How Has Meghan Markle's Style Really Changed Since Leaving The Royal Family?

As anyone who has ever undergone a painful breakup knows, changing up your look — for better or worse — is often part of the healing process. But what if, like Meghan Markle, your breakup was with an entire royal family? Well, let's just say adding a few streaks to your hair or buying some new boots isn't quite going to cut it. In fact, Markle was recently spotted with a noticeably different style from what she used to wear as a member of the monarchy.

That being said, Markle had a very different wardrobe even before she started dating Prince Harry. According to Glamour, the former actress once preferred a more playful approach to fashion, favoring jeans, jewel tones, and sandals. However, royal protocol dictates that family members must follow certain fashion rules, some of which forbid wearing black outside of funerals, heavy makeup, and, of course, hemlines above the knee.

Now that the Duchess of Sussex is free from the royal rules, has she reverted back to her old style? Or has she changed up her look completely? Read on to find out.

How Meghan Markle updated her look after leaving the Royal Family

During a recent outing to New York, Meghan Markle's style shift was on full display, as reported by Page Six. Despite only staying for three days, she had plenty of time to flaunt a series of outfits that would never have passed palace protocol. Once keeping up with the queen in longer-length dresses, fitted silhouettes, and demure, pastel colors, the Duchess of Sussex tossed tradition to the back of the closet with looser cuts, burgundy blazers, and even a sparkly mini-dress that (gasp!) showed off her knees. And while royal family members often stick with clothing from British designers, Markle had a ball rocking international brands like Emporio Armani, The Row, and Max Mara.

With an array of trouser suits and dark colors, Markle appeared to want to project a powerful, serious image. This approach would be quite fitting given the nature of her trip to New York: appearing with Prince Harry at the Global Citizen Live event to discuss equal COVID-19 vaccine distribution.

So, has Markle left her royal fashion behind forever? As it turns out, not quite.

Meghan Markle's touching style tribute to the royal family

Fashion is a wonderful way to express yourself. It can display your personality, beliefs, or even just your mood that day. The other wonderful thing about fashion is that it can show your evolution as a human — after all, tastes change along with people. Meghan Markle certainly didn't go back to her pre-Harry wardrobe of denim and pumps, but she didn't completely discard her British fashion, either.

In a special nod to her royal connections, she took to the Global Citizen Live stage with a Dior bag under her arm, as reported by Page Six. Not just any Dior bag, but their Lady D-Lite style, which, as you may have guessed, is named after none other than Lady Diana, Prince Harry's mother. The late princess reportedly received the bag as a gift from French Prime Minister Jacques Chirac's wife Bernadette and loved it so much that the fashion house eventually created a similar style in her honor.

Despite no longer being beholden to the rules of royal fashion, Markle seems to have successfully incorporated her favorite elements of her former life into her new look. The only question is, what will she do with her hat collection?