Duchess Meghan is chic in navy dress from Australian designer at final private engagement at Buckingham Palce

By Heather Cichowski

Duchess Meghan had a secret engagement prior to her last joint outing with Prince Harry on March 9.

The Duchess of Sussex held a reception at Buckingham Palace with Commonwealth scholars as part of her On March 11, the Sussex Royal Instagram account shared photos of Meghan's meeting at Buckingham Palace with bright young minds from across the Commonwealth.

Fittingly, the former Suits actress paid tribute to the Commonwealth by wearing a sophisticated navy dress from Australian designer Scanlan Theodore.

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Earlier this week The Duchess of Sussex, in her role as Patron of the Association of Commonwealth Universities (ACU), met with the bright minds from across the Commonwealth to hear about their commitment to tackling the global challenges we all face. The Duchess spoke with Scholars studying and researching important areas surrounding; cleaning up plastic pollution in our oceans, helping to build more sustainable cities, improving health outcomes for citizens, and supporting decent work and economic growth. Paving the way as the next generation of leaders, these inspirational scholars, are spread far across the Commonwealth from Malawi to Malaysia, Ghana to Sri Lanka – all of whom will use the skills and knowledge they gain while studying in the UK to make a difference when they return to their home countries. The Duchess, who also attended university with support of a scholarship, is a strong advocate of accessible education for all. As the Royal Patron of The Association of Commonwealth Universities (@The_ACU_Official) since January 2019, The Duchess has met and engaged with students, academics, and staff from ACU member universities across the Commonwealth to learn more about the vital work they do to address global challenges. As President and Vice President of The @Queens_Commonwealth_Trust, The Duke and Duchess thank all those who are working to give access to education for all.

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Meghan, who is patron of the Association of Commonwealth Universities (ACU), sported the Crepe Knit Cravat Dress (US$650). The fitted style is described as "a contemporary take on a knitted dress." The standout detail is the cravat tie neckline, which drew attention to Meghan's radiant beauty.

The refined, tailored dress was tied up in high style. Photo: © Scanlan Theodore

She showed off the elegant neckline by sweeping her dark hair back into a prim low ponytail with side part. Subtle drop earrings also framed her face and the neckline of the dress.

Meghan carried a coordinating black clutch and wore Aquazzura pumps.

The California native also played into the dark colour of the dress with softly smokey eye makeup. Pink lipstick finished off the striking makeup look.

Australia was one of the original members of the Commonwealth when it was founded, along with a few other countries including the United Kingdom and Canada, so it was a lovely choice to see the duchess supporting an emerging Australian designer at the event.

The Duke and Duchess of Sussex share a loving moment while talking to members of OneWave, an awareness group for mental health and well-being, at South Bondi Beach on Oct. 19, 2018. Photo: © Chris Jackson - Pool/Getty Images

Furthermore, Australia is a special spot for her and Harry because they embarked on their first royal tour as a married couple there in 2018.

MORE: Duchess Meghan is the picture of elegance in toffee-coloured dress at young leaders meeting

The Duke and Duchess of Sussex also had a private meeting with representatives of the Queen's Commonwealth Trust (QCT) while back in the UK. Harry and Meghan shared photos from the event on Instagram on March 10.

The mom of one looked stunning in a toffee-coloured Preen by Thornton Bregazzi midi dress. The Glenda asymmetric plissé-georgette midi dress ($920) boasted plissé fabric and an asymmetrical draped skirt.

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