THEN AND NOW: Royal maternity fashion over the years, from Queen Elizabeth's maternity coats to Meghan Markle's designer gowns

Keystone-France/Gamma-Rapho via Getty Images, Anwar Hussein/Getty Images, Pool/Samir Hussein/WireImageQueen Elizabeth, Princess Diana, and Meghan Markle during their pregnancies.
  • Women in the royal family continue to carry out engagements while pregnant, when possible.
  • In 1982, Princess Diana made an entrance in a red Bellville Sassoon piece while attending the Barbican Centre in London.
  • On a recent trip to Morocco, Meghan Markle wore a fluttery blue Carolina Herrera dress now being sold for $US2,990.

Queen Elizabeth, Princess Diana, Kate Middleton, and Meghan Markle have all worn different maternity styles during their pregnancies.

The Queen wore maternity coats and matching jacket and skirt sets. Diana opted for loose, billowing dresses with the occasional tuxedo thrown in. Middleton had a penchant for patterned dresses during her pregnancies, and Markle has been playing around with retro-inspired looks.

Here’s a look at how royal maternity fashion has changed over the years.


Queen Elizabeth and the Duke of Edinburgh attended the 169th renewal of the Derby Stakes in 1948 a day after subtly announcing her pregnancy.

The then-princess had announced the day before that she would not accept more public engagements after the end of June – the royal way of saying that she was expecting.


She wore the same outfit again a month later with a different hat, bag, gloves, and pin to attend a wedding in July 1948.

Queen Elizabeth made an exception to the statement that she wouldn’t make more public appearances to attend the wedding of Lord Derby and Lady Isabel Milles-Lade in July 1948.


Queen Elizabeth visited Prince Philip in Malta, where he was on duty with the British Navy, while pregnant with Princess Anne.

She celebrated her 24th birthday in Malta and posed in the drawing room of the Villa Guardamangia.


She wore a maternity coat to visit a maternity ward in Malta.

Then-Princess Elizabeth visited the maternity wing of the British Military Hospital in Malta in 1950 in her last appearance before giving birth to her second child.


When Prime Minister of Ghana Kwame Nkrumah visited Balmoral Castle in Scotland, Queen Elizabeth told him she would have to cancel her trip to Ghana because of her pregnancy.

Bettmann/Contributor/Getty ImagesQueen Elizabeth and Princess Anne with Kwame Nkrumah, prime minister of Ghana.

This was the first photo of the Queen since palace sources announced her pregnancy.


Queen Elizabeth attended a ballet performance at Covent Garden Opera while pregnant in 1963.

Keystone-France/Gamma-Rapho via Getty ImagesQueen Elizabeth in 1963.

She was pregnant with her youngest, Prince Edward.


Princess Diana wore a red Bellville Sassoon coat on the day she announced her first pregnancy in 1981.

Jayne Fincher/Princess Diana Archive/Getty ImagesPrincess Diana in 1981.

She paired the coat with a John Boyd hat.


She made an entrance in another red Bellville Sassoon piece, a maternity gown with a square neckline and flared sleeves.

Anwar Hussein/Getty ImagesPrincess Diana in 1982.

Princess Diana wore a red Bellville Sassoon maternity gown to the Barbican Centre in London in 1982.


Princess Diana wore a gown with voluminous sleeves to a movie premiere while pregnant with Prince William.

Princess Diana chatted with Elizabeth Taylor at the Victoria Palace Theatre in 1982 at the premiere of “The Little Foxes” starring Taylor.


At her last public engagement before giving birth, she unveiled a plaque in South Wales in a dusty pink ensemble.

Princess Diana unveiled a plaque at the Sony TV factory with Sony chairman Akio Morita in South Wales on April 8, 1982, while six months pregnant.


She wore another pink look while pregnant with Prince Harry two years later.

She wore the outfit in Windsor in 1984.


For Trooping the Colour in 1982, Princess Diana wore an emerald green dress.

Tim Graham/Getty ImagesQueen Elizabeth, Prince Philip, Princess Diana, and Prince Charles in 1982.

Trooping the Colour is the Queen’s official birthday celebration.


She wore a white tuxedo with a wing collar to a concert while pregnant with Prince Harry in 1984.

Princess Diana attended a charity pop concert at the National Exhibition Centre in Birmingham in 1984.


She sported a nautical matching top and skirt at a polo tournament.

Princess Diana watched Prince Charles compete in a polo tournament in Windsor in 1984.


She wore a blue Catherine Walker gown to a movie premiere just weeks before giving birth to Prince Harry.

