You can mark today in your diary as the blessed day that we all saw the first official photos of Meghan Markle as a pregnant woman. Of course, she’s now more than 12 weeks through her pregnancy so we’ve technically seen the Duchess and future baby a few times, but this is the first occasion that we’ve actually been fully aware of it. Yep, it’s a special day.
Meghan’s first public appearance as an officially pregnant woman took place in Sydney, Australia on Tuesday, as she made her royal tour debut alongside husband Prince Harry. It's no exaggeration to say that Meghan and baby were well and truly thrown straight in at the deep end, as the couple began their day with a walkabout amongst the huge crowds who came out to greet them. Later in their jam-packed schedule, the Duke and Duchess of Sussex took a detour to Taronga Zoo, where they were greeted with two namesake koalas (sure, why not). Finally, their first day in Australia culminated in a formal Sydney reception complete with newborn baby, held at the grand Admiralty House overlooking the famous opera house.
Completing no less than three major appearances in one day, Meghan opted for two outfit changes for her first post-announcement appearance. First, she began the afternoon wearing a minimalist cocktail dress by Australian label Karen Gee, which showed just a hint of her blossoming baby bump, paired with a classic choice of her favorite Stuart Weitzman nude suede heels and, at one point, a chic trench coat, too.
After a brief interlude in comfortable flat shoes, Meghan later appeared sporting a second look—a khaki green pleated shirt dress. The piece by Brandon Maxwell looked elegant with Dior Stilettos and jewelry that once belonged to Harry’s late mother, Princess Diana.
The couple both made obvious reference to their happy news, too. When told by TV personality Eddie Woo that his own children require a lot of energy, Meghan replied: “We're ready! We're excited to join the club.” Later, during his speech at the reception, Harry then told guests: “Thank you for the incredibly warm welcome and the chance to meet so many Aussies from all walks of life. And we also genuinely couldn't think of a better place to announce the upcoming baby, be it a boy or a girl.”
But how did Meghan’s first post-pregnancy announcement appearance compare to that of sister-in-law, Kate Middleton? The same occasion for the Duchess of Cambridge could in fact not have been more contrasting, mostly owing to the circumstances that her first pregnancy was announced back in 2012.
While it’s been revealed that Meghan has already safely had her 12 week scan, Kate was yet to do the same when her pregnancy news was shared. It’s thought that she and Wills were hoping to wait until Christmas to break the news but, when Kate was hospitalised with hyperemesis gravidarum in early December, they had no real choice but to make the announcement under pressure.
As a result, Kate’s first pregnancy appearance (Prince George, incoming) came as she left the King Edward VII hospital in central London with husband Prince William by her side. While still smiling, Kate was clearly exhausted by the experience and wrapped up warm in an understated, dark blue check coat and light scarf. Much less of a spectacle than Meghan's day, she simply told journalists waiting outside that she felt “much better”, before heading home to Kensington Palace for further rest.
It wasn’t until two weeks later that Kate made her first, more formal appearance while pregnant, appearing at the BBC’s annual Sports Personality of the Year Awards. Prior to this one, the Duchess had been forced to cancel four public appearances due to ill health, so it was an unexpected decision when she did take to the stage to present a prestigious Lifetime Achievement Award alongside David Beckham.
For the special televised occasion, Kate stunned with her signature glossy blow out, while wearing an incredible Alexander McQueen Bell Sleeve Floor Length Gown in a bottle green color—not entirely dissimilar to Meghan’s choice of green today.
Other than that small coincidence, the two Duchesses have had entirely different pregnancy announcement experiences.