The secrets behind Meghan Markle's princess makeover revealed, from Kate-inspired clutch bags to lower hemlines and hiding her cleavage

In the run-up to their wedding on Saturday, we examine how the 36-year-old former Suits actress has radically toned down her starlet look to get ready for the role of a lifetime.

Bye mini skirts! Hello low hemlines

In a city, like LA, which is full of beautiful people, it’s no surprise that Meghan’s favourite red carpet look used to be thigh-skimming mini-dresses teamed with sky-high Louboutin heels.

But that may be the last we see of the princess-to-be’s knees.

As soon as she got engaged last November Meghan’s hemlines dropped an average of six inches.

That’s not only because her future gran-in-law, The Queen, doesn’t approve of short skirts for royal duties..

Meghan’s new penchant for longer pencil skirts means she can now perfect ‘The Duchess Slant’ – the ankles together, legs-to-the-side pose royal women adopt to make sure they never  reveal too much in public.

Fashion TV presenter Naomi Isted told Fabulous: "Meghan has already had a head-start in the royal style stakes – because she instinctively know what photographs well on her.

"She has always looked chic with an edgy twist. Now that edgy twist has been replaced with a slightly more traditional look."

From bottomless pits to Kate-inspired neat clutches

As a jobbing actress on legal drama Suits, Meghan used to cart around giant handbags.

But now she has to have her hands free for greeting people on royal walkabouts, Meghan only carries neat clutch bags.

They include the £721 J Box Clutch by Jimmy Choo, which she carried at the Anzac Day Service at Westminster Abbey, and the £625 Dionysus Velvet Mini Bag by Gucci, which she used at  Women’s Empowerment charity reception, both last month.

Handbag expert Claudia Valentin of Channel Four's Posh Pawn says the smaller bags are "more princessy". She told Fabulous: "Meghan is so on-trend that she always has the bag of the moment. She is reining her bigger bags in for petite girly versions."

Breast new look? Less cleavage

How times have changed since Meghan wore a gaping V-neck mini dress, which pushed up her cleavage, as a hostess on US game show Deal or No Deal.

Meghan, then a 20-year-old aspiring actress, described it as "a learning experience which helped me to understand what I would rather be doing."

It looks like it also helped her work out what she would rather be wearing.

The last time Meghan showed off any real cleavage was when she wore a plunging silver mini dress by her friend Misha Nonoo on the red carpet the year before she met Harry.

Since becoming a trainee royal,  Meghan has taken care to be well-covered with scarves as well as high-neck and round-neck-lines.

Nailing it with light-pink polish

When she lived in the US and Canada,  Meghan liked her nails long and manicured in bold colours, like brown and dark grey.

Neither are practical for royal walkabouts because Meghan has to shake so many hands, and stronger shades show chips more easily.

The Queen also considers strong nail colours to be vulgar.

So Meghan is now following the example of her future sister-in-law Kate by wearing nude, ballet-shoe pink shades only.

Eye don't believe it! Look at the bushy brows

There is one major beauty mistake in Meghan’s history – her once over-plucked eyebrows.

About eight years ago, she experimented with a shorter, highly arched style, which together with her up-turned almond eyes gave her an elfin look.

For several years after, they stayed thin and over-plucked.

Since going public with Harry, Meghan has followed the latest trend of have a thicker "power brow".

Meghan’s brow stylist Sherrille Riley told People magazine recently that Meghan now copies the look of her favourite style icon Audrey Hepburn.

Meghan visits her Mayfair salon Nails and Brow regularly for a combination of tinting, threading and tweezing.

Sherrille says: "You’ll notice that her brows are straight and archless, lifting slightly upwards towards the end of her brows. This helps to lift her eyes whilst balancing her features."

No more sexy leather

Other favourite staples that are now stuck at the back of Meghan’s wardrobe include her leather-look trousers.

Once Meghan’s favourite way to inject a bit of edge, style expert Naomi Isted says Meghan now recognises their sexy overtones are not right for a future royal bride.

Naomi says: "She did seem to love a bit of leather which gave her an edgy look, but she’s moved away from that."

Blue denim is also out – even though it was once an essential part of Meghan’s off-duty uniform, usually teamed with boyish blue or white cotton shirts.

The last time Meghan was spotted in a pair of blue jeans was first her official function with Harry at the Invictus games in Toronto  last September.

No make-up make-up 

Getty – Contributor

Meghan, pictured in January 2016, used to rock heavy, dramatic make-upThe bright green and purple eye shadows Meghan used to wear to stand out on the red carpet are also a distant memory. So are the bright red and fuchsia lipsticks.

Instead, Meghan now uses more muted honey and earth tones to bring out her features without looking garish.

Her US make-up artist Spencer Barnes said last week that said he has noticed a difference in her make-up since Meghan became a royal bride to be.

He commented: I think some people thought it would elevate and become stronger, but I think it's become more subtle, more nuanced,

"She's kept that understated, refined, sophisticated quality, and I like that about her. She hasn't become a totally different person. She's consistently been her, and I think that's been fun to watch."

Mane attraction? Boho hair

By 18, Meghan was already straightening her naturally curly hair.

As she first tried to make it as an actress, Meghan wore it cut with face-framing layers to bring up her almond eyes and soften her nose.

Now Meghan has summed up her hair philosophy explaining that if your clothes are perfectly-tailored outfits you can afford to have more relaxed look with your tresses.

In a break from royal protocol,  Meghan often styles it in boho twists and loose waves that look good from every angle –even on public occasions like the memorial service for Stephen Lawrence in April.

Curly hair expert Jonathan Torch, of Toronto’s Curly Hair Institute said Meghan’s is likely to be given relaxing treatment to release the curl on a regular basis.

On top of that she keeps it tousle with regular blow-dries with a bit of root lift. He said: "I’m sure she spends a lot of time on her hair. The process of styling it will take so much time and effort that she probably uses a dry shampoo in between washes to prolong her look."

Meanwhile, these are Meghan Markle's favourite books, including The Little Prince and The Dress.

And, we take a peak inside Meghan Markle's £20,000 shoe closet, featuring Princess Diana’s nude Jimmy Choos and £630 Christian Louboutin ‘Love Me’ pumps.

Here's how to achieve glowing skin like Meghan Markle, according to her facialist Sarah Chapman.

And, here's a dupe of Meghan's £1,403.50 striped midi dress – and it's perfect for summer.

Prince Harry and Meghan Markle’s wedding secrets revealed… from the cake to music and even that dress.

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