Clare Waight Keller first met Meghan Markle 11 months ago

Meghan reveals she first met Clare Waight Keller in January – and the designer had just four MONTHS to create her bespoke bridal gown

  • Duchess of Sussex made a surprise appearance at the British Fashion Awards 
  • Meghan, 37, was there last night to honour her wedding dress designer 
  • She revealed she only met Claire Waight Keller for first time 11 months ago 
  • Clare Waight Keller won the prestigious British Designer of the Year award 
  • She thanked personally in her speech at the star-studded Royal Albert Hall
  • The designer told audience she ‘got to know Meghan on such a personal level’ 

It took an army of dressmakers hundreds of hours to create Meghan’s breathtaking bridal gown. 

But the team were on something of a tight schedule, it emerged last night – as the designer met Meghan just four months before her big day.

Speaking at the British Fashion Awards on Monday evening, the Duchess of Sussex confirmed she first met Givenchy boss Clare Waight Keller 11 months ago. 

With the pair’s first meeting in January 2018, Waight Keller and her team would have had just 16 weeks to create the haute couture gown from scratch.

Meghan, 37, was speaking at the Royal Albert Hall last night where she presented her bridal designer with the prestigious Designer of the Year award. 

The haute couture dress she wore for her wedding to Prince Harry on May 19 was made from double-bonded silk cady cushioned by an underskirt in triple silk organza.

The Duchess of Sussex revealed she met her wedding designer just 11 months ago during a speech at the Royal Albert Hall. Meghan and Waight Keller looked delighted to be reunited on stage, and at one point, the designer was seen putting her hands on Meghan’s baby bump

The minimalist wedding gown designed for the Duchess by Clare Waight Keller of Givenchy – which won the designer last night’s celebrated British Designer of the Year Womenswear Award – had a boat neck framing Ms Markle’s shoulders and a five metre long white silk veil which included floral detail representing all 53 countries of the Commonwealth

Dressmakers spent hundreds of hours creating the sleek silk boat-necked gown and long billowing veil to meet Meghan’s brief of a dress with an ‘elegant aesthetic, impeccable tailoring, and relaxed demeanor.’ 

The veil carried floral references to all 53 countries in the Commonwealth, and the palace said workers spent hundreds of hours sewing the delicate flower designs into the veil, meticulously washing their hands every half hour to keep the silk tulle and threads clean. 


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The wedding dress featured no lace or embroidery, carrying a classic boat neckline, three-quarter length sleeves and an A-line skirt with a train measuring nearly 6 feet from the waist.

Introducing Waight Keller last night, Meghan said: ‘I feel especially proud to announce tonight’s winner who yes, is a British designer leading on the global stage with vision and creativity but also with incredible kindness.

‘Which is why when I met her for the first time 11 months ago, I knew that we’d be working very closely together.’


Meghan made a surprise appearance at the British Fashion Awards on Monday night, wearing a black one-shoulder dress for her on-stage moment, which saw her carefully cradling her baby bump as she addressed the crowds

Celebration: Meghan was presenting the British Designer of the Year Womenswear Award to Clare Waight Keller for Givenchy. The 37-year-old Duchess of Sussex kept her hair swept back in a low bun, and wore minimal makeup at the event, which took place at the Royal Albert Hall

Reunited: Meghan honoured her bridal gown designer during the ceremony, while Waight Keller thanked the royal personally in her speech at the star-studded awards ceremony at the historic venue in Kensington, London 

‘The ultimate surprise!’ Clare Waight Keller took to Instagram last night, gushing: ‘Such an extraordinary moment of emotion and love for this amazing woman who changed my life thank you @givenchyofficial’

The Duchess wowed guests at the star-studded event when she stepped out on stage to present a gong to her wedding dress designer, wearing a sleek LBD designed by the very woman she was there to honour. 

Waight Keller, 48, won the prestigious British Womenswear Designer of the Year award and thanked Meghan personally in her speech at the star-studded awards ceremony in London.

The designer said: ‘This woman is so amazing. I got to know Meghan on such a personal level. To have someone like that trust you on such a personal moment in their life… I can’t thank you enough because it was the most beautiful moment.’  

Meghan also wore a dark nail color to match her stunning one-shouldered dress, despite traditional protocol advising that female royals must stick to a barely-there nude shade whenever they are attending official events. 

Addressing the assembled fashionistas at the Royal Albert Hall, the Duchess said: ‘It’s such a pleasure to be here, celebrating British fashion and British designers, in my new home in the UK.’ 


The crowd went wild as Meghan walked on stage in a surprise appearance last night. She wore a black one-shoulder gown paired with gold earrings, bangles and high heeled sandals, with her hair worn in a bun

Waight Keller was the master British designer behind the sleek silk boat-necked gown and long billowing veil worn by Meghan as she walked down the nave of St. George’s Chapel for her wedding to Prince Harry on May 19 

Meghan gave a short speech before presenting the award last night. The Duchess of Sussex, who is expecting her first child with Prince Harry in the spring, looked sensational in a black one-shoulder velvet gown, believed to be Givenchy


Meghan was at the BFAs last night to honour her bridal gown designer Clare Waight Keller. The dress in question featured no lace or embroidery, carrying a classic boat neckline, three-quarter length sleeves and an A-line skirt with a long train

Meghan stepped on stage to greet Waight Keller, who won the prestigious British Womenswear Designer of the Year award and thanked Meghan personally in her speech at the star-studded awards ceremony at the historic Royal Albert Hall

Meghan looked sensational in a black one-shoulder fishtail gown as she made a surprise appearance at the BFAs last night. She turned up at the Royal Albert Hall to present a gong to her wedding dress designer, Clare Waight Keller of Givenchy


Stunning on stage! The Duchess of Sussex wore head-to-toe black, in a dress believed to be from Givenchy, and also coordinated her nail polish to her ensemble, despite royals traditionally sticking to very simple nude polishes

She said of fashion, that ‘we have a deep connection to what we wear. Sometimes it’s deeply personal, sometimes it’s emotional,’ and said that for her, it was ‘really in being able to understand that it’s about supporting and empowering each other, especially as women.’

She praised the ‘kindness’ and the ‘values’ of Ms Waight Keller, who created the gown in which she walked down the aisle this May. 

In association with The British Fashion Council (BFC), The Fashion Awards celebrates individuals and businesses that have made a significant contribution to the fashion industry over the last year. 

It is also a fundraiser for the BFC’s charities and aims to support future talented individuals with their creative fashion skills.

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