Meghan Markle reveals why she never wore colour on royal engagements

She didn’t want to ‘embarrass the family’

Prince Harry and Meghan Markle
(Image credit: Paul Edwards - Pool/Getty Images/Future)

Meghan Markle has shared why, when she was a working royal, her outfits were dominated by neutral hues - she didn't want to stand out.

Meghan Markle's style has always made headlines. Her time working as a senior working royal saw her wardrobe dominated by muted tones and subdued colours, but the looks still drew rightful attention and adoration. Now, Meghan has revealed that her neutral colour palette was deliberate, with the duchess dressing in neutral hues so she wouldn't stand out.

In the hit Netflix docuseries, Harry & Meghan, she shared that she steered away from wearing colour out of fear she would "embarrass" the royal family.

"Most of the time that I was in the UK, I rarely wore colour," she revealed in the show. "There was thought in that. To my understanding, you can't ever wear the same colour as Her Majesty if there's a group event, but then you also shouldn't be wearing the same colour as one of the other, more senior members of the family. 

Meghan Markle and The Queen

(Image credit: Samir Hussein/Samir Hussein/WireImage)

"So I was like, well what's a colour that they'll probably never wear? Camel? Beige? White? So, I wore a lot of muted tones, but it also was so I could just blend in. Like, I'm not trying to stand out here. So there's no version of me joining this family and trying to not do everything I could to fit in. I don't want to embarrass the family."

The muted colour palette becomes increasingly clear when looking back at photos of Meghan on royal engagements and even more so when she is at events where other senior royals were present. 

Her outfits were dominated by inoffensive and classic shades of brown, navy, black and white. Some of her most iconic outfits at the time included a camel-coloured Sentaler coat, which she paired with a brown Philip Treacy hat for Christmas Day in 2017, a cream-coloured Givenchy dress, which she wore for her first official engagement with the Queen, and a navy Dior look, worn on an engagement marking the Centenary of the RAF in 2018. 

Meghan Markle

(Image credit: Mark Cuthbert/UK Press via Getty Images)

After stepping down as a senior royal in 2020, Meghan has added a vast array of colourful pieces to her once bland wardrobe. Vivid reds and rich, striking blues appear to be a favourite of the duchess, though she is still partial to a neutral colour palette. 

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News writer

Charlie Elizabeth Culverhouse is a news writer for Goodtoknow, specialising in family content. She began her freelance journalism career after graduating from Nottingham Trent University with an MA in Magazine Journalism, receiving an NCTJ diploma, and earning a First Class BA (Hons) in Journalism at the British and Irish Modern Music Institute. She has also worked with BBC Good Food and The Independent.