The Duchess of Sussex dazzled in a sweeping Dior gown as she joined husband Prince Harry for a reception at the British ambassador’s residence in Morocco on Sunday night.
Mother-to-be Meghan, 37, looked radiant in the custom crystal-embellished cream number, which she teamed with glittering £6,950 diamond earrings and a satin clutch, also by Dior.
The couple, who arrived in Casablanca on Saturday night for a three-day tour, have had a busy full day of engagements, which saw them meet schoolgirls and learn more about education in the North African country.
Tonight they are guests of the British ambassador to Morocco, Thomas Reilly, and his wife, Leah, at their official residence in Rabat, a city which has been rocked by riots in recent days.
The dinner has been arranged to allow Harry, 34, and Meghan to meet young leaders, women leaders and disabled athletes.
The Duchess of Sussex dazzled in a sweeping Dior gown as she joined husband Prince Harry for a reception at the residence of the British ambassador to Morocco in Rabat on Sunday night
Mother-to-be Meghan, 37, looked radiant in the custom crystal-embellished cream number, which she teamed with glittering £6,950 diamond earrings and a satin clutch, also by Dior, both pictured
A traditional Moroccan five piece drum band played as Harry and Meghan arrived at the residence on Sunday evening, left. Right, radiant Meghan held her blooming baby bump as she spoke to guests inside the ambassador’s residence
The couple, who arrived on Saturday to kick off a three-day tour, walked up a red carpet which had been laid for their arrival
Pregnant Meghan looked radiant at the evening engagement, choosing a simple, slicked back hair style and bronze make-up
Harry and Meghan were handed two bouquets of colourful roses by ambassador Thomas Reilly’s two daughters Orla, 12 and Elsa, eight. The sisters revealed the flowers had been hand-picked from their garden and they were ‘glad’ Meghan liked them
The Duchess of Sussex was typically charming as she spoke to the ambassador’s daughters before making her way inside
Once inside the ambassador’s residence the Duke and Duchess of Sussex were given a traditional rosewater greeting
A traditional Moroccan five piece drum band played as Harry and Meghan arrived at the residence on Sunday evening.
The couple walked up a red carpet which had been laid for their arrival before being handed two bouquets of colourful roses by Mr Reilly’s two daughters Orla, 12 and Elsa, eight.
Meghan, wearing a ‘Moroccan inspired’ cream dress by Dior, smiled as she took a bouquet from Orla, saying: ‘Thank you, that is so kind, they are beautiful’.
The Duchess introduced her husband, turning to him saying: ‘This is Harry,’ as the Duke bent down to shake the sisters’ hands.
After asking Elsa her name Meghan was handed a second bouquet, which she smelt exclaiming ‘Wow, they are so sweet.’
The Duke and Duchess were then shown into the house by the Ambassador to be welcomed by guests from across Moroccan society including young leaders, entrepreneurs, business representatives and influential people from local girls’ education and sport.
The Duchess of Sussex gazed lovingly at her husband as they arrived for the reception at the British ambassador’s residence
Meghan, who is expecting her first child in April, smiled as she approached the ambassador’s daughters outside the official residence in Rabat, left. The royal later commented on how beautiful the flowers looked, right
The Duchess of Sussex spent a few minutes chatting to the ambassador’s daughters, Orla, 12, and Elsa, eight, at the event
Meghan took it upon herself to introduce the girls to her husband, Prince Harry, who was dapper in a suit and olive tie
The Duke and Duchess of Sussex beamed as they walked hand-in-hand through the beautiful entrance to the residence
Eight-year-old Elsa Reilly, daughter of the British ambassador, handed Meghan a bouquet outside the residence in Rabat
The crystal detailing on the Duchess’ gown caught the light as she arrived at the British ambassador’s residence with Harry
The Duchess’ smokey eye perfectly complimented her radiant complexion and the sumptuous feel of her evening gown
The Duchess of Sussex brought an extra touch of glamour to her look with metallic point toe pumps and a Dior clutch
Afterwards Orla said: ‘We were quite nervous meeting them but they were really nice. Prince Harry asked us if we lived here all the time or whether this was a temporary house and asked us if we had parties like this every week, which we don’t otherwise it would be a lot of work! It’s been a lot of preparation but really fun.
