For quite some time, Kate Middleton without doubt had the best style of the Royals. After all, she was the only younger female consistently in the spotlight, and so designers were clamoring to dress her. She had certain rules and restrictions, and certain types of things she just couldn't wear because of her status, but in general, her style was something the world was constantly buzzing about. She rocked coats like nobody else, and was a master at finding dresses that were conservative and Royal-appropriate yet still interesting. Of course, it doesn't hurt that she's a tall, slender brunette who looks good in just about anything she puts on.
However, Kate may have to step aside a little bit, because there's a new Royal fashionista in town — Prince Harry's soon to be wife Meghan Markle. Now, unlike Kate, who led a relatively normal life before getting together with Prince William, Markle has a few years of experience under her belt in the public eye as an actress. Sure, she may not have been under as much scrutiny as the Royals are, but she knows how important certain outfits are for certain events. And, she's been toning down her slightly more daring actress style to fit the Royal fashion rules — and the results have been pretty amazing.
Here are 15 looks that prove Meghan Markle just may be overtaking Kate when it comes to the title of most stylish Royal.
15 Rocking A Stunning Navy and White Coat
Any Royal worth her salt knows the importance of a fantastic coat. After all, in chillier weather, you're often snapped on your way into an event, or you're at an event that takes place primarily outdoors where you don't want to be shivering in a delicate dress. So, outwear definitely cannot be an afterthought — many times, it's basically the only part of your outfit that the photographers manage to capture. When Markle attended an event in Birmingham, she opted for a two-tone wool-blend coat from J.Crew, a relatively affordable brand — proving that she definitely knows how to mix high and low pieces with style. She paired it with simple black heels and a cozy-looking white turtleneck sweater. The result is super simple yet super chic — just the way Markle likes it.
14 Wearing Tartan Burberry in Scotland
Tartan is definitely a big deal in Scotland, so when Markle travelled there alongside Prince Harry, she paid tribute to the nation by donning a Burberry wool and cashmere blend coat in a stunning deep green tartan print. She paired it with some gorgeous wide-legged trousers and a cross-body bag from Strathberry that goes perfectly with the coat. The outfit is peak Markle. On the one hand, the fact that she's covered up, and rocking a fairly matchy-matchy outfit, is right in line with Royal style. However, the interesting proportions of the pants, the slightly more fashion-forward length of the coat, and the fact that she's rocking a cross-body bag rather than a standard clutch proves she's not afraid to make her own style rules, even as a Royal.
13 A Luxe, Loose Sweater And The Perfect Black Pants
While you can find the occasional example, in general, you'd be hard pressed to see Kate Middleton wearing pants. She almost exclusively wears dresses and skirts, donning pants only for athletic events and the occasional event with a much more casual dress code. Markle, on the other hand, is happy to incorporate pants into her wardrobe, including for more formal looks. In this shot, she paired black slim-legged trousers with basic black stiletto heels and a cozy, slightly oversized turtleneck. The proportions of the top pair perfectly with the pants. This outfit is proof that Markle is developing her own signature style as a Royal — she still looks chic and appropriate, but there's a bit more of an edge and her picks are slightly less traditional and stiff than Kate's.
12 A Casual White Shirt And Jeans For The Invictus Games
Ah, the infamous Invictus Games outfit. Now, we will point out, this outfit came before the happy couple was engaged and before Markle really started attending Royal events with him, so there was a bit less pressure to follow the Royal style rules. On paper, this outfit sounds so simple it's almost boring — jeans, flats, a tote and a white shirt. However, on her, it looks absolutely amazing, because she's managed to give it her own twist. The crisp white "husband" shirt from designer Misha Nonoo is not only a cheeky hint at who she's attending with, it also adds an air of casual elegance to her look. The ripped jeans certainly make the look more relaxed, and the warm brown leather accessories really round the outfit out. Sometimes, simplicity is key.
