Fashion News

Duchess Meghan's stunning custom-made dress from her second pregnancy photoshoot paid a subtle-yet-special tribute to her first child, Archie

The US-born royal never misses an opportunity to wear something meaningful.

By Jess Pullar
If there's one thing we know about Duchess Meghan, it's that she never does anything without putting a lot of thought behind it.
The 39-year-old royal, who married Prince Harry in a whirlwind wedding back in 2018, has given fans plenty to talk about through the years - from throwing herself into the thick of royal life by connecting with marginalised communities, shining a light on issues of sexism and racism, and even normalising the realities of a woman's post-partem body.
Yes, Meghan has come into her own with a mission to make a difference - and we've watched her do it with much intrigue.
The Duchess's knack for sparking conversations and highlighting important causes isn't always direct. Often, the Duchess will show her support for something visually, rather than verbally - and that's where her clothing comes in.
After she gave birth to her first child Archie Harrison Mountbatten-Windsor in May 2019, the Duchess was thrust into the limelight whether she liked it or not. The world scrambled to get a good glimpse of her and the new baby as the first official photo-call took place.
And instead of withdrawing from the thousands of eyeballs placed on her (as any normal mum would very understandably want to do), Meghan used the opportunity to take things higher.
She wore a gorgeous dress by Grace Wales Bonner, a 29-year-old mixed-race fashion designer who specialises in gender-neutral designs.
At the time, it was amazing to see the Duchess choose a designer who reflected the diversity the British royals embraced as Meghan, who is also of mixed-heritage, welcomed her baby son into the fold.
Meghan Markle's beautiful white dress was designed by British creative Grace Wales Bonner. (Dominic Lipinski / PA / Getty)
As Meghan now prepares to welcome her second child, it's no wonder she continues to put that same thought into her clothing choices.
On February 14, 2021, Harry and Meghan shared news they were expecting a little brother or sister for Archie, with a spokesperson saying they were "overjoyed" at the news.
Accompanying the announcement was a stunning black and white photograph of the pair in a secluded garden: Meghan lies with her head in Harry's lap while he gazes down at her smiling.
The Duchess's baby bump is clearly visible, with her gorgeous white sleeveless dress floating to the ground at her sides.
The beautiful image captured the pair's joy perfectly. (Misan Harriman / The Duke and Duchess of Sussex)
It was later confirmed that the dress was designed by Carolina Herrera, and a custom design Meghan was given from the Venezuelan American label during her first pregnancy with baby Archie.
What's more, the Duchess also wore another beautiful custom design by the brand during her royal tour to Morocco back in February 2019 - just months before welcoming her first child.
Meghan's choice to wear the gorgeous floaty frock certainly seems a sweet way to include Archie in the announcement, despite him not being pictured with his parents in the new snap.
A small tribute to Baby Archie in Meghan and Harry's new pic didn't go amiss. (Getty)
In addition, PEOPLE magazine reports Meghan is close friends with Carolina Herrera's creative director, Wes Gordon.
This, along with the fact her close pal Misan Harriman - a famous photographer who was the first black person to photograph a British Vogue shoot - also snapped the shot on his iPad.
Yes, Meghan really does love to pay a little subtle tribute.
Duchess Meghan put a lot of thought into her second pregnancy announcement. (Getty)
As she prepares to become a mum for the second time, one can hope the Duchess will share some of the journey with us.
Given she and Harry have stepped back from their senior royal roles, they are less restricted by royal baby protocols. This means they will likely not be as publicly visible this time around, so maybe don't get too excited about getting a traditional post-birth royal baby photocall come her due date.
That said, given how much the Duchess loves to make a statement, be it a tribute or to shine a light on a worthy cause, we can absolutely bet on some more meaningful announcements and imagery from the Sussexes.
We can't wait, quite frankly.