Meghan Markle in a €28 maternity dress might just be her best look yet
It's officially back to business as usual for Meghan Markle, who seems to be taking some criticism on board with her latest, more budget friendly look.
Royals, despite their immense wealth, are still supposed to be perceived as relatable and while Meghan spent most of 2018 modelling couture look after couture look to much comment, she has finally displayed an appreciation for high street shopping with a grey polo neck dress from H&M's maternity range, which retails for €27.99. This paired with a custom made Armani coat which she recycled from earlier in the week, might be her relevant outfit yet.
Her choice of accessory, a faux suede Stella McCartney Falabella mini-bag was the finishing touch on a thoughtful and considered ensemble (except for, of course, the weather). By showing something affordable mixed with a British designer and just the right amount of glamour is exactly what royal watchers - and shoppers - want when looking at duchess style.
It's her third appearance over the last week as she ramps up her duties with her four new patronages, her first official ones since marrying into the British royal family, with today's activity at the Mayhew Animal Home, a rescue home for "dogs, cats and communities". She will also join husband Prince Harry tonight at a showing of Cirque du Soleil at the Royal Albert Hall in aid of charity Sentebale.
Harry and Meghan will be guests of honour for the evening premiere of the Canadian circus company's production Totem. The event will raise awareness and vital funds for his charity which helps young people in southern Africa affected by HIV. It's likely that the Duchess of Sussex is full steam ahead with her responsibilities as she prepares for the arrival of their first child in April, after which she will take some months off for her maternity leave.
A new report says that the 37-year-old's team might not be accustomed to her "say-it-as-you-see-it American mentality" which could be part of the reason why there is such an exodus among her staff as three employees have left her service in the last six months.
"Meghan is very American and wants to get things done, that is her way," royal biographer Ingrid Seward told People. "She hits the ground running and works hard. That is in her makeup."
A former aide told the Telegraph that a lot of the fracas can be traced to her California way of doing things, which is in stark contrast to the royal family's slow-to-change methods.
"I think what we've seen is a clash of cultures rather than a serious falling out between anyone. You have to remember that when people join the royal household, they ultimately expect to be serving queen and country, not necessarily an American actress who has starred in a legal drama on the telly," they said. "There is a great deal of goodwill towards Harry but Meghan is still a bit of an unknown quantity."
Meanwhile, sister-in-law Kate Middleton was also at her second event of the week, today visiting the Royal Opera House, where she mentioned her three-year-old daughter Princess Charlotte has expressed an interest in ballet.
Dressed in a magenta Oscar de la Renta jacket and skirt and a black Aspinal of London bag, she spent two hours at the costume department on Wednesday. According to royal staff, the duchess is passionate about learning more on textiles and costume design due to her family history - Kate's great-great grandfather ran the family's successful textile manufacturing company, Francis Martineau Lupton, in Leeds.