Meghan Markle and Prince Harry made Monday a whole lot better on Oct. 15 by officially announcing that they are expecting their first child. *Cue the royal baby countdown*
We all knew it was coming—the couple have been talking about their desire to start a family since before they were even married—but that doesn’t mean we didn’t straight up squeal with excitement when we heard the news. While this is a much-needed dose of sunshine in the current news cycle, we couldn’t help but be a little bit surprised? Didn’t we all just see HRH like yesterday, sans baby bump? It may seem so, but a closer look at Harkle’s recent outings reveals that Meghan has been savvily shielding her growing belly for the last few months, using everything from roomy coats to ruffles and binders.
Here are some giveaways that, looking back, we can’t believe we missed:
Clue #1: Her sudden love of ruffles
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✨Meghan & Harry attending the military charity gala✨ #suits #suitors #suitsfans #suitsfandom #suits_usa #DuchessOfSussex #suitsusa #suitsinspiration #gabrielmacht #harveyspecter #followme #gainpost #mikeross #patrickjadams #rachelzane #cook #ginatorres #vogue #jessicapearson #louislitt #rickhoffman #donnapaulsen #sarahrafferty #buisness #mercedes #meghanmarkle #britishroyalfamily #princeharry #sussex
Meghan used couture and the power of some well-placed (and voluminous) ruffles to distract eagle-eyed fans from her growing bump when she stepped out in a ruffled gown while attending the Military Charity Gala with Prince Harry on Sept. 6. We didn’t bat an eyelash.
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✨And another public appearance looking like nothing but utterly stunning!!✨ #suits #suitors #suitsfans #suitsfandom #suits_usa #DuchessOfSussex #suitsusa #suitsinspiration #gabrielmacht #harveyspecter #followme #gainpost #mikeross #patrickjadams #rachelzane #cook #ginatorres #vogue #jessicapearson #louislitt #rickhoffman #donnapaulsen #sarahrafferty #buisness #mercedes #meghanmarkle #britishroyalfamily #princeharry #sussex
Only a few weeks later on Sept. 24, HRH temporarily warded off pregnancy rumours during the Coach Core Awards at Loughborough University by not only wearing layered ruffles once again, but also playing netball IN HEELS. A true feat in and of itself. With a knack for always being on-trend, we have to admit that her newfound love for loose-clothing was surprising, but we chalked it up to those allegedly strict rules of royalty.
Clue #2: Her new hairstyle
Speaking of the rules of royalty, one of the unofficial traditions seems to be for expectant mothers to change their hair in the early stages of their pregnancy. At the Sept. 24 Coach Core Awards, fans noted that Meghan had gotten a new ‘do, going from her signature straight locks to a slightly shorter, layered look. Her new locks got everyone talking—which is apparently exactly what the royals wanted in order to pull attention away from her baby belly. This tactic appears to be one that Meghan learned from another royal momma. Cosmopolitan noted that Kate Middleton has a history of pulling the same illusionist act, switching up her lengthy locks right before she announced she was pregnant with Prince George and more recently with Prince Louis.
Clue #3: The flag
OK, this one should have tipped us off. We stan a supportive partner—and this IG post for the 2018 Invictus Games was for a great cause—but this pic is straight out of baby bump covering 101. Meghan has always been a social advocate, so her support for the Invictus Games isn’t out of the ordinary; but the size and placement of this large flag was clearly very suspect and very intentional.
Clue #4: That coat
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✨Meghan looks stunning in #givenchy ✨ #suits #suitors #suitsfans #suitsfandom #suits_usa #DuchessOfSussex #suitsusa #suitsinspiration #gabrielmacht #harveyspecter #followme #gainpost #mikeross #patrickjadams #rachelzane #cook #ginatorres #vogue #jessicapearson #louislitt #rickhoffman #donnapaulsen #sarahrafferty #buisness #mercedes #meghanmarkle #britishroyalfamily #princeharry #sussex
Just three days before announcing the news of her pregnancy, Meghan attended the wedding of Princess Eugenie, stepping out in a real roomy navy blue coat that immediately got social media users speculating. While the duchess has always had a penchant for gorgeous coats, the size of this one—and fact that she kept it on and buttoned up throughout the ceremony—had many theorizing that she wasn’t just cold.
“Judging by the fact that she’s wearing a heavy coat indoors; Meghan Markle is either pregnant or the types to get chilly easily,” one Twitter user wrote. To be fair, this *is* Meghan’s first full-time Fall in London, and that windchill is to the bone.
— Ashley Starkes (@virgosnarkqueen) October 12, 2018
Another Twitter user shared a photo of Meghan smiling on the steps of the church, asking: “Anyone else thinking Meghan is pregnant?” (TBH this could have just been the wind)
— katie (@katesls) October 12, 2018
Clue #5: The binders
— The Today Show (@TheTodayShow) October 14, 2018
Hours before the announcement from Kensington Palace went out, Meghan and Harry were spotted after touching down in Australia for their first royal tour as a married couple. Meghan was, of course, wearing a super classy coat, but she was also sporting an unusual accessory: two giant purple binders.
I mean, can you fault us for assuming that Meghan—an intelligent and well-read woman—was using the 22-hour journey to Sydney to brush up on her studies, or take notes on the contribution of agriculture to the Australian economy? Social media users pointed out that this strategy for covering the duchess’s burgeoning bump was straight-up scandalous—meaning that it reminded them of Scandal‘s Olivia Pope. When actor Kerry Washington was pregnant during the filming of the hit series, producers had to get all kinds of creative, using any and every inanimate object to shield her tummy. I mean, that lamp shade, anyone? As Twitter user @KathleenNB points out, the resemblance is uncanny.
Meghan Markle went to the Olivia Pope school of Hiding a Baby Bump. pic.twitter.com/2C656CFBm6
— Kathleen Newman-Bremang (@KathleenNB) October 15, 2018
Clearly, from binders to boxy coats, Meghan and Harry were pros at keeping us guessing. In the words of Olivia Pope: “It [was] handled.”
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