How Meghan Markle and Other Royals Use Fashion to Send Messages

How Meghan Markle and Other Royals Use Fashion to Send Messages

  • Meghan Markle wore no color as a working princess until her last week at royal engagements in 2021.
  • Her wardrobe now includes bright colors and mission driven designers, which speaks to her values.
  • Fashion allows women in royal families to make subtle statements without actually speaking a word.

Meghan Markle is surrounded in a frenzy of activity by a team dressmakers. They fluff her Carolina Herrera-style overskirt and pin the bodice until the garment fits perfectly.

“Have you ever had four people helping you into a dress?”Episode three features a roommate asking a question. “Harry & Meghan,”As the Duke & Duchess of Sussex prepare to attend the Salute to Freedom Gala at a friend’s apartment in New York City,

“No! Never!”Meghan says.

“The color is amazing,”A stylist adds. 

It was November 2021. This was more than a year ago that Prince Harry and Meghan resigned from their roles as senior royals. They also resigned from their lives in the UK in February 2020.

Meghan was a star at the gala wearing a poppy-red gown with a billowing train, plunging neckline and plunging neckline. To highlight her diamond-drop earrings she paired her dress with red Giuseppe Zanotti sandals.

Prince Harry and Meghan Markle at the 2021 Salute To Freedom Gala in New York City.

Prince Harry and Meghan markle at the 2021 Salute To Freedom Gala held in New York City.

Dia Dipasupil/Getty Images

Meghan’s bold look was quite a departure form the usual. “muted tones”She wore it as a working member to the royal family, as she explained in the docuseries.

Meghan stated that she “rarely wore color” at royal engagements

Royal protocol was a major reason Meghan chose a neutral outfit. Meghan stated that this was because she understood the importance of it. royals couldn’t wear the same color as higher-ranking family members.

Meghan also said that she tried her best to not stand out at public appearances by sticking to a subdued palette of colors.

“I never wanted to upstage or ruffle any feathers,”She said. “So I just tried to blend in.” 

At royal engagements she chose conservative designs in various shades khaki or cream, such as the camel Sentaler coat that she wore to her engagement first Christmas Day service with the royal family2017 2017

Queen Elizabeth, Meghan Markle, and Kate Middleton on Christmas Day in 2017.

From left: Queen Elizabeth, Meghan Markle and Kate Middleton, on Christmas Day in 2017.

Getty Images. Joe Giddens/PA Images

Her wardrobe underwent a dramatic transformation after Meghan and Harry announced that they would be retiring from royal life in 2020.

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Meghan wore a rainbow of outfits at her final royal events to send a message

During their last week of royal visits to the UK in March 2020 Meghan left beige behind.

Meghan wore this dress on March 5. cerulean-blue Victoria Beckham pencil dressTo the Endeavour Fund Awards; she matched Harry in a red military uniform on March 7. scarlet Safiyaa gownMountbatten Music Festival at The Royal Albert Hall. On March 9, she paired with an emerald-green Emilia Wickstead cape dress with a matching William Chambers fascinator for the Commonwealth Day Service at Westminster Abbey — her final official engagement as a senior royal.

“I wore a lot of color that week,”She said: “Harry & Meghan.” “I just felt like, ‘Let’s just look like a rainbow.'”

Meghan Markle's colorful outfits from her farewell tour of the UK in March 2020.

Meghan Markle’s bright outfits on her farewell tour of Britain in March 2020. From left: at the Mountbatten Music Festival; the Endeavour Awards; and the Commonwealth Day Service at Westminster Abbey.

SIMON DAWSON/POOL/AFP via Getty Images. Max Mumby/Indigo/Getty Images. Dan Kitwood/Getty Images

Lauren Rothman, a corporate and political fashion stylist, image expert and author “Style Bible: What to Wear to Work,”Insider was told that Meghan’s choice of brighter colors for her final royal appearances indicated her newfound freedom. According to her, fashion is about style. “one of the strongest forms of nonverbal communication.”

“Anytime boundaries are removed, or we feel that sense of freedom to be who we want to be, we’ll see a shift in how someone dresses and how someone’s expressing themselves,”Rothman said.

She continued: “When you go from being wallpaper and blending in to stepping into your authenticity, that’s when we start to see what power looks like in your language.”

Meghan’s style was drastically altered after she left the UK and the royal life.

Meghan has lived in California since her move to California. embraced a more relaxed wardrobeIt includes J Crew denim shirts, olive-colored shorts, and Adidas sneakers. For formal events, she continued to favor vivid colors. She wore an example: emerald Giorgio Armani midi dressWhile speaking at a Women’s Fund of Central Indiana fundraising event, she wore a twisted mockneck and keyhole cutout. The long-sleeved dress was paired with bright-purple Manolo Blahnik BB shoes. Women’s Wear Daily reported. The duchess wore a unique neckline and unusual color combination to make an eye-catching look that she probably wouldn’t have worn to an engagement as a working princess.

