It’s not surprising that Meghan Markle was turning heads at a recent reception and dinner hosted by His Majesty King Tupou VI and Queen Nanasipau’u in Tonga when she stepped out in a custom ivory gown alongside Prince Harry. What is surprising, though, is how creative director, Don O’Neill, and his team of designers at THEIA scrambled to create a jaw-dropping dress for the Duchess — and became privy to the royal baby secret in the process.
“When her stylist reached out to inquire if I could make a dress for her Australian press tour, I stopped everything we were doing (my bridal show was just a week away) and immediately went to work on Her Royal Highness’ gown,” O’Neill said in a press release, according to People. The THEIA team dropped everything they were doing, created the most beautiful dress in just two days, and shipped the piece nearly half-way around the world. It wasn’t until they heard back from Meghan’s team that they realized they would have to make a significant change.
— THEIA (@THEIACOUTURE) October 25, 2018
“We needed to remake it with extra seam allowance,” O’Neill explained, referring to the actress-turned-Duchess’ growing belly. “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.” O’Neill said that they remade the dress, which her team insisted Meghan “loved,” and added that he “literally had to run down Broadway that Friday night to catch the UPS truck, making it with just two minutes to spare!”
We’re sure that any designer would jump at the opportunity to create a dress for the one and only Meghan, but for O’Neill, this circumstance meant so much to him considering that Meghan has had an influence on many of the brand’s designs. “The Duchess of Sussex has long been a source of inspiration,” he said. “Her classic, effortless, and chic style coupled with all the excitement leading up to her wedding earlier this year inspired my Spring 2019 bridal collection, which I showed in April.”
As for being one of the few lucky enough to design a dress for the Duchess’ royal tour, O’Neill said he is “humbled” and was “sooo excited” to dress Meghan. “It has been an exciting whirlwind collaboration. Her Royal Highness is a truly beautiful inspiring woman, a bright shining light in this world, and we at Theia are truly honored to be part of The Royal Tour of Australia, Fiji, the Kingdom of Tonga, and New Zealand.” Lucky for O’Neill, he was able to create a sensational and dazzling dress for the royal and, lucky for Meghan, the team at THEIA kept her pregnancy secret hush-hush!
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