46 photos that show how Meghan Markle’s style has evolved through the years

Meghan markle
Meghan Markle, Duchess of Sussex. WPA Pool/Getty Images
  • Meghan Markle became well known after landing the role of Rachel Zane in the USA series “Suits.”
  • Markle’s style changed after she started dating Prince Harry.
  • Since stepping back from the royal family, the Duchess of Sussex has embraced a more laid-back look.
  • Visit Insider’s homepage for more stories.

In September 2009, Meghan Markle wore a button-up black romper to a pre-Emmy Awards event in Los Angeles, California.
Meghan markle pre emmy event septemer 2009
She kept her hair and makeup simple. Edwards/Getty Images
The actress completed her casual ensemble with a pair of beige T-strap sandals and delicate gold jewelry.
In February 2012, Markle attended a USA Network event in a lace blue minidress that’s similar to one that Kate Middleton owns.
Meghan Markle
She matched the dress with nude heels and simple jewelry. Frederick M. Brown/Getty Images
The actress’ style has changed a bit since 2012, but this outfit proves that she’s always had royal instincts.
Changing things up a bit, she wore an off-the-shoulder, sequin dress to a “Suits” promotional event in June 2012.
Meghan markle june 2012
Markle complemented her dramatic look with dark eye makeup. Theo Wargo/Getty Images
To allow her metallic dress and accessories to shine, the actress styled her hair in a sleek ponytail.
At the November 2012 GQ Men of the Year Party, Markle wore a draped orange dress and snakeskin heels.
Meghan markle november 2012
This warm-hued outfit was perfect for fall. Alberto E. Rodriguez/Getty Images
She topped off her outfit with simple gold jewelry.
In January 2013, the actress wore a strapless tie-dye dress to an event before the Screen Actor Guild Awards in Los Angeles, California.
Meghan markle tie dye dress
To let the dress really stand out, she wore simple gold accessories. Alberto E. Rodriguez/Getty Images
Markle completed this look by straightening her hair and styling it in a slightly off-center part.
In May 2013, the actress wore a patterned shift dress to the USA Network 2013 Upfront Event in New York City.
Meghan markle minidress
She kept her accessories simple, rocking just one chunky bracelet. Dave Kotinsky/Getty Images
A fan of patterns, Markle’s minidress really stands out.
The “Suits” star wore a pink dress with a ruffle in the front to the January 2013 ELLE Women in Television Celebration in West Hollywood, California.
Meghan markle january 2013
The actress looked glam with a voluminous blowout. Tommaso Boddi/Getty Images
To enhance her fairly plain dress, the actress rocked a pair of studded heels and a gold clutch.
She wore a scalloped crop top and skirt ensemble to a September 2013 Herve Leger runway show.
Meghan markle steptember 2013 fashion week
She also wore a pair of heeled black sandals. Neilson Barnard/Getty Images
Markle looked especially edgy with lots of eyeliner and her hair styled in tousled waves.
Markle wore a shimmering minidress to the January 2014 Elle Women in Television Celebration in West Hollywood, California.
Meghan markle january 2014
This dress was extremely eye-catching. Angela Weiss/Getty Images
Markle let her dress take center stage and kept her hair, makeup, and shoes simple.
In February 2014, Markle attended the Herve Leger by Max Azria runway show in an ensemble topped with a leather jacket.
Meghan marke fashion week 2014
Her leather jacket had a fun pattern. Bryan Bedder/Getty Images
While her paneled white minidress was cool on its own, she added some extra edge to this look with her snakeskin-like heels, a leather jacket, dark eyeliner, and a messy bun.
In September 2014, Markle rocked a patterned crop top with an A-line midi skirt at a Fashion Week event.
Meghan markle september 2014 fashion week
She finished off this look with a simple pair of heels. Mireya Acierto/Getty Images
The actress softened the look with a touch of pink lipstick.
In June 2015, she kept it simple with a mermaid-style black dress at an event in New York City.
Meghan markle june 2015
Markle kept her hair and makeup simple and sleek. tephen Lovekin/Getty Images
The “Suits” star added a pop of color to her outfit with a pair of blue, embellished shoes.
In November 2015, Markle wore a metallic blazer dress to the CFDA/Vogue Fashion Fund Awards in New York City.
Meghan markle november 2015
She styled her hair in loose waves. Nicholas Hunt/Getty Images
The actress kept her look simple, sticking to silver accessories and simple flats.
In January 2016, Markle wore a black turtleneck, skirt, and gladiator-style heels to a “Suits” promotional event.
Meghan markle january 2016
She kept her accessories and makeup simple. Alberto E. Rodriguez/Getty Images
This outfit seemed a bit out of character for the actress who previously sported patterns and cropped tops.
Markle wore another turtleneck ensemble to the January 2016 Elle Women in Television Celebration in West Hollywood, California.
Meghan markle january 2016 red dress
Her lipstick and dress matched perfectly. Alberto E. Rodriguez/Getty Images
The actress tied her outfit together with loose waves and lace-up heels.
She wore a fringed blue dress, which she cinched with a black belt, to an April 2016 event in New York City.
Meghan markle april 2016
She also wore a pair of white pointed-toe shoes. Nicholas Hunt/Getty Images
Markle completed this look with her typical loose waves and dark eye makeup.
In May 2016, she wore a matching suit jacket and shorts combo to an E! event in Los Angeles, California.
Meghan markle may 2016
She also rocked a white blouse and black heels. Rachel Murray/Getty Images
This was one of Markle’s last appearances before she reportedly began dating Prince Harry in October 2016