Meghan Markle wears a green Giorgio Armani dress with purple stilettos

Meghan Markle speaks at a fundraiser for the Women’s Fund of Central Indiana in November 2022.

Nathaniel Edmunds Photography

She also chose bold outfits by sustainable designers. She wore a Carolina Herrera red Carolina gown during the November 2021 New York visit. burgundy suitLoro Piana, sustainable designer, visits Harlem elementary school. And at One Young World SummitMeghan chose a bright red ensemble from Another Tomorrow in September. This activist brand advocates for animal and human welfare. website

Meghan has been vocal about sustainability, even outside of her wardrobe. In October 2021, she will be a “sustainable” woman. partnered with the asset manager EthicShe and Harry created Archewell to promote sustainable investing in November 2001. net-zero carbon emissions by 2030.

Meghan Markle wearing red outfits

Since her return from royal life, Meghan Markle has worn bolder colours. Left: Meghan visits Harlem elementary school wearing Loro Piiana in November 2021. Right: Meghan in Another Tomorrow at September 2022’s One Young World Summit.

Robert Kamau/GC Images / Chris Jackson/Getty Images

Meghan may be sending messages with this shift in her style.

Her desire to not be there is long gone “ruffle any feathers,”As she put it in the Docuseries. She does not have to fade into the background.

“I think what’s tiring at times for folks in the royal family — but really in any family of prominence — is not everyone can do sameness,”Rothman said. “That’s a lot of what Meghan describes, is this sameness in color and fashion and style and etiquette and presence.”

Rothman says that Meghan was a symbol of that sameness. “ready to disrupt.”

Other royals have capitalized upon public fascination for their wardrobes

Princess Diana “revenge dress”This is the most well-known example of a royal fashion moment that has a purported message.

On the same night Charles admitted publicly to having an affair, Diana wore a black off the shoulder dress by Christina Stambolian. Her fashion choice made headlines the next morning, overshadowing coverage about her husband’s affair. The Independent

“Previously considered too daring, the dress showed that Diana was an independent, powerful woman who was not going to be overshadowed or intimidated by anyone anymore,” celebrity stylistExpert in royal fashion Miranda Holder told Insider via email.

Left: Princess Diana in her

Left: Princess Diana with her “revenge dress”1994. Right: Queen Elizabeth is wearing a brooch given to her by the Obamas back in 2011. The brooch was worn again by Queen Elizabeth in 2019, the same day that former President Donald Trump arrived in the UK to make a state visit.

Jayne Fincher/Getty Images ; Yui Mok – WPA Pool/Getty Images

There have also been more explicit royal fashion statements, such as when Queen Elizabeth wore a brooch given to her by the ObamasThe first day of Donald Trump’s 2018 state visit to Britain was in 2018. Or was it a subtle indication of the Queen’s opinion of the former-president? Or was it a tribute to her? relationships with many US presidents over the years? A color, cut, or accessory’s subtlety lends itself to plausible denial.

Royal fashion speaks volumes without having to say a word

Because royals have to remain “as neutral and apolitical as possible,”Holder said that fashion is still an effective tool that can be used to speak volumes without saying a word. 

Although the palace has not responded in writing to the claims made in “Harry & Meghan,” royal-family members wore coordinating outfits at a December 16 Christmas concert, which appeared to contradict Meghan’s claimAs she understands royal protocol, it is not acceptable to wear the same color as other senior members of the monarchy. Kate Middleton, Princess Charlotte, Zara Philips, and Pippa Middleton all arrived in maroon to the event — the first that the whole family attended since Harry and Meghan’s Netflix show premiered, Insider’s Samantha Grindell reported.

Left: Zara Tindall, Michael Middleton, Carole Middleton, James Matthews and Pippa Middleton attend the 'Together at Christmas' Carol Service at Westminster Abbey on December 15, 2022 in London, England. Right: Prince William, Kate Middleton, Prince George, and Princess Charlotte at the same event. The royals matched in maroon.

Zara Tindall (Pippa Middleton), Kate Middleton (Kate Middleton), and Princess Charlotte wore maroon to the ceremony “Together at Christmas”Christmas carol service at Westminster Abbey, December 16, 2022

Chris Jackson/Getty Images ; Samir Hussein/WireImage/Getty Images

Holder saw the royals’ matching clothes as a demonstration of Holder’s ability to see. “resilience and strength, along with unity and togetherness as a family”Following the premiere of the docuseries. 

“Fashion is a visual artform that communicates so much to the onlooker in one single glance,”She said. “Whether it is the psychology of the color they are wearing, the history or symbolism of a piece of jewelery, support for a new British designer, the rewearing of an item as a climate conscious statement, or simply the formality or fluidity of their silhouette, their style always speaks volumes.”

Or, Rothman put it: “A dress is never just a dress.”

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