Meghan Markle graced the 2018 British Fashion Awards with her presence on Monday evening.
The pregnant Duchess of Sussex surprised attendees and Anglophiles alike when she appeared as a special guest to present Clare Waight Keller of Givenchy with the British Womenswear Designer of the Year award. Meghan famously wore a custom creation by the fashion house’s artistic director on her May 19, 2018 wedding day to Prince Harry.
For tonight’s festivities at Royal Albert Hall in London, 37-year-old Markle wore a bespoke Givenchy gown, a gold bangle bracelet by Pippa Small ($430) and coordinating strappy heels by Tamara Mellon ($550). As is expected from Meghan’s typical beauty regimen, she let her naturally stunning features shine through with minimal makeup and a sleek low bun.
And as the fashion risk-taker she is, Meghan went against the royal family’s affinity for more modest ensembles by baring one shoulder. She also rocked plum nail polish, a major no-no for members of the British royal family. (It’s been reported that dark-colored nail polish is strictly prohibited, as Queen Elizabeth II prefers Ballet Slippers by Essie.)
“It is such a pleasure to be here celebrating British fashion and British fashion designers in my new home of the U.K.,” Meghan said onstage, per attendees who captured her remarks on camera and shared them via social media.
Cradling her growing baby bump, she also noted, “It’s so nice to see so many familiar faces, many of you I’ve known for quite awhile and a lot of you that I’ve been able to meet in the past year. So thank you for the warm welcome.”
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After presenting Keller with the coveted accolade, the designer thanked Meghan for enlisting her to bring her dream bridal gown to life.
“This woman is so amazing,” Keller gushed. “I got to know Meghan on such a personal level. To have someone like that trust you on such a personal moment in their life… I can’t thank you enough because it was the most beautiful moment.”
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Keller made history as Givenchy’s first female artistic director, having previously presided over Pringle of Scotland and Chloé. She and Meghan began working on the modern look in early 2018, with both wanting to reflect a timeless elegance.
Following Meghan and Harry’s nuptials, Keller explained her and the bride’s creative process. “It was a wonderful way to start the collaboration with her,” she told reporters, “finding out what she wanted for her day and just to find the absolute perfect style for her. Part of it was really a conversation in the beginning and then through a series of sketches that I proposed to her. We exchanged conversations about what would be the ultimate lines and proportions and the scale of the dress.”
Fans of Meghan and Harry can now see the gown Keller designed on display at Windsor Castle, where the newlyweds tied the knot, as part of the exhibit “A Royal Wedding: The Duke and Duchess Of Sussex.”
The exhibit is open daily starting until Jan. 6, where it will then move to Palace of Holyroodhouse in Scotland from June – October 2019.
Check out even more star-studded moments from the red carpet at the 2018 British Fashion Awards right here.
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