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Monday, 15 October 2018

The royal cover-up: How Meghan used subtle styling tricks to hide her baby bump - from distraction techniques to peplum tops and clever draping

  • Duke and Duchess of Sussex have announced they are expecting their first child
  • Stylist Lucas Armitage revealed how Meghan has been dressing her baby bump
  • Royal has employed styling tricks including oversized coats and clever draping
  • The dramatic change in her wardrobe this autumn offered baby news clues
The Duchess of Sussex hid her growing baby bump with a series of clever styling tricks, MailOnline can reveal.
Meghan, who announced her pregnancy this morning via Kensington Palace, is already in her second trimester but has managed to keep her news under wraps thanks to some carefully-planned outfit choices.
She will no doubt have sought the advice from her stylist and confidante Jessica Mulroney, a mother-of-three who is joining her on her first major overseas tour with Prince Harry this week. 
And touching down in Sydney on Monday, just hours before her happy news was announced, fans couldn't help but notice the strategically-placed plastic folders Meghan was clutching to her chest. Just hours before Harry and Meghan's happy news was announced this morning, fans couldn't help but notice the strategically-placed plastic folders the Duchess was clutching to her chest in Sydney in a boxy, oversized coat and polo neck jumper
Just hours before Harry and Meghan's happy news was announced this morning, fans couldn't help but notice the strategically-placed plastic folders the Duchess was clutching to her chest in Sydney in a boxy, oversized coat and polo neck jumper
Meghan's choice of outfit for Princess Eugenie's wedding - a structured A-line Givenchy coat - sent the rumour mill spinning as fans noticed she appeared to have deliberately covered up her frame (pictured with the Queen and Prince Harry outside St. George's Chapel, Windsor Castle following the wedding ceremony)
Meghan's choice of outfit for Princess Eugenie's wedding - a structured A-line Givenchy coat - sent the rumour mill spinning as fans noticed she appeared to have deliberately covered up her frame (pictured with the Queen and Prince Harry outside St. George's Chapel, Windsor Castle following the wedding ceremony)But it was her choice of clothing that was the most telling, with the Duchess - once a fan of figure-hugging silhouettes - wrapping up in a turtleneck jumper and oversized navy coat.
Likewise, her choice of outfit for Princess Eugenie's wedding last week - a boxy A-line Givenchy coat - sent the rumour mill spinning as fans noticed she appeared to have deliberately covered up her slender frame.Coincidentally, it was also the day that Meghan and Harry chose to share their happy news with the rest of the royal family. 
Celebrity stylist Lucas Armitage told Femail: 'We are so used to seeing Meghan in form-fitting apparel, it was hard not to speculate that a new arrival was imminent when she recently started to sport baggier items. 
'The use of knee-length coats has cleverly helped Meghan avoid speculation and, as it’s now very much the autumnal season, the use of long oversized coats didn't arouse suspicion.Earlier this month, Meghan visited Sussex in a businesslike bottle-green ensemble but was careful to drape a structured coat over the top to carefully conceal her silhouette while flashing a glimpse of leg (pictured with Harry at Edes House in Chichester)
Earlier this month, Meghan visited Sussex in a businesslike bottle-green ensemble but was careful to drape a structured coat over the top to carefully conceal her silhouette while flashing a glimpse of leg (pictured with Harry at Edes House in Chichester)
Earlier this month, Meghan visited Sussex in a businesslike bottle-green ensemble but was careful to drape a structured coat over the top to carefully conceal her silhouette while flashing a glimpse of leg (pictured with Harry at Edes House in Chichester)
Meghan wore a draped Givenchy dress at the Royal Academy of Arts in London
On 24 SEPTEMBER she donned an Oscar de la Renta peplum top in Loughborough to take part in a sports demonstration with Coach Core apprentices
Meghan wore a draped Givenchy dress at the Royal Academy of Arts in London (left) and on 24 SEPTEMBER she donned an Oscar de la Renta peplum top in Loughborough to take part in a sports demonstration with Coach Core apprentices (right)'I particularly like the navy coat [which Meghan wore in Sydney on Monday] and styling it how she has; by doing up the top two buttons and allowing the rest to move freely away from her body to create drape and disguise any bump.
'It’s also interesting to see how she keeps her legs on show even when wearing heavy coats - another styling trick to make her look less covered and avoid speculation.'
The Duchess is at least three months into her first pregnancy, and has already had a successful 12 week scan - suggesting that she fell pregnant around mid-July. 
While Meghan's baby bump will not have been visible until recently, the mother-to-be has been careful to avoid fuelling speculation by keeping her tummy firmly covered.
Meghan wore an oversized blue coat for the launch of a charity cookbook at Kensington Palace last month (pictured on with her mother Doria Ragland, who said today she was 'very happy' about the couple's pregnancy news and may move to the UK)
Meghan wore an oversized blue coat for the launch of a charity cookbook at Kensington Palace last month (pictured on with her mother Doria Ragland, who said today she was 'very happy' about the couple's pregnancy news and may move to the UK)
The Duchess of Sussex, then in her first trimester, wore a baggy Jason Wu number when she joined Prince Harry at a gala music evening in London marking the centenary of the end of the First World War - sending the baby rumour mill into overdrive
The Duchess of Sussex, then in her first trimester, wore a baggy Jason Wu number when she joined Prince Harry at a gala music evening in London marking the centenary of the end of the First World War - sending the baby rumour mill into overdrive
Wearing dark colours such as black (pictured at the WellChild Awards at the Royal Lancaster Hotel, London) also helped to obscure a pregnant Meghan's silhouette
Wearing dark colours such as black (pictured at the WellChild Awards at the Royal Lancaster Hotel, London) also helped to obscure a pregnant Meghan's silhouette
Meghan wore a daring £327 Judith and Charles tuxedo dress to watch a performance of Hamilton. Stylist Lucas Armitage notes this is likely to be 'another styling trick to make her look less covered and avoid speculation'
Meghan wore a daring £327 Judith and Charles tuxedo dress to watch a performance of Hamilton. Stylist Lucas Armitage notes this is likely to be 'another styling trick to make her look less covered and avoid speculation'
Earlier this month, she visited Sussex in a businesslike bottle-green ensemble but was careful to drape a structured coat over the top to carefully conceal her silhouette.    
Likewise, the draped Givenchy dress she wore to the Royal Academy of Arts in September and a peplum Oscar de la Renta top she wore in Loughborough worked wonders to hide her midriff. 
Meghan's mother Doria Ragland - said to be planning a permanent move to the UK in the near future - said in a statement she was 'very happy about this lovely news' and 'looks forward to welcoming her first grandchild'.

