Being part of the ruling family of the United Kingdom comes with lots of rules and regulations, and Meghan Markle hasn’t had an easy time of it. Part of that has shown through her style and the clothes she chooses — and isn’t allowed to choose — while participating in her royal duties. Her style has evolved since she married Prince Harry in 2018, and has continued to change after the couple announced their decision to “step back as ‘senior’ members of the royal family” in 2020.
According to insiders who spoke exclusively with In Touch at the time of the announcement, the dress code was one thing Meghan was excited to leave behind. “She hated always having to be dressed to the nines as a royal,” they revealed. The “old-fashioned” standards — “like wearing dresses below the knee” — were a particular point of annoyance. “She’s much more comfortable wearing casual clothes,” the source said. “Flats, jeans and sweaters. … Now that she’s moved to Canada, she spends most of the day in sweats or yoga pants.”
It’s not just that she missed slipping into comfy clothes, though. It’s that she found the limits on what she could wear restrictive and unfair. “The Queen is very traditional and prefers female members of the family to wear a skirt or dress below the knee when seen in public,” a second source told In Touch. “As a modern-day woman, Meghan hated this protocol and thinks it’s sexist. … She rebelled a few times by wearing pants, but now she can wear them whenever she wants.”
Ever since the Duchess of Sussex and Harry stepped away from their royal duties, they’ve been in control of how they go about their days, whether that’s lounging around in sweats, driving themselves around town or waving hello like normal people as private citizens.
Meghan has also become more vocal about her criticisms regarding the royal lifestyle. During an interview with New York magazine’s The Cut published in August 2022, the former Suits star said the strict rules about releasing family photos was one example of what made life as a royal so challenging. “There’s literally a structure by which if you want to release photos of your child, as a member of the family, you first have to give them to the Royal Rota,” Meghan told the outlet about the United Kingdom press pool that covers the royal family.
“Why would I give the very people that are calling my children the n-word a photo of my child before I can share it with the people that love my child?” she asked. “You tell me how that makes sense and then I’ll play that game.”
Check out the gallery below to see how Meghan Markle’s style has changed over the years.