She’s expecting her first baby in a matter of weeks. But when it comes to navigating the heights of fashion, the Duchess of Sussex is proving herself a towering success.
Now into her third trimester, Meghan, 37, is at a stage of pregnancy at which most women just want to slide their weary feet into comfortable slippers.
At eight months’ pregnant, some mothers-to-be can’t even see their feet, let alone contemplate squeezing them into a pair of vertiginous heels, an expert says.
Yet, day after day, the Duchess is sashaying around — gazelle-like — in a succession of skyscraper stilettos that would give many a non-pregnant woman vertigo.
So how does Her Royal High-Heeledness do it and should other heavily pregnant women follow suit?
On Monday, Meghan wore a pair of her favourite Aquazzura Deneuve suede pumps in black (she has them in several colours) with a green Erdem coat and dress for Commonwealth Day.
Asked how she was managing to cope in heels at one recent engagement, Meghan reportedly quipped: ‘One day at a time.’
Midwife Claire Chaubert says: ‘All of your ligaments are softer in pregnancy and your body is not in its usual state of alignment.
‘But Meghan is clearly comfortable in her heels, and it’s something she is used to. My advice to any woman who does wear high heels in pregnancy would be not to wear them past the level of comfort.’
With a mother who is a yoga instructor and as a keen yogi herself, Meghan is well-versed in the benefits for body and mind.
‘People who do quite a lot of yoga tend to have a much stronger sense of balance, as well as better muscle control and strength,’ says Claire.
The College of Podiatry recommends that pregnant women wear ‘comfortable, supportive footwear’, preferably with an adjustable fitting such as Velcro or laces and avoid wearing high heels as they can place ‘unnecessary pressure on your joints at a time when they are already under strain’.
College spokeswoman Emma McConnachie explains that during pregnancy feet and ankles can change shape, even during a day.
Some women even need to increase their shoe size as fluid from the veins leaks into the surrounding tissue of the legs and feet and doesn’t drain.
Emma says the perfect heel height during pregnancy is just over an inch, which shifts the weight slightly forward for comfort, but she adds: ‘Women who regularly wear high heels can find the muscles at the back of their legs shorten, meaning it is actually uncomfortable to wear flats.’
As for Meghan, Emma speculates: ‘I bet she has a pair of slippers in the car!’