Meghan is Radiant in Surprise Appearance at British Fashion Awards

Meghan looked simply lovely at a previously unannounced appearance this evening.

The occasion was the British Fashion Awards, put on by the British Fashion Council in partnership with Swarovski.

The Duchess was there to present Clare Waight Keller with the British Womenswear Designer of the Year Award.  A British Vogue video shows the Duchess walking onstage.

More from British Vogue’s coverage:

In a slim-fit black column gown that hugged her expectant figure, the Duchess confidently strode out in front of the fashion industry to audible gasps. “It’s so nice to see so many familiar faces, many of you I’ve known for quite a while and there’s been a lot of you I’ve been able to meet in the last year,” she said. “So, thank you for the warm welcome.”

Embed from Getty Images

As all of you in this room know, we have a deep connection to what we wear. Sometimes it’s very personal, sometimes it’s emotional. But for me this connection is rooted in really being able to understand that it’s about supporting and empowering each other, especially as women.”

And from People‘s story:

While accepting her award, Waight Keller thanked Meghan, 37, for trusting her to design her gown for her big day.

“I got to know Meghan on such a personal level,” the British designer said. “To have someone like that trust you in an incredible moment in their life is something that is just the most unbelievable honor. I can’t thank you enough because it was the most beautiful moment.”

The designer said she was completely floored that Meghan would be there to give her the award.

In this quick video, you’ll hear her say she saw Meghan just last week and “she never said a thing!”

More about Clare Waight Keller’s reaction comes via Town and Country.

…after she thanks her family, her colleagues, and Hubert de Givenchy, she turned to Meghan, still clearly shocked that the Duchess was there to present the award.

“Lastly, I was going to thank you,” Waight Keller said, “because this woman is so amazing. And I got to know Meghan on such a personal level and to have someone like that trust you in an incredible moment in their life is something that is just the most unbelievable honor. And I can’t thank you enough.”

A photo shared by Hello! editor-in-chief Rosie Nixon.

The Duchess looked like she very much enjoyed the event.
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More than 4000 guests attended the awards.

The annual gala was at London’s Royal Albert Hall. Not only do the awards showcase excellence in the industry, they are also a fundraiser for BFC charities.

Below, designer Clare Waight Keller and actress Rosamund Pike on the red carpet. Ms. Pike is wearing Givenchy Haute Couture Fall/Winter 2018.

Also attending, Dame Vivienne Westwood and her husband, Andreas Kronthaler.

David and Victoria Beckham. He is the BFC Ambassadorial President, a position created earlier this  year. In a news release the Council says he “…will support the organisation in its goal to build networks and partnerships in the United States and Asia.” 

Below, models Alek Wek and Kendall Jenner.

Many of the notable names attending wore Swarovski jewelry.  Below left, Lana Del Rey; on the right, Penelope Cruz.

The award celebrates “…a British womenswear designer that has been instrumental in innovating and leading women’s fashion over the last year – excelling both creatively and commercially, creating an impressive footprint on the global fashion stage.” Ms. Waight Keller certainly fits that description. Below you see her arranging Meghan’s veil at St. George’s Chapel.

Another view of Meghan in her wedding gown. 

The Duchess has turned to the designer for many important dresses. Here you see Meghan wearing Givenchy when accompanying the Queen on engagements in Cheshire.

Other important occasions when we saw the Duchess wearing Givenchy include her first appearance at Ascot.

Her first solo engagement in September.

Her last day of the recent tour (l); her arrival in Dublin with Prince Harry on her first overseas tour (r).

Of course, the Duchess wore a gown by Clare Waight Keller for Givenchy.
It is a one-shouldered style in black velvet with a slit on the right side.
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Meghan’s heels are by Tamara Mellon. This is a new style (at least to us), the Karat Metallic Nappa Sandal ($550) in the gold colorway.  The style is a classic sandal with a 4.3″ heel and a very thin platform of .2″. We show the shoe at Tamara Mellon, but it is also available in almost all sizes at Orchard Mile. Our thanks to Meghan’s Mirror for their shoe ID.

This evening the Duchess wore jewelry by Pippa Small. Below, an Instagram post Ms. Small shared expressing her delight at seeing Meghan wear the brand.

One of the bracelets was worn in Fiji during the recent tour, the Omeen Bangle on the left ($190). On the right, the Wajiha Bangle ($430). There is a third bracelet that we haven’t yet located on the Pippa Small site, it has a unique cut out shape.

In this image, you can just see that cut out area. Many thanks to Laura for her help on the bracelets! Below, Meghan wearing Pippa Small bangles in Fiji.