Markle didn’t make many public appearances between April and October 2016, adding to the speculation that the two were dating in secret.

Markle kept it casual for her first public appearance with Prince Harry in September 2017.
Meghan Markle and Prince Harry
The two looked casual at the Invictus Games in Toronto, Canada. Vaughn Ridley/Getty Images
The actress looked effortlessly cool with her white blouse tucked into a pair of slightly ripped jeans.
Also at the September 2017 Invictus Games, Markle paired the perfect fall coat with jeans and a T-shirt.
Meghan markle fall coat
The coat was structured but not boxy. Chris Jackson/Getty Images
Markle was not an official royal yet, but people already viewed her as a style icon.

This surprisingly affordable $US200 ($AU272) Badgley Mischka coat sold out almost immediately after Markle wore it.

The actress’ next appearance was her November 2017 engagement announcement, and it was decidedly more formal.
Prince Harry Meghan Markle Engaged 15
The actress’s ensemble was sleek and polished. Chris Jackson/Getty
Markle wore a simple beige coat over a green dress with strappy heels — but her iconic engagement ring really stood out.

Although it may seem just slightly different, this outfit was already a pretty big departure from Markle’s usual wardrobe.

On December 1, 2017, Markle went for a more preppy look on her first royal outing with Prince Harry.
Meghan style evolution
While her turtleneck was nondescript, her skirt made a statement. Andy Stenning – WPA Pool/Getty Images
Markle also wore a navy peacoat and carried a small tote bag, which people thought broke royal protocol.

Royal expert and CNN commentator Victoria Arbiter told Insider that, although it’s uncommon for royals to carry a handheld bag, Markle didn’t break any protocol with this outfit. 

