Top Royal Commonwealth Day Fashion Moments: From Meghan Markle to Kate

Commonwealth Day is marked each year to celebrate the ties of unity between the global network's 56 member countries. In Britain, an annual service is held at Westminster Abbey to mark the day and is traditionally attended by the monarch and members of the royal family.

Since its formation, the head of the Commonwealth has been the British sovereign, first with King George VI, then his daughter Queen Elizabeth II, and now King Charles III (who was elected to succeed his mother by a members vote in 2018).

This year will mark Charles' first Commonwealth Day as sovereign and head of the organization.

Royal Commonwealth Day Fashion
Kate Middleton (L) photographed attending the commonwealth day service, 2022. Meghan Markle (R) photographed attending the service in 2020, And (center) Queen Elizabeth II attending in 2019. Neil Mockford/GC Images/Dan Kitwood/Getty Images/Samir Hussein/WireImage

In recent years, the March service has become a focus of royal watchers hoping to catch a glimpse of the royals at their ceremonial best, with the fashion choices of the day being widely reported on.

From Queen Elizabeth to Queen Camilla and Kate Middleton to Meghan Markle, here, Newsweek looks at some of the royals' top Commonwealth Day fashion moments.

Queen Elizabeth II 2011

Queen Elizabeth II attended the annual Commonwealth Day service in London each year if she was not abroad undertaking a state visit or foreign tour.

In 2011, the monarch attended wearing a pale peach ensemble of a bouclé tweed coat and matching hat, accessorized with a gold, diamond and pearl brooch.

The queen attended with Prince Philip, and singer songwriter Annie Lennox spoke during the service about her experiences of the fight against HIV and AIDS in Africa.

Queen Elizabeth II Commonwealth Day Service 2011
Queen Elizabeth II photographed wearing a peach coat with matching dress and hat for the commonwealth day service, March 14, 2011. Indigo/Getty Images

Kate Middleton 2015

For her first time attending the Commonwealth Day service at Westminster Abbey, Kate Middleton made a demure impression in a pale pink coat with Peter Pan collar and pearl buttons, paired with a matching hat.

The princess was pregnant with her second child, Princess Charlotte, at the time of the service. Her coat was designed by the maker of her 2011 wedding dress, Sarah Burton for Alexander McQueen, and her hat was by Jane Taylor Millinery.

Completing her look, Kate wore a pair of pink Prada pumps and matching Prada clutch bag.

Kate Middleton Commonwealth Day Service 2015
Kate Middleton photographed wearing an Alexander McQueen coat for the commonwealth day service, March 9, 2015. Max Mumby/Indigo/Getty Images

Queen Elizabeth II 2019

For the 2019 Commonwealth Day service, Queen Elizabeth II wore a royal purple coat and matching hat ensemble with contrast piping and buttons.

The service was attended by a large number of royal family members including the newly married Meghan Markle.

Queen Elizabeth II Commonwealth Day Service 2019
Queen Elizabeth II photographed wearing a purple coat and matching hat for the commonwealth day service, March 11, 2019. Max Mumby/Indigo/Getty Images/Karwai Tang/WireImage

Meghan Markle 2019

For her first Commonwealth Day service as a member of the royal family, Meghan Markle opted for an elegant white coat over a statement monochrome printed dress from the designer Victoria Beckham.

The duchess was expecting her first child, Archie Mountbatten-Windsor, at the time of the service and accessorized her look with a white pillbox hat, in a style favored by a number of high profile women, including the duchess' late-mother-in-law Princess Diana, and former first lady Jacqueline Kennedy.

Meghan Markle Commonwealth Day Service 2019
Meghan Markle photographed wearing Victoria Beckham at the commonwealth day service, March 11, 2019. Max Mumby/Indigo/Getty Images/Karwai Tang/WireImage

Meghan Markle 2020

The 2020 Commonwealth Day service marked an awkward milestone for members of the royal family as it was the last official engagement undertaken by Prince Harry and Meghan Markle before stepping down from their working royal roles and moving to the U.S.

All eyes were on the couple and their interactions with family members such as Kate Middleton and Prince William. For the occasion, Meghan wore a statement green look designed by Emilia Wickstead which formed part of the duchess' colorful rainbow wardrobe for her last week in Britain.

Meghan Markle Commonwealth Day 2020
Prince Harry and Meghan Markle photographed attending the commonwealth day service at Westminster Abbey, March 9, 2020. The duchess wore a green Emilia Wickstead ensemble. Dan Kitwood/Getty Images

Sophie Wessex 2020

Sophie, Countess of Wessex, who is married to the youngest son of Queen Elizabeth II, Prince Edward, has won the approval of the fashion press over the years for her simple, yet meticulously executed style choices.

For the Commonwealth Day service in 2020, the countess wore a white and navy blue midi dress from the designer Suzannah London, with pillbox blue hat embellished with an arrangement of net veiling.

Sophie Wessex Commonwealth Day Service 2020
Sophie, Countess of Wessex photographed at the commonwealth day service wearing a Suzannah London ensemble, March 9, 2020. Karwai Tang/WireImage/Neil Mockford/GC Images

Queen Camilla 2022

Queen Camilla presented a regal appearance at the 2022 Commonwealth Day service, in what was to be her last in her capacity as Duchess of Cornwall.

Camilla wore a deep purple coat and matching dress with statement princess seam work adorned with floral brooches.

To accessorize the look, the soon-to-be-queen consort wore one of her favorite styles of oversized hats embellished with sculpted feathers and carried a quilted Chanel handbag.

Queen Camilla Commonwealth Day Service 2022
Queen Camilla (when Duchess of Cornwall) photographed wearing an all-purple look for the commonwealth day service, March 14, 2022. Chris Jackson/Getty Images/Karwai Tang/WireImage

Kate Middleton 2022

For the 2022 Commonwealth Day service, Kate Middleton also opted for an all blue ensemble, this time in a brighter shade with contrast velvet collar and accessories.

The princess' finely sculpted coat dress was designed by a label famous for dressing Princess Diana throughout the 1980s and 1990s until her untimely death, Catherine Walker & Co.

Kate Middleton Commonwealth Day Service 2022
Kate Middleton photographed wearing a Catherine Walker & Co. coat dress to the commonwealth day service, March 14, 2022. Max Mumby/Indigo/Getty Images/Samir Hussein/WireImage

James Crawford-Smith is Newsweek's royal reporter based in London. You can find him on Twitter at @jrcrawfordsmith and read his stories on Newsweek's The Royals Facebook page.

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