Meghan Markle's 40th birthday on August 4th comes after what has been a whirlwind few months for her and Prince Harry.
Not only has Meghan released her first children’s book, but she and Prince Harry announced the birth of their daughter, Lilibet Diana, just days before it's publication. Now the Duchess is reportedly set to mark her 40th with a low-key party organized by none other than Oprah Winfrey's favored party planner. Whilst Prince Harry is reportedly in charge of her $200 cake that is making our mouths water.
But it's the question of what Meghan will wear for her 40th that will also be on fans’ minds. Sadly, since the Covid-19 pandemic and Prince Harry and Meghan’s decision to “step back” as senior members of the Royal Family, there have been fewer recent opportunities to appreciate her impeccable style. In the past, Meghan’s elegant outfits were always the talk of the town as she attended everything from Royal Ascot to the traditional Christmas Day Church service with the Queen.
So as Meghan Markle celebrates her 40th birthday with her nearest and dearest, we reveal our pick of the Duchess of Sussex’s most stylish moments in honor of this special day!
40 of Meghan Markle’s most stylish moments
1. Meghan Markle at the Commonwealth Day Service (2020)
Perhaps now one of Meghan Markle’s most iconic looks, this stunning emerald green Emilia Wickstead dress was worn by the Duchess of Sussex in her last public appearance as a senior royal, at the Commonwealth Day Service last March. Featuring a cape design swept across her left shoulder and a matching fascinator complete with feathery netting, the color is complemented by the dark green accent of her bag.
2. Meghan Markle at the Mountbatten Festival of Music (2020)
Meghan really knows how to pull off a full scarlet look as she once again favored a cape style with this eye-catching look. The burnt red color of the Safiyaa cape dress perfectly matched with Prince Harry’s military uniform as the couple attended the Mountbatten Festival of Music together. And monochrome definitely seemed to be the name of the game when it came to Meghan’s accessories too, with a dramatic slit giving the tiniest glimpse of her toned legs.
3. Meghan Markle at The Endeavour Fund Awards (2020)
Captured in a picture so artistic it could be a work of art, Meghan’s outfit during her and Harry’s unforgettable appearance at The Endeavour Fund Awards truly took fans’ breaths away. Meghan’s face was lit up with happiness as she walked through the rain in a vivid turquoise Victoria Beckham shift dress and heels in deep navy tone. With delicate capped sleeves showing her bare arms despite the March chill, the dress did all the talking here.
4. Meghan Markle at Canada House (2020)
The royal couple visited Canada House to offer thanks for the country’s warm hospitality during their extended stay for Thanksgiving, Christmas and New Year in 2019. And Meghan certainly dressed up for the occasion, opting for a stunning satin Massimo Dutti skirt in a rich, chocolate brown shade. This sheen was carried into her matching brown heels, whilst she ensured she kept warm in the January weather with a high-neck sweater.
5. Meghan Markle at the Remembrance Sunday memorial (2019)
Back in 2019, Meghan Markle appeared at the annual Remembrance Sunday memorial at the Cenotaph wearing a black hat, complete with a leather bow around the brim. Whilst royal women typically opt for fascinators, Meghan’s hat was a fashion-forward choice for this poignant occasion. Keeping the rest of her outfit simple and allowing the poppy proudly displayed on her chest to shine, Meghan’s black Stella McCartney coat and black dress with a tiny crochet touch rounded off the look.
6. Meghan Markle at 91st Field of Remembrance (2019)
As she and Prince Harry attended the 91st Field of Remembrance at Westminster Abbey, Meghan wore a respectful outfit, this time in a shade of deep midnight blue. The belted Sentaler coat was the perfect choice to keep her warm whilst looking stylish, as were her plain, black leather boots. The fascinator was created from soft, velvet, complete with a bow. Worn over her loose dark waves, this added a lovely minimalist touch of detail.
