Every bride wants to look her best on her big day and, with just over six weeks until she walks up the aisle to marry Prince Harry at St George’s Chapel in Windsor, it’s clear Meghan Markle’s bridal bootcamp is working its magic. While the former actress has always turned heads and taken care of her appearance and fitness, the prospect of being the star attraction at a celebration seen by billions across the globe means embracing a special health and beauty regimen.
A combination of yoga, running and Pilates has resulted in Meghan's enviable toned figure and slender legs, all enhanced by a chic green pencil skirt and Jimmy Choo stilettos as she charmed Irish fans.
“It’s sort of my thing – as much for my head as for my body,” Meghan, 36, told Women's Health of her love of exercise. “My health, my state of mind, the feeling you have after a workout: all of these things drive me to step onto my mat or go to the gym.”
“It was like the sidewalk was her catwalk. She was so poised,” one fan who saw her in Northern Ireland tells Hello! “As for her figure, it is clear she has been ‘shedding for the wedding.’ She is in amazing shape.”
Meghan had a chance to up her workouts and pamper herself on her recent bridal shower weekend at Soho Farmhouse in Oxfordshire.The exclusive private members-only retreat – where she has previously enjoyed weekends with Harry – has indoor and outdoor swimming pools, a high-tech gym, indoor spinning classes, a sauna, steam room, ice room and hot tubs. It also offers luxurious treatments such as salt scrub massages and mud cleanses.
Meanwhile, she’s kept up her regular yoga sessions – a practice she was schooled in by her instructor mother, Doria Ragland, while growing up in Los Angeles. “That practice is in my blood,” Meghan has said.
Fortunately, Meghan has her pick of upmarket yoga studios close to Nottingham Cottage, the Kensington Palace home she shares with Harry in London. These include Bodyism, dubbed “the poshest gym in London” by Tatler. Founded by celebrity trainer James Duigan, the state-of-the-art members’ club in Notting Hill is a favourite of David Beckham and Pippa Middleton. It’s said to keep clients in peak condition by pumping out air with extra oxygenation and installing lights that stimulate vitamin D production. It offers dynamic flow yoga classes to tone and invigorate and calming sessions to relax body and mind.
PILATES AND PAMPERING
Meghan is also a fan of Pilates Platinum, a machine-based work-out she says is “hands-down the best thing you could do for your body.” Devised by fitness guru Sebastian Lagree, whose fans include Jennifer Aniston and Sofia Vergara, the method uses a system of sliding discs, pulleys and resistance bands on a Megaformer machine to build core strength and flexibility and burn up to 700 calories in one hour.
There’s a Lagree studio in Toronto, where Meghan filmed the TV show Suits, and four branches in London. “It’s the instant way to get your body aligned and looking toned,” she has said.
WORKING IT OUT
Meghan also loves to run, although opportunities for pounding the pavement in public are limited when she’s at Kensington Palace, and she has remarked that it is harder on her knees now that she’s older.
Instead, she uses DVDs by celebrity trainer Tracy Anderson when she’s short on time and wants to work out in the comfort of her own home. Tracy, whose clients have included Gwyneth Paltrow, Madonna and Cameron Diaz, uses a mixture of cardio and weight training to target smaller muscle groups.
“I do little 15-minute increments,” Meghan has explained. “Just find those little bits of time that help and at the end of the day you’ve had a full workout.”
Though she once said she “could eat french fries all day,” Meghan sticks to fish and vegetables most of the time and chooses juices made from apple, kale, spinach, lemon and ginger instead of coffee.
Her “absolute favourite” breakfast is an açai berry bowl with manuka honey and bee pollen, while cauliflower roasted with chick peas and hot curry powder is a go-to recipe. “It finds its way into my salads, or as a side dish I constantly nibble,” she has said.
Meghan credits her “wellness coach” Dr. Alejandro Junger with helping banish her migraines. His 21-day “clean program”– which involves detox shakes and supplements and avoids dairy, gluten, sugar, alcohol, coffee and processed food – could be the perfect way to whip her into shape for her wedding day.
“The approach isn’t stringent, nor is it restrictive – frankly, it’s just smart,” she has said. Meghan also favours a weekly infrared sauna to sweat out toxins. And she calls herself “a long-time believer” in acupuncture and cupping to balance her system.
WEDDING DAY GLOW
Her healthy lifestyle is clear to see in her flawless complexion but, as she counts down to May 19, Meghan can also turn to celebrity facialist Sarah Chapman to give her skin an extra boost. She was spotted coming out of Sarah’s Chelsea salon – a favourite with Victoria Beckham and Gigi Hadid – days before she and Harry announced their engagement.
Meghan’s hard work will surely pay off when she steps out in front of the world – and her husband-to-be – on their big day. But her most important tip has nothing to do with diet or exercise. “Just be calm and have a good time,” she has said of preparing for a big event. “The confidence will show more than anything else.”