When it comes to her evolving style, Meghan Markle is channeling the ultimate style icon in the British royal family — Queen Elizabeth.
“Almost like the Queen, she understands that in a way, what’s best is simplicity,” Meghan’s go-to milliner, Stephen Jones, tells PEOPLE at the opening of Christian Dior: Designer of Dreams at London’s V&A Museum, adding of his royal client: “There is a restraint and elegance to her, which is wonderful.”
Meghan first wore one of Jones’ designs last March, choosing a simple white beret to accessorize a chic white and navy look for an official engagement at Westminster Abbey with Prince Harry and other members of the royal family. “There’s also an understanding about the power of clothing — she is an actress and she knows the meaning behind all of those clothes.”
Like the Queen, Meghan mostly avoids prints, often opting for monochrome looks and favors a simple silhouette.
“Meghan wears very clean lines, there is never anything fussy, in the way that the Queen, especially now, wears very clean lines,” says Jones, who became an OBE in 2010. “They have to look correctly dressed out of respect, as opposed to just fashionably dressed -but they are really aware of those things, too.”
Since becoming an official member of the royal family, Meghan has worn Jones’ chic designs several times, including to her first royal christening last year. Meghan also commissioned the renowned milliner to design hats for her mother, Doria Ragland, and some of her closest girlfriends for her royal wedding.
“To be invited by Meghan to create the hats for the most important people in her life has been a real privilege,” Jones revealed in a statement last May.
Having worked with numerous celebrities (Lady Gaga, Rihanna and Beyonce to name just a few), Jones is familiar with the extra pressure and expectation that comes with working with members of the royal family. Both the late Princess Diana (also a fan of his berets) and Kate Middleton have worn his designs.
“It’s a huge honor and you are aware that it’s on a world stage and they are not only representing themselves but their family and Britain,” reveals Jones who in addition to designing for his own label, has been resident milliner at Dior for over two decades. “I always think it must be quite daunting – there are all these official boxes that they have to tick but like anyone they want to look pretty, alluring and fashionable – it’s often a bit of a balancing act.”
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