What a year it’s been for the Duchess of Sussex.
Over the past twelve months Meghan Markle has welcomed her first child, guest-edited the September issue of British Vogue, released a fashion capsule collection for Smart Works and embarked on her first royal tour as a parent. She nailed all of this, plus a host of day-to-day royal duties, while never straying from her style roots of sophisticated tailoring.
In the months leading up to her maternity leave, the duchess maintained her penchant for tailored staples and draped coats. The dreamy cream Calvin Klein dress and matching Amanda Wakeley coat she opted to wear to attend a gala performance of The Wider Earth in February was a perfect example of the Duchesses’ pared back and refined approach to maternity dressing.
At the end of February, both the Duke and the Duchess of Sussex headed off on their second international tour as a married couple. This time, to Morocco.
In just over 48 hours, the duchess stepped out in a carefully curated selection of six maternity outfits by a variety of designers. The look that really had fashion editors excited though? A cream custom Dior gown worn to a dinner hosted by the British ambassador. The look was topped off with co-ordinating Dior accessories and a simple bun.
Meghan’s big moment came in May with the birth of her son, and the inevitable photocall to introduce baby Archie to the world. Rather than take the safe route with an established fashion house, the duchess shone a spotlight on up-and-coming London-based designer Grace Wales Bonner for the photos which were seen around the world. The neutral tailored trench dress – a favoured style of the duchess – was simple and relaxed.
Next, it was off to Africa for Harry and Meghan’s debut tour as a family of three. This was the first time we’d really seen Meghan use fashion to make a point. Gone were the designer labels and flashy diamonds, and in were recycled looks, sustainably mindful brands and locally made jewellery.
Meghan kicked off the trip as she meant to go on, by wearing a black and white print dress by Mayamiko, a Malawi-based brand which donates £1 for each garment sold directly to Mayamiko Trust. This was teamed with a pair of flats by New York-based brand Brother Vellies, which creates its products using local artisans within Africa.
The duchess also left her expensive diamond engagement ring at home, in favour of more modest jewellery options.
As for her first royal family Christmas card, the duchess appeared in the adorable family photo wearing a recycled All Saints jumper she was first spotted in March 2018.
Scroll through the gallery above for more of the Duchess of Sussex’s best looks of the year.