Clare Waight Keller reveals how Meghan kept her fashion awards appearance a surprise

By Meaghan Wray

It’s been a big year for both the Duchess of Sussex and Givenchy’s Clare Waight Keller, and it culminated on Monday evening (Dec. 10) in the sweetest surprise! Meghan stepped out for an unexpected appearance at the Fashion Awards in London to honour the talented designer, who created her royal wedding gown as well as the dress she wore that evening – which Clare created for the “genuine and kind” mom-to-be with absolutely no idea of where she’d be wearing it.

Meghan cradled her baby bump while waiting to award Clare. Photo: © Getty Images

Clare took home the award for Womenswear Designer of the Year, which was handed to her by none other than her most famous client, Meghan. The surprise was written all over the designer’s face as she took the duchess, and her growing baby bump, in for a big hug on stage. While speaking to Grazia backstage at the awards ceremony, she gushed: “I’m not joking, it was a complete and genuine surprise. I really did not know she was coming tonight at all!”

Givenchy’s artistic director continued, opening up about designing the velvet one-shoulder gown Meghan wore that evening: “I was actually fitting her for the dress last week and she said, ‘Oh, I’m going to this thing next week. I think it’s Monday or Tuesday night, I have to check my calendar.’ I just did not think anything of it. Then she walked in!”

The two shared a hug on stage. Photo: © Getty Images

Anyone who tuned in to Prince Harry and Meghan’s royal nuptials on May 19 would recognize Clare as the designer of her gorgeous boatneck gown. Simple yet refined, the dress has certainly gone down in royal history along with the bride’s stunning embroidered veil, which featured flora from all 53 Commonwealth countries. “I’ve had the most extraordinary year. Half of it no one even know we were working together, until the big event happened in May,” Clare said. “Since then, it’s just been so special to work with someone who’s incredibly genuine and kind. [Meghan] has really embraced the type of style that I embody. It’s been an incredible year for her.”

Clare designed Meghan's wedding gown. Photo: © Getty Images

Meghan’s fashionable fans have taken note of her go-to fashion house, Givenchy, and this won’t be changing anytime soon, Clare revealed. “It’s a relationship that’s just starting and I think between the two of us we’ve got such an innate understanding of each other. I think going through such a personal experience, like the wedding dress, you can never lose that connection with the person you work with on it,” she gushed. “I was really so honoured tonight that she presented my award.” Maybe we’ll see Baby Sussex wearing the French label, too, one day!

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