Even before she officially became part of the royal family, Meghan Markle had achieved bona fide style-icon status. Every outfit was pored over, and her high-street choices would usually sell out in a matter of hours.
So when it was announced in October that Meghan was expecting her first child with Prince Harry, royal watchers were eager to see how she would adapt her style during pregnancy.
Now, with the 37-year-old seemingly due to give birth in a matter of weeks, it’s safe to say she’s really knocked it out of the park when it comes to maternity fashion.
Throughout months of royal visits, red carpets and trips to Australia, Morocco and more, she has always looked fabulous – whether in a designer gown, bespoke coat or casual ensemble.
In fact, even if you haven’t got a royal budget available, perusing the Duchess’ maternity fashion choices offers some excellent inspiration for styling a growing bump.
Here are seven style lessons to take home from Meghan’s maternity wardrobe…
1. Stick with the staples you love
Meghan’s most frequently worn item during the latter stages of her pregnancy? It’s got to be stretchy wool and jersey dresses in block colours, often with a high neck.
It’s wise to invest in a few well-made staples that make you feel great, and will fit your bump as it grows. That way, you can simply alternate your jewellery and accessories to create new outfits.
2. Keep it classic
From Breton tops and crisp white shirts, to black skinny jeans and tailored blazers, Meghan has made a point of avoiding anything that’s massively on-trend during her pregnancy.
It’s a smart move, because it makes it easy to mix-and-match different pieces, and if there’s a chance you’ll be wearing your maternity clothes again in the future, they won’t date quickly.
3. Find your favourite combos
Unlike the Duchess of Cambridge, who wore lots of bright colours and A-line frock coats while she was expecting, Meghan has favoured shift or straight-cut dresses and trench coats in black, white and cream shades.
If you’re pregnant during winter, one good coat in a neutral hue is a must, but if you’re expecting a summer baby, adjustable wrap or shirt dresses are so useful – as shown by Meghan while visiting Tonga.
4. Add a bit of shimmer
In contrast to her usual subdued colour palette and lack of surface embellishment, Meghan has shown off a few more glitzy looks while pregnant. We’ve seen a gold brocade shift dress, a Safiyaa sequinned top, and a sparkling navy Roland Mouret gown.
It’s great to see that she’s having fun with her maternity fashion and not always shying away from glamorous outfits.
5. You can’t go wrong with black
Pregnant during party season? So was Meghan, during which time she debuted a variety of LBDs – that’s ‘long black dresses’, on this occasion – and maxi skirts, proving that noir never goes out of style.
Black is an easy way to look instantly sophisticated – and there’s nothing wrong with playing it safe and going classic.
6. Borrow from the boys
In one of the most adorable pictures from the royal tour of New Zealand, Meghan was pictured wearing a puffer jacket that belonged to Prince Harry.
It makes sense to borrow a roomy jacket from your other half if you want to keep your bump warm without having to splash out on a cosy coat that won’t fit for very long. Alternatively, buy a size up and wear it with the sleeves pushed up like Meghan.
7. You can still wear high heels - if you want
If you want to, of course. Obviously, it’s totally up to you if you only feel like wearing flats for nine months, but Meghan has continued to wear her favourite stiletto courts well into her third trimester.
We were particularly impressed when she delved into her pre-royal wardrobe (as proven by an old Instagram snap) and brought out a pair of very cool perspex and cow-print heels.