Meghan Markle Prepares for Maternity Leave With Final Royal Engagement

Meghan Markle is currently preparing to welcome her first child, and the mom-to-be has officially completed her last public engagement before her maternity leave, stepping out to attend Westminster Abbey's Commonwealth Day service on Monday, March 11.

For the service, Markle wore a printed white Victoria Beckham dress, a white coat and hat and green heels and carried a coordinating green clutch. She also replaced her engagement ring with a slim gold band on her ring finger, likely due to the fact that she is heavily pregnant and her fingers may be swollen.

The Duchess of Sussex was accompanied by her husband, Prince Harry, and the service was also attended by Prince William, Kate Middleton and Prince Charles.

(Photo: Getty / Max Mumby/Indigo)

Ahead of the event, Markle exchanged an embrace with sister-in-law Kate Middleton, with Middleton kissing Markle on both cheeks. According to a source who spoke with Vanity Fair, the move was deliberate on Middleton's part, with the Duchess of Cambridge reportedly hoping to put feud rumors to rest before Markle's maternity leave.

"They might not have a huge amount in common but Kate has no issue with Meghan," the source said. "She wants them to get along, not just for Harry's sake but because two royal sisters-in-law at loggerheads wouldn't be good, and Kate knows that. For Kate, it's about keeping their relationship professional and putting on a show of togetherness."

"It's not always been easy, there have been issues behind the scenes, but Harry and Meghan want to leave on good terms and Kate especially has been making a real effort," a second source said. "There are no bad feelings and I think Kate was keen to put an end to these rift rumors. She has no problem with Meghan and she has made it clear to Meghan that she's there for advice or whatever Meghan might need."

While Markle will not be making public engagements in the weeks leading up to her baby's birth, she will still take private meetings. PEOPLE reports that on Wednesday, the Duchess met with two executives from the National Theatre, one of her newly-announced royal patronages.

Before the royal baby arrives, Markle and and Harry will also move from their current residence in Kensington Palace to Frogmore Cottage in Windsor after renovations are completed on the home.


Markle and Harry's baby is reportedly due around the end of April, with fans initially speculating that Markle was due during that month after she wore a ring featuring a the birthstone for April, a diamond, along with rings holding the birthstones for August and September, when she and Harry were born.

Photo Credit: Getty / Chris Jackson