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Apr 18, 2021
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From bright coats to meaningful prints: how maternity fashion changed in the royal family

From bright coats to meaningful prints: how maternity fashion changed in the royal family

Meghan Markle / Princess Diana

In our new material, we invite you to follow how the fashion for expectant mothers in the British royal family has changed and what brand images were preferred by representatives of the monarchy of different generations during pregnancy.

Queen Elizabeth II: romantic dresses and low-key evening fashions

The first exit of Queen Elizabeth II (then a princess) during her first pregnancy was at the Derby Stakes in 1948. The day before, she announced that she would not be participating in public events from the end of June – the royal way of saying that she is in position (Prince Charles was born on November 14, 1948).

Queen Elizabeth II and Prince PhilipQueen Elizabeth II and Prince Philip

The only exception Elizabeth made was for the wedding of Lord Derby and Lady Isabel Milles-Laid in July 1948. For this event, by the way, she chose the same outfit, adding a different hat and bag.

Queen Elizabeth II and Princess MargaretQueen Elizabeth II and Princess Margaret

Elizabeth celebrated her 24th birthday in Malta when she was pregnant with Princess Anne. She came to visit her husband Prince Philip, who at that time was on the island as part of the British Navy. Then she visited the maternity ward of a local hospital – this was her last official exit before the birth of her second child. This time, Elizabeth chose a feminine dress with a print of a style fashionable at that time with a white collar and piping on the sleeves.

Prince Philip and Queen Elizabeth II

On August 12, 1959, Queen Elizabeth II received the Prime Minister of Ghana, Kwame Nkrumah, at Balmoral Castle. This is the first photo of the Queen taken after representatives of the palace announced her new pregnancy (Prince Andrew was born on February 19, 1960). At a meeting with the politician, the Queen also announced that she was forced to cancel her planned trip to Ghana due to her pregnancy.

Queen Elizabeth II with her daughter Princess Anne and the Prime Minister of Ghana Queen Elizabeth II with her daughter Princess Anne and the Prime Minister of Ghana

Got into the “pregnant wardrobe” of the queen and evening dresses. So, she, while expecting her youngest child Prince Edward (he was born on March 10, 1964), attended a performance at the Covent Garden Theater in 1963. For an evening out, she chose a velvet dress with a straight cut.

Queen Elizabeth II

Princess Diana: bright colors and fashion trends

Princess Diana had a lot of public appearances during pregnancy. By the 1980s, traditions had already changed a little, and the representative of the royal family was published until the late stages of pregnancy.

For example, at official meetings and events that were part of her duties, she appeared in the seventh month of pregnancy. And being pregnant with Prince William, she also appeared on the balcony during the Trooping The Color celebrations a few days before the birth (the celebrations took place on June 12, but the first-born of Diana and Prince Charles was born on June 21).

Queen Elizabeth II, Prince Philip, Princess Diana and Prince CharlesQueen Elizabeth II, Prince Philip, Princess Diana and Prince Charles

Well, on the day of the announcement of her first pregnancy, Diana appeared in public in a red Bellville Sassoon coat and a blue John Boyd hat.

Princess DianaPrincess Diana

Following the fashion of those years, Diana and subsequently often gave preference to bright outfits, and red and pink were among her favorites. So, at a gala evening in the Barbican Center (it just opened in 1982), she appeared in a lush red Bellville Sassoon dress.

Princess DianaPrincess DianaElizabeth Taylor and Princess DianaElizabeth Taylor and Princess Diana

At one of the polo matches, Diana came to support Prince Charles in a hot pink dress with a nautical collar, and in April 1982 she took part in the opening of the Sony factory in South Wales, appearing in a pink coat.

Princess Diana

Princess Diana

Princess Diana

Diana was known for bringing a lot to the rules and traditions of the royal family, and fashion is no exception. Among the maternity wardrobe, the Princess of Wales had not only romantic dresses, but also a tuxedo! In it, she appeared at the Genesis concert on February 29, 1984 at the NEC in Birmingham. The tuxedo was created by designer Margaret Howell.

Princess Diana

Princess Diana

During her second pregnancy, Diana again sympathized with shades of pink and coral. So, in June 1984, she appeared in a polo club in Windsor in a costume for expectant mothers Jan Van Velden and a Frederick Fox hat.

Princess Diana

Well, three months before the birth of Prince Harry, Diana again took part in the gala evening event. The Princess of Wales appeared at the June 1984 premiere of Indiana Jones and the Temple of Doom. She chose a satin blue Catherine Walker dress for her outfit.

Princess Diana

Kate Middleton: dresses with prints and multi-colored coats

Dresses with prints became Kate Middleton’s signature style during pregnancies. The Duchess of Cambridge chose a variety of styles (from sheaths to wrap dresses), but the spectacular pattern became a common feature of her outfits for official visits.

Kate MiddletonKate Middleton in Max Mara dress in 2013 Kate Middleton

For example, wearing a floral Erdem dress, she appeared at The Willows Primary School in 2013 (then she was waiting for Prince George’s firstborn) to introduce a new school counseling program.

