An Irish designer has revealed he knew the Duchess of Sussex was expecting her first child before the news was made public, because he was given specific instructions for extra seam allowance in her dress.
Don O’Neill is an acclaimed designer from Kerry and his brand THEIA can often be seen on the red carpet at glamourous events.
He was delighted when he was contacted by a member of the royal’s stylist team to create a gown for Meghan.
Prince Harry’s wife wore the dress as she had lunch with the king and queen of Tonga at Nuku’alofa.
The dress was a cap sleeve beaded silk satin column gown and is worth around €1,140. It is the first time Markle has worn white in public since her wedding day.
Markle came to wear the dress after her stylist got in touch with O’Neill. The stylist had seen the dress in turquoise and asked if it could be custom made in white for the Duchess.
O’Neill said: “Then I got an email saying that the duchess loved the dress and could I make it again in exactly the same size but with bigger seam allowances, so I stopped working on my upcoming bridal collection and we made the second dress within eight hours.
“We knew immediately why this extra allowance was required, but mum’s the word – and with less than one week to my bridal show, all hands were on deck once more – we re-made the gown and I literally had to run down Broadway that Friday night to catch the UPS truck making it with just two minutes to spare.”
A short time later the royal couple made the announcement that Meghan was expecting their first child.
Despite making the dress for Markle his number one priority, O’Neill wasn’t sure whether she would actually wear it as her schedule was being cut back.
She had been on tour in Australia but had started to slow down with her public appearances.
O’Neill added: “I can’t believe this has happened. I’ve been watching morning, noon and night since Meghan went on tour in Australia and we didn’t know if she would wear my gown because she was cutting back on her schedule.
“I am humbled and so excited to dress The Duchess of Sussex. It has been an exciting whirlwind collaboration.”
Written by Michael Kehoe @michaelcalling