Saturday 23 March 2019

Meghan Markle jets home to UK after five-day trip to New York for lavish baby shower

Meghan Markle, Duchess of Sussex, exits The Mark Hotel following her baby shower in the Manhattan borough of New York City, New York, U.S., February 20, 2019. REUTERS/Andrew Kelly
Meghan Markle, Duchess of Sussex, exits The Mark Hotel following her baby shower in the Manhattan borough of New York City, New York, U.S., February 20, 2019. REUTERS/Andrew Kelly
Amal Clooney exits after a baby shower for Meghan, Duchess of Sussex, at the Mark Hotel in the Manhattan borough of New York City, U.S., February 20, 2019. REUTERS/Andrew Kelly
Stylist Jessica Mulroney exits after a baby shower for Meghan, Duchess of Sussex, at the Mark Hotel in the Manhattan borough of New York City, U.S., February 20, 2019. REUTERS/Andrew Kelly
Designer Misha Nonoo exits after a baby shower for Meghan, Duchess of Sussex, at the Mark Hotel in the Manhattan borough of New York City, U.S., February 20, 2019. REUTERS/Andrew Kelly
Meghan Markle, Duchess of Sussex, exits The Mark Hotel following her baby shower in the Manhattan borough of New York City, New York, U.S., February 20, 2019. REUTERS/Andrew Kelly
Meghan Markle, Duchess of Sussex, exits The Mark Hotel hotel in the Manhattan borough of New York City, New York, U.S., February 20, 2019. REUTERS/Andrew Kelly
Meghan Markle, Duchess of Sussex, exits The Mark Hotel hotel in the Manhattan borough of New York City, New York, U.S., February 20, 2019. REUTERS/Andrew Kelly
Designer Misha Nonoo leaves The Mark Hotel after attending the baby shower for Meghan, Duchess of Sussex, Wednesday, Feb. 20, 2019, in New York. (AP Photo/Kevin Hagen).
Jessica Mulroney arrives for the baby shower for Meghan, Duchess of Sussex, at the Mark Hotel Wednesday, Feb. 20, 2019, in New York. (AP Photo/Kevin Hagen).
Fashion designer Misha Nonoo arrives for the baby shower for Meghan, Duchess of Sussex, at the Mark Hotel Wednesday, Feb. 20, 2019, in New York. (AP Photo/Kevin Hagen).
Actress Abigail Spencer leaves The Mark Hotel after attending the baby shower for Meghan, Duchess of Sussex, Wednesday, Feb. 20, 2019, in New York. (AP Photo/Kevin Hagen).
Amal Clooney leaves after attending the baby shower for Meghan, Duchess of Sussex, at The Mark Hotel, Wednesday, Feb. 20, 2019, in New York. (AP Photo/Kevin Hagen).
Gayle King leaves The Mark Hotel after attending the baby shower for Meghan, Duchess of Sussex, Wednesday, Feb. 20, 2019, in New York. (AP Photo/Kevin Hagen)
Gayle King arrives for the baby shower for Meghan, Duchess of Sussex, at The Mark Hotel Wednesday, Feb. 20, 2019, in New York. (AP Photo/Kevin Hagen).
Meghan, Duchess of Sussex is seen in the Upper East Side on February 19, 2019 in New York City. (Photo by Gotham/GC Images)
Actress Abigail Spencer arrives for the baby shower for Meghan, Duchess of Sussex, at The Mark Hotel Wednesday, Feb. 20, 2019, in New York. (AP Photo/Kevin Hagen)
Caitlin McBride

Caitlin McBride

"If you can't beat 'em, join 'em" was the theme of Meghan Markle's much-hyped trip to New York City to celebrate her pregnancy with her nearest and dearest.

Britain's Duchess of Sussex flew to the Big Apple to meet 20 of her closest friends over the course of five days for a private trip, to catch dinner with Serena Williams and enjoy a baby shower being thrown by the likes of Amal Clooney and designer Misha Nonoo and for at least one day, it it remained as discreet as intended. A royal scoop by Omid Scobie for Harper'sBazaar.com alerted the world's media that the former actress was in town and within a few hours, her five star accommodation at The Mark Hotel, home to the most expensive per-night hotel room in the world, was a media frenzy.

On Monday night, a discreetly dressed duchess went virtually unnoticed with best friend and stylist Jessica Mulroney at Ladurée, and she was pictured holding a cap in her hand and it was clear she hadn't intended on being photographed. By the next day, her hotel was blocked to the public and she was being chauffeured in vehicles owned by the US State Department. On Tuesday night, she was dressed to the nines in a Victoria Beckham coat, Tamara Mellon boots and a Stella McCartney tote for dinner at the Polo Bar with Markus Anderson, Soho House's global membership director, and Mulroney.

Earlier in the day, pictures of her looking impeccably glamorous in all black - including a Courrèges vintage haute couture coat - went viral. It was a far cry from the low-key trip she had planned, which was always going to draw attention, but to the point of causing a scrum outside her hotel. She didn't engage as she normally would during official engagements as this still remained a personal trip, although not much privacy was left.

Meghan Markle, Duchess of Sussex, exits The Mark Hotel following her baby shower in the Manhattan borough of New York City, New York, U.S., February 20, 2019. REUTERS/Andrew Kelly
Meghan Markle, Duchess of Sussex, exits The Mark Hotel following her baby shower in the Manhattan borough of New York City, New York, U.S., February 20, 2019. REUTERS/Andrew Kelly

The day of the baby shower was prime for celebrity spotting as star after star arrived at the five-star hotel, including actress Abigail Spencer and Gayle King. The visit was planned several months in advance and New York was chosen as a neutral base for all the guests, not to mention the fact that New Yorkers rarely get fussed over A-listers, except, apparently, except in the case of royals.

"The trip is a lovely chance to catch up with friends and spend time in a city she loves," a source told Harper's. "This will be the last time a lot of them will see Meg until after the baby is born so it’s nice to share precious moments."

Meghan flew back to the UK this morning and will begin a tour of Morocco with husband Prince harry for three days on Saturday.

"The Duke and Duchess are looking forward to the visit which will highlight the vital roles that girls’ education and youth empowerment are playing in, and shaping, modern Morocco," a Kensington Palace spokesperson said.

Meghan, Duchess of Sussex is seen in the Upper East Side on February 19, 2019 in New York City. (Photo by Gotham/GC Images)
Meghan, Duchess of Sussex is seen in the Upper East Side on February 19, 2019 in New York City. (Photo by Gotham/GC Images)

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