‘The flowers we gave them were from our garden which we helped choose and Meghan said they were beautiful which we are so glad about.’
Elsa said: ‘It’s been very busy but at the end it all turned out well and it was very good.’
The event was held to highlight the positive difference the guests have made to Moroccan society through their influence and activities.
Upon entering the home the Duke and Duchess were given a traditional rosewater greeting and were officially welcomed by the ambassador’s physiotherapist wife, Leah.
Earlier Harry and Meghan, who touched down in Casablanca last night, visited the town of Asni to learn about the Moroccan NGO Education For All (EFO founded by British entrepreneur Michael McHugo as their royal tour of Morocco began in earnest.
The custom gown, pictured, featured flattering drapery across the shoulders and dramatic exaggerated cape sleeves
At tonight’s reception two embassy workers, Rachida Benaniba and Rachida Jouji, poured rose water from ornate sprinklers onto the royal couple’s hands and then gave them towels to dry their hands. Meghan thanked them by saying ‘merci’
Meghan, 37, and Harry, 34, met around 130 influential Moroccans at the reception, including captains of industry, military officers, disabled athletes and young entrepreneurs. The Duchess looked in good spirits as she spoke to guests, pictured
Meghan, who has had a busy week jetting between New York, London and Casablanca, beamed as she mingled at the event
The Duchess of Sussex urged female leaders to continue to challenge the status quo during one conversation at the event
The Duke of Sussex, dapper in a navy suit, white shirt and olive tie, smiled as he spoke to the dignified guests at the residence
The Duke and Duchess of Sussex are meeting women, young entrepreneurs and disabled athletes at the dinner, hosted at the British ambassador’s residence. Pictured, Harry mingles with guests at the event on Sunday night
The Duke of Sussex appeared deep in concentration as he spoke to guests at the British ambassador’s residence in Rabat
During their visit today, Meghan apologised for her ‘high school French’ but while her linguistic skills earned her compliments Harry admitted he doesn’t speak the language ‘at all’ – prompting one girl to remark: ‘She was better than her husband!’
Meghan, 37, was casually dressed in a £394 Alice + Olivia blazer and skinny jeans teamed with £90 Birdies slippers and a £67 ‘blanket scarf’ from Wilfred — a far cry from the dazzling couture Valentino gown she wore to touch down in Casablanca last night.
She later changed into a smarter look for an investiture ceremony at a second EFA boarding house, pairing her jeans with a white tunic shirt and black slingback heels.
EFO builds boarding houses for girls aged 12 to 18 to ensure that youngsters from rural communities in the mountain region are able to access secondary education – a cause close to Meghan’s heart as an outspoken advocate of women’s rights.
Students lined the street in anticipation of the couple’s arrival, and Meghan, who is seven months pregnant, was handed a bunch of roses by 16-year-old student Hasnaa.
During the visit the duchess took part in a henna ceremony – an ancient custom that is thought to have its roots in North Africa – and had a design painted on her hand to celebrate her pregnancy. The traditional henna flower was applied by 17-year-old Samira Ouaadi, who has lived at EFA for six years.
Glowing Meghan kept her makeup to a minimum. She are visiting the town of Asni as their royal tour of Morocco begins in earnest, with the couple learning about the Moroccan NGO Education For All founded by entrepreneur Michael McHugo
Meghan meets dignitaries and staff working at EFA. The organisation builds boarding houses for girls aged 12 to 18 to ensure that youngsters from rural communities in the mountain region are able to access secondary educationm
Meghan’s henna flower tattoo to celebrate her pregnancy. The traditional henna flower was applied by 17-year-old Samira, who has lived at EFA for six years. Henna is a dye traditionally made up of ground up henna leaves and water
What are henna tattoos and are they safe?
