Royals

Meghan Markle's first solo royal appearance had a very special nod to New Zealand

The Duchess of Sussex looked incredible for an Oceania exhibition opening.

It was a very important day for the Duchess of Sussex as she stepped out for the first time at her first solo engagement.

Sans husband Prince Harry, Meghan looked flawless as she attended the Royal Academy of Arts for the opening of the Oceania exhibition.

The event, which celebrated artworks from Australia, New Zealand, Fiji and the Kingdom of Tonga, was the perfect fit for the Duchess, as she and Harry will be visiting the region next month.

During her visit, Meghan was privvy to a short performance by Māori cultural group Ngāti Rānana, and she also took part in a hongi - perhaps getting in some practise for her impending New Zealand visit.

She also met with the exhibition's curators and artists, as well as the descendants linked to the works displayed.

For the important event, the former actress accessorised her chic Givenchy dress with a pair of matching black Aquazzura pumps and a Givenchy clutch.

The best part of her look, however, was arguably her newly straightened hair, which is reportedly thanks to Keratin treatments.

During a recent interview, royal expert Katie Nicholl revealed Meghan has allegedly spent around one million dollars on her wardrobe since she got engaged to Harry, 34, last November. But now that Meghan is hitched to Harry, who pays for her beautiful clothes?

"It does fall, now that she is married into the royal family, to [Prince Charles]... to cover the cost of her working royal wardrobe," Nicholl told Entertainment Tonight.

"Meghan is now an ambassador for the royal family. Look at the publicity she has brought in [during the] run up to the wedding. I'd argue that's worth every penny."

The Duchess of Sussex attended the opening of the Oceania Exhibition at the Royal Academy of Arts.
The Duchess of Sussex attended the opening of the Oceania Exhibition at the Royal Academy of Arts.

It's no surprise that Meghan's two most expensive royal dresses to date were the stunning gowns she wore on her mid-May wedding day.

It's been reported that Meghan's ceremony dress, designed by Clare Waight Keller for Givenchy, cost around US$440,000 (NZ$660,000). And her reception dress, created by Stella McCartney, is worth about US$157,000 (NZD$236,000).

Since those two gowns were so pricey, Nicholl speculated that Meghan herself may have helped pay some money for the dresses.

"It may be that Meghan contributed certainly some of the costs for either of those wedding dresses, or perhaps both of those wedding dresses, I believe was also picked up by the palace," she explained.

Since her wedding, Meghan has wowed in a plethora of gorgeous dresses at royal events ranging in color from pale pink to bright yellow.

According to the UK's The Mirror, nearly all of the outfits Meghan has worn since marrying Harry earlier this summer have followed a fascinating pattern — most of her chic ensembles have been designed by a woman or a fashion brand that has a female head designer.

We've seriously adored all of Meghan's regal ensembles and can't wait to see what she wears next!

Via our sister site Closer and Now To Love AU.