Designer behind Meghan’s white Tonga dress hints he knew about the royal baby BEFORE the rest of the world – after he was asked to make it with ‘extra seam allowance’
- Duchess of Sussex, 37, dazzled in a white dress by A-list favourite THEIA in Tonga
- Designer Don O’Neill and his team created the gown at the end of September
- The duchess loved the dress but her team asked for ‘extra seam allowance’
- O’Neill said: ‘We knew immediately why this was required, but Mum’s the word’
- The Duke and Duchess revealed their pregnancy news weeks later on 15 October
The designer behind one of the Duchess of Sussex’s royal tour gowns has hinted he knew she was expecting before the official announcement.
Irish fashion designer Don O’Neill, 52, created the beautiful white dress Meghan, 37, wore as she joined Prince Harry for a black tie reception with the King of Tonga at Nuku’alofa’s Royal Palace on Wednesday night.
Speaking to FEMAIL, O’Neill, creative director of New York-based label THEIA, explained he was contacted by the duchess’ stylist at the end of September and rushed to send the requested gown to the palace in just two days.
The stylist quickly responded to confirm the duchess ‘loved’ the dress but requested the gown be remade ‘with extra seam allowance’.
Pregnant Meghan, 37, wore a stunning gown by THEIA as she joined Prince Harry for a black tie reception with the King of Tonga at Nuku’alofa’s Royal Palace on Wednesday night, pictured
Irish designer Don O’Neill, creative director of the New York-based label, hinted he knew the Duchess of Sussex was pregnant before the official announcement after her stylist asked for the dress, pictured with O’Neill in the studio, to be remade with ‘extra seam allowance’
The stunning gown was created in white crepe for Meghan based on a design O’Neill showed in 2017. Pictured, O’Neill’s sketch of how the couture creation would look on Her Royal Highness
O’Neill added: ‘We knew immediately why this extra allowance was required, but Mum’s the word.’
The Duke and Duchess announced the pregnancy on their arrival in Sydney on 15 October, some two weeks after the alteration was requested.
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Meghan, who is expecting her first child with Harry, 34, next Spring, looked radiant in the THEIA gown, which drew comparisons to the Stella McCartney dress that Meghan wore for her wedding reception in Windsor.
The mother-to-be teamed the couture creation with the aquamarine ring that once belonged to Princess Diana, which she also wore on her wedding night.
Meghan dazzled in a white column gown by A-list favourite Theia, which drew comparisons to the Stella McCartney dress that Meghan wore for her wedding reception in Windsor
The mother-to-be teamed the couture creation with the aquamarine ring that once belonged to Princess Diana, seen above, which she also wore on her wedding night
O’Neill, who was born in Ballyheigue, County Kerry, said he had long admired the duchess’ ‘classic, effortless and chic’ style, explaining it partly inspired his Spring 2019 bridal collection, which was shown in April.
The designer was just a week away from showing his Autumn 2019 bridal collection on 5 October when the royal stylist contacted him.
‘She [said she] had seen a style from my Resort 2017 collection that The Duchess requested be made in an ivory crepe and needed it less then one week’s time,’ O’Neill explained.
O’Neill, whose creations have been worn by the likes of Khloe Kardashian and Taylor Swift, said he was ‘humbled and so excited’ to dress the Duchess of Sussex, pictured
‘I stopped everything we were doing – bridal show preparations were in full swing -and immediately went to work on Her Royal Highness’s gown. We completed the gown in two days and shipped it out.
‘We received confirmation that the duchess loved it upon receiving it, but with one caveat. We needed to remake it with extra seam allowance. We knew immediately why this extra allowance was required, but Mum’s the word.’
With less than a week to go until the bridal show, ‘all hands were on deck once more’ and the gown was re-made.
O’Neill added: ‘I literally had to run down Broadway that Friday night to catch the UPS truck making it with just 2 minutes to spare!’
The designer, whose creations have been worn by the likes of Khloe Kardashian and Taylor Swift, said he was ‘humbled and so excited’ to dress the Duchess of Sussex.
‘It has been an exciting whirlwind collaboration,’ he said. ‘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.’
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