Challenge accepted

Tiaras, heirloom jewels, dazzling gowns—if “understated” isn’t the first word that comes to mind when you think about royal style, you’re not alone. The one minor exception? Their royally subdued manicures. It’s been well noted that Essie Ballet Slippers happens to be ­­­­­Queen Elizabeth’s long-time polish preference. The hint-of-pink hue is delicate, feminine, and doesn’t exactly draw eyes. While it seems Duchess Kate is also a fan of the less-is-more polish approach, the newest Duchess to grace the British royal family is intent on setting her own fashion tone, as she demonstrated at last night’s British Fashion Awards 2018.

In an unannounced (by all accounts) appearance that took many by surprise, Meghan Markle took the stage to present Givenchy’s creative director (the very same designer who crafted Meghan’s wedding gown earlier this year) with the British Fashion Designer of the Year Womenswear Award. Not surprisingly, the Duchess was soon the source of countless headlines not only because of that adorable baby bump, daring one-shoulder gown, and unexpectedly prim bun, but also for one minor detail that apparently didn’t go unnoticed: her dark plum nails.

Royal enthusiasts and protocol followers alike were astonished at the bold choice, which British Vogue quickly placed a bet to be CND Shellac’s Dark Dahlia. While we’re not typically ones to balk at tradition, especially when it involves our all-time-favorite nail polish (we’re with you, Queen Elizabeth), we love that Meghan continues to stay true to herself. Now, try finding a Southern woman who wouldn’t do the same, we dare you.

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