She was the creative force behind Meghan, Duchess of Sussex‘s already iconic wedding gown, and the royal this week paid her respects to Givenchy’s Clare Waight Keller in a surprise appearance. The newlywed, who exchanged vows with Britain’s Prince Harry at Windsor Castle on May 19, was an unexpected presenter at Monday evening’s Fashion Awards, held in London’s Royal Albert Hall.
The former Suits actor presented the artistic director of the heritage French maison with the prestigious British Womenswear Designer of the Year award. Wearing the fitting choice of a one-shouldered gown by Givenchy, the label to which the duchess has proven loyal since her engagement was first announced, the mother-to-be, who is expecting her first child in the spring, tenderly cupped her growing bump onstage.
“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,” the royal told the crowd, according to Vogue.co.uk. “So, thank you for the warm welcome.” The duchess also paid tribute to her “new home” in the UK, as she celebrated the best of British fashion and designers, praising Waight Keller’s “kindness” and “value” in her address.
The pair worked closely together on the Duchess of Sussex’s wedding gown, a boatneck, three-quarter-sleeved creation, which featured a minimal bodice, flowing train, and organza underskirt. Waight Keller and the duchess also collaborated on a five-meter-long veil, embroidered with each flower of the Commonwealth’s 53 countries detailed on delicate silk tulle.