How Kate Middleton and Other Royals Have Concealed Pregnancies With Strategic Outfit Choices

Over the years, female members of the British royal family have gotten very clever about concealing their pregnancies. Ahead, find out how Catherine, Duchess of Cambridge and other royals including Meghan, Duchess of Sussex and Princess Diana have kept their growing baby bumps undetected during public outings. 

The Duchess of Cambridge and Prince William, Duke of Cambridge are parents to three children together — Prince George, 6, Princess Charlotte, 4, and Prince Louis, 1 — and needless to say the duchess has become an expert in playing down her baby bump before an official baby announcement has been made. 

Wear plaid or another print

One of Catherine’s tricks has been to wear a classic print, specifically plaid. Although she has been fond of polka dots too. She seems to have a strong liking for plaid seeing as she’s worn the print even when she’s not pregnant.

According to Reader’s Digest, on Nov. 30, 2012, only four days before she and Prince William publicly announced they were expecting their first child, she visited a school wearing a plaid coat dress that conveniently skimmed over her body. 

Catherine, Duchess of Cambridge visits St. Andrew's School on Nov. 30, 2012
Catherine, Duchess of Cambridge visits St. Andrew’s School on Nov. 30, 2012 | Arthur Edwards – WPA Pool/Getty Images

Catherine didn’t come up with this particular wardrobe maneuver on her own. She got it from her late mother-in-law, Princess Diana, who also wore plaid during her pregnancies with Prince William and Prince Harry, Duke of Sussex.

Other royals have used the same technique swapping out the print. We’re guessing royal mothers-to-be will continue to wear prints in the early days of their pregnancies because it’s an easy and nearly fool-proof way to keep the impending announcement from getting out too soon.

Cover up with a coat

Coats aren’t just for keeping warm. They’re great at concealing a growing baby bump. Many royal women have used the coat trick to keep eyes off their changing bodies ahead of pregnancy announcements. Catherine’s done it, as has Meghan, Duchess of Sussex, and of course, Princess Diana. 

This particular method of disguising a baby bump is especially genius because of royal etiquette that says a woman can’t remove her coat in public. Meghan has broken the coat rule on numerous occasions but it comes in handy when all a royal woman has to do to conceal her pregnancy is throw on an oversized coat. 

Doria Ragland, Meghan Markle, and Prince Harry on Sept. 20, 2018
Doria Ragland, Meghan Markle, and Prince Harry on Sept. 20, 2018 | Ben Stansall – WPA Pool/Getty Images

Kate Middleton might’ve had an easier time hiding her pregnancies  

While typically with each pregnancy women start to “show” sooner, because of Catherine’s severe morning sickness known as hyperemesis gravidarum which she experienced with all three of her pregnancies, she and Prince William had to announce they were expecting earlier than normal. 

Due to the intense symptoms including weight loss of 5% or more of pre-pregnancy weight, Catherine might’ve experienced a less noticeable baby bump early on meaning she didn’t have as difficult a time concealing her pregnancy. In fact, her particular case got so bad she had to take time off from official royal engagements until the symptoms subsided and she could resume work. 

Divert attention elsewhere

Royals have employed all types of tricks to make sure their pregnancies are hidden in public. Like the Duchess of Sussex, they’ve gone shorter with hemlines to divert attention from their midsections to their legs. 

They’ve also switched up their hair — Meghan and Catherine (see below) have both done this — as another diversion tactic again, to get eyes to go anywhere else but their baby bumps. 

Kate Middleton attends Wimbledon on July 3, 2017
Kate Middleton attends Wimbledon on July 3, 2017 | GARETH FULLER/AFP via Getty Images

We’ll have to keep a watchful eye on women in the royal family to see if they use any of these tricks in the future that might signal a baby on the way.