The Duchess of Sussex made a surprise appearance at the 2018 Fashion Awards to honour Clare Waight Keller with the British Designer of the Year Womenswear Award. Neither the audience nor designer knew that the royal would attend the event.
Waight Keller designed the Duchess’ royal wedding dress in May – an understated elegant Givenchy gown that won over both fashion critics and Prince Harry, who, as soon as the ceremony was finished, thanked the designer, telling her that his new wife looked “stunning”. The commission was the best-kept secret in fashion – not even Waight Keller’s husband knew that she was working on the gown.
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The Givenchy creative director was initially greeted on stage by Rosamund Pike, who was due to present the award, but looked genuinely surprised when the Duchess joined her. Meghan warmly hugged her speechless friend, while laughing at how incredulous she was.
Waight Keller admitted that she didn’t know what to say in her speech, given that she had wanted to partly dedicate the award to Meghan and now she was stood beside her.
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The Duchess chose a black, floor-length asymmetric gown by Givenchy and gold Tamara Mellon strappy heels for the occasion, imbuing the modern elegance that we’ve come to expect of her. Mastering maternity chic, the former actress – who is expecting her first child in spring 2019 – held her baby bump as she talked fondly about Waight Keller.
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This article originally appeared on Harper’s Bazaar UK.