Best Royal Maternity Style Moments, From Princess Diana To Meghan Markle

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Maternity style has varied widely over the years. And while the royal family does adhere to strict fashion guidelines, they clearly aren't opposed to changing up their styles with the times, as evidenced by these iconic royal maternity style moments from Princess Diana, Kate Middleton, and Meghan Markle.

The approach to styling a pregnant body has changed over the past few decades. In Princess Diana's day, loose-fitting frocks that obscured the bump were considered the best choice. But now, synched waists around blossoming bellies are all the rage — it's all about what makes the parent-to-be feel most comfortable and confident. Despite the changes in fashion norms for expectant mothers, many aspects of maternity style have remained continuous throughout the generations.

Princess Diana is known for being a style icon, and her daughters-in-law often channel aspects of her fashion sense into their own looks. This is true with their maternity styles, as well. Diana often favored bold colors and patterns, drawing attention with pops of color that contrasted with the rest of her look. And years later, both Markle and Middleton have included those trends in their own maternity wardrobes.

Each royal's style is as unique as the women themselves, leaving plenty of room for personal expression through fashion. Let's take a look at some of these royal moms' best maternity looks throughout the years.

Pops Of Blue

While she was pregnant with Prince William in 1981, Princess Diana drew the eye away from her bold coat with matching pops of blue throughout her outfit. The shoes, purse, and hat in the same shade complement the bits of blue in the coat and make for a seriously cohesive look.

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Another favorite look from January 1982 for Diana was monochrome. Picking a central color and carrying it throughout the outfit is an easy way to look put-together without having to worry about patterns and contrasting colors.

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Cape Coat Layers

As anyone who has been pregnant can tell you, layers are crucial to surviving the hormonal hell that is growing a little person. With coats over dresses, Diana was free to cool down if she found herself feeling uncomfortable, but she also had the option to bundle up against the wind and cold.

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Light Layers

Even in warmer months, light layers like a cardigan over a dress allowed for temperature-control fashion. She also swapped her usual heels for flatter shoes, which can be a much more comfortable choice during the later stages of pregnancy.

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Loose Dresses

Tight maternity dresses would have been a bit foreign to Diana's generation. Understandably, considering the times, she often opted for loose dresses. She kept her looks interesting with feminine touches like collars with bows.

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Even the loosest dress can be classed up a bit with a few frills. This collar and cap sleeves kept an otherwise formless dress looking fitted and chic. For a more modern take on this style, try a flowy babydoll dress with flutter sleeves.

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Flexible Fashion

Another great example of layering in maternity style, this outfit would have kept Diana comfortable in changing climates. Plus, the dress is roomy enough to allow for airflow to help keep her cool.

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Structured Styles

Not everything was loose and oversized for Diana. This coat from March 1982 with structured shoulders is the perfect example of using clean lines with face-framing details to give your outfit that "wow" factor.

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Formal Isn't Off-Limits

This red David Sassoon maternity dress was an iconic moment, to say the least. Princess Di proved that you can be both expecting and fabulous — opening the door for moms to be bolder in their fashion choices.

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More Matching

There are no words for the matching details on this hat and coat combo. Princess Diana had no chill when dressing for the chilly weather, and she lived for a color-coordinated look with complementary accessories.

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Go Bold

Diana was a big fan of neon, and that didn't change when she was approaching motherhood. This hot pink drop-waist look is a huge '80s vibe, topped off with a bow-tie collar resting perfectly on her baby bump.

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Taking A Note From Diana

Like her mother-in-law before her, Kate Middleton favored trench coats while pregnant — and throughout other years of her life. This blue coat from January 2018, when the Duchess of Cambridge was pregnant with Prince Louis, would have fit easily in Diana's closet.

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Far from the oversized dresses of Diana's day, this fitted polka dot dress draws the eye right to Middleton's bump. Could she be any cuter? Like any great future queen, she accessorized with a feathered hat.

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More Monochrome

Like Diana, Middleton made use of the streamlined look that comes from carrying a single color fully down your outfit. This soft cream look is classic, feminine, and chic, and these pieces could also be mixed and matched with other neutral colors.

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Seeing Double

The side-by-side comparison of Princess Diana and Middleton in their pregnant days shows how timeless the monochrome look is for the royals. While the dress silhouettes are undeniably different, both women favored a head-to-toe matching set.

