Meghan Markle's Twofold Invictus Games Fashion Tributes to Princess Diana

Meghan Markle made two touching fashion tributes to Princess Diana during her whirlwind appearance at the opening events of the 2022 Invictus Games in The Hague this month.

The nods to the duchess' fashion minded mother-in-law came as Meghan and Harry made their first joint public visit to Europe since stepping down as full-time working members of the royal family in March 2020.

It was confirmed—after the fact—that on the couple's way to the Netherlands they visited Queen Elizabeth II at Windsor Castle last week.

Meghan's debut outfit for the 2022 Invictus Games, which had been due to be staged in 2020 but was postponed due to the coronavirus pandemic, took the form of an elegant white Valentino suit paired with the brand's 'Nappa' white shoulder bag.

For shoes, the duchess appears to have worn a style of pointed white pumps with satin piping by her favorite footwear brand, Aquazzura, also worn to her 2018 wedding reception at Frogmore Cottage.

Princess Diana Meghan Markle Suits
Meghan Markle wore a white Valentino suit to a reception ahead of the 2022 Invictus Games opening ceremony which bore aesthetic links to a suit worn by Princess Diana at a polo match in the 1980s. Meghan (L) photographed April 15, 2022. Diana (R) photographed July 1987. Chris Jackson/Getty Images for the Invictus Games Foundation/Terry Fincher/Princess Diana Archive/Getty Images

This outfit drew comparisons to the chic white Alexander McQueen suit worn by Meghan's sister-in-law the Duchess of Cambridge only last month during her tour of the Caribbean, but another comparison is even more evident in the form of a similar ensemble worn by Princess Diana in 1987.

Diana wore the double breasted blazer suit, hers with a skirt opposed to Meghan's with trousers, to the Cartier Queen's Cup annual polo match held at Smith's Lawn—the royals' polo ground in the grounds of Windsor Castle—in July 1987.

Diana's ensemble was made in cream suiting material and was photographed as the princess spoke with the queen while watching Prince Charles play in the match.

This was not the only tribute paid by Meghan over the course of her visit to the Netherlands. There was another more overt reference to Diana paid by the duchess in the form of a draped bodysuit paired with black trousers.

The bodysuit element of the outfit, with its cross draped bodice in folds of cream material by New York based brand Khaite (pronounced Kate), was referential of a white gown worn by Diana in one of her final portrait sittings with photographer Mario Testino.

Meghan Markle Princess Diana White Gown
Meghan Markle wore a white bodysuit by the brand Khaite which bore striking resemblances to a Catherine Walker dress worn by Princess Diana in a portrait sitting with Mario Testino in 1997. Meghan (L) photographed at the Invictus Games opening ceremony, April 16, 2022. And Diana (R) shown in a portrait by Testino hung at Kensington Palace, November 22, 2005. Chris Jackson/Getty Images for the Invictus Games Foundation/MJ Kim/Getty Images

Diana's dress was made by her close friend and favored designer Catherine Walker and was intended to be worn at a state banquet for the King and Queen of Malaya in 1993.

The princess chose another dress for that occasion and the white Walker dress was included in the auction of Diana's most famous outfits sold for charity by Christie's just months before her death in 1997. The gown raised $52,900 contributing to the overall sale total of $3,258,750.

Meghan wore her re-imagining of this outfit during the opening ceremony of the games where she introduced husband Harry with a touching tribute on stage.

"It is my distinguished honor to introduce someone that I think you'll all be very excited to hear from," she began. "He has also spent many late nights and early mornings planning for these games to make them as perfect as possible for each of you."

"I could not love and respect him more and I know that all of you feel the same because he is your fellow veteran, having served two tours of duty in Afghanistan and 10 years of military service.

"He's the founder of the Invictus Games, and the father to our two little ones, Archie and Lili. Please welcome my incredible husband, Prince Harry, the Duke of Sussex."

Diana was present in more than just Meghan's fashion for the events and was evoked in the accessories chosen by the duchess, namely her choice of watch.

With her Valentino suit on the first day of her games visit, Meghan wore a gold Cartier Tank watch, the style of which Diana owned and wore in the 1990s. It has not been confirmed if the watch Meghan now wears is that formerly belonging to Diana, or if it is one purchased by Meghan herself before she met Harry.

Both Kate Middleton and Meghan pay subtle tributes to Diana through their clothing and jewelry as a way of including their absent mother-in-law in their lives.

Before the Invictus Games, Meghan's last public appearance at the NAACP Image Awards in February also featured one of these tributes.

Meghan Markle NAACP Princess Diana
Meghan Markle wore a blue Christopher John Rogers gown to the NAACP Image Awards in a silhouette reminiscent to a gown worn by Princess Diana on a visit to Thailand. Meghan (L) at the NAACP Image Awards with Prince Harry, February 27, 2022. And Diana (R) in Thailand, February, 1988. Earl Gibson III/NAACP/Princess Diana Archive/Getty Images

The duchess' blue ombre Christopher John Rogers evening gown for the event bore visual links to a Catherine Walker dress worn by Diana on a state visit to Thailand in 1988.

Both Meghan and Harry have attended the Invictus Games together since the announcement of their relationship in 2017. It has been announced that the 2023 games will be held in Düsseldorf, Germany.

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