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Compare with trends in Mills & Boon Historical cover designs.

Trends in Harlequin Historical Cover Designs
First HH Series (1977-1982)Second HH Series (1986-1987)
The first fifteen books were released every three or four months and were branded Harlequin Historical (up to October '78). When they became monthly (from May '79) the brand was changed to Masquerade Historical. The cover design is otherwise unchanged. Images tend toward montages. The HH-number prominently displayed. The top of each cover includes the diamond-shaped HH symbol and the words Harlequin Historical, just as the first fifteen books of the first series did. The branding is however larger, without being overwhelming. Perhaps half the covers are montages. This incarnation only lasted for seventeen titles.
Third HH Series (July 1988-present)
July 1988 to January 1991February 1991 to February 1993
Heroine prominent, clinch secondary, montage cover. Branded Harlequin. Title and author on the diagonal. Advertising blurb at the bottom. Branding now Harlequin Historical with a lacy border at the top right or left. I think of this as the "handkerchief montage" era. Heroine still prominent, title and author on the slant. Sometimes blurb at the bottom.
March 1993 to November 1993December 1993 to October 2000
Branding more subtle. Still Harlequin Historical. Uses the same two fonts across titles and authors. Title still occasionally slanted. Cover art more variable: some montages; hero, heroine or couple can predominate. No unifying cover elements except Harlequin Historicals brand (which shrinks further in March 1994). Anything goes!
November 2000 to September 2002October 2002 to October 2009
Red and gold faux-stepback covers. For the first month they also include the red/gold HH logo overlapping the stepback-stripe (which sort of ruins the illusion). Branding now Harlequin, and larger. As for the rest, it's still open season. All branding stripped from cover. Cover art and composition varies widely. Most contain some teaser text, eg: on The Captain's Lady above "Press-ganged on to the high seas!"
November 2009 to present
Branding returns to the cover, with a new HH monogram-style logo. Ribbon and wax seal in the top left hand corner. The style of the covers appears to be largely unchanged in other respects. The same branding is simultaneously added to the Secondary/Subscription HHs.