THEN AND NOW: Royal maternity fashion over the years, from Queen Elizabeth's maternity coats to Meghan Markle's designer gowns

royal maternity style
Queen Elizabeth, Princess Diana, and Meghan Markle during their pregnancies. Keystone-France/Gamma-Rapho via Getty Images, Jayne Fincher/Princess Diana Archive/Getty Images, Joe Pugliese/Harpo Productions
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  • Women in the royal family continue to carry out engagements while pregnant, when possible.

  • Queen Elizabeth wore maternity coats and matching sets, while Diana opted for billowing dresses.

  • Kate Middleton wore patterned dresses, and Meghan Markle wore an Armani gown in her Oprah interview.

Queen Elizabeth and the Duke of Edinburgh attended the 169th renewal of the Derby Stakes in 1948 a day after subtly announcing her pregnancy.

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Queen Elizabeth and Prince Philip in 1948. AP

The then-princess had announced the day before that she would not accept more public engagements after the end of June — the royal way of saying that she was expecting.

She wore the same outfit again a month later with a different hat, bag, gloves, and pin to attend a wedding in July 1948.

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Queen Elizabeth (left) and Princess Margaret in 1948. AP

Queen Elizabeth made an exception to the statement that she wouldn't make more public appearances to attend the wedding of Lord Derby and Lady Isabel Milles-Lade in July 1948.

Queen Elizabeth visited Prince Philip in Malta, where he was on duty with the British Navy, while pregnant with Princess Anne.

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Queen Elizabeth and Prince Philip in 1950. AP

She celebrated her 24th birthday in Malta and posed in the drawing room of the Villa Guardamangia.

She wore a maternity coat to visit a maternity ward in Malta.

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Queen Elizabeth in 1950. AP

Then-Princess Elizabeth visited the maternity wing of the British Military Hospital in Malta in 1950 in her last appearance before giving birth to her second child.

When prime minister of Ghana Kwame Nkrumah visited Balmoral Castle in Scotland, Queen Elizabeth told him she would have to cancel her trip to Ghana because of her pregnancy.

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Queen Elizabeth and Princess Anne with Kwame Nkrumah, prime minister of Ghana. Bettmann/Contributor/Getty Images

This was the first photo of the Queen since palace sources announced her pregnancy.

Queen Elizabeth attended a ballet performance at Covent Garden Opera while pregnant in 1963.

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Queen Elizabeth in 1963. Keystone-France/Gamma-Rapho via Getty Images

She was pregnant with her youngest, Prince Edward.

Princess Diana wore a red Bellville Sassoon coat on the day she announced her first pregnancy in 1981.

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Princess Diana in 1981. Jayne Fincher/Princess Diana Archive/Getty Images

She paired the coat with a John Boyd hat.

She made an entrance in another red Bellville Sassoon piece, a maternity gown with a square neckline and flared sleeves.

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Princess Diana in 1982. Anwar Hussein/Getty Images

Princess Diana wore the gown to the Barbican Centre in London in 1982.

Princess Diana wore a gown with voluminous sleeves to a movie premiere while pregnant with Prince William.

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Princess Diana and Elizabeth Taylor in 1982. Dave Caulkin/BIPNA/Pool/AP

Princess Diana chatted with Elizabeth Taylor at the premiere of "The Little Foxes," in which Taylor was starring, at the Victoria Palace Theatre in 1982.

At her last public engagement before giving birth, she unveiled a plaque in South Wales in a dusty pink ensemble.

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Princess Diana in 1982. Dave Caulkin/AP

Princess Diana unveiled a plaque at the Sony TV factory with Sony chairman Akio Morita in South Wales on April 8, 1982, while six months pregnant.

She wore another pink look while pregnant with Prince Harry two years later.

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Princess Diana in 1984. John Redman/AP

She wore the outfit in Windsor in 1984.

For Trooping the Colour in 1982, Princess Diana wore an emerald green dress.

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Queen Elizabeth, Prince Philip, Princess Diana, and Prince Charles in 1982. Tim Graham/Getty Images

Trooping the Colour is the Queen's official birthday celebration.

She wore a white tuxedo with a wing collar to a concert while pregnant with Prince Harry in 1984.

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Princess Diana in 1984. AP

Princess Diana attended a charity pop concert at the National Exhibition Centre in Birmingham in 1984.

She sported a nautical matching top and skirt at a polo tournament.

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Princess Diana in 1984. John Redman/AP

Princess Diana watched Prince Charles compete in a polo tournament in Windsor in 1984.

She wore a blue Catherine Walker gown to a movie premiere three months before giving birth to Prince Harry.

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Princess Diana in June 1984. Tim Graham/Getty Images

Princess Diana attended the premiere of "Indiana Jones and the Temple of Doom" in June 1984. Prince Harry was born in September.

Kate Middleton wore a similar shade of blue in 2013 while pregnant with Prince George.

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Kate Middleton in 2013. Tim P. Whitby/WPA Pool/Getty Images

She attended a charity reception at The National Portrait Gallery in London.

Middleton often wore patterned maternity dresses.

