It simultaneously feels like Meghan Markle just began dating Prince Harry and as if she's always been a duchess. Her transition into royal life has been rather seamless, and yet a look back at her pre-Harry days reveals a very different persona. Meghan Markle's royal style is world's (or at least an ocean) away from what it used to be, and I've got the photos to prove it.
Markle's wedding to Prince Harry not only marked her official entry into a cushy royal life, in which she received her title, the Duchess of Sussex, but also a life full of new rules. The former Suits actress has always had a great sense of fashion, but as she is now legally related to the queen of England, Markle has to dress a little differently.
There is a long list of royal fashion rules that Markle is expected to follow, and she's been doing exactly that, but it's remarkable to see how differently she used to dress. One of the biggest changes that Markle has made in her fashion choices is that she dresses much more modestly than she used to. I’ll be the first to say that Markle looks gorgeous no matter what, but take a look at some of her most un-royal looks from the past, and she how her style has evolved.
In a photo from January 2013, Markle shows off her days of hippie maxi dresses and a generally more casual style.
This look is from August 2010 and I suspect the queen would not approve of such casual footwear, let alone Markle carrying her own shopping bags. Royals are held to a very high standard and are expected to dress significantly more polished than this.
No More Cleavage
As a non-royal, Markle wore some rather low-cut tops. A shirt she wore back in September 2009 even showed off a hint of bra! For most people, that's no big deal, but something tells me that a Duchess isn't allowed to show her undergarments.
Markle looks fabulous here, but that dress is way too low cut for Queen Elizabeths' eyes.
A menswear-inspired outfit from September 2014 is actually very polished, and I could see Markle wearing this look as a royal, but she'd definitely have to fasten a few more of those buttons.
Crop Tops Galore
Crop tops are v trendy right now, and Markle's been wearing them at least since 2013, but she's had to give them up now that she's with Prince Harry.
This 2014 outfit would probably be queen-approved if only that top were a few inches longer.
The Short Of It All
An overarching rule for the royal dress code is modesty, modesty, and more modesty, so this mini dress from 2013 would not make the cut.
Markle looks literally gorgeous here, but don't expect her to wear anything so short now that she's under the watchful eye of the queen.
All Black Everything
Members of the royal family typically only wear black when in mourning, but Markle used to love her dark, monochromatic looks. This particular ensemble from 2013 even involved jeans, which are way to casual to wear in the queen's presence.
All black and a crop top? Good thing Markle got this out of her system in 2015, almost a year before she started dating Prince Harry.
I Present To You Her Royal Highness The Duchess of Sussex
What a difference a few years can make (and a royal husband). Markle's style has always been on fleek, it's just a little more polished now that she's royal AF.