Kate Middleton

Kate preferred the same brand in 2018, being pregnant with Prince Louis, during an official visit to Sweden.

Kate Middleton

Middleton wore another noticeable dress with a floral print in 2015 (then she was pregnant with Princess Charlotte). Then Kate visited the Cape Hill Children’s Center in Smethwick wearing a Seraphine dress.

Kate Middleton

Another fashionable feature of the Duchess of Cambridge during pregnancies was bright medium-length coats with short dresses to match. From bright red to delicate peach, the palette was varied. Such a choice made every new appearance of Kate in public truly spectacular.

Kate Middleton wearing a Boden coat in 2018Kate Middleton wearing a Boden coat in 2018

For example, in 2013, Kate appeared in a peach-colored Tara Jarmon coat during a visit to the children’s hospice in Winchester, and in 2018 she appeared in public in a light green Jenny Packham coat (this is one of the Duchess’s favorite brands).

Kate Middleton

Kate Middleton

For evening outings, Middleton preferred dresses made of flying fabrics like layered chiffon and silk. One of the most spectacular appearances can be considered a nude dress with a train by Alexander McQueen – Kate wore it during a visit to Norway in 2018.

Kate Middleton and King Harald V of NorwayKate Middleton and King Harald V of NorwayKate Middleton in Jenny Packham dress at the BAFTA ceremony in 2018Kate Middleton in Jenny Packham dress at the BAFTA ceremony in 2018

Meghan Markle: form-fitting silhouettes, classic colors and historical references

Meghan Markle’s first pregnancy took place literally in front of the public. She was announced just as her tour with Prince Harry began in Australia and Oceania, and every day the Duchess of Sussex appeared at various events, or even several times.

Returning to London, Megan continued to attend events regularly as part of her duties, and at the same time her signature style was outlined for the period of pregnancy. Megan often preferred tight-fitting dresses (the duchess was repeatedly scolded for over-emphasizing the belly). For example, while attending the Royal Variety Charity in 2018, Meghan wore a tight Brock Collection dress, and on International Women’s Day 2019, a black and white Reiss dress.

Meghan Markle in Brock Collection dressMeghan Markle in Brock Collection dressMeghan Markle in Reiss dressMeghan Markle in Reiss dress

Markle often chose the already proven Kate Middleton set – a fairly short dress and coat. But Megan’s soul more often lay in the classic calm colors, although there were bright outfits in her wardrobe at that time.

Meghan MarkleH&M dress and Armani coat

Meghan MarkleAmanda Wakely Coat and Dress

Meghan MarkleCoat and Dress by Erdem

Carolina Herrera Dress

Figue DressFigue Dress

For evening events, Megan also chose outfits in soft colors, but relied on shiny materials.

Meghan Markle in Roland Mouret dressMeghan Markle in Roland Mouret dressMeghan Markle in the top SafiyaaMeghan Markle in the top Safiyaa

By the second pregnancy (now Megan is expecting a daughter), the style of the Duchess of Sussex has changed markedly. Due to the fact that she and Prince Harry resigned as senior members of the royal family, Megan now does not have the previous regular visits to official events, but changes can be noticed. Now she often chooses free-cut maxi dresses. It was these styles that Markle chose for the photo, which announced her second pregnancy, and for the interview with Oprah Winfrey.

Meghan Markle in La Ligne dress with Prince Harry and son ArchieMeghan Markle in La Ligne dress with Prince Harry and son Archie

In addition, experts point out that Megan chooses outfits with a special meaning. For example, the Carolina Herrera dress, in which she posed in a black and white photograph, was sewn for her during her first pregnancy.

Prince Harry and Meghan Markle in Carolina Herrera dressPrince Harry and Meghan Markle in Carolina Herrera dress

I made this dress for her when she was pregnant with Archie, almost two years ago. Now it’s 2021 and our world needs to be saved, right? Undoubtedly, there is a crisis, and everyone must contribute. We are committed to creating sustainable fabrics. But the most important thing anyone can do for sustainable development is to preserve the things you bought and use them for a longer period of time. That’s why I think what Meghan has done is such a powerful message. The dress on her has not become less beautiful, because he is two years old … It makes her feel no less special or no less happy,

– said the designer of the brand Wes Gordon in an interview with the Telegraph.

Megan’s fans saw a special meaning in the Armani dress, in which she gave a sensational interview to Oprah Winfrey. The fact is that lotus flowers were embroidered on the bodice of the dress – a symbol of enlightenment, self-healing and rebirth.

Meghan Markle and Oprah WinfreyMeghan Markle and Oprah Winfrey

Complemented Megan’s look with a Cartier Love diamond bracelet, which once belonged to the late Princess Diana. Recall that the Princess of Wales once also gave an interview in which she spoke about her unhappy life in the palace.

Wallis Simpson and Meghan MarkleWallis Simpson and Meghan Markle

Many have noted another parallel, which Megan wanted to hint at in her own way. The media pointed to the striking similarity of Markle in this dress with a portrait of Wallis Simpson – from the style of the dress with a floral print to the hairstyle. In 1936, King Edward VIII abdicated to marry Wallis Simpson, an American socialite and divorced woman.

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