With Kensington Palace's news that the Duke and Duchess of Sussex are expecting a baby, all eyes are on Meghan Markle's maternity style. Markle joins a long line of royals who've nailed their pregnancy wardrobes, namely Kate Middleton and the late Princess Diana. As a trendsetter at the forefront of the fashion community, fans are excited to see how the Duchess of Sussex's style will change throughout her pregnancy.
Both Princess Diana and Middleton mastered the art of maternity dressing, so it's likely Markle will take cues from her relatives. Since becoming a royal in May, Markle has channeled a handful of Diana's most iconic outfits, including sleek trousers and tailored blazer dresses. Although Markle's style has more edge than Middleton's, the sisters-in-laws share a mutual love of sweater coats — a silhouette that will no doubt pop up in Markle's pregnancy wardrobe.
The Duchess of Sussex's pregnancy comes at an interesting time in the fashion community. Case in point: Brandon Maxwell designed a cherry-red runway dress for pregnant model Lily Aldridge — a sign that fashion houses might be willing to finally enter the maternity realm. This is great news for Markle, and since she has several months ahead of her spring due date, she'll have more than enough time to play around with different pieces and silhouettes from mid to high-end brands.
But how exactly will Markle take inspiration from the royal women before her? Ahead, The Zoe Report offers a briefing on Princess Diana and Middleton's pregnancy style and what that could mean for Markle.
Princess Diana's style ran the gamut from debutante ballgowns to the power suit, signifying her stance as one of the royal family's most notable fashion risk-takers. During her two pregnancies, Diana favored frilly dresses covered in ruffles, paired with long, textured cardigans and coats. She was also routinely photographed in outfits that featured bright colors that grabbed everyone's attention.
One of her most memorable maternity outfits dates back to 1984, when she was pregnant with Prince Harry. Princess Diana was photographed at Smith's Lawn polo grounds, wearing a baggy, mohair cardigan on top of a pink, midi-length dress. She paired her outfit with matching pink pumps and a pink patent-leather shoulder bag. Her brightly colored maternity getup was a welcomed splash of color on the polo field.
Middleton has given birth three times, so she definitely knows a thing (or three) about how to throw together the perfect maternity outfit. Throughout each pregnancy, Middle has held on tight to her usual, go-to aesthetic of colorful outfits, including shift dresses paired with matching fascinators. In chillier conditions, Middleton was hardly ever seen without a tailored, buttoned-up jacket, and she also had a thing for polkadots (a nod to her late mother-in-law) and bold animal prints.
One of Middleton's strongest maternity outfits was in 2015, during her pregnancy with Princess Charlotte. The Duchess arrived to the Observance for Commonwealth Day Service at Westminster Abbey in London in the prettiest blush-pink Alexander McQueen coat dress. Paired with matching pink pumps and an intricate hat and clutch, Middleton's entire ensemble was a maternity-style win.
The Duchess of Sussex is known for infusing her own sense of style into the family's traditional aesthetic, and she's continued to craft unique looks throughout the first 12 weeks of her pregnancy.
In the weeks leading up to the Palace's official announcement, Markle didn't deviate far from her standard fashion staples (see: black heels, tailored skirts with sleek cuts, and cozy, knee-length coats in contrasting colors). While she may swap out her leather pieces for softer fabrics, it's likely the Duchess will keep her go-to blouses and overcoats in constant rotation (especially as the temperature takes a dip).