Meghan Markle’s Style Evolution: From Actress to Royal to L.A. Mom

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WINDSOR, ENGLAND - MAY 19:  Meghan, Duchess of Sussex leaves Windsor Castle in the Ascot Landau carr...
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Meghan Markle has had quite the journey over the past few years. Her style has reflected the momentous changes in her life, from actress to princess-to-be to working duchess, and finally into motherhood as she exited the royal family. As a star on Suits, she regularly worked the gala and fashion show circuits and Markle’s earliest fashion go-to's included a killer pair of heels in red, black, and white. When Markle was thrust into the royal family upon her engagement to Prince Harry in 2017, she turned to more modest silhouettes from beloved British designers, with crisp tailoring and exquisite fabrics befitting a duchess. Markle also gained an understanding of the power of bright, saturated colors. Like the Queen and Princess Kate, she embraced monochrome looks in shades of green, blue, and red that photographed beautifully and allowed her to remain visible among a crowd.

When she got pregnant with her first child, Archie, her maternity style got a moment in the spotlight, as Markle stayed comfortable in flowing gowns and lower heels, while sometimes opting for power dresses that highlighted her baby bump. These days, Markle is out of the royal spotlight and living in Los Angeles, which means she has some freedom to dress how she likes. The past few years have brought with it more trouser-anchored looks, bright colors, and even the occasional ball gown. While we wait for Markle to make another appearance (an increasingly rare occurrence these days), let’s take a look back at her best looks, from her days as a budding actress to a post-royal LA mom.

2023: Ms. Foundation Women of Vision Awards
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Markle was joined by Harry, as well as her mom, Doria Ragland, and Gloria Steinem at the Ms. Foundation 2023 Women of Vision Awards: Celebrating Generations of Progress & Power. For the occassion, the Duchess wore a gold jacquard Johanna Ortiz strapless dress with a keyhole cutout and Tom Ford heels.

2023: Robert F. Kennedy Human Rights Ripple of Hope Gala
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Markle attended the Robert F. Kennedy Human Rights Ripple of Hope Gala in a white, off-the-shoulder dress with a tulip skirt, custom made by Louis Vuitton. She completed the look with drop earrings from Carolina Herrera and black pumps.

2023: State Funeral of Queen Elizabeth II
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The Duchess mourned the passing of Queen Elizabeth II in a black Stella McCartney cape dress, Valentino gloves, a Dior hat, and Stuart Weitzman heels.

2023: Invictus Games
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In an attempt to stay cool while attending the Invictus Games in Dusseldorf, Markle paired a white Anine Bing halter neck knit top with wide-leg Brandon Maxwell trousers and Dior pumps.

2022: One Young World Summit
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Markle was red hot in a blouse and trousers from Another Tomorrow, which she paired with matching Aquazzura heels.

2022: Invictus Games Reception
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The Duchess loves a monochrome moment, and during a reception for the 2022 Invictus Games, Markle wore a white, double-breasted Valentino suit, which she paired with a bag from the brand along with Aquazzura pumps.

2021: Salute to Freedom Gala
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Markle wowed in a red Carolina Herrera gown with Giuseppe Zanotti at the Salute to Freedom Gala in 2021.

2021: Global Citizen Live
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It’s pretty rare for Markle to wear a mini dress, but the Global Citizen Live event in NYC called for a white, embellished Valentino shift dress, which showed off the Duchess’ legs.

2020: Commonwealth Day Service
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Markle looked like a gem come to life in an emerald cape dress from Emilia Wickstead with a matching hat and nude pumps.

2020: Mountbatten Festival
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It seems that Markle has a thing for read as the Duchess wore the color once again in the form of a caped Safiyaa dress at the Mountbatten Festival of Music in 2020.

2020: The Endeavour Fund Awards
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This photo of Markle and Harry walking in the rain—Harry in a blue suit and Markle in a blue Victoria Beckham knee-length dress—has become a classic of the couple.

2019: The Lion King Premiere
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Markle kept it fairly simple with a Jason Wu dress, Lorraine Schwartz earrings, and a Gucci clutch for the world premiere of the live action Lion King.

2019: Wimbledon
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The Duchess watched her friend Serena Williams alongside her sister-in-law, Princess Kate, at Wimbledon. For the ocassion, Markle wore a white Givenchy button down and a blue and black pleated Hugo Boss skirt.

