The Duke and Duchess of Sussex stepped out for the Commonwealth Youth Forum on Thursday in London, and it’s clear the former actress’ affinity for boat-neck necklines (also sometimes called bateau necklines) isn’t going away anytime soon.
At the event, Prince Harry wore a navy suit with an olive tie. Meghan Markle wowed in a yellow, sleeveless boat-neck sheath dress by U.S. designer Brandon Maxwell, as pointed out by royal correspondent Richard Palmer of the UK’s Daily Express.
The Duchess of Sussex’s Givenchy wedding dress ― designed by Clare Waight Keller ―- had a boat neck neckline, which has surely inspired a lot of bridal copycats.
She’s also worn the style to a lot of royal events over the past few months.
The 36-year-old wore a blush pink, double-breasted Prada dress with a boat neck to the Queen’s Young Leader awards reception on June 26:
And the same neckline on Jan. 18 at an appearance in Cardiff, Wales:
Since Markle became an official part of the royal family two months ago, royal expert Katie Nicholl estimated in a Vanity Fair report last week that the cost of Duchess of Sussex’s royal wardrobe totals about $1 million. That includes all of her clothes, coats, shoes and accessories ― and that’s just since she married Harry on May 19.
Two major purchases no doubt constitute a major portion of the clothes budget: her custom Givenchy wedding dress from designer Clare Waight Keller and the former actresses’ custom reception gown.
As a member of the royal family, she and Harry receive income that flows through her father-in-law, Prince Charles, to foot the bill for her wardrobe.
As Nicholls points out, all the money might be worth it, given Markle’s ability to generate positive press for the royal family (her drama with her own father notwithstanding).
“Meghan is now an ambassador for the royal family,” Nicholls said. “Look at the publicity she has brought in run up to the wedding. I’d argue that’s worth every penny.”
William Hanson, a British etiquette expert, shared similar sentiments with HuffPost.
“The now Duchess of Sussex does usually look very chic and has so far been a credit to the British royal family,” he said. “It is hard to put a price on impeccable style and while many women manage to look just as flawless for less, I would say that if that (wardrobe) figure really is accurate, it has been worth every dime.”
Hanson said she may start switching up some of the materials she wears to certain engagements.
“So far, Meghan is getting everything spot on,” he said. “Her public engagement outfits have all looked great and have been tailored well ― some of the materials have creased quite easily... and she will soon learn from experience what materials and cuts of outfits work best for preserving the pristine look for longer.”
Like her sister-in-law, the Duchess of Cambridge, Hanson assumes that we’ll see many of Markle’s outfits over the years:
“All members of the royal family realize they have to recycle and reuse outfits, especially when it comes for things like drinks receptions and less showy functions, and I think The Duchess of Sussex will soon find it is sometimes easier to go for an old favorite rather than reinvent the wheel,” he said.
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