Meghan Markle's surprise appearance at the British Fashion Awards was nothing short of iconic.

The Duchess of Sussex wowed the fashion crowd in a one shoulder, velvet gown by Givenchy to present the award for British Womenswear Designer of the Year to her wedding dress designer, Clare Waight Keller.

But while all eyes were on Meghan's stunning dress, the former actor's look signalled a break in royal protocol that is said to be personally disliked by Her Majesty the Queen.

Cradling her bump, Meghan's hands were adorned with a dark shade of nail polish, a look that is — shock horror — shunned by members of the royal family.

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The Duchess of Sussex wore dark nail polish for the event which broke royal protocol. Photo / Getty Images
The Duchess of Sussex wore dark nail polish for the event which broke royal protocol. Photo / Getty Images

Queen Elizabeth II is said to consider coloured nail polish vulgar and will only wear Essie's pale pink shade Ballet Slippers, OK Magazine reports.

The Queen's rule on nail polish is followed by Kate Middleton, who wore the Ballet Slippers shade during her 2011 wedding to Prince William.

Cradling her bump, Meghan's hands were adorned with a dark shade of nail polish, a look that is — shock horror — shunned by members of the royal family.

The Duchess of Cambridge wore the single shade of nail polish the Queen approves of for her wedding. Photo / Getty Images
The Duchess of Cambridge wore the single shade of nail polish the Queen approves of for her wedding. Photo / Getty Images
Prince Harry and Meghan Markle, sans pantyhose, pose for their engagement photos. Photo / Getty Images
Prince Harry and Meghan Markle, sans pantyhose, pose for their engagement photos. Photo / Getty Images

It's not the first time Meghan has shunned royal protocol in her fashion choices, famously not wearing pantyhose during her engagement photo call with Prince Harry last year.

During her first outing with the Queen in July, Meghan reportedly disregarded instructions from the monarch's aides to wear a hat for the occasion.

The 92-year-old was said to be left "baffled" by Meghan's lack of hat on the day, the Daily Mail reported.

Meghan didn't wear a hat for her first engagement alongside the queen. Photo / Getty Images
Meghan didn't wear a hat for her first engagement alongside the queen. Photo / Getty Images

Earlier this month the Duke and Duchess of Sussex confirmed they would be moving out of Kensington Palace for Frogmore Cottage in Windsor.

The surprise move prompted stories of a rift between the couple and the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge.

Harry has reportedly accused William of trying to "wreck his relationship" with Meghan after the older brother voiced concerns over the former actor.

Meanwhile Meghan is said to have made Kate cry during a fitting for Princess Charlotte's bridesmaid dress shortly after the Duchess of Cambridge had given birth.