11 A Gorgeous Menswear-Inspired Black Coat
The fortunate thing about Meghan Markle's physique is that, like Kate, she can wear just about anything. They both have a similar lean, supermodel-esque physique that just showcases clothing beautifully, even clothing that may look unflattering on other body types. This coat is the perfect example. On a trip to Wales for the Welsh Cultural festival, Markle rocked a Stella McCarthy coat over her outfit, and the wide lapel and slightly loose fit gives this major menswear-inspired vibes — something we'd never see on Kate, who is always wearing things that are impeccably tailored to her frame. The oversized satin-textured ribbon belt adds a bit of femininity to the look, as do her pointy toed Tabitha Simmons boots — who knew we'd see a Royal rocking all black and looking so chic?
10 A Chic Alexander McQueen Pantsuit for Date Night
While the Royal women generally tend to show a bit of support to whatever location the event they're attending is in by wearing designers from that country, it's no secret that they often favour British designers. After all, they're representing Britain! Just like Kate, Markle has been showing a definite affinity for Alexander McQueen pieces. The difference is, while you'll often see Kate in a McQueen dress with interesting details or an interesting print, Markle is rocking a pantsuit. I mean, could these two look more like a power couple? We absolutely love that Markle isn't afraid to throw the often traditionally feminine Royal style out the window and rock more menswear-inspired looks from time to time. She looks absolutely amazing — and thankfully Harry is chivalrous enough to protect the outfit by giving her the umbrella.
9 Super Chic For The Royal Foundation Forum Appearance
While Markle has primarily been stepping out alongside Prince Harry for Royal functions, from time to time, there are events that require the whole family to attend — including Kate Middleton. Markle was sitting next to her future sister-in-law at the Royal Foundation Forum, and she proved yet again what a distinctive look she's carving out for herself under the Royal style umbrella. Kate definitely looks radiant in her pastel, perfectly tailored look, but it's also a fairly safe look. Markle, on the other hand, picked a bit of an edgier look, wearing a belted satin wrap dress from designer Jason We that just has a bit more of an effortless elegance to it. That's what we love about her style — no matter how long it takes to craft an outfit, it always ends up looking effortless and not overdone.
8 Stunning In Neutrals For Her First Christmas At Sandringham
On paper, Markle and Middleton are wearing similar outfit styles for this shot taken of Christmas at Sandringham — outwear with a statement hat of some sort. While Kate is going traditional and even a bit vintage inspired with her furry black cap and tartan coat with a sweet black collar, Markle has a more contemporary take on the formula. She's rocking some stunning over-the-knee boots from Stuart Weitzman, a definite statement wrap coat by Sentaler, and a custom Philip Treacy fascinator — you know you've really made it when you get a piece from the legendary haberdasher. She's not exactly breaking the style rules, but she's definitely bringing a more modern take to the Royal look, which we absolutely love — designers will be absolutely clamouring to dress the super stylish Royal.
7 Wearing Straight Up Couture For Her Engagement Photos
The Royals know that all eyes are on them and their outfit selection whenever they're at a public event, but engagement portraits are a whole different ball game. People will be checking those out for years afterwards, and it's definitely the spot to make a style statement — and that's exactly what Meghan Markle did. The Royal to be didn't play it safe, and instead opted for a custom Ralph & Russo couture gown that cost an estimated $65,000, paired with a Victoria Beckham sweater. While a gown may seem like a traditional pick, everything from the detailing on the top to the texture on the skirt adds a bit of an edge to an otherwise traditional silhouette — and she couldn't have picked a better outfit. I mean, she looks amazing!
6 Playing With Proportions At A Royal Appearance
At this point, Kate Middleton has her proportions down. While you'll occasionally see her rocking something slightly outside her style comfort zone, generally, she's wearing dresses and skirts that hit right at the knee, polished shoes, and perfectly tailored pieces. Markle, on the other hand, is a bit edgier with her style. For this Royal appearance, she paired a tan flared Joseph midi skirt that hits mid-calf with some slouchy boots from Kurt Geiger and a simple black turtleneck sweater. The look is simple, but the small details — the midi length rather than knee length, the slouchy boots rather than classic pumps — proves she's putting her own twist on Royal style, and we love it. She seems like she's trying to figure out how to balance her own edgier style with Royal rules, and she's doing it perfectly so far.
