Duchess of Sussex failed to fly British flag with debut royal tour wardrobe

Danielle Fowler
Freelance Writer
The Duchess of Sussex may have flexed her sartorial muscles on a global scale but she missed a trick on the royal tour [Photo: Getty]

The Duchess of Sussex certainly used the couple’s debut royal tour as the perfect excuse to showcase her sartorial prowess on a global scale with a grand total of 41 looks over a 16-day stint.

Every morning, the nation would wake up to a flurry of headlines with Meghan often performing impressive mid-flight outfit changes.

But although the 37-year-old dressed diplomatically in a series of under-the-radar labels homegrown in Australia and New Zealand – she surprisingly seemed to miss a trick.

Out of the 74 designer clothes she somehow managed to squeeze into her suitcase, the former actress only wore 20 British labels.


In fact, the Duchess didn’t fly the flag for the UK fashion industry until day four when she recycled London-based designer Roksanda’s Athena Pleated midi dress for a trip to MacArthurs Girls School in Sydney.

Much like the Roksanda number, a large majority of the British looks Meghan wore during the tour have been photographed on the Duchess before.

Meghan recycled a Stella McCartney cape dress for the Invictus Games opening ceremony [Photo: Getty]

For instance, she recycled the Stella McCartney cape dress for the Invictus Games opening ceremony in Sydney – which she famously donned to an event at the Royal Albert Hall back in April.

She also tended to stick to British labels when it came to daytime accessorising – saving international brands for major events.

Who can forget the moment she stepped out in a frothy gown by Dominican designer, Oscar de la Renta?

For a reception at the Australian Geographic Society Gala on October 26, the Duchess wore a frothy gown by Oscar de la Renta [Photo: Getty]

The following day, she turned to another go-to British label.

For the Anzac memorial opening in Sydney’s Hyde Park, the Duchess dressed her bump in a bespoke Emilia Wickstead dress complete with a co-ordinating Philip Treacy hat.

A full list of the British labels Meghan wore on the royal tour:

Emilia Wickstead
Philip Treacy
Stella McCartney
Shaun Leane
Stephen Jones
Tabitha Simmons
Winser London
Stephen Jones
Pippa Small
Self Portrait
Antonio Berardi
Jessica McCormack
Seasalt Cornwall
Muck Boots Company
Lavender Hill Clothing
Emily Mortimer

Interestingly, the mother-to-be wore a total of 25 different American labels throughout the trip – perhaps in homage to her Californian roots.

It is widely speculated that stylist and close friend Jessica Mulroney (who also hails from America) is behind her penchant for lesser-known US labels.

The Duchess gave a feminist speech in New Zealand wearing a bespoke dress by New York-based designer Gabriela Hearst [Photo: Getty]

Unsurprisingly, the royal also chose to wear the likes of Canadian brands such as Jason Wu and Birks on the royal tour – a tribute to her ‘Suits’ career no doubt.

A full list of the American labels Meghan wore on the royal tour:

Stuart Weitzman
Brandon Maxwell
J. Crew
Adina Reyter
Sarah Flint
Misha Nonoo
Serena Williams
Veronica Beard
Banana Republic
Adina Reyter
Oscar de la Renta
Theodore Scanlan
Gabriela Hearst

In a diplomatic gesture, the Duchess also turned to several local designers during the tour. To kick-start the couple’s trip, Meghan wore the aptly-named ‘Blessed’ dress by Aussie fashion designer Karen Gee.

The royal kick-started the tour in a shift dress by local designer Karen Gee [Photo: Getty]

She later went on to wear three ensembles by Martin Grant. For the couple’s New Zealand debut, Meghan changed into a plaid trench coat by native Karen Walker. 

A full list of the Australian and New Zealand labels Meghan wore on the royal tour:

Karen Gee
Martin Grant
Natalie Marie
Dion Lee
Jac and Jack

New Zealand-based:
Karen Walker
Maggie Marilyn

But it’s not the first time Meghan has missed an opportunity to champion British fashion. On the royal newlyweds’ debut trip to their namesake county of Sussex on October 3, the mother-to-be dressed in a coat by Italian mega label Armani finished with a £461 leather skirt by US brand Hugo Boss.

She finished the ensemble with a silk shirt from Scandi powerhouse & Other Stories and a seriously chic £1,695 handbag by New York-based designer Gabriela Hearst.

Back in October, it was widely reported that the Duchess had only worn two British labels since becoming a member of the royal family.

The swift departure is in stark contrast to the Duchess’ pre-wedding days, when she wore a grand total of 10 Brit brands while carrying out 16 duties as a non-royal.

A full list of the other labels Meghan wore on the royal tour:

Pascale Monvoisin
Maison Kitsune

Manolo Blahnik
Loro Piana

Hugo Boss


& Other Stories

But Meghan has been keen to stick to her fashion guns since joining the Windsor clan and although she is representing Britain abroad, there are no official rules of protocol to follow.

“It’s a personal choice and there are no rules saying that they can’t wear a certain label,” royal etiquette expert Grant Harrold recently told Yahoo UK.

“Obviously us Brits love the royals wearing a British label, as it promotes Britain. But at the same time, they have their own tastes, likes and dislikes. Fashion is a very personal thing and on that basis, Meghan’s already got particular designers in mind.”

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Read more from Yahoo Style UK:

Meghan Markle’s royal tour wardrobe: Where to buy each outfit

Why has Meghan Markle shunned British brands since becoming a Duchess?

Meghan Markle’s style file: Every outfit the Duchess of Sussex has worn in public