Meghan’s earrings are also by the brand, the Nosheen Studs ($60) in 18K gold vermeil atop sterling silver.

The bangles and earrings are handmade by the “… men and women artisans of the Turquoise Mountain Foundation” according to the product descriptions. Some may recall that the charity was founded in 2006 by Prince Charles and the president of Afghanistan at the time, Hamid Karzai.  Its purpose is to preserve and regenerate historic areas and communities with a rich cultural heritage and to revive traditional crafts, to create jobs, skills and a renewed sense of pride.”

In an interview last year the entrepreneur spoke about the foundation and its work.

I just came back last week from Kabul. It’s been this amazing journey the last eight or nine years there. Turquoise Mountain was a NGO started by Prince Charles to preserve traditional craft and architecture in Afghanistan. Their culture has been hammered for two generations with the Taliban even banning jewelry.Since 2006, they have restored 160 buildings, built an art school and a clinic. My role is training, teaching and working with craftsmen who graduate, helping them find jobs, make jewelry and go back into the real world to try to sell it.

It was a treat to see the Duchess tonight. This video shows her arrival onstage, her entire introduction and presentation of the award and Ms. Keller’s acceptance speech.

And this video shows additional still photos from the event.

Also tonight, word that Meghan is among those being considered for Time magazine’s Person of the Year. More from The Telegraph.

The Duchess of Sussex has been shortlisted for Time magazine’s “Person of the Year” award, coming up against the unlikely rivals of Donald Trump and Vladimir Putin.

The Duchess, who married into the Royal Family in May 2018, is up for consideration as one of ten finalists who have most influenced the global news agenda in the last year.

A look at Time’s  write-up on Meghan.The award is presented to an individual or group who have made an impact “for better or for worse”, and was last year won by the “Silence Breakers”: those who spoke out about sexual assault in the #metoo movement.

The Duchess’ citation, published by the magazine, describes her as: “Former Hollywood actor and activist Meghan Markle traded in her roles on screen for a royal title in May, when she married Britain’s Prince Harry to the delight of captivated crowds across the U.K. and millions more worldwide.”

The winner will be announced today on Tuesday.

UPDATE: Person of the Year went to “The Guardians—Jamal Khashoggi, the Capital Gazette, Maria Ressa, Wa Lone and Kyaw Soe Oo.”


Our final note tonight involves this.

We are very excited about our first ever What Meghan Wore calendar! It is created in partnership with royal photographer Mark Stewart, known to many of you as Regal Eyes on Twitter. It is a desktop style, and we hope to have it available for ordering by this time tomorrow!


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  1. The people on social media outlets complaining about her touching her baby bump too much are ridiculous — these are still images of an hours long event. She didn’t have her hands on her belly for the entire duration of the event. It’s just that the media chose to publish and spotlight the still shots of the moments when she did touch her belly, and so that’s all anybody sees, and so they think that’s all she did with her hands the entire night. So silly.

  2. I love this 70’s vibe cum thoroughly modern look. I think she has knocked it right out of the park! She looks lovely, glowing and happy!

  3. Ok, I’m going to be old-fashioned and prudish right now. While Meghan looked beautiful, sleek and modern, she looked very “Hollywood”, not like royalty. I think this whole appearance was more celebrity than “British Duchess” and I think that’s a really important distinction for Meghan to make. I want her to continue to be modern, stylish and fun, but I also think the royal family exists because it preserves some old-fashioned values and remains mysterious. This outfit, for me, says celebrity. Meghan has done a good job supporting British causes (and Clare, who is British), but I also think the super-fitted dress, dark nail polish, bangles, Instagram photos, daring side-slit, etc., is too celebrity, and not enough professional and “princess”. Sorry. I feel like such a prude for saying that. She looks amazing. I just think this appearance to support her wedding-dress designer could have been done in a different way, dress-wise.

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  4. I will never understand the 4″ heels! And while pregnant…it must be a super power. I love sleek pregnancy fashion.
    As for what she’s doing with her hands…I think it’s sweet and very human to want to touch your own pregnant belly.
    Plus I imagine having a prominent velvety bump would be hard to resist. I also wonder if the heels are throwing off her already wonky centre of gravity, and that might have something to do with the hands on the belly? To feel steadier, maybe? Just a thought..

  5. I loved this look on Meghan. She definitely has that pregnancy glow! I know the whole negativity of her excessively cradling her bump is making the rounds on social media. My question is, so what if she wants to walk around cradling her bump for the next 9 months? She is just happy that her and Harry are expecting a baby and she wants to relish in being pregnant. Why can’t we be happy for people instead of picking them apart? I just think let’s lift each other up instead of being critical about things that really don’t matter? I think Meghan is doing a great job and anything else we see online that hasn’t been confirmed by the palace is just speculation.