All you need to know about Harry and Meghan's baby

Where will the baby fall in the line of succession?
Seventh in line. The baby will bump Harry’s uncle the Duke of York into eighth place in the line of succession.
Princesses Beatrice and Eugenie move into ninth and 10th place, and the Earl of Wessex - the Queen’s youngest son - drops out of the top 10 for the first time to 11th in line.
How will the baby be related to the Queen?
The baby will be a great-grandchild of the Queen and the Duke of Edinburgh, and the Prince of Wales’s grandchild and the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge’s niece or nephew.
Will he or she ever be monarch?
Unlikely. The baby will have three cousins Prince George - a future king - and Princess Charlotte and Prince Louis, who are further up the line of succession, so it is a safe bet that throne will stay on the Cambridge side of the family.
What will the baby be called?
William and Kate chose royal favourites for their children.
But will Harry and American-born Meghan go classic or break the royal mould when naming their baby?
If they stay traditional, something like Alice, Mary, Elizabeth or Victoria for a girl, and James, Philip, Frederick or Arthur for a boy are possibilities.
In the US, the most popular name for a baby girl is Emma and Liam for a baby boy.
Will the baby be a prince or princess?
No they will not be a prince nor a princess, nor an HRH because George V limited titles within the Royal Family in 1917.
So what will their title be?
A son would be known as Earl of Dumbarton - because a first son of a duke is allowed to use one of his father’s other lesser titles as a courtesy title.
Harry was also made the Earl of Dumbarton on the morning of his wedding, as well as being given a dukedom.
A daughter would be Lady (first name) Mountbatten-Windsor.
But the Queen could change this?
Yes. The Queen stepped in ahead of George’s birth to issue a Letters Patent to ensure the Cambridges’ children had fitting titles, but this royal baby is much further down the line of succession.
Will Harry and Meghan hire a nanny?
Harry has been close to all his nannies and it is likely he and Meghan will arrange for a nanny to care for their baby while they are on official engagements Kate and William have the help of their full-time live-in nanny Maria Teresa Turrion Borrallo.
Meghan’s close friend Jessica Mulroney had two nannies to help her with her twin boys and younger daughter.
But Meghan's mother Doria has been seen attending baby care classes, suggesting that she may move to the UK to help out. 
When and where will the baby be born?
Kate had three successful deliveries at the private Lindo Wing in St Mary’s Hospital, Paddington, so Meghan might follow her sister-in-law’s lead. Harry was also born there in 1984. It is close to Kensington Palace and well practiced at dealing with royal births, and the publicity surrounding them.
But Meghan could do down a different path and have a home birth. 
Will the baby have dual citizenship?
Harry and Meghan could apply for their child to have dual US-UK citizenship.
Meghan is planning to become a British citizen - but it is not known whether she will hold dual nationality, and at present is still a US citizen.
According to the American Embassy in the UK, a child born outside of the US and in wedlock to a US citizen parent and a non US citizen parent, may acquire US citizenship at birth if the US parent lived in America for five years - two of which were after the age of 14.

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