Meghan Markle may have taken a break from reviewing the résumés of potential new palace aides or breaking the odd royal tradition, but that doesn’t mean she can no longer make the occasional surprise public appearance to shock an old friend on stage.
When Markle took the stage at the British Fashion Awards on Monday night, many attendees in the crowd were shocked, but perhaps there was no one more shocked to see the Duchess of Sussex standing on that stage than Clare Waight Keller. The British Womenswear Designer of the Year award was presented to Keller, head of Givenchy and designer of Markle’s wedding dress in May. “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 would be working very close together,” Markle declared, before announcing Keller as the winner of the award.
“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,” Keller said, after receiving the honor.
The Duchess also cradled her baby bump on the stage for the crowd, while of course wearing a black Givenchy gown as a nod to Keller. The new royal baby already has everything a baby could possibly ask for before birth—a mom who surprises her close friends to give them awards, potential Hollywood godparents, presumably an entire wing of a home called Frogmore Cottage—and has technically already made a big fashion debut on stage in front of hundreds of members of the United Kingdom’s A-list.