  6. Meghan look stunning, the fit of the dress, hair, jewelry & nail polish were perfection. One of her very best looks. The cradling of the bump is over the top & looks staged even if she doesn’t intend to do that, that is the impression it gives. It amazes me how the British are obsessed with her doing this & want her to stop. I read that she positions her hands in certain areas to calm the fetus when there is too much noise & stimuli.

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  7. Have to say love the dress and agree with comment above something that fits right. I do think there is s difference between royal and actress and shes a bit on the Hollywood side with the nails and bare legs. And the double cupping of the baby bump is a bit over the too. Shoes and bangles are knock outside.

  8. Gorgeous! I wonder how Meghan kept it a surprise? How would Claire not know that this dress was for the awards show? Perhaps Meghan’s team made up a fake event or party? It fits so well and is so perfect for the event that these were my first thoughts!

  9. Just stunning, simple, elegant, timeless. Beautiful speeches they both made recognising each other. Powerful and full of impact celebrating each others achievements. Women supporting each other.

    • Classic and timeless elegance…………..Meghan is totally on point with everything! What a joy to honor the designer of her wedding dress in this way!

  10. She looks STUNNING! I love the sleek hair, dramatic dress (that hugged her pregnant form beautifully), and the striking jewelry. Perfect look for a fashion awards show. I did find, however, that the extensive belly cradling was a bit over the top and distracting from Waight Keller’s moment (as seen in the video and Instagram shot). Excellent and thorough post!

    • I was most distracted by the constant playing of Ms. Keller designs on the large screen monitor directly behind her. As a matter of fact I watched the monitor while listening to the speech. I didn’t even realized that Meghan was cradling her baby until I saw all the still shots.

    • Hi from Susan K here, with apologies for not seeing the initial cradling comment, that’s my bad. We realize it is a hot topic of discussion but it feels more personality-driven than something fashion-related. In this instance we’ll keep the thread up, but if wondering why comments that don’t relate to fashion are being published on this post, it is the oversight of yours truly.?

      • Hi Susan. I don’t believe the comment was personal. There are often comments (both positive and negative) on this board that discuss how the duchess is carrying herself at a particular event or her body language and how that affects the look or the moment. This was no different. I merely stated that her two handed cradling of her belly for the 20-30 seconds after Waight Keller’s name was announced drew the attention to Meghan, as it did in the photos with Waight Keller when she did the same. Whether or not this was intentional, it impacted the moment, as the behavior of a Royal is apt to do. It was not a personal attack and I believe it is appropriate for posting on this site.

      • Part of the reason I come to this blog is to read the comments because while the forum admins do a nice job of aggregating the information, quite honestly, you can get the information from other sources. So I find it a bit strange that the forum admin explicitly writes that we are only to discuss fashion, yet the posts also go beyond fashion by linking to speeches and regularly pointing out that Meghan is more than just a style icon. So although probably not intended, it still comes off as, “you can only discuss topics other than what Meghan is wearing, as long as it is praise of what work she is doing or how fabulous and strong she is personally despite not knowing her personally and only extrapolating from secondary sources.” Those kinds of “non-fashion related” comments are allowed.

        If praising the charity work Meghan does is fair game, then why is not also discussing areas where people believe she could improve professionally not also allowed? She is in the strange and tricky position of being a publicly funded figure who was not elected yet receives a lifetime benefits. I think she is navigating it as best as she can and doing well. Yet the hand-holding and baby cradling contribute as much to her professional appearance as does her clothes.

  11. Showstoppingly beautiful! Thoroughly modern duchessing going on here. I love this look!! And what a graciously presented award for Claire. Brava all around!

  12. Absolutely stunning! If you’re gonna wear black, this is how to do it! I love the sleek bun and minimal jewelry which don’t do anything to compete with that gorgeous dress. And really, the dress is all about showcasing her beautiful figure and baby-bump. The dark color on the nails is perfection. The shoes are amazing. This is a knock-out look for an actress-turned-princess to present a fashion award!

  13. Elegance is the art of doing simplicity well. And she nailed it. Meghan looks classy and comfortable onstage and in those shoes? Pregnant or not that would be tricky for alot of us! I would have opted for a softer hairdo though, maybe not so pulled back.. ? Its nice to see her out, I thought we’d have to wait until Christmas for another sighting and fashion watching.

  14. This truly is very elegant and Meghan looks stunning! I would have preferred a less severe hairstyle and earrings that made a bolder statement, but those are small quibbles. I marvel that anyone can walk in those dynamite shoes.