7. Meghan Markle in Johannesburg during royal Tour of South Africa (2019)
In October 2019, the Duke and Duchess of Sussex departed for their Royal Tour of South Africa and Meghan brought her wardrobe A-Game for this important trip. As she and Harry attended a reception at the High Commissioner's Residence, Meghan was pictured in a beige House of Nonie trench dress with contrasting black buttons. With its sweeping collar, this shirt dress added a touch of formality to the occasion and Meghan secured her long hair away from her face in a low bun.
8. Meghan Markle in Cape Town during royal Tour of South Africa (2019)
Meghan’s full outfit sadly might not have been on full display in the touching photographs of her meeting Archbishop Desmond Tutu, but her effortless elegance still shone through. Holding baby Archie, then only four months old, Meghan’s blue-and-white Club Monaco dress with its short sleeves and flowing skirt allowed her to feel cool and comfortable in the South African heat. Not to mention, the color palette is a perfect match to her son’s dungarees!
9. Meghan Markle at the launch of Smart Works (2019)
Wearing a smart white blouse and tailored black trousers, Meghan looked like she truly meant business as she launched her Smart Works capsule collection, Smart Set. Created in 2013, Smart Works helps unemployed women regain the confidence they need to return to employment. Meghan collaborated with them to design seven individual pieces of clothing that are perfect for job interviews, with one piece donated for every one sold. And Meghan’s own Smart Set outfit, with its contrast amber shoes and belt, was definitely work-wear chic.
10. Meghan Markle at The Lion King European Premiere (2019)
As they attended the European Premiere of Disney’s live-action The Lion King in Leicester Square, Prince Harry and Meghan Markle couldn’t have looked more regal. The epitome of timeless sophistication, Meghan opted for a Jason Wu dress with a black flared skirt rising to a sweet-heard neckline bodice. And the design didn’t stop there, as Meghan’s arms and shoulders were covered by long sheer sleeves. Pairing the dress with black sling back heels and a black bag, she really made a statement on the red carpet.
11. Meghan Markle at Wimbledon (2019)
As she walked into the Royal Box at Wimbledon's Centre Court ahead of the Ladies Singles Final in 2019, Meghan’s crisp white shirt and Hugo Boss pleated skirt provided the style inspiration we needed. Featuring sweeping blue and white patterns, the circle skirt was a lovely contrast to the formal top - though it’s not clear how much she fitted in her adorable cream mini bag!
12. Meghan Markle at Trooping the Color (2019)
Just a month after welcoming their first child, Archie, Meghan and Harry attended the Queen's annual birthday parade, Trooping the Color. Meghan decided on a flattering navy blue Givenchy dress and matching Noelle Stewart hat. And once again, there was a cape-style flair to this fabulous look, with the large sleeves creating an eye-catching silhouette. With natural makeup and her hair fastened in a bun, the sleeves added real dimension to this outfit.
13. Meghan Markle introduces Archie to the world (2019)
In a moment no royal fan will forget, Meghan and Harry introduced baby Archie Harrison Mountbatten-Windsor to the world during a photo-call at Windsor Castle in Berkshire. For this important occasion, the new mom decided on another shirt dress, this time by London based-designer Grace Wales Bonner. And it seems that even from the very beginning Meghan enjoyed coordinating with her family, as baby Archie’s white hat and blanket and Harry’s white shirt ties the family’s looks together brilliantly.
14. Meghan Markle at the Commonwealth Day Service (2019)
The 2019 Commonwealth Day Service was attended by Meghan Markle when she was just months away from welcoming Archie. The Duchess of Sussex chose a stunning Victoria Beckham white coat, complete with a white chain-patterned dress and a white pillar box hat that couldn’t have conjured more images of former First Lady Jackie Kennedy if it tried. And though the Duchess isn’t a stranger to monochrome looks, this time the forest green tone of her shoes and bag added a great pop of color.