Tim Graham/Getty ImagesPrincess Diana in 1984.

Princess Diana attended the premiere of “Indiana Jones and the Temple of Doom” shortly before having Prince Harry.


Kate Middleton wore a similar shade of blue in 2013 while pregnant with Prince George.

Tim P. Whitby/WPA Pool/Getty ImagesKate Middleton in 2013.

She attended a charity reception at The National Portrait Gallery in London.


Middleton often wore patterned maternity dresses.

Kate Middleton visited Hope House addiction treatment center in London in 2013.


She wore a floral print dress from Erdem while visiting The Willows Primary School in 2013.

Paul Ellis/WPA Pool/Getty ImagesKate Middleton in 2013.

Middleton visited the school to launch a new school counseling program.


She wore Erdem again in Sweden while pregnant with Prince Louis.

Pool/Getty ImagesKate Middleton in 2018.

Middleton and Prince William visited the Swedish royals in 2018.


This Seraphine dress made multiple appearances during her pregnancies.

Eddie Mulholland/WPA Pool/Getty ImagesKate Middleton in 2015.

Kate Middleton visited Cape Hill Children’s Centre in Smethwick in 2015, where she wore the Seraphine dress for the first time, according to PEOPLE.


Another blue Seraphine dress became a favourite.

Jonathan Brady/WPA Pool/Getty ImagesKate Middleton in 2018.

Kate Middleton visited Roe Green Junior School in London as part of her Heads Together campaign in 2018.


She also wore lots of vibrant coats while pregnant.

Stuart C. Wilson/Getty ImagesKate Middleton in 2018.

Middleton visited Ormond Street Hospital in London in 2018.


Middleton is a fan of designer Jenny Packham.

She’s worn Jenny Packham dresses for all three of her new baby photo-ops.


She wore a Tara Jarmon peach-coloured coat in 2013.

David Parker/WPA Pool/Getty ImagesKate Middleton in 2013.

She visited Naomi House Children’s Hospice in Winchester.


She went to the 2018 BAFTAs in an emerald green dress with a black sash and clutch.

Chris Jackson – WPA Pool/Chris Jackson/Getty ImagesCatherine, Duchess of Cambridge, at the EE British Academy Film Awards in London, England.

Her choice of dress was controversial due to the event’s unofficial all-black dress code in honour of Time’s Up.


In Norway, she floated down the halls in an ethereal pale pink gown by Alexander McQueen.

Chris Jackson/Getty ImagesKate Middleton in 2018.

Middleton was escorted to dinner by King Harald V of Norway.


Meghan Markle’s maternity wardrobe has featured one stunning look after another.

Max Mumby/Indigo / ContributorMeghan Markle in 2018.

She wore a sequined top by Safiyaa with a black floor-length skirt to her first Royal Variety Performance.


She wore a silk floral dress by Figue on her first royal tour with Prince Harry in Fiji.

Chris Jackson/Getty ImagesMeghan Markle in 2018.

They visited the University of the South Pacific in Suva, Fiji.


She wore a white, floral dress with a square neckline while visiting the Royal Variety Charity’s nursing and care home.

WPA Pool/GettyImagesMeghan Markle in 2018.

The $US1,480 midi-length dress is from the Brock Collection, which she paired with a $US550 grey wool coat by Soia and Kyo.


The flowing cream gown she wore to a reception in Morocco was custom made by Dior.

She and Harry attended a reception hosted by the British Ambassador to Morocco at the British Residence in Rabat, Morocco.


She visited King Mohammed VI of Morocco while wearing a fluttery blue Carolina Herrera dress.

Pool/Samir Hussein/WireImageMeghan Markle in 2019.

The light-blue silk chiffon dress is currently available to pre-order for $US2,990.


In between gowns, she also threw in a casual look to visit a cooking school in Morocco.

She wore a green jacket by J Crew over a striped sweater and black jeans. She completed the look with black booties by Stuart Weitzman.


Back at Buckingham Palace, she wore a silver brocade dress with gold floral embroidery and a cream coat by Amanda Wakeley.

Dominic Lipinski/ WPA Pool/ Getty ImagesMeghan Markle in 2019.

Markle also wore the coat at the Commonwealth Day service in March 2018.


For International Women’s Day, she spoke on a panel in a retro-inspired shift dress.

The $US345 shift dress by Reiss featured a black and white pattern and high neckline.


She wore another retro-inspired look by Victoria Beckham while attending the Commonwealth Day Service at Westminster Abbey.

The dress featured a ’70-inspired black and white chain-link print.

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