    Clare really is most deserving of this award and recognition. Her designs are outstanding!

  15. This is such a great look on Meghan, she looks fantastic! I have to admit I haven’t loved all the Givenchy looks she’s worn in the past but this dress fits her like a glove. I’m so glad she wore her hair up too. Wearing it down would have ruined the sleek look this dress is meant for and drawn attention away from the dress’s one shoulder detail. So great to see her supporting Prince Charles through her jewelry too. I really hope this was a nice distraction from all the horrible tabloid news stories circulating about her in the last few weeks. I’ll have to watch the video later (by the way the Photobooth picture on Instagram was taken down so right now the one in this post is just blank saying it was taken down).

    I’m a bit perplexed by Rosamund Pike’s look. She kind of looks like a bobble head in that stiff, straight black coat? It looks like an elongated blazer and sort of reminds me of the dramatic trench coat Shania Twain wore in her “Man I feel like a woman” music video haha.

    • Personally, I think it’s it’s more of a story the media plays up than an issue the Queen or others pay much attention to. Obviously, I could be wrong but my perception is that it is really overblown by the media. In retrospect, I probably shouldn’t have linked to the Bazaar story! -sek ??‍♀️

      • I think the dark nail polish is another in a long line of “Meghan breaks royal protocol” nonsense being shipped out by media outlets to portray the Duchess as some sort of “royal renegade.” The Countess of Wessex, Princess Eugenie and Princess Beatrice have all been photographed with darker nail polishes on, with nary a dramatic peep from critics. Additionally, this is a fashion event – what a perfect time to throw a little edge into the ensemble!
        I personally think Meghan looks fabulous. The fit and fabric of the dress are perfection and the bold gold accessories add the perfect amount of modern glam while still staying true to the Duchess’s minimalist style. What a beautiful connection to Prince Charles, as well!

      • Oh, I didn’t even read the Bazaar story — I just know it’s a no-no. I actually just found an article that says it’s not a “rule,” but the queen “prefers” neutral or light nails. The article also mentions that working royals aren’t supposed to take off their coats in public, so that might explain the crazy “Kate never takes off her coat!” thing. Hmmm. So many questions!

  16. This dress is a beautiful choice and — for once — FIT — on Meghan! I wish someone would help her know what to do with her hands, though.

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    • Hi Cat,
      I don’t think it’s a matter of her not knowing what to do with her hands. She knew what to do with them just fine before. In any case, with continuous exposure, we will likely get used to it.

  17. Very elegant and sophisticated gown perfect for a lady in her second trimester. Black velvet is a great choice for December and those gold bangles are fantastic. Also love the sleek updo. Well done.

  18. This is an elegant dress, and it’s clear that Givenchy has been very good to her–thank you for the snaps of past outfits, which are all outstanding. That black dress with the velvet insets is to die for.

    My only note is that the simple dark column silhouette plus the pulled-tight hairdo and bare neck are giving her a bit of a pinhead effect. A looser updo–or even wearing her hair down–plus either statement earrings or a fabulous choker could have improved this effect. I like the bracelets a lot, but they’re not doing much to balance the look.

    • Agree with you about the oddness of the silhouette, it had me stumped at first. But some of the spotlight pics of her came out so sensational I decided I could overlook it. Meghan is also gaining more curves other than just her tummy and her shoulders sometimes look broader to me at the moment which may add to a pinhead effect.

  19. Superb by Meghan and a delightful surprise appearance. Also an artful choice for the photography as the black is so graphic in the spotlight, where it’s clear Meghan feels right at home. The cut of the lines on the bodice are beautiful and Meghan’s baby figure is wonderfully enhanced by the overall shape. Her hair is amazing, her heels fantastic and I just love that she keeps her bracelets all on the one wrist. Class

  20. Okay, this is my very favorite look from the Duchess. I know I say that a lot, but this time I mean it! The hair, the make up and the jewelry and dress. I loved that when she walked there was a peek a boo slit on the side, the strappy gold sandles that match back to her jewelry. The entire look was just polished and sophisticated. I almost forgot the wicked, protocol breaking nail polish. Love it!

  21. Well done Clare Waight Keller, British Womenswear Designer of the Year and how memorable to have this prestigious award presented by Meghan. Beautiful to see their friendship and bond brought about through fashion design.

    Meghan’s one-shouldered black velvet gown was elegant, a bit edgy with the side slit, yet tasteful. Loved the jewelry styling…the clunky Pippa Small pieces added a welcomed roughness to the softness found in the velvet. She looked beautiful, confident, strong and healthy and what a perfect event for her to participate in – the British Fashion Awards!


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