On December 21, 2017, Markle wore a sheer, $US75,000 ($AU102,183) gown in her official engagement photo shoot with Prince Harry.
Harry meghan engagement photo
The gown had a sheer, embellished top and a full-bodied, tulle skirt. Alexi Lubomirski / Kensington Palace
The Ralph & Russo dress is gorgeous, but it was a bit of an unexpected choice for the former senior royal.
On Christmas in 2017, Markle wore an all-brown ensemble to attend church with the royal family.
Meghan markle attends  Christmas church services at St. Mary Magdalene Church on the Sandringham Estate.
As always, her coat was fabulous. KGC-178/STAR MAX/IPx
She brought her outfit to the next level with an eye-catching hat.
In January 2018, Markle wore a sleek ensemble that featured another wrap coat.
Meghan Markle arrives to a walkabout at Cardiff Castle on January 18, 2018 in Cardiff, Wales
She added a touch of color with her green handbag. Chris Jackson/Chris Jackson/Getty Images
Markle completed the outfit by styling her hair in a casual bun, although she faced some pushback for possibly breaking royal protocol with her hairdo.
In February 2018, Markle showed off her modern sense of style by wearing a pair of wide-leg pants and a turtleneck.
Meghan Markle arrives to Edinburgh Castle with Prince Harry on February 13, 2018 in Edinburgh, Scotland
She wore a classic, preppy plaid peacoat. Chris Jackson/Chris Jackson/Getty Images
People criticized Markle for carrying a cross-body bag instead of a clutch, the purse style Kate Middleton favors.
In March 2018, Markle wore her most royal outfit yet for her first official event with Queen Elizabeth.
Meghan markle commonwealth day
She made a serious case for the beret. Chris Jackson/Getty Images
The former “Suits” actor seemed to take style cues from Kate Middleton and Princess Diana, as she wore a simple yet sophisticated ensemble.
Later that month, Markle seemed to fuse her personal sense of style with her new royal aesthetic when she paired a cream-colored jacket with a mermaid-style skirt.
Meghan markle ireland
She added an unexpected pop of color with a pair of cognac heels. WPA Pool/Getty Images
Although this appeared to be a classic royal outfit at first glance, Markle once again demonstrated that she wouldn’t be following strict royal rules by wearing her hair in a low, casual side bun.
Markle, the newly minted Duchess of Sussex, looked absolutely radiant when she stepped out of England’s St. George’s Chapel at Windsor Castle after being married on May 19.
Meghan markle wedding dress
Her gown had a boatneck-style top. Ben STANSALL – WPA Pool/Getty Images
While she went with a classic gown, Markle took her wedding ensemble to the next level with a 16-foot, embroidered veil that she fastened with a glimmering tiara that was previously worn by Queen Mary.
For her wedding reception that evening, Markle swapped out her Givenchy gown for a bespoke Stella McCartney number with a halter neckline.
Meghan second dress
She kept her hair in a low bun. Steve Parsons – WPA Pool/Getty Images
Markle wore a monochromatic pink outfit to the Prince of Wales’ 70th Birthday celebration held at Buckingham Palace.
Meghan outing
Her flat-brimmed hat took the look to the next level. Dominic Lipinski – Pool/Getty Images
Markle showed off her personal style in a dress that had partially sheer details. She completed her outfit with sheer tights, a clutch, and a low bun — seeming to follow royal protocol to a T.  
In June 2018, Markle wore one of her most royal looks – and hats – to date at the Royal Ascot in Ascot, Berkshire, UK.
Meghan Markle royal ascot
She went for a black-and-white look. Tim Ireland/AP Images
The Duchess of Sussex went for a classic look here, but her showstopping hat was the centerpiece of her outfit. 
On a visit to Cheshire, UK, with the Queen, Markle wore a beige dress with cape-like sleeves.
Meghan Markle and the queen
She styled her hair in large, loose curls. Jeff J Mitchell/Getty Images
Markle completed her look with all-black accessories, including a thin belt, heels, and a handbag. 
In July 2018, Markle looked stunning in a bright yellow shift dress at the “Your Commonwealth” Youth Challenge reception.
Meghan Markle yellow dress
She paired her Brandon Maxwell with beige heels. Yui Mok/AP Images
She finished off her look with a simple updo and minimal jewelry. 
In July 2018, she showed off her personality when she wore a suit on a royal visit to Ireland.
PRINCE HARRY AND MEGHAN MARKLE IN IRELAND   7:11:18
Meghan Markle, The Duchess of Sussex, on a visit to Ireland. KGC-178/STAR MAX/IPx
Although some deemed this one of her “riskier” royal outfits, her Givenchy pantsuit was a classic look, which she topped off with a pair of high heels and beachy waves.
Later in July 2018, Markle went for a casual-chic look in a tea-length denim wrap dress to the Royal County of Berkshire Polo Club.
Meghan markle blue dress
She elevated her dress with a pair of beige heels. Chris Jackson/Getty Images
Markle completed her effortlessly polished look with a bun, a woven clutch from J. Crew, and a pair of oversized sunglasses.

 

For an October 2018 state dinner in Fiji, Markle wore a stunning blue cape dress.
Meghan 10:23:2018
Prince Harry looked dapper in a black tuxedo. Ian Vogler/Pool/Getty Images
Markle wore this dress after announcing she was pregnant with Archie. 

