'Her Harry-era crew is totally on lockdown' - inside the immensely private world of Meghan Markle's friends
Meghan Markle will need some time to adjust to her new, immensely public life, but her friends are already well versed in the art of discretion.
The 35-year-old will marry into the British royal family next month and has spent most of her two-year relationship with Harry adjusting to life in the international spotlight, learning the do's and don'ts of royal etiquette, incorporating nude tights into her wardrobe and adjusting to the intense scrutiny that comes with the crown.
Her friends, in a true testament of their loyalty, have remained resolutely silent on their relationship with her, which is in stark contrast to her extended family, who have given a number of interviews with various publications. They say friends are the family you choose and it seems that Meghan has chosen very wisely.
Royal expert Heather Cocks told Vanity Fair: "She does seem to have a good sort of inner circle. None of them are out being [photographed by the paparazzi] or interviewed about any of this....I think those are probably the friendships that are real, the ones that you don’t see, because those are ones that you trust."
Her inner circle is a who's who of the influential 1% in Toronto, New York City and Los Angeles, including Jessica Mulroney, a Canadian stylist married to tv presenter Ben, whose father Brian was prime minister of Canada until 1993; British socialite and PR executive Violet von Westenholz, American fashion designer Misha Nonoo and Soho House consultant Markus Anderson.
Actress Priyanka Chopra, on the other hand, has been vocal about her close bond with Markle, even writing a piece for Time magazine in which her pal was named as one of the world's 100 most influential people alongside her royal fiancé. She also announced that she is attending the wedding next month.
But most of these high flying friends remain living on the other side of the world, with the closest being 3,000 miles away in New York City, so a new social circle must be formed and the royals know better than anyone the importance of finding someone you can trust.
"The royals are very careful about being seen with people who are perhaps out for something of their own. So, are [these people] friends, or are they advisers? There’s a difference. You have a lot of people who will say, ‘I know them, but I’m not their friend," Patricia Treble told the mag.
"I work with them, but I’m not their friend.’ You look at all the senior royals, and they’re incredibly careful about whom they’re friends with. They end up having lots of ‘acquaintances,’ or people who ‘know them'."
There are suggestions that former Made in Chelsea star Millie Mackintosh is a confidante in London, but there is little evidence to support their "friendship" other than a picture of them from 2016 at Soho Farmhouse posted on Instagram.
Not only are her friends the devoted type, they're also smart enough to know that if they keep quiet, they're likely to land an invite to the royal wedding and not just the public part, the behind the scenes knees up at Windsor Castle well after the public have gone home.
And they know how to throw a party - at Kate and William's exclusive after-party of 300, Ellie Goulding performed, fireworks were displayed and Buckingham Palace's Throne Room was turned into a "massive nightclub".
Toronto gossip columnist Elaine Lui says that Meghan's friends have shown their true colours since she met her prince.
"Her Harry-era crew is totally on lockdown," she told the mag. "I think that’s super-smart of them, because, first, they’re hoping for an invitation, why would you jeopardize that? And number two, her social circle in Toronto is quite affluent. They don’t need to sell a story to the Daily Mail for $10,000."