Tonight, Meghan Markle made a stylish surprise appearance at the British Fashion Awards to present the honor for British Designer of the Year Womenswear. The trophy ultimately went to Clare Waight Keller of Givenchy, who designed the Duchess of Sussex’s simply classic wedding gown and continues to dress Meghan in her new life as a royal. Keller, who was appointed artistic director of the French fashion house in March 2017, is also the first woman ever to hold the position in the brand’s history.
However, before bestowing the honor upon Keller, the Duchess of Sussex also gave a few words to the audience about her new home, her relationship with clothing, and the importance of “kindness” in the fashion world.
Read her full speech below:
“Good evening, everyone. It is such a pleasure to be here, celebrating British fashion and British fashion designers in my new home of the U.K. It’s so nice to see so many familiar faces; many of you I’ve known for quite a while and a lot of you that I’ve been able to meet in the past year, so thank you for the warm welcome. “As all of you in this room know, we have a deep connection to what we wear. Sometimes it’s very personal, sometimes it’s emotional. But for me, this connection is rooted in really being able to understand that it’s about supporting and empowering each other, especially as women. “When we choose to wear a certain designer, we’re not just a reflection of their creativity and their vision, but we’re also an extension of their values, of something in the fabric, so to speak, that is much more meaningful. I recently read an article that said, ‘The culture of fashion has shifted from one where it was cool to be cruel to now, where it’s cool to be kind.’ “To that point, 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. The winner this evening is Clare Waight Keller.”