It had short sleeves and paid homage to Fiji since the color was similar to the country’s flag. 

Markle looked like a true princess at the 2018 Australian Geographic Society Awards.
Meghan 10:26:2018
Prince Harry and Meghan Markle attend the 2018 Australian Geographic Society Awards. James D. Morgan/Getty Images
She wore an Oscar de la Renta gown that had bird embellishments on its sheer overlay and a billowing tulle skirt. Markle paired the look with Aquazzura pumps.

The Daily Mail reported that the dress retailed for £10,000 ($12,816 USD ($AU17,461)). 

Markle looked so chic during a surprise appearance at the 2018 British Fashion Awards.
Image
Meghan Markle at the 2018 British Fashion Awards Jeff Spicer/BFC/Getty Images
Markle emulated a similar outfit worn by her late mother-in-law Prince Diana in January 2019.
Meghan markle red coat
Markle wore one of her boldest looks yet for a visit to Birkenhead, UK. Trevor Adams/MediaPunch/AP Images
She nailed the maternity look in a red Sentaler coat with a purple Aritzia dress. Princess Diana wore the exact same color combination during a visit to Hong Kong in 1989.
To debut Archie to the world, Markle wore a classic button-up trench dress by Grace Wales Bonner.
Meghan markle grace wales bonner
Markle and Prince Harry introduced Archie to the world a few days after his birth. WPA Pool/Getty Images
Markle paired the dress with nude heels, while Prince Harry chose to wear a gray suit. 
To kick off the first day of their final royal tour in 2021, Markle beamed in a turquoise dress.
Meghan markle march 5 2020
Markle wore a Victoria Beckham dress. Max Mumby/Indigo/Getty Images
Markle looked ready for business in a Victoria Beckham dress that she accessorized with a Stella McCartney clutch, Manolo Blahnik pumps, and a $US12,349 ($AU16,825) (£9,500) Jessica McCormack rose gold and diamond bracelet
At the Mountbatten Festival of Music, Markle and Prince Harry both looked regal in red.
Meghan markle march 7 2020
Markle and Prince Harry coordinated in red. Karwai Tang/WireImage
While Harry wore his traditional royal uniform, Markle matched him in a Safiyaa caped dress. She kept the same color scheme with her accessories and opted to wear a Manolo Blahnik clutch, Stuart Weitzman pumps, and Simone Rocha crystal drop earrings
At the 2020 Commonwealth Day service, Markle made an entrance in this caped green dress and matching fascinator.
Meghan markle emilia wickstead cape dress
Markle wore this cape dress to Commonwealth Day Service 2020. Gareth Cattermole/Getty Images
Markle arrived at Westminster Abbey in an Emilia Wickstead dress, William Chambers fascinator, a Gabriela Hearst handbagAquazzura pumps, and $US12,000 ($AU16,349) Birks snowflake earrings
For a “backyard” chat with Gloria Steinem, Markle looked very casual in a white shirt and striped pants.
Meghan markle gloria steinem makers
Markle and Steinem talked about representation and voting for the MAKERS initiative. @makerswomen/Instagram
Markle paired the striped Anine Bing trousers with a $US356 ($AU485) Janessa Leone Serena hat and Stella McCartney sandals.
For a surprise appearance on “America’s Got Talent” in 2020, Markle kept her casual vibe going but dressed it up a bit with black faux leather pants.
Meghan Markle surprised 'America's Got Talent' contestant Archie Williams with a warm video message
Meghan Markle had a surprise appearance on ‘America’s Got Talent’ in 2020. America’s Got Talent/YouTube
Markle paired the pants with a camel-colored shirt and accessorized with what looked like a Cartier Tank Française wristwatch.
Markle paid tribute to the late Supreme Court Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg during an appearance on the “Teenager Therapy” podcast in 2020.
Meghan Markle gave multiple nods to the late Supreme Court Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg.
Meghan Markle gave multiple nods to the late Supreme Court Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg. Teenager Therapy/Etsy
Markle wore a T-shirt with the initials “RBG” and a mask with the quote “When there are nine” — an ode to a now-famous phrase from Ginsburg’s 2015 interview at Georgetown University.