Before she was the Duchess of Sussex, Meghan Markle walked red carpets and attended film premieres as a US actress.
Her wardrobe was stacked with mini-skirts, form-fitting dresses and stiletto heels, whilst her makeup bag bulged with bold lipsticks and eyeshadows.
But when she married Prince Harry in 2018, Meghan underwent a style evolution and swapped her Hollywood glam for more regal raiment.
The duchess donned tailored coats and modest frocks for two years before she and her husband announced they’d be stepping down from royal duties.
Now, Meghan is creating a new image for herself outside of the monarchy and that means a whole new wardrobe free from the restraints of royal fashion protocols.
She still knows how to embrace British style for rare royal events, like the Queen’s Platinum Jubilee, but also embraces casual trends like these chic sailor shorts with feminist icon Gloria Steinem.
From her outings at the Invictus Games in 2022, through to her chic New York moments in July 2022, Meghan has proved her fashion game is changing.
But even though the Duchess of Sussex has embraced a fashion shakeup since leaving the UK, she made sure to return to her royal wardrobe when she paid her respects following the Queen’s death in September 2022.
Then, a little over a month after the monarch’s death, Meghan was photographed for Variety.
While not in a royal wardrobe, the duchess still held an aristocratic elegance as she donned formal dresses and gold jewellery.
Some outfits included a Max Mara beige sleeveless belted jumpsuit with a Jennifer Fisher golden globe cuff, as well as a Giorgio Armani black v-neck sleeveless blouse and a 10k yellow gold choker necklace.
But fancy frocks aren’t the only fashion statements Meghan is known for…
We’re celebrating her style evolution following her royal exit, so keep reading to see all her best looks!
Meghan cut a sombre figure at the Queen’s funeral in this Stella McCartney cape dress, the same style she wore to the queen’s birthday celebration in 2018, and long Valentino gloves. She paired it with a chic Dior hat and pearl studs gifted to her by the Queen as she paid her respects.
For her solemn appearance as the Queen’s coffin Lay in State, Meghan donned a black Givenchy coat and Stephen Jones Millinery veiled beret fascinator. The duchess also donned a sentimental pair of pearl stud earrings gifted to her by the Queen in 2018.
Appearing for the first time since the Queen’s tragic September 8 death, the Duchess of Sussex was respectful in a black knit midi dress and pumps. Her outfit bore many silimarities to Princess Catherine’s as the women put on a united front.
Business casual was the name of the game as Meghan attended an Invictus Games event in Dusseldorf with Harry. She paired these wide-legged Brandon Maxwell trousers with a sleevless sweater and chic Dior pumps, but it was her choice to don Princess Diana’s classic Cartier watch that really delighted royal fans.
During her return to the UK for the One Young World summit in September 2022, where she gave what turned out to be a controversial speech, Meghan donned this vibrant red bow blouse and matching trousers from Another Tomorrow. The duchess paired the outfit with red suede pumps while slicking her hair back into a tight ponytail, looking as elegant as ever.
One word: wow! The Duchess of Sussex glowed in this Gabriella Hearst black and white jumpsuit as she and Harry went out for dinner in New York in July 2022. It also looked a lot like a dress Catherine wore just a few months earlier.
Business chic! Meghan donned a black Givenchy pencil skirt accessorised with a Mulberry bag to attend the UN Nelson Mandela Prize award ceremony at the United Nations in New York in July 2022.
While at the Dutch non-profit initiative Project Fearless Meghan appeared as a guest coach at a girls’ entrepreneurship course. She looked at ease and stylishly dressed in a tan Chloe blazer and black pencil trousers which she accessorised with Princess Diana’s Cartier watch.
Meghan returned to her royal sartorial looks for the Queen’s Platinum Jubilee 2022 National Service of Thanksgiving in a white Dior coat dress. Her sparkling earrings were particularly significant as they were the same ones she wore to her and Harry’s final engagement as senior royals back in March 2020.
On a visit to Uvalde, Texas to honour the 19 elementary school students and two teachers who were killed in a tragic mass shooting, Meghan kept things low key in jeans, a white T-shirt, white sneakers and a cap.
Her Pretty Woman moment! At the polo, the Duchess of Sussex looked regal in her long-sleeve black and white polka dot blouse, Khaite shorts and wide-brimmed black hat.
Back in another mini, Meghan let her brown pumps do the talking in this chic laser cut minidress by Valentino, completing the look with a touch of red lipstick.
The duchess struck a smart casual balance when she paired this white Brandon Maxwell belted jacket with a pair of dark wash denim jeans for one of her last Invictus Games appearances.