5 A Gorgeous All Black Look In Edinburgh
We saw the kind of outerwear she wore on a recent trip to Edinburgh, but trust us, the look underneath that gorgeous coat was just as stunning. Once again, Markle proved that she wasn't about to follow in Kate's footsteps and rock almost exclusively skirts and dresses — she wanted to put her own stamp on Royal style, and that would involve pants. This all black look is impossibly chic, but the small details prevent it from being boring. The wide-legged trousers have some retro detailing thanks to the high-waisted rise and the buttons, and the black turtleneck gets a bit of interest from the slightly looser fit. The whole look is utterly effortless and elegant, which we're beginning to see is Markle's trademark. I mean, she looks totally stunning.
4 A More Casual Look For A Radio Station Visit
Okay, we all just need to take a minute to admire Meghan Markle's coat game, because it is strong. She kicked off 2018 in charitable style, visiting a youth-led radio station with Prince Harry, and she was photographed in her outerwear. The Smythe camel midi coat is definitely not something we'd ever picture Kate Middleton wearing — especially not with a messy bun or a scarf. Kate's style tends to be far more polished and prim — there's no doubt she's super stylish, but she definitely doesn't have street style mastered in the way that Markle does. This outfit again illustrates just how Meghan is fusing the street style she refined as an actress with the new Royal style rules, and doing it in a totally enviable way. I mean, she looks phenomenal.
3 Oh-So-Royal In An All White Coat
There are certain events where you can take a bit more of a style risk, such as when the Royals are invited to a film premiere or something more entertainment industry-centric rather than charitable or Royal. However, there are other events where you try to play by the rules — and a church service is definitely one of those. For a Commmonwealth Day service, Meghan wore a classic navy sheath dress, with class navy pointed toe pumps and a navy clutch, topped with a cream beret and a stunning cream coat by Amanda Wakeley. It's definitely a more classic look than she typically wears, very polished and proper, but the interesting detail at the waist of the coat proves she's still going to add her own twist, even when she's playing it safe.
2 A Stunning Forest Green Pencil Skirt And Unstructured Coat In Belfast
This outfit just embodies Meghan Markle's effortless style. The skirt and cream-colored top are very simple, obviously impeccably made but not too fussy or stiff. Then, rather than opting for a very tailored and polished coat as outerwear, she's paired it with a flowing, unstructured jacket that we definitely want to add to our closets ASAP. The accessories — classic pumps and a structured satchel — are more polished, but the overall vibe is breezy and totally chic. And, we have to admit — even though Markle has gorgeous locks and could easily make loose, curled brunette locks her signature just as Kate has done, we kind of hope she makes the messy bun her signature hairstyle. It just suits her perfectly, and it's such a departure from the typical Royal hairstyles we typically see.
1 The Infamous White Coat Worn To Her Engagement Announcement
While people will definitely still remember particularly stunning looks you rock to charitable events when you're a Royal, let's get real — the look you wear when making big personal announcements like an engagement announcement is the one that will be positively burned into the public's memory. I mean, people still remember the sapphire blue wrap dress Kate wore, the one that paired perfectly with her stunning sapphire engagement ring. Markle caused quite a stir with her engagement announcement look, because she broke one major Royal fashion rule from the get go — she didn't wear pantyhose. Still, we're pretty sure no one would find fault with her stunning strappy nude heels, green sheath dress, and crisp white coat. It looked absolutely amazing on her, she looked radiant, and in this moment, the world became obsessed with a new Royal couple. Move over, Will and Kate — Harry and Meghan are the new hot Royals in town.
Sources: usmagazine.com, hellomagazine.com, radaronline.com, vanityfair.com, people.com, harpersbazaar.com.sg