Meghan Markle makes surprise appearance at British Fashion Awards to honour her wedding dress designer

On Monday evening (December 10th), Meghan Markle made a surprise appearance at the British Fashion Awards at the Royal Albert Hall on Monday evening to present Designer of the Year.

It was an un-announced engagement for Prince Harry's wife, who has had a quieter public work schedule since their royal tour abroad. However, she has been completing a series of private engagements, as she gears up to announce her first royal patronages in the new year.

The Duchess looked flawless in a one-shouldered black Givenchy gown at the event, as she presented the Designer of the Year award to Claire Waight Keller, Givenchy’s creative director and the designer who created Meghan’s wedding dress.

Cradling her growing baby bump, Meghan looked radiant as she told the audience, “It’s such a pleasure to be here, celebrating British fashion and British designers, in my new home in the UK.”

After collecting her prize, Claire, 48, thanked Meghan personally in her speech, saying, “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 topped off her elegant look with a stunning gold wraparound bangle and stud earrings by jewellery designer Pippa Small, gold strappy heels and a sleek bun.

It was Meghan’s manicure, however, that made the headlines as she opted for a deep plum shade, which broke with the usual royal protocol for nude, sheer polishes. Her gold open-toe heels also 'broke' with normal royal protocol, with the Queen, Camilla and Duchess of Cambrige normally always opting for closed-toe shoes.

While the former actress is known for her modern outfits, since stepping into her Duchess role, Meghan has tailored her style to royal rules, including neutral nails.

It is believed that the Queen and Duchess Catherine both love Essie’s Ballet Slippers, which influenced Meghan’s choice for her wedding to Prince Harry back in May.

Meghan isn’t the only royal to break the tradition, however. Princess Eugenie has previously stepped out with dark purple nails and is well known for her quirky nail art.

Sometimes 'rules' are made to be broken!

Later on in the evening, the Duchess of Sussex also returned to some of the glamour of her old days as an actress at awards ceremonies, as she posed in a photobooth at the event.

She was joined by Rosamund Pike and Claire Waight Keller for the snap, and looked every inch the star as she gave her best smouldering look to the camera. However, the Instagram picture has now been deleted.