The Duchess of Sussex had a floral henna design applied to her hand in the town of Asni in Morocco’s Atlas Mountains today
Henna is traditionally used for special occasions in India, Pakistan, North Africa and the Middle East – particularly during pregnancy.
It is often applied during the third trimester of pregnancy, as it is believed to protect both mother and child from evil spirits.
The dye is traditionally made up of ground up henna leaves and water, along with a few drops of essential oil or lemon juice.
It is painted on the skin in an intricate pattern and left on there for a day before it can picked off, staining your skin brown.
Natural henna is very safe, and according to NHS guidelines is fine to use during pregnancy, depending on the essential oils it contains.
Black henna, however, comes with health risks as it contains a chemical called paraphenylenediamine (PPD).
At one of six girls’ boarding houses for charity Education for All, Meghan sat down with Samira who painted three delicate flowers on her left hand.
Meghan watched intently as Samira quickly drew the design, encouraging Harry to watch and also to take the mint tea they were offered. ‘How lovely’ she said. ‘Merci’.
Samira said: ‘It’s tradition for pregnant women in Morocco to have a henna tattoo. We do it for major celebrations like getting married or having a baby. It’s like the plant of paradise so we use it to mark all major occasions.’
After one concerned official asked if she wanted to wash it off immediately, she laughed and said: ‘It will dry as we walk through’.
Celebrating Baby Sussex! Harry and Meghan during this morning’s henna ceremony as they visit the ‘Education For All’ boarding house for girls aged 12 to 18 in Asni – kicking off the first official day of their Morocco tour
The Duke and Duchess of Sussex pose for a photo to commemorate their visit to the boarding house in Asni on Sunday. The first Education For All (EFA) project was opened in 2007 and it now has 50 EFA girls enrolled at university
Harry and Meghan have henna applied in a ceremony on Sunday morning. Henna is traditionally used for special occasions in India, Pakistan, North Africa and the Middle East including the arrival of a baby
Baby Sussex was quite the theme for the girls, as they sang songs of welcome and good luck for the baby due in April as the couple arrived and left.
After the henna ceremony, Harry and Meghan met some of the girls who live in the boarding house and go to school at the lycée Grand Atlas opposite.
Looking at a board containing the girls’ biographies, Harry commented to Meghan: ‘This is very interesting, they always mention the father, ‘my father wanted me to do this’, ‘my father that’ etc’
‘Yes that paternal narrative is very strong,’ replied his wife, who is a strong supporter of women’s rights.
In the computer room, Meghan spoke to a number of high school girls, including Saida Obha, 18.
First they chatted in English, ‘your English is fantastic’ Meghan told her. ‘You do your homework here as well as research? It’s your last year of school, do you want to go to university and what do you want to do?’
Saida said she wanted to be a writer like her favourite author William Shakespeare. Meghan then started chatting in French to a group of girls, telling them it was nice they could all do their exams together.
The teenager said: ‘Her French was good and it was a surprise she spoke it so well ‘But Harry said he didn’t speak French at all. ‘She was better than her husband!’
On a CV from her acting days, Meghan described herself as ‘proficient’ in French and fluent in Spanish.
As Meghan chatted with the girls this morning, one said (in English): ‘Thank you so much for being here with us.’
Meghan replied: ‘It’s an honour to be here ‘I’d love to come back. What’s happening here and so many places all over the world with more girls getting an education, it changes the future and changes the future for everyone not just the girls.’
Harry and Meghan were them taken upstairs to be shown the girls’ dormitory. Around 35 girls live in the house, one of six in Asni town.
The couple were affectionate through the engagement, Harry placing his arm around the back of Meghan’s chair in the classroom and holding hands outside.
Out of the football pitch, where they watched a mixed sex team play football, the couple strolled the length of the pitch before stopping to talk with goalkeeper Salima Baaziz, 16.
Speaking what she later described as all sorts of languages, the couple gestured to her ring finger to ask if she was married or engaged, as well as talking about her football skills, age and name.