Meghan Markle Fashion Awards Rules ... Please, Don't Touch the Duchess!!!

12/15/2018 12:50 AM PST

Meghan Markle's Royal Security Stiff-Arms Celebs at Fashion Awards

EXCLUSIVE

Meeting Meghan Markle is apparently more difficult than breaking into Fort Knox ... even for fashion icons and some of the biggest stars in the world.

The pregnant Duchess of Sussex made a surprise appearance at The Fashion Awards in London Monday night to present Designer of the Year, but all the excitement of her presence turned into disappointment for many ... because they couldn't get close enough to say hello.

Sources tell us Markle's area backstage at The Royal Albert Hall was cordoned off by Royalty Protection officers and security guards the whole night, as a tactic called "Royal Movement" was in place. It means when Meghan's on the move, all hallways and stairs have to be kept clear.

We're told several big stars at the awards show -- like Kendall Jenner, Rita Ora and the Beckhams -- were up in arms about the intense security ... because they were denied an audience with Megs.

There were a couple people who did get some face time, though -- actress Rosamund Pike, who co-presented with Meghan, and Clare Waight Keller ... who won the award Markle presented.

The trio even posed for some photo booth pics ... but that was it.

Other celebs in attendance included Kate Moss, Penelope Cruz, Uma Thurman, Lana Del Rey, Winnie Harlow, Robert Pattinson, Saoirse Ronan, Brooke ShieldsCindy Crawford and her daughter Kaia Gerber ... who won Model of the Year.

And, even the MoY didn't get a selfie with the Duchess.