Tuesday, 19 February 2019

UPDATED: Duchess Meghan in New York for Baby Shower

The Duchess of Sussex was photographed leaving the Mark hotel in New York hours before her baby shower. Yesterday, it was revealed the Duchess had travelled to NYC to spend five days catching up with close friends ahead of the arrival of Baby Sussex. You can view a selection of photos on the Mail Online.

Meghan managed to spend three days in New York under the radar, which is impressive in the social media age. I have no doubt she hoped the entire trip would be kept under wraps until she returned to London tomorrow. Once her whereabouts became public knowledge yesterday, it was only a matter of time before the name of the hotel she was staying at and location of the Baby Shower was known.


There are many perks to royal life, and many drawbacks too. One of those drawbacks is the lack of privacy the royals sometimes have. Compared to the days of Diana, the young royals are able to go about their day-to-day lives largely away from the public glare. When they travel abroad or stay at hotels, it can be a different story. As the media began to gather outside the Mark, I imagine management from the hotel alerted Meghan to the situation and it was decided a media facility would be organised. We don't know the exact details, but given the scale of interest, it would have been sensible for Meghan to agree to be photographed outside the hotel, perhaps as part of an agreement the media would leave the hotel afterwards. It was common practice for Charles and Diana to agree to a photo op during holidays with respected media and afterwards there was an unspoken arrangement they would be able to enjoy the remainder of their break undisturbed. European royal households still do this today.

I think this was dealt with in a practical manner for a number of reasons. Meghan is one of the most famous women on the planet and media interest is sky high at the moment. I expect she's very much at peace with her public profile and has decided it will not dictate how she lives her life. It would be a sad state of affairs if she were to hide at Kensington Palace and miss the opportunity to celebrate with her closest friends. Yes, the shower could have been held at another location on a private estate, but as I said, I think Meghan is willing to make concessions in order to live her life as normally as possible. Out of respect for other guests at the hotel, I'm sure it was felt the best option all round was to walk through the front door and then enjoy the rest of the day. I don't think it's fair to use this as a stick to beat her with, as she was going to be photographed today no matter what. Far better for it to be controlled and safe.


Before the baby shower, Meghan enjoyed a couple of hours with friend and former Suits co-star Abigail Spencer.


The pair visited the Met Breuer Museum. It is a museum of modern and contemporary art at 945 Madison Avenue and East 75th Street in the Upper East Side of Manhattan. It is part of the Metropolitan Museum of Art, also called the Met. Meghan and Abigail also visited the Surrey Hotel where they reportedly enjoyed lunch.


Later, Meghan will return to the Mark for her baby shower with her dearest friends including Jessica Mulroney, Sarah Rafferty and Misha Nonoo. Omid Scobie reports the Duchess will have a smaller event in London closer to the due date. Bouquets of flowers and stunning floral arrangements were spotted arriving at the hotel.


The Mark is located just a block from Central Park. Polished, art deco-inspired rooms have custom furniture and marble bathrooms with mirrored flat-screen TVs; suites add extra living space. Some rooms and suites also come with granite bars and kitchens with designer appliances. Perks include a fitness center and a salon, and picnic baskets and personal shoppers are available.


The Telegraph reports:

'According to sources close to the former actress, this five-day trip is a reflection not only of her desire to maintain her American ties, but also how much she is enjoying her first pregnancy.
A palace insider told the Telegraph: “She has sought medical advice throughout, but she’s felt well enough to keep carrying out engagements and undertaking overseas travel. By all accounts, she’s been having a lovely time in New York, which is the last chance she will get to see some of her friends before the baby is born.”
Yesterday, Kensington Palace refused to comment on what they described as a “private event”, but an aide pointed out that the Duchess of Sussex was hardly the first modern royal to have a baby shower, saying: “It’s not something that’s frowned upon, nor is it an Americanisation because baby showers are very common in the UK.”
Other members of Meghan’s inner circle thought to have attended include another Suits co-star Sarah Rafferty, her long-time Northwestern University friend Lindsay Roth and Benita Litt, whose daughters Rylan, 7, and Remi, 6, are Meghan’s godchildren and were flower girls at her wedding. Tennis legend Serena Williams and designer Misha Nonoo were also understood to have been on the guest list. Pilates instructor Heather Dorak, another close friend who attended the royal wedding, welcomed her second child, a baby boy named Cody Cohen, on Valentine’s Day and so is not thought to have attended.'

