Meghan Markle, Kate Middleton Raise Royal Fashion Stakes at Jubilee Service

Meghan Markle and Kate Middleton both put their best fashion foot forward for their arrival at the national service of thanksgiving for the 70 year reign of Queen Elizabeth II at St Paul's Cathedral on Friday.

The event formed part of the central weekend of celebrations for the queen's historic Platinum Jubilee, the first of its kind in the almost thousand-year history of the British monarchy.

The service was notable for being the first public appearance made by Meghan and Prince Harry at a royal event since the 2020 Commonwealth day Service at Westminster Abbey which marked their last official engagement before stepping down as full-time working royals.

Meghan Markle Kate Middleton Fashion Jubilee Service
Meghan Markle and Kate Middleton raised their royal fashion stakes in elegant outfits at the national service of thanksgiving for the queen's Platinum Jubilee at London's St. Paul's Cathedral on June 3, 2022. Toby Melville/WPA Pool/Getty Images/

Harry and Meghan arrived in Britain earlier this week, reportedly bringing their two children, Archie, three, and Lilibet who will turn one on Saturday. The couple attended the Trooping the Colour parade on Thursday, though they did not appear publicly.

The service of thanksgiving provided an opportunity for royal watchers to see members of the extended family in their best ceremonial fashions, led by Meghan and Kate.

Both Harry and Meghan received a wave of cheers from the waiting crowds as they exited their car at the steps of St Paul's Cathedral with Meghan wearing an elegant light coloured coat dress cut along a simplistic line with wide statement collar.

The ensemble featured a wide skirt nipped at the waist by a coordinating covered belt and the back of the coat dress showcased an interesting vent detail which takes its inspiration from overcoats and outerwear.

Meghan completed the look with a pair of cream stiletto heels, a pair of buff leather gloves reminiscent of the style worn by the queen at important events and a 1980s style sculpted brimmed hat.

Meghan Markle Platinum Jubilee Service Fashion
Meghan Markle wore a light coloured coat dress with interesting back detail for the national service of thanksgiving for Queen Elizabeth II's reign at St Paul's Cathedral, June 6, 2022. Henry Nicholls/WPA Pool/Getty Images/Humphrey Nemar/WPA Pool/Getty Images

The understated elegance of the look comes in contrast to the bold emerald green ensemble worn at her last royal event in 2020. The maker of the outfit has not been announced, though is expected to have been tailor made for the duchess.

Shortly after Meghan's arrival, Kate emerged from her car with Prince William wearing a pale sunshine yellow dress reported to be by a designer loved by both the duchess and her sister-in-law, Meghan—Emilia Wickstead.

The long sleeved dress follows the conservative line relied on by Kate for her official wardrobe with a high neckline and mid length skirt. The outfit's interest centers on its wrap over cross front panels accentuating the waistline and framing the bust.

The royal paired her dress with a saucer style, asymmetric hat by Irish hatmaker Philip Treacy in a coordinating shade of yellow with floral additions beneath the brim. Like Meghan, Kate also carried gloves though did not wear them, and wore a pair of suede stiletto shoes.

Kate Middleton Platinum Jubilee Service Fashion
Kate Middleton wore a sunshine yellow dress with cross-over waist detail for the national service of thanksgiving for the reign of Queen Elizabeth II at St Paul's Cathedral, June 3, 2022. Toby Melville/WPA Pool/Getty Images/Richard Pohle/WPA Pool/Getty Images

Both duchesses wore special pairs of earrings with their outfits. Meghan wore a pair of diamond earrings from the jewelry firm Birks which were inspired by snowflakes. Meghan first wore the earrings in 2018 and it is thought they may have been a wedding present. She has worn them on multiple occasions throughout the past four years.

Kate's earrings had a greater historical significance coming on loan from the collection of the queen herself. The diamond and pearl earrings are known as the "Bahrain Pearl Earrings" reportedly being made from a gift of pearls presented to the queen as a wedding present in 1947.

The jewels have been worn by various members of the royal family including the queen, Princess Diana, Sophie, Countess of Wessex and since 2016, Kate.

One of the most famous occasions that the duchess wore the earrings was for the funeral of Prince Philip at Windsor Castle in April 2021.

Kate Middleton Meghan Markle Earrings Jubilee Service
Meghan Markle (L) wore a pair of earrings from the jewelry firm Birks for the national service of thanksgiving on Friday. Kate Middleton (R) wore earrings loaned to her from the collection of Queen Elizabeth II. June 3, 2022. Toby Melville/POOL/AFP via Getty Images

Other members of the royal family who attended the national service of thanksgiving at St. Paul's Cathedral on Friday were Camilla, Duchess of Cornwall, who supported Prince Charles, who was representing the queen, as well as Sophie, Countess of Wessex, Princess Anne, Princess Beatrice and Princess Eugenie.

Prince Andrew announced he would not be attending the service after testing positive for COVID-19 on Thursday.

The queen's cancellation of her appearance at the service came on Thursday evening after returning to Windsor following the Trooping the Colour parade salute from Buckingham Palace earlier in the day.

A statement from Buckingham Palace about the cancellation read:

"The Queen greatly enjoyed today's Birthday Parade and Flypast but did experience some discomfort. Taking into account the journey and activity required to participate in tomorrow's National Service of Thanksgiving at St Paul's Cathedral, Her Majesty with great reluctance has concluded that she will not attend."

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