Meghan wowed in this Khaite NY bodysuit, which she paired with black slacks and sheer Manolo Blahnik pumps as she introduced Harry to the stage.
For a casual appearance at the games, the duchess donned loose jeans and a Celine tweed jacket with Chanel ballet flats.
This monochrome look was topped off with a chic Ralph Lauren coat in camel.
Arriving at the Invictus Games in the Netherlands, Meghan donned a crisp white Valentino suit that usually retails for over $5,600, which she paired with a matching leather bag.
The Duchess of Sussex made a stunning appearance at the NAACP Image Awards in February 2022, donning this vibrant blue Christopher John Rogers gown at the awards that honours Black talent. She accessorised with Princess Diana’s yellow gold omega chain cuff bracelet, a tribute to her late mother-in-law.
Christmas saw the Sussexes release this sweet card, featuring Meghan in a casual combination of jeans and a navy sweater.
In November 2021 Meghan made her debut appearance on The Ellen DeGeneres Show in this Oscar de la Renta blouse that features unique cut-outs along the sleeves.
Meghan stole the show in November 2021 with a surprise red carpet appearance dressed in a red Carolina Herrera gown that took everyone’s breath away.
In November 2021 Meghan made an appearance for The New York Times DealBook Online Summit. Dressed in a black blouse, wide leg trousers and her signature black suede pumps, the royal kept her outfit understated and wore a Remembrance Day poppy pinned to her chest.
A month before, Meghan showed off her casual side to read her children’s book The Bench. In a video posted on YouTube, she donned a breezy powder blue button down, with blue jeans and elegant gold accessories.
The duchess well and truly embraced her style evolution when she stepped out in a mini dress for the first time in years at the Global Citizen Live festival in September 2021. The white embellished sheath design from Valentino showed off her legs and chic black heels, while she wore her hair in a loose, low ponytail.
Meanswear again! The following day Meghan donned another monochrome ensemble, pairing this Loro Piana coat and matching trousers with a pair of her favourite Manolo Blahnik suede pumps. The outfit is estimated to have cost over $10,000 – and that’s not including jewellery!
During their New York visit, Meghan stepped out in this understated ensemble, matching her Max Mara wool coat to her Valextra handbag. The rest of her outfit was in shades of black, including her Roland Mouret skirt, Armani heels, and Valentino sunglasses.
Monochrome seemed to be Meghan’s new favourite fashion trend as she attended a meeting with United Nations Deputy Secretary-General Amina Mohammed in this tan ensemble, which featured her Max Mara coat again.
Royal watchers had their first true glimpse of Meghan’s new sense of style when she and Harry stepped out in New York at the end of September. The Duchess of Sussex dressed all in navy and embraced the menswear trend in wide trousers and a tailored Giorgio Armani coat with a high collar.
The duchess’ more relaxed style was apparent from one of her first appearances after she and Prince Harry announced their exit. Appearing on Good Morning America, the royal wore a simple white button-down and minimal jewellery, signalling the start of her style evolution.
Meghan donned a comfortable denim button-down and wore her hair in a messy bun in a video released for Archie’s first birthday in May 2020.
She sported a similar shirt with jeans and flats for a hands-on visit to the Preschool Learning Center in LA in August 2020.
The duchess embraced a return to wearing trousers when she and Harry made an appearance in TIME magazine’s live broadcast in honour of their 100 Most Influential People of 2020. Generally, royal ladies are expected to wear skirts and dresses for most formal engagements.
Meghan donned a relaxed, floral-printed maxi dress and another plain white maxi in a series of photos released in February 2021 to announce her pregnancy with daughter Lilibet. She also went barefoot, something royals rarely do – especially not for photos!
After announcing she and Harry were expecting their second child, Meghan wore a feminine Oscar de la Renta frock for a Spotify video.
The Duchess of Sussex seemed to be returning to her pre-exit royal style when she sat down for an interview with Oprah Winfrey in March 2021 in this Armani frock.
Meghan appeared in yet another maxi dress – a recurring favourite during her pregnancy – for a surprise appearance in a Global Citizen video. The red frock was a favourite with fans, and one of her last really ‘royal‘ ensembles.
Now this isn’t a shirt you’d expect to see a royal in! Meghan sported a graphic tee with the phrase ‘Raising The Future’ printed across it during a brief cameo in a trailer for Harry’s documentary The Me You Can’t See.
The duchess embraced another casual outfit for a video released on her 40th birthday. Dressed in a white tank top, cuffed trousers and cosy shrug, she looked chic in the relaxed outfit.
Pants have been a staple in the Duchess of Sussex’s royal exit wardrobe, as she proved when she and Prince Harry graced the cover of TIME magazine in September 2021.