The Duchess looked casually chic in a vintage Courreges haute couture black trapeze coat in matelassé silk from 1965.


Meghan purchased the piece at William Vintage in London.

What Meghan Wore suggests the Duchess wore the H&M MAMA Shaping Skinny Jeans. They are the closest match I've seen.


The Duchess carried a new bag by CH Carolina Herrera (with thanks to Meghan's Mirror). The Mariola Matryoshka Locked L shopping bag is handcrafted in supple Sequoia leather and presents a front lock fastening.


Meghan accessorised with her Pippa Small Herkimer earrings.

And a pair of $70 Le Specs Air Heart Sunglasses. They are available at Nordstrom (with thanks to What Meghan Wore and Alexandra).


UPDATE: The Duchess was photographed arriving for dinner at Ralph Lauren's Polo Bar with friends Abigail Spencer, Serena Williams, Jessica Mulroney and Markus Anderson. Click here to view images on the Mail Online.


Inspired by classic New York establishments and Ralph Lauren’s love of gathering around the table with family, The Polo Bar offers a casual yet refined setting for food and drink in the heart of NYC. "The Polo Bar’s American cuisine is inspired by Ralph Lauren’s personal favorites. Seasonal dishes range from a crispy kale salad and crabcakes to a corned beef sandwich, steak, and the signature Polo Bar Burger. Beef from Ralph Lauren’s Double RL Ranch.".


Meghan wore her Victoria Beckham Tailored Slim coat once again.


It appears Meghan's boots are the Tamara Mellon Kindred Mid Calf Haircalf Boot.


And Meghan carried the Stella McCartney Falabella Chain Tote.


If you're just joining us, click here to read news on Harry and Meghan's Morocco itinerary.

103 comments:

  1. Hope she meets many of her friends and family

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  2. So good to see her having a good time with friends! She looks great! Cool coat:) - op

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  3. Becca H in Colorado19 February 2019 at 22:28

    I agree, it was bound to get out at some point. Meghan is handling this the best she can and is allowed to enjoy some time with friends.

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  4. I love how she looks but I have an issue with the sunglasses. I am not sure why exactly but it’s all a bit “celebrity”. I realize that she is a celebrity but I just want her to rise above that and not give any of the usual commentators any reason to attack. Sinead

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    1. I agree Sinead.

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    2. I’ve already said my piece on the other post, so I won’t repeat, but it does look very celebrity “pap walk.”

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    3. Becca H in Colorado19 February 2019 at 23:02

      The usual commentators will attack no matter what. I personally disagree with the idea that Meghan can't wear sunglasses simply because she's royal now. In this day and age of social media, the distinct lines between "royal" and "celebrity" are not easily drawn, and I think Meghan has had enough to deal with.

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    4. Think of how many cameras are flashing in her face! I don’t blame her.

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    5. I think it's to do with the flashes of the cameras. Chris Ship tweeted a 5 seconds video of the camera flashes that Harry and Meghan saw while walking inside the venue for the Endeavour Awards and it is seizure inducing. It was crazy to see it from their perspective. If it were me I would have my eyes firmly on the ground the whole time and most likely would bump into something. Lol. Anyway, my point is that during her public engagements as a royal, she can't wear sunglasses to protect her eyes but since this is during her private time (and it's really too bad that hotel employees have called the media and outed her stay), she probably feels like she can wear sunglasses to protect her eyes from the flashes.