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High Heels

High heels are challenging to wear even if you aren't pregnant, so this is especially impressive. Even with her center of gravity off, Middleton paired another bold dress with a pair of heels that would have made many moms' swollen feet during pregnancy cry. But, as usual, she makes the look seem effortless.

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Bright Colors

While not quite neon, this bright yellow dress is proof that Middleton doesn't shy away from vibrant colors, either. She certainly stands out in this straight silhouette with just the right amount of structured detail.

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Complementary Colors

Subtly different from a monochrome outfit, complementary colors give an outfit a multidimensional look. Middleton made use of slightly varied shades of pink, and she nailed it. If you're not all-in on the monochrome concept, try easing into it by layering similar colors.

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Unlike the looser, flowing dresses that Princess Diana's generation favored, Middleton often wore A-line dresses while expecting. They provide a dramatic silhouette while still giving the body (and growing bump) some breathing room.

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Shift Dresses

A little less structured, Middleton also wore a number of shift-style dresses that made for a straighter line down her profile. She knew how to rock a good pattern whenever the opportunity arose.

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Sweet Details

Middleton's style is feminine and fresh, and she has kept that theme consistent throughout her years in the spotlight. The flower buttons and bow on her hat are little touches that help her personal style shine through the royal fashion parameters.

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Gone are the days when women were expected to hide any hint of a growing person in their bodies — and thank goodness for that. This coat shows the power of a well-placed button to accentuate the magic of a pregnant belly.

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Colorful Details

Middleton also wear looser silhouettes during her pregnancies, similar to Princess Diana before her. This simple dress keeps things interesting with patterned front pockets and a matching bottom band.

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Flowy Fabrics

One of Middleton's most memorable maternity looks was this long-sleeved blue dress by the designer Seraphine. She loved it so much she wore it multiple times, even throughout different stages of her pregnancy. The loose fit of the skirt allows for multiple wears as the body is changing.

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Cape Coats Galore

Another look similar to one that Diana rocked on the regular, Markle wore an elegant cape coat with a pair of power heels while she was pregnant with her son, Archie. On a practical note, the coat also provides a great temperature-control layering option.

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Pops Of Color, Again

Those emerald accents to an otherwise white outfit are just the sort of style notes that would make Diana proud. And for Markle, who tends to favor a neutral color palette, these details feel like a departure from the norm.

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Monochrome Mamas

This green look inspires serious flashbacks to the verdant outfit that Diana wore while pregnant. All the way down to the edgy accents, there's no way this is a coincidence — Markle's look just has a more modern twist.

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Another chic look, Markle paired a fitted blazer with a bold print and a clutch. Her style overall is very modern, and that extended to her maternity outfit choices. She loves a crisp black-and-white look paired with a simple, pulled-back updo.

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Flowing Gowns

While it does bring to mind some of Diana's flowing dresses, this look is all Markle. This stunner of a gown is made by designer Caroline Herrera, and Markle wore it during the couple's tour of Morocco in 2019.

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Comfy And Casual

Not every royal maternity look involves dresses, although most do. But this casual look is full of fall vibes. It's easy to recreate and ideal for a day out at the pumpkin patch or apple picking.

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Contrasting Colors

The contrast between the black dress and white blazer make this look a segmented beauty. Not everything has to be monochrome all the time, and color blocking can be more visually interesting if you want to switch things up.

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Elevated And Trendy

For Markle's baby shower in New York City in February 2019, she went full glam in bold sunglasses and a structured black jacket. She paired this with neutral-toned pointy-toe pumps (her signature shoe) and a mid-sized bag big enough to carry all the essentials.

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Show-Stopping Jewel Tones

It's a well-known fact that Markle favors neutrals, which makes it especially thrilling to see her step out in something this bright. She was the center of attention in this red and purple outfit featuring loose silhouettes — proof that loose dresses definitely don't have to be frumpy.

No matter what your personal style is, there are ways of adapting it to suit a changing body during pregnancy. For the royals, this means bold patterns, pops of color, and monochrome looks. But it also means that each mom-to-be has the chance to put her touch on maternity style. There's no "one way" to have great maternity style — it's all about what makes you feel your best.

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