Meghan honored her wedding dress designer, Clare Waight Keller of Givenchy, with a surprise appearance

By Stephanie Petit
December 10, 2018 05:04 PM
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Meghan Markle made an unannounced appearance at the British Fashion Awards at Royal Albert Hall in London on Monday for a special reason: to honor her wedding dress designer – Clare Waight Keller, artistic director of Givenchy – with the British Womenswear Designer of the Year award.

The Duchess of Sussex, alongside actress Rosamund Pike, was all smiles as she cradled her growing baby bump over her one-shoulder Givenchy black dress. She completed the look with (on which PEOPLE readers have an exclusive $100 discount using code 100PEOPLE) and a gold cuff bracelet by Pippa Small. Meghan also swept her hair back into a low bun – without her signature pieces of loose hair in the front.

“It is such an honor to be here celebrating British fashion and British fashion designers in my new home of the U.K.,” Meghan said to cheers from the audience.

Credit: Joe Maher/BFC/Getty Images)
Meghan Markle
| Credit: Joe Maher/BFC/Getty Images
Meghan Markle and Rosamund Pike
| Credit: John Phillips/BFC/Getty Images
Meghan Markle
| Credit: Joe Maher/BFC/Getty Images)
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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.”

Meghan Markle
| Credit: Joe Maher/BFC/Getty Images
Meghan Markle and Clare Waight Keller
| Credit: Joe Maher/BFC/Getty Images

The stunning silk gown that Meghan wore for her May wedding to Prince Harry featured an open bateau neckline and sculpted waist. The train flowed in soft round folds cushioned by an underskirt in triple silk organza.

The process was “very collaborative,” Waight Keller said in an interview the day after the wedding, adding that Meghan was familiar with her work.

Credit: BEN STANSALL/AFP/Getty Images

“It was a wonderful way to start the collaboration with her, finding out what she wanted for her day and just to find the absolute perfect style for her,” Waight Keller told reporters. “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.”