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    6. I understand the cameras and flashing but no one else walking out the door of the hotel has sunglasses on and I think it marks her out. Sinead

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    7. Anglophile in Ohio20 February 2019 at 01:38

      I think the sunglass criticism is silly. I wore sunglasses today-even in winter it can be sunny sometimes. And as Mae said, Meghan also has the flashes from the cameras.

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    8. There isn't one good reason excepting public appearances in England for the Crown when she has to greet people that she shouldn't wear sunglasses if she wants. Come on people she isn't a public commodity to be dictated to she's a person & can chose to wear sunglasses or not depending on how she feels or the weather.

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    9. Tammy from California20 February 2019 at 17:45

      I agree Anon23. "Celebrity pap walk".

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    10. ? Sinead, she wakes up in the morning and that is enough for people to have issue with her...so if wearing sunglasses bother anyone, then so be it.....also, are you co-signing your own post?

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    11. I've taken a break from posting regularly as I find it to be exhausting. I've been on Charlotte's blog since after Will & Kate got married. I've enjoyed many fun years of posting & chatting & banter & the making of friendships.... but all the negative energy that has evolved has just changed things..... but to sign on today & see the back & forth about Meghan wearing sunglasses???? I mean.... what is this world coming to? Most of all how sad that this is the high level of discussion here these days! Lovely glasses!

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    12. Hi Theresa,
      I don't understand what your asking me? I always put my name on my post.
      Sinead.

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  5. Charlotte, you are absolutely the best. Your commentary is always knowledgeable, insightful, on point and given from a place of goodwill. I’m sure that Duchess Meghan enjoyed her time with friends and all is well.

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  6. As usual, I love (and want) her handbag 😍

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  7. I’m sure New York was chosen as a convenient location for her friends, who are quite an international bunch. It’s an easy city to fly in/out of. I don’t blame her for trying to have a “normal” baby shower with her friends.

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    1. There are many out of the way places in the NYC area to have had a more under the radar baby shower had they wanted.

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    2. I find it interesting to see how many people see only two options. This media circus or no baby shower at all.
      There is a third option where they had the shower at a discreet private, less visable location, where Meghan and her friends could arrive without being spotted.
      I am very glad that she could spend this time with her friends. I wish it did not turn into a media circus.

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    3. But those "out of the way places" do not meet her Security Detail's stringent requirements for her safety. We forget, as private individuals, that public figures have to watch for assassination and kidnapping attempts.
      If you're going to take cracks at the woman, have the bottom to sign your name.

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    4. I appreciate what Charlotte said " the shower could have been held at another location on a private estate, but as I said, I think Meghan is willing to make concessions in order to live her life as normally as possible."

      Maybe the Banks Hotel, Met Breur Musuem and the Polo Bar are some of Meghan's favorite places in NYC? Maybe her friends who organized the shower thought it would be special to visit them? Despite the notoriety Meghan and her friends are red-blooded humans just like all of us, and they want to keep living (and enjoying) life as normally as possible. Even if it means putting up with paparazzi sometimes.

      Happy to see she got a few lovely days with her girls, especially after the awful treatment she has received (and continues to receive) from her family and the press.

      Heather UK

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    5. Bea, there are definitely more discrete options that would not only meet her security team’s requirements, but would actually be a lot easier to secure.
      Pointing out that there were alternatives is not the same as taking a crack at Meghan.
      For what it is worth I feel sorry for Meghan that the whole world feels like they have a right to intrude on a private event.

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  8. I love that she is wearing more vintage pieces. I love this coat! It's unique and retro but she still managed not to make it too costumey by pairing it with modern pieces. I'm glad she got that three days of peace atleast. I also 100% agree with Charlotte that it was sensible to have the media pens to barricade the inevitable media onslaught. I actually think it was hotel employees who told the media about Meghan being in NYC. She must have been in contact with dozens of ppl since arriving in new York (front desk, room service, security, restaurant/cafe servers), it was inevitable that someone would try to make money by calling the media and giