her most noteworthy outfits of her pregnancy, a purple dress with a red coat by Canadian label Sentaler.

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This appearance marked the couple’s first official engagement of the year. Harry and Meghan took their time to greet well-wishers in the town centre, and they had even opened up about possible due dates for baby Sussex. At this point, they announced that they had not found out if they were having a boy or girl.

February 2019:

In February, this would mark Harry and Meghan’s final joint tour before the Sussexes became a family of three. During this time, the couple visited Morocco. According to a Kensington Palace spokesperson, the visit was an attempt to “build on the close relationship between the UK and Morocco.”

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A notable part of this visit was when Meghan received a traditional henna tattoo. The tattoo is designed to bring her unborn child good luck. The tattoo was drawn by a student at the Education For All Centre in the Atlas mountains.

March 2019:

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Heavily pregnant, the Duchess attended a Commonwealth Day Youth Event at the Canada House with her husband. During the event, the couple spoke on a wide range of topics including fashion, the arts and academics.

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The Duchess’ last public appearance before going on maternity leave was at the Commonwealth Day Celebration. The Royal Family gathered at Westminster Abbey to celebrate the 53 Commonwealth countries. The year prior, this was Meghan’s first official engagement with the Queen. Also in attendance for the 2019 Commonwealth Day were The Duke and Duchess of Cambridge, Prince Charles and the Duchess of Cornwall and of course, Her Majesty The Queen.

April 2019:

Originally, it was thought that the Duchess would be due sometime in late April. No official photos were taken of Meghan at this time, but we did see Prince Harry out and about.

The Prince joined his brother William at the “Our Planet” global premiere at the Natural History Museum.

We also saw the Duke join his sister-in-law, the Duchess of Cambridge at Anzac Day Services, a day which honours Australians and New Zealand residents who have died in military conflict or peacekeeping operations.

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May 2019:

On 6 May, the world rejoiced at the Duke and Duchess became parents for the first time. In the early hours of the morning, the two welcomed their little baby boy.

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Unlike the Cambridge children’s births, the Sussexes waited a few days to reveal their baby to the world. On 8 May, the couple showed off their newborn, Archie Harrison Mountbatten-Windsor during a photocall at Windsor Castle.

A few days later, Prince Harry had a couple-day solo trip to Norway. The couple also celebrated their first wedding anniversary on 19 May.

June 2019:

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Taking some time to spend with baby Archie, the first time we would see Meghan since his birth would be at the Trooping of the Colour. The Queen’s annual birthday parade, Meghan and Harry were pictured travelling down The Mall in a horse-drawn carriage.

The parade marks the official birthday of the Sovereign. However, The Queen’s actual birthday is 21 April.

July 2019:

Exactly two months after Archie was born, on 6 July, his parents invited family members to a private christening ceremony. Two official photographs were released to mark the occasion. Those photos were taken at Windsor Castle.

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In attendance were the Prince of Wales and the Duchess of Cornwall, Ms Doria Ragland, Lady Jane Fellows and Lady Sarah McCorquodale. The Duke and Duchess of Cambridge were also in attendance.

August 2019:

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Meghan was still on maternity leave with Archie in August. However, Prince Harry did find time to attend The Rugby League Challenge Cup Final on 24 August. The game was between St Helens and the Warrington Wolves. The event happened at Wembley Stadium.

September 2019:

Coming back from maternity leave, the Duchess launched her charitable clothing line, Smart Set. In collaboration with Smart Works, it was a line of five women’s workwear pieces. The collection showcased four different British clothing brands. For every item purchased, one was donated to Smart Works.

The Duke and Duchess of Sussex at the Nyanga township in Cape Town, South Africa, on the first day of their Royal Tour. Picture by i-Images / Pool
Andrew Parsons / i-images

Towards the end of the month, Meghan and Harry jetted off to Southern Africa for an official trip with their son Archie. During the visit, the Sussexes brought Archie with to meet Archbishop Desmond Tutu at the Desmond & Leah Tutu Legacy Foundation.

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October 2019:

The two-week-long tour carried into the beginning of October. On 2 October, Meghan and Harry attended a Creative Industries and Business Reception in Johannesburg.

On this day, The Duchess spoke with ITV’s Tom Bradby about how she had been “struggling” with being in the spotlight since becoming a member of the Royal Family.

This clip, as well as candid interviews with the Duke, would later be aired on the ITV special, Harry and Meghan: An African Journey. The special also aired on ABC in the United States.

November 2019:

On 8 November, Their Royal Highnesses attended the traditional Remembrance Sunday events alongside the Royal Family, as well as visited the Fields of Remembrance.

On 9 November, the Duke and Duchess joined other members of the Royal Family for the Royal British Legion Festival of Remembrance.

The annual event took place at the Royal Albert Hall.

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December 2019:

The family of three travelled to Canada to take a break from royal duties. According to a palace spokesperson, the couple had taken their son to Canada for the holidays.

The Sussexes did issue an electronic Christmas card to wish a Merry Christmas and Happy New Year.

About author

My name is Sydney Zatz and I am a University of Iowa graduate. I graduated with a degree in journalism and sports studies, and a minor in sport and recreation management. A highlight of my college career was getting the chance to study abroad in London and experiencing royal history firsthand. I have a passion for royals, royal history, and journalism, which led me to want to write for Royal Central.