2019: Trooping The Colour
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For her first public appearance following the birth of her son, Markle wore a navy Givenchy dress with a matching hat by Noelle Stewart.

2019: Photocall Introducing Prince Archie
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Prince Harry and Markle introduced their son to the world with a photocall in which the Duchess wore a double-breasted Dior dress and nude pumps.

2019: Commonwealth Day Service
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Markle topped her patterned Victoria Beckham dress with a textured blazer coat and pillbox hat.

2019: Commonwealth Day Youth Event
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The Duchess looked gorgeous in an emerald green jacquard dress and jacket at the Commonwealth Day Youth Event in 2019.

2019: International Women's Day Panel
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A pregnant Markle wore a printed Reiss dress with an Alexander McQueen blazer and Manolo Blahnik pumps at an International Women’s Day panel in 2019.

2019: Morocco Visit
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The Duchess joined Harry for a visit to Morocco where she wore a blue patterned Carolina Herrera dress with ruffled sleeves.

2019: Cirque du Soleil Totem Premiere
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For the premiere of the new Cirque du Soleil show at the Royal Albert Hall, Markle opted to wear a blue sequined Roland Mouret gown with long sleeves and a modest slit.

2018: Christmas Day Church Service
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Markle attended Christmas day services in a navy blue look from one of her go-to brands, Victoria Beckham.

2018: Australian Geographic Society Awards
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This Oscar de la Renta pre-fall 2018 “Scribble” dress Markle wore to the Australian Geographic Society Awards in 2018 may be one of the Duchess’ most out-there looks to date.

2018: Royal Air Force Centenary Service
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Markle wore a classic black Dior dress with a boat-cut neckline and an a-line skirt to the Royal Air Force's 100th anniversary in 2018.

2018: Mersey Gateway Bridge Opening
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The Duchess loves a caped moment, and in 2018 she wore this Givenchy dress with a chest-length cape to the Mersey Gateway Bridge opening.

2018: Trooping the Colour
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The Duchess also loves an off-the-shoulder neckline, which is why this pale pink Carolina Herrera dress was likely an obvious choice for the Trooping of Colour event in 2018.

2018: Wedding to Prince Harry
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Markle wore a simple and elegant Givenchy dress designed by Clare Waight Keller with a boat-cut neckline to marry Prince Harry in 2018. The lace-lined veil held a special meaning, as it featured a unique flower from every Commonwealth country, hand embroidered on the silk tulle.

2017: Christmas Day Church Service

The soon-to-be Duchess attended her first Christmas with the royal family in a Sentaler wrap coat and brown suede Stuart Weitzman boots. She finished off the look with Marks & Spencer leather gloves, a Philip Treacy hat, and a Chloé bag.

2017: Engagement Announcement
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Prince Harry and Markle celebrated their engagement at a photo call at Kensington Palace where Markle wore a white Line the Label wrap coat over an emerald dress with nude Aquazzura pumps.

2016: P.S. Arts’ The pARTy
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The then-actress wore blue shorts and a matching blazer to a party in 2016.

2015: CFDA/Vogue Fashion Fund Awards
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Markle supported one of her former favorite designers, Misha Nonoo, in a silver mini dress at the CFDA/Vogue Fashion Fund Awards.

2014: Elton John AIDS Foundation’s 13th Annual An Enduring Vision Benefit
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The actress attended Elton John’s event in a dark teal halter neck dress with a mermaid-style skirt.

2013: London Global Gift Gala
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Markle wore a black strapless dress with an asymmetric, gathered skirt to an event in 2013.

2013: The Hunger Games: Catching Fire Premiere
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Five years before becoming a Duchess, Markle was already embracing British designers. In 2013, she wore a long-sleeved Alexander McQueen mini dress to the premiere of the second Hunger Games film.

2013: MuchMusic Video Awards
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Markle attended the MuchMusic Video Awards in her native Canada in a white mini dress.

2013: Elle’s Women in Television Celebration
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Wearing a raspberry Marchesa knee-length dress, Markle attended an event held by Elle in 2013.

2012: GQ Men of the Year Party
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Markle wore a burnt orange, knee-length dress to a GQ party in 2012.

2012: Golden Globe After Party
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The actress wore a low-cut, blue knee-length dress with red pumps to a Golden Globe after party in 2012.

2006: The National Kidney Foundation Event
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For one of Markle’s first-ever red carpet appearances, she opted to go casual in boot cut jeans, a black jacket, and strands of pearls.

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