15. Meghan Markle at Canada House (2019)
It was during another visit to Canada House to mark Commonwealth Day, that Meghan and Harry were presented with adorable baby gifts by the Canadian High Commissioner, Janice Charette. This time Meghan turned to jewel tones, settling on a dark emerald green dress and Erdem coat, with appliqued black lace flowers decorating the collar, arms and cuffs. Wearing no obvious jewelry or hair accessories, Meghan’s natural beauty was accentuated by this look.
16. Meghan Markle in Rabat, Morocco (2019)
Stepping out during her and Prince Harry’s tour of Morocco, Meghan opted for a floor-length Carolina Herrera blue dress as the couple attended an audience with King Mohammed VI of Morocco. Featuring a paisley-style leaf pattern, the floaty sleeves draped flatteringly over her bare arms, as she held a glamorous metallic clutch. And whilst you can’t quite catch a glimpse of Meghan’s shoe of choice, in a sweet twist, the Duke of Sussex’s blue lace-up shoes complement her dress.
17. Meghan Markle at the Andalusian Gardens in Morocco (2019)
For her visit to the magnificent Andalusian Gardens in Rabat to hear about youth empowerment from several young social entrepreneurs, the Duchess of Sussex wore her hair in a soft ponytail. The golden disc earrings glinted in the sun, adding a touch of understated regality to her otherwise black-and-white look. Resting her hand on her baby bump, Meghan’s choice of a floaty pleated black Loyd/Ford dress and relaxed, button-less jacket was fabulous.
18. Meghan Markle at the Church of St Mary Magdalene (2018)
The annual Christmas Day Church service at the Church of St Mary Magdalene in Norfolk provides royal fans with one of the best opportunities to get a rare glimpse of the Royal Family. Meghan’s 2018 look saw her combining blue and black, with a structured black handbag and leather knee-length boots, under a knitted Victoria Beckham navy dress and structured coat. With a literal feather in her cap in the form of her fascinator's plume, the different textures in this look give it an edge.
19. Meghan Markle at Westminster Abbey (2018)
Though Meghan Markle’s love of navy means that this classic color is a staple when it comes to the Duchess’ style, she always finds new ways to give it a modern twist. Joining Prince Harry at Westminster Abbey for a service to mark the centenary of the Armistice, Meghan allowed her pinned-on poppy to shine on the front of her simple boat-neck dress. With a matching belt around her waist and pointed heels giving a sharp contrast to the A-line dress shape, this outfit really stood out.
20. Meghan Markle leaving Sydney (2018)
When on tour, it seems even Meghan's time at the airport is stylish. As she and Prince Harry departed Sydney airport during their 16-day tour of Australia, Fiji, Tonga and New Zealand in 2018, Meghan was a vision in burgundy tones. Wearing a high-neck midi-length Hugo Boss dress, the rich color was set off brilliantly by her nude Aquazzura buckle heels. And whilst it looks to have been a breezy day, the choice to leave her dark hair loose certainly finished off the look.
21. Meghan Markle visits Tupou College in Tonga (2018)
For her visit to Tupou College in Tonga during her and Prince Harry’s 16-day Autumn tour, Meghan looked effortlessly elegant in a soft shirt dress by Veronica Beard in a summery shade of sky blue. Featuring a tie belt secured at her waist and two pockets over the chest, this casual-yet-chic outfit was the perfect choice for the warm weather.
22. Meghan Markle arrives in Tonga (2018)
In yet another display of her ability to turn plane trips into the most stylish of occasions, Meghan Markle stunned as she arrived at Nuku’alofa airport in Tonga for her and Prince Harry’s visit. This time opting for a vivid red Self-Portrait dress with contrasting navy blue black and shoes, fans might just be able to make out the delicate floral embroidery that adorns the bodice. The dress choice was also a lovely way to honor the red of the Tongan national flag.
