Meghan Markle's Biggest Moments of 2018

The high-profile new member of the British royal family has had quite the year.

To say that 2018 has been a banner year for Meghan Markle might just be the understatement of the (admittedly still young) century. From pregnancy announcements and charity initiatives to diplomatic visits and culture-blending royal weddings, we're looking back at the newly named Duchess of Sussex's year in review.

10. She Stepped Out as a Royal

For Meghan's first official event as a royal she and Harry actually pushed back their honeymoon to attend a garden party in honor of Prince Charles. Just days after their wedding, Meghan looked quite prim and proper as she made her debut as Duchess of Sussex in a blush dress and marching hat, and had a big of a laugh with Charles and Camilla during Harry's speech in honor of his Pa.

9. Meghan the Diplomat

With Brexit looming, the diplomatic role of the royal family has become increasingly important, and in July, Meghan learned that first-hand with a whirlwind trip to Ireland, her first international visit as a royal.

On the trip, Meghan emulated the Queen, Duchess Kate, and Princess Diana by nodding to the host country with her clothes. While it is considered a breach in protocol for royals to speak openly about their political views, fashion, like Meghan's forest green dress pictured here, is one way the women in the family can make a statement without stepping over the line.

8. First Time on the Balcony

Another notable royal first for Meghan was her inaugural appearance up on the Buckingham Palace balcony at this year's Trooping the Colour celebration. For the parade in honor of Queen Elizabeth, Meghan chose a blush Carolina Herrera dress and matching hat. And while some (wrongly) thought the off-the-shoulder look broke protocol, we think she looked just lovely.

7. The Meghan Effect

While not a specific moment, Meghan's style in 2018 deserves a call-out on this list. Pretty much everything the Duchess wears sells out immediately, and she has made a point to highlight small, sustainable designers, giving them the kind of publicity they could never afford on their own. Plus, we wouldn't be surprised if she single-handedly makes the bateau neckline next season's top trend.

6. The "Together" Cookbook

When Meghan said she wanted to "hit the ground running" with charity work after the royal wedding, she wasn't exaggerating. In September, she announced her first solo endeavor as the Duchess of Sussex, a charity cookbook called Together that benefits the Hubb Community Kitchen. Meghan wrote the foreword for the collection of recipes, which has already raised more than $270,000 for the communal cooking space.

5. Surviving the Drama

In marrying Prince Harry, Meghan has committed to a life in the public eye for better or for worse, and over the course of 2018, her every move has been scrutinized. Some of the frenzied media coverage is almost comical. For example, there were a flurry of articles written after she *gasp* closed her own car door. But having her difficult relationship with her father play out in the press and enduring rumors about a rift between her and Duchess Kate can't have been easy for the Duchess, especially at such a busy time in her life.

4. The Royal Tour to End All Royal Tours

Pregnancy announcement aside (more on that in a minute), Meghan and Harry's tour of the Oceania region was not only full of royal firsts for the Duchess of Sussex (here she is at her first State Dinner in Fiji, wearing a vibrant blue gown), but the young couple's popularity in Australia could also have a real impact on the future of the monarchy in that country.

3. Meghan's Very Special Appearance with the Queen

Just a few weeks after the royal wedding, Meghan and the Queen took the royal train to Cheshire for their first joint appearance together. The pair were spotting smiling and laughing together, and per PeopleMeghan is "the first of the younger generation of royals to score a ride on the royal train for an official outing with Queen Elizabeth," indicating that she has quickly been welcomed into the royal family.

2. The Pregnancy Announcement

After weeks of rumors, Meghan and Harry kicked off their tour of Australia, New Zealand, Fiji, and Tonga, with the news that they are expecting their first child together. At this point, it's unclear exactly when the newest royal baby will arrive, but the Palace has confirmed that Meghan's due date is sometime in the spring of 2019.

1. The Royal Wedding

The only thing that could possibly top the announcement of a royal baby is a full-on royal wedding. When world's eyes turned to Windsor on May 17, Harry and Meghan pulled out all the stops with ceremony that blended centuries of English tradition (the bride's tiara and the venue of St. George's Chapel) with Meghan's heritage (a gospel choir singing "Stand by Me," and Reverend Curry's passionate sermon about radical love). It was the British society event of the year, but more than that it symbolized Meghan leaving her life as an American actress behind, and finally joining Harry as a member of the royal family.

This story originally appeared on Townandcountrymag.com.
* Minor edits have been made by the Townandcountry.ph editors.

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