On Saturday, The Duchess of Sussex will celebrate her first birthday as a royal. While we’re expecting Prince Harry to lavish Meghan Markle with all sorts of fancy additions to her wardrobe (already rumoured to be valued at close to $1 million), like bespoke Givenchy dresses, animal rights group PETA has gifted Markle something a little more practical.
Elle UK is reporting that PETA sent the former Suits actress a vegan leather handbag from brand Alexandra K. “This bag suits Meghan Markle’s fashion sensibility and animal-friendly attitudes to a T,” PETA’s director, Elisa Allen, said in a press release. "PETA hopes the gift will encourage the royal family and its fans alike to embrace compassionate brands like Alexandra K and to steer clear of cruelly obtained animal skins.”
Alexandra K’s founder and designer Alexandra Kościkiewicz says her goal for the label is to convince costumers to choose vegan fashion. “We want to show them that vegan synthetic leather can be used in high fashion,” her website notes. The bag PETA chose for Markle’s birthday retails for $399 (£305) and is made of ultra-durable and environmentally-friendly Freedom Leather (the brand’s sustainable alternative to traditional vegan leather).
In 2015, Markle admitted to Best Health that she tries to eat vegan during the week, and allows herself to be flexible during the weekend. “But at the same time, it's all about balance,” she told the website. “Because I work out the way I do, I don't ever want to feel deprived. I feel that the second you do that is when you start to binge on things. It's not a diet; it's lifestyle eating.” No telling where “lifestyle eating” falls on Markle’s list of things she’s no longer allowed to do now that she’s a royal, but we have a feeling Queen Elizabeth II will approve of the gift — after all, at least it’s not a pair of wedges.