While Meghan Markle has managed to defy many of the expectations that come with dating Prince Harry (namely, as a non-Brit who holds her own spotlight as an actress), a few sartorial changeups may indicate that the actress is ready to fall in line with the royal family’s more traditional protocols — especially amid rumors of the couple’s imminent engagement.
The biggest clue may be a shift in hemlines. While the 36-year-old American has been known to wear short skirts, shorts and ripped jeans (as recently as September, she wore a pair of the latter to the Invictus games with Harry, their first official public appearance together), it will be no surprise if she begins to embrace Queen Elizabeth’s reported “no-knees” policy, which prohibits shorter hemlines as well as exposed shoulders.
Prince Harry’s new girlfriend, actress Meghan Markle, wears a matching jacket and shorts in July 2016.
Another clue to Markle’s switch-up to a royal-friendly dress code? Since reports began to surface late last year that the duo were an item, the “Suits” star has also been steadily incorporating more traditional British brands into her wardrobe, from Burberry coats to Hunter wellies — staples that contrast with Markle’s roots as a California girl.
She has also been following in the footsteps of her potential sister-in-law, Kate Middleton, wearing prim lace dresses like the Diane von Furstenberg shift she sported last year (a variation on a style that Middleton wore in 2012, albeit one with a much shorter hemline), and throwing a tailored jacket over a dress, as she did with a navy ruffled Antonio Berardi dress and white blazer while watching Harry play polo in May. She may also begin to incorporate Middleton’s habit of invisible pantyhose with skirts and dresses.
At left, Meghan Markle wears a Diane von Furstenberg dress in 2016; Kate Middleton wears a longer version on Nov. 7.
While adhering to a more royal-friendly dress code will mean toning down looks — and hemlines — for public appearances, there’s a good chance that Markle’s penchant for ladylike closed-toe pumps by designers like Christian Louboutin and Aquazzura will remain unchanged, if Duchess Kate’s similar style preferences are any indication.
Check out how Meghan Markle and Prince Harry look with their couple-coordinated style.
Meghan Markle wears a dress that cuts below the knee while attending Prince Harry’s Audi Polo Challenge game in May.