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Kate Middleton in 2013. Stefan Wermuth/Reuters

Kate Middleton visited Hope House addiction treatment center in London in 2013.

She wore a floral print dress from Erdem while visiting The Willows Primary School in 2013.

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Kate Middleton in 2013. Paul Ellis/WPA Pool/Getty Images

Middleton visited the school to launch a new school counseling program.

She wore Erdem again in Sweden while pregnant with Prince Louis.

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Kate Middleton in 2018. Pool/Getty Images

Middleton and Prince William visited the Swedish royals in 2018.

This Seraphine dress made multiple appearances during her pregnancies.

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Kate Middleton in 2015. Eddie Mulholland/WPA Pool/Getty Images

In 2015, Kate Middleton visited Cape Hill Children's Centre in Smethwick, where she wore the Seraphine dress for the first time, according to People.

Another blue Seraphine dress became a favorite.

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Kate Middleton in 2018. Jonathan Brady/WPA Pool/Getty Images

Kate Middleton visited Roe Green Junior School in London as part of her Heads Together campaign in 2018.

She also wore lots of vibrant coats while pregnant.

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Kate Middleton in 2018. Stuart C. Wilson/Getty Images

Middleton visited Great Ormond Street Hospital in London in 2018.

Middleton is a fan of designer Jenny Packham.

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Kate Middleton in 2018. KGC-178/STAR MAX/IPx 2018/AP

She's worn Jenny Packham dresses for all three of her new baby photo-ops.

She wore a Tara Jarmon peach-colored coat in 2013.

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Kate Middleton in 2013. David Parker/WPA Pool/Getty Images

She visited Naomi House Children's Hospice in Winchester.

She went to the 2018 BAFTAs in an emerald green dress with a black sash and clutch.

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Catherine, Duchess of Cambridge, at the EE British Academy Film Awards in London, England. Chris Jackson - WPA Pool/Chris Jackson/Getty Images

Her choice of dress was controversial due to the event's unofficial all-black dress code in honor of Time's Up.

In Norway, she floated down the halls in an ethereal pale pink gown by Alexander McQueen.

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Kate Middleton in 2018. Chris Jackson/Getty Images

Middleton was escorted to dinner by King Harald V of Norway.

Meghan Markle's maternity wardrobe featured one stunning look after another when she was pregnant with Archie.

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Meghan Markle in 2018. Max Mumby/Indigo / Contributor

She wore a sequined top by Safiyaa with a black floor-length skirt to her first Royal Variety Performance.

She wore a silk floral dress by Figue on her first royal tour with Prince Harry in Fiji in 2018.

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Meghan Markle in 2018. Chris Jackson/Getty Images

They visited the University of the South Pacific in Suva, Fiji.

She wore a white, floral dress with a square neckline while visiting the Royal Variety Charity's nursing and care home.

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Meghan Markle in 2018. WPA Pool/GettyImages

The $1,480 midi-length dress is from the Brock Collection. She paired it with a $550 grey wool coat by Soia and Kyo.

The flowing cream gown she wore to a reception in Morocco was custom made by Dior.

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Meghan Markle in 2019. Yui Mok/Pool via AP

She and Harry attended a reception hosted by the British Ambassador to Morocco at the British Residence in Rabat, Morocco.

She visited King Mohammed VI of Morocco while wearing a fluttery blue Carolina Herrera dress.

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Meghan Markle in 2019. Pool/Samir Hussein/WireImage

The light-blue silk chiffon dress is currently available to pre-order for $2,990.

In between gowns, she also threw in a casual look to visit a cooking school in Morocco.

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Meghan Markle in 2019. Tim P. Whitby/Pool via AP

She wore a green jacket by J Crew over a striped sweater and black jeans. She completed the look with black booties by Stuart Weitzman.

Back at Buckingham Palace, she wore a silver brocade dress with gold floral embroidery and a cream coat by Amanda Wakeley.

Meghan Markle
Meghan Markle in 2019. Dominic Lipinski/ WPA Pool/ Getty Images

Markle also wore the coat at the Commonwealth Day service in March 2018.

For International Women's Day 2019, she spoke on a panel in a retro-inspired shift dress.

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Meghan Markle in 2019. Frank Augstein/AP

The $345 shift dress by Reiss featured a black and white pattern and high neckline.

She wore another retro-inspired look by Victoria Beckham while attending the Commonwealth Day Service at Westminster Abbey.

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Meghan Markle in 2019. zz/KGC-107/STAR MAX/IPx 2019/AP

The dress featured a '70-inspired black-and-white chain-link print.

Markle wore a maxi dress by Carolina Herrera to announce her second pregnancy in February.

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Meghan Markle in 2021. Misan Harriman; Copyright owned by The Duke and Duchess of Sussex © 2021

The dress was designed especially for her while she was pregnant with Archie, now 21 months old, People reported.

Markle wore a $4,700 belted, silk Armani gown in her bombshell interview with Oprah Winfrey in March.

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Meghan Markle in 2021. Joe Pugliese/Harpo Productions

Markle accessorized with a Cartier "Love" bangle, Birks earrings, a Pippa Small necklace, and a a Cartier tennis bracelet that once belonged to Princess Diana.

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