Meet the woman who has been quietly curating Meghan Markle's royal wardrobe. 38-year-old stylist and fashion PR Jessica Mulroney is the Duchess's right-hand woman, and unofficial fashion advisor, credited with helping the former Suits star make the sartorial jump from actress to working royal look easy.
A champion of Canadian design, Jessica is certainly well-placed to provide style tips and broker relationships with key designers as Meghan becomes one of the most photographed women in the world. In the run up to the wedding of the year, her years of experience as a bridal stylist proved invaluable, so it was hardly a surprise to learn that the Duchess has enlisted Jess’s support for her 16-day royal tour of Australia, New Zealand, Fiji and Tonga in October. Though she will be there in an ‘unofficial’ capacity (meaning that she and her husband, Ben, will be covering their own expenses on the trip), she’ll doubtless be on hand to help Meghan with her rumoured three outfit changes per day, along with providing maternity dressing hints and offering support as the Duchess navigates the early stages of her first pregnancy. With the tour about to begin, here's your need to know on Meghan's closest confidante...
1. She’s been friends with Meghan for years…
The pair are thought to have met when Meghan moved from Los Angeles to Toronto, having landed her breakout role in legal drama Suits. They quickly bonded over a shared love of yoga, and each become a constant fixture on the other’s Instagram account –at least, until Meghan’s royal romance necessitated a scaling back of her social media activity.
2. … And the pair would regularly jet off on holiday together
Their most recent trip was a jaunt to Italy in September 2016 (back when Meghan could still holiday under the radar, and way before any of us had any idea she was romantically involved with the fifth in line to the throne…), well documented on both Meghan and Sophie’s Instagram accounts.
3. She styles Sophie Gregoire-Trudeau…
Jessica started out in fashion PR, working in communications for the Canadian outpost of bridal salon Kleinfeld (which you’ll know from guilty pleasure TV show Say Yes To The Dress) before side-stepping into styling. She teamed up with Sophie Gregoire-Trudeau ahead of husband Justin’s inauguration as Canada’s Prime Minister, dressing her in a white wrap coat by Canadian label Sentaler for the swearing-in ceremony. She’s since dressed Sophie for plenty of high profile occasions, including the royal tour of Canada in 2016.
4. … And moonlights as a wedding stylist
Jessica has many strings to her styling bow, with a side line in dressing Canada’s society brides and a gig at a wedding magazine - all of which doubtless proved very useful in the run up to the wedding of the year. Though Meghan didn't officially pick a maid of honour for her May nuptials, it's thought that Jessica was an indispensable support behind the scenes, flying in to London for dress fittings and helping the future royal with wedding planning over the phone.
5. She has a philanthropic side
Along with her sisters in law, Caroline, Katy and Vanessa Mulroney, Jessica is the co-founder of The Shoebox Project, which collects and distributes shoeboxes filled with toiletries and cosmetics for women who are homeless or living in shelters. The initiative is simple, asking women to fill a shoebox with around $50 worth of products.
6. She’s one half of a Canadian power couple
Jessica (née Brownstein) married Ben Mulroney, a broadcaster and TV presenter who is the second oldest child of former Canadian PM Brian Mulroney, in October 2008 after dating for one year. Her family ties caused Jessica’s styling gig for Sophie Gregoire Trudeau to raise some eyebrows – Sophie’s father-in-law was the political rival of Jessica’s, after all – but the connection isn’t one that bothers her. ‘I’m sure that people find it funny,’ she told Canada’s Globe and Mail, ‘but this has nothing to do with politics […] The relationship has been there for a long time in terms of a friendship.’
7. She’s a champion of Canadian designers
Keen to use her high-profile friends and clients to draw attention to home grown design talent, Jessica regularly spotlights up-and-coming Canadian designers, from Sophie’s Sentaler coats to Meghan’s choice of local brands Aritizia and Mackage for that all-important Invictus Games appearance back in 2017. ‘We have such a wealth of talent in Canada, and it’s a shame that sometimes these designers don’t get the opportunity to have an international stage,’ she has previously told the Globe and Mail.
8. All three of her children took part in the royal wedding
Jessica and Ben were among the first of Meghan's inner circle to learn of her relationship with Prince Harry: when news of the relationship broke to the press, the couple decided to lay low at the Mulroney's Toronto flat to hide from paparazzi, and the Prince was reportedly a 'big hit' with all three of their children. It makes perfect sense, then, that the now-Duchess wanted to involve the Mulroneys in her wedding ceremony. Harry and Meghan asked Ivy (aged four) and seven-year-old twins John and Brian to join the bridal party as flower girl and page boys; on the day, the twins had a particularly important role, tasked with carrying Meghan's five metre veil train as she entered the chapel.