Meghan Markle is well known for her strong sense of personal style and taste for bold simplistic fashions.
Throughout her time in the U.K., Meghan was fiercely proud of maintaining control over her public-facing image by not using the services of a professional stylist and allowing her outfits to become a true expression of her sense of self.
Over the past year, the duchess has displayed a number of show-stopping fashion choices which have evolved over time from when she first became a working member of the royal family into a more refined signature style today.
Here, as Meghan turns 41, Newsweek looks at a collection of Meghan’s most significant fashion looks from the past year.
September 23, 2021 – One World Observatory
Meghan’s first prominent public appearance following her 40th birthday in 2020 was to undertake a visit to New York City with Prince Harry, the centerpiece of which was a speech given by the couple at the Global Citizen Live vaccine equality event in Central Park.
For one of her first visits to New York with Harry, Meghan wore a navy ensemble featuring an Armani longline wool coat, a turtleneck blouse which was reported to have been made by the Olsen twins’ fashion label, The Row, and a pair of bootcut trousers.
Accessorizing the look Meghan paired high-end jewelry in the form of her Cartier wedding earrings and Cartier gold watch, as well as a diamond pinky ring.
September 24, 2021—Harlem
On the second day of the New York visit, Meghan wore a layered ensemble of burgundy cashmere pieces from the brand Loro Piana for a book reading event at a school in Harlem.
The duchess wore an oversized jacket with patch pockets and clashing orange lining over a block color turtleneck in a matching shade as the pair of bootcut trousers also paired with the outfit.
Accessorizing this ensemble, Meghan wore a pair of suede burgundy high heels, a tan belt and tortoiseshell sunglasses.
September 25, 2021—Global Citizen Live
For the Global Citizen Live event, Meghan selected a style of dress she has become closely associated with—the mini dress.
The Valentino white dress with a cropped hem, high neck and floral embellishments ensured that she was easily visible to the crowds as she stood with Harry on the large Central Park stage.
To and from the stage, the duchess wore a longline black double-breasted coat reportedly from Christian Dior and she carried a personalized black Lady Dior handbag, so named after her late mother-in-law, Princess Diana.
November 10, 2021—Salute to Freedom
Following their visit to New York in September, Harry and Meghan returned to the city in November to attend the Salute to Freedom gala held at the Intrepid Museum where Harry presented the Intrepid Valor Award to service members and veterans living with the invisible wounds of war.
The awards were held on November 10, the day before Veterans Day in the U.S. and Remembrance Day in Europe. Meghan paid tribute to this by wearing a deep red evening gown to the ceremony in the same shade as the poppy she also wore as a traditional symbol of remembrance.
The gown with thin shoulder straps and a voluminous outer skirt was designed by Wes Gordon for Carolina Herrera as part of the designers’ pre-fall 2022 collection.
Meghan paired the dress with Giuseppi Zannoti red satin heels with a jeweled buckle and simple diamond jewelry from her own collection including Princess Diana’s diamond tennis bracelet.
February 26, 2022— NAACP Awards
Meghan paid a subtle tribute to Princess Diana when she accepted the President’s Award at the NAACP Image Awards in February 2022.
Meghan opted for an elegant bespoke evening gown by designer Christopher John Rogers, a creator of outfits worn by the likes of Michelle Obama and Adele.
The asymmetric gown of blue chiffon was reminiscent of a gown worn by Princess Diana on a visit to Thailand in 1988.
April 15, 2022—Invictus Games Day One
For her first public engagement in 2022, Meghan attended the opening events of the Invictus Games held in The Hague, Netherlands with Prince Harry.
For her first outfit of the trip, Meghan wore an all-white double-breasted pant suit by Valentino with a matching bag and layered gold jewelry.
The ensemble was styled in the typically relaxed style that Meghan has honed over the past four years, not strikingly tailored but fluid and worn with her hair loose about her shoulders.
April 16, 2022—Invictus Games Opening Ceremony
The outfit chosen by Meghan to wear for the opening ceremony of the Invictus Games was layered with symbolism and close family associations.
The ensemble consisted of a pair of black bootcut trousers with a white, open-neck bodysuit from the brand Khaite, featuring cross bodice pleating interlocked across the center front.
The bodice closely resembles a dress worn by Princess Diana which was sold in the 1997 auction of her most famous dresses and which she posed in for Mario Testino in the months before she died.
April 17, 2022—Invictus Games Foundation Event
The duchess opted for another signature mini dress to wear for a reception in honor of the Invictus Games Foundation during the last days of her visit to the Netherlands.
Also by Valentino, this dress featured laser cutouts in a delicate arrangement and was paired with chocolate brown suede heels by Gianvito Rossi and a matching handbag by Khaite.
June 3, 2022—Platinum Jubilee
Perhaps the most highly anticipated public appearance Meghan made over the course of the past year was her attendance of the national service of thanksgiving at St Paul’s Cathedral honoring Queen Elizabeth II’s Platinum Jubilee.
The event marked the first engagement in public that Harry and Meghan would undertake together in Britain since stepping down as working royals in 2020 and the broadcast of their interview with Oprah Winfrey in 2021.
For the special occasion, on which many eyes were trained on Harry and Meghan, the duchess stood out in a striking pale ensemble made by Christian Dior in Paris.
The outfit consisted of a paired down coat dress cut along the lines of a traditional English trench coat with a high collar and vented back detail. Accessorizing the look were a pair of buff white leather gloves, matching heels and a sculpted 1980s-style hat framing the duchess’ face.
July 18, 2022—United Nations
For her most recent public appearance, Meghan accompanied Harry to the United Nations in New York where he gave a keynote speech honoring Nelson Mandela International Day.
For the occasion, Meghan wore an all-black ensemble made by the designers of her wedding dress—the house of Givenchy in Paris.
The longline skirt with patch pockets was paired with a soft jersey blouse and was accessorized with an oversized oxblood-colored handbag by British luxury leather goods designer, Mulberry.