23. Meghan Markle at Princess Eugenie's wedding (2018)
Whenever the Royal Family get together, all eyes are inevitably on their always immaculate outfits and Meghan’s choice for the wedding of Princess Eugenie to Jack Brooksbank in October 2018 was no exception. Snapped talking to the Queen alongside Prince Harry, Meghan’s navy Givenchy ensemble with its A-line silhouette was just as elegant as we might have expected from the always stylish Duchess.
24. Meghan Markle at Charlie van Straubenzee's wedding (2018)
For the wedding of Prince Harry’s old school friend, Charlie van Straubenzee in August 2018, Meghan showed just how to work patterns and contrasting colors all in one look. The dress weaves its way between black, deep teal, pale pink and white in a swirling pattern and Meghan chose black accessories to pull the outfit together, including a Philip Treacy fascinator and Aquazzura shoes.
25. Meghan Markle at Wimbledon (2018)
As she cheered on her close friend Serena Williams during her final match against Angelique Kerber at Wimbledon, Meghan once again showed how casual shirts can be made instantly fabulous. This particular Ralph Lauren shirt consisted of classic blue and white vertical stripes and gave Meghan a sporty yet smart edge to her style with the sleeves rolled up, paired with simple white trousers.
26. Meghan Markle marks the centenary of the Royal Air Force (2018)
Celebrating the 100th birthday of the Royal Air Force, the Duke and Duchess of Sussex joined the wider Royal Family, wearing shades of blue and black. Whilst Harry proudly wore his military uniform, Meghan’s black Dior dress and fascinator reflected the slightly darker tones of his tie. Paired with nude pumps, her dress was at once simple and stunning.
27. Meghan Markle in Dublin, Ireland (2018)
During her and Prince Harry’s visit to Dublin, Ireland in 2018, Meghan made even the most unassuming of colors—gray—into a style statement. The Duchess of Sussex wowed fans in a boat-neck Roland Mouret gray dress with an elegant wrap over style skirt that created another level of interest in this otherwise simple look. With her hair secured in a fashionable knot at the back of her head, Meghan’s graceful neck and glowing complexion shone here.
28. Meghan Markle at the Queen's Young Leaders Awards Ceremony (2018)
Meghan Markle might often favor darker colors for her stylish outfits, but she is also more than comfortable showcasing pastels and she did just that back in 2018 as she attended the Queen’s Young Leaders Awards Ceremony. Pictured alongside the Queen and Prince Harry, Meghan’s pink Prada dress featured military-style buttons cascading down the bodice, ending in an elegant circle skirt.
29. Meghan Markle at Royal Ascot (2018)
Royal Ascot is the ideal opportunity to stand out amongst the royal crowds and Meghan Markle did just that in this monochrome look. Once again, the Duchess’ love of shirt dresses inspired her choice of outfit, this time a Givenchy dress in a soft silk-style material with delicate buttons. Her shiny black belt, bag and shoes and the black piping around her white Philip Treacy hat gave this a glamorous edge.
30. Meghan Markle opens the new Mersey Gateway Bridge (2018)
As she joined the Queen to open the new Mersey Gateway Bridge in the summer of 2018, Meghan and Her Majesty seemed to be on the same page when it came to bags. Both royals selected back blacks with gold hardware for the occasion, with Meghan pairing her accessories with a white Givenchy dress. The dramatic cape-style design is softened with her long waves worn loose and made for a brilliant outfit for a royal engagement.
31. Meghan Markle at Trooping the Color (2018)
It seems that 2018 was the summer of beige and pink shades and military-style buttons when it comes to Meghan’s wardrobe and she looked especially beautiful in this Carolina Herrera creation for Trooping the Color. Riding in a horse-drawn carriage with Prince Harry, Meghan’s Bardot dress with its asymmetric neckline design mirrored her angular fascinator and instantly drew the eye to this memorable look.
32. Meghan Markle marries Prince Harry (2018)
Who could forget the show-stopping creation that was Meghan Markle’s wedding dress? Designed by Clare Wright Keller for Givenchy, Meghan’s wedding look featured a simple, white boat-neck gown, complete with a five metre long veil embroidered all over with 53 individual flowers. Each one represented the Commonwealth and Meghan even borrowed the Queen’s magnificent Queen Mary Diamond Bandeau Tiara for her big day.
