Pregnant Meghan Markle and Her Baby Bump Appear at British Fashion Awards, Breaking Royal Protocol

Meghan Markle stunned the crowd when she made a surprise cameo at the British Fashion Awards in London on Monday, in a gown that showcased her growing pregnant belly.

The 37-year-old, who is expecting her first child with husband Prince Harry, appeared at the annual fashion fête—showing off her bulging baby bump while wearing a black, one-shoulder Givenchy gown and a sleek bun— to present Givenchy's artistic director Clare Waight Keller with one of the biggest honors of the night: the British Womenswear Designer of the Year award.

Although attendees weren't expecting to see the Duchess of Sussex, her arrival onstage wasn't too surprising. After all, Waight Keller did design Markle's wedding dress for the royal nuptials in May.

What was shocking, however, were Markle's vividly polished nails that weren't the neutral pink shade preferred by her grandmother-in-law, Queen Elizabeth II. Matching her smoldering gown, Markle's nails were painted black—a break from the royal style protocol the queen and Markle's sister-in-law Kate Middleton, Duchess of Cambridge, typically follow.

Although royals aren't necessarily banned from wearing bright or dark, colorful shades of polish, it's commonly known the Queen prefers delicate, neutral shades. The queen herself has been wearing the same shade of neutral pink, Essie's "Ballet Slippers," for nearly 30 years.

Elizabeth has used that specific shade of Essie polish since 1989, when her hair stylist wrote to Essie Weingarten—the company's founder—and requested a bottle for the queen, noting it was "the only color Her Majesty would wear," according to a 2017 People magazine report.

Since Middleton married Prince William in 2011, she's been seen wearing the polish regularly. Markle also reportedly sported "Ballet Slippers" on her wedding day.

Pregnant Meghan Markle and Her Baby Bump Appear at British Fashion Awards, Breaking Royal Protocol | Culture