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Today, Meghan Markle walked the grounds of Buckingham Palace looking exactly like what she is — royalty.
Instead of exposing her bare legs, as she did routinely before her Windsor Castle wedding Saturday, Markle wore sheer pantyhose. Her hair got a makeover, too. Rather than the messy-bun-and-tendrils look she favors, the Duchess of Sussex’s hair was swept into a sleek chignon. Her headwear also looked noticeably different. The floppy hat she faced criticism for wearing to Anzac Day services in April was replaced by a rigid number cocked to the side. To boot, she held a clutch instead of a crossbody purse. Apparently, women royals wear clutches to prevent others from reaching out and shaking their hands.
In short, every trace of the California casual style Markle loves had been swapped out for regal chic.
The duchess was at the palace, along with Prince Harry and stepmother-in-law Camilla Parker Bowles, to celebrate Prince Charles’s 70th birthday roughly six months early. It was Markle’s first public appearance as royalty. In the months before her wedding, Markle faced criticism for breaking royal protocol. Ripped jeans, loose hair, and strappy purses all got tongues wagging.
Her new look, however, signals that she now intends to follow the Firm’s fashion dictates. Word has it that covered legs is the only major rule of dress the Queen requires. Unfortunately for Markle, that means pantyhose — whether it’s sweltering or chilly outside — in a largely casual society that’s pretty much rendered them obsolete.
Markle may be the envy of many after marrying into the British royal family, but you can bet that the requirement to always wear pantyhose in public hasn’t made anyone envious.
If there was a bit of edge in Markle’s ensemble, it was the sheerness of her pale pink and cream dress — a bespoke Goat Fashion Flavia dress, according to fashion blog Meghan’s Mirror. Both the sleeves and upper chest were see-through. Given that her Ralph & Russo engagement dress was also sheer, this touch may have been a direct reflection of Markle’s personal style. So, yes, Markle is now perfectly willing to look like a duchess, but her first appearance as a royal suggests that she still plans to retain some sense of her former self.