33. Meghan Markle in Edinburgh, Scotland (2018)
Meghan Markle opted for a plaid Burberry coat as she and Prince Harry visited Social Bite Café in Edinburgh, Scotland in February 2018. The mix of deep blues and greens in this warm layer-focused outfit is a beautiful combination. Falling just above her ankles, not only was this particular coat a practical choice for the winter weather, but a real statement for this important trip.
34. Meghan Markle at the Church of St Mary Magdalene (2017)
For her first Christmas with the wider Royal Family at Sandringham, Meghan pulled out all the stops and attended the traditional Christmas Day service in soft shades of beige and brown. The pale beige Sentaler wrap coat boasts intricate stitch work on the cuffs and Meghan’s choice of darker brown hat, gloves and bag instantly elevates the classic look.
35. Meghan Markle gets engaged to Prince Harry (2017)
In the first official photographs of the future Duke and Duchess of Sussex as they announced news of their engagement, Meghan Markle decided on another breath-taking monochrome outfit. Posing at The Sunken Gardens at Kensington Palace in November 2017, Meghan wore a white wrap coat by Canadian brand Line The Label that fell just above her knees, allowing fans just a glimpse of her black dress underneath. With Aquazzura heels to finish things off in style, Meghan’s joy made this look even more magical.
36. Meghan Markle attends the CFDA/Vogue Fashion Fund Awards (2015)
Prior to her meeting Prince Harry, Meghan Markle still knew how to put together an ultra-stylish outfit. As she attended the 12th annual CFDA/Vogue Fashion Fund Awards in New York in 2015, she went all out in a sparkly silver Misha Nonoo mini dress, black heels and metallic clutch. With its low-cut neckline and blazer style cut, the dress really stole the show.
37. Meghan Markle in Toronto, Canada (2015)
Meghan Markle’s love of shirts seems to have been long established, as she also showcased this wardrobe staple in Toronto in 2015. Here the future royal shared the new Dove Self-Esteem Project resources with youth workers and wore a relaxed white shirt tucked into dark-wash flared jeans. With just a hint of a pointed shoe visible, this understated look was a brilliantly fashionable choice.
38. Meghan Markle attends the Elton John AIDS Foundation's annual benefit (2014)
Looking sensational in teal, Meghan Markle attended the Elton John AIDS Foundation’s 13th annual An Enduring Vision Benefit in 2014. The high straps gave the dress an almost halter neck look and the fitted bodice flared out dramatically in a mermaid design at the knees, making for a glamorous red carpet look we can’t get enough of.
39. Meghan Markle Meghan Markle attends Mercedes-Benz Fashion Week (2013)
Though we might not have seen Meghan Markle wear green quite so much in recent years, she looked fabulous in a khaki-colored Rachel Zoe mini dress at the Mercedes-Benz Fashion Week in 2014. The dress featured a slight frill across the lower hemline, as well as two military-style button fastenings at the waist and the gold metallic shoes perfectly matched the sheen of the buttons, pulling the whole look together.
40. Meghan Markle attends the DPA pre-Emmy Gift Lounge (2009)
With her natural beauty shining through, Meghan Markle opted for a simple black romper for her appearance at the DPA pre-Emmy Gift Lounge in 2009. The black romper was accessorized simply with two delicate gold necklaces and a pair of black aviator sunglasses, complete with matching gold frames.
Emma is a Senior Lifestyle Writer with six years of experience working in digital publishing. Her specialist areas including literature, the British Royal Family and knowing all there is to know about the latest TV shows on the BBC, ITV, Channel 4 and every streaming service out there. When she’s not writing about the next unmissable show to add to your to-watch list or delving into royal protocol, you can find Emma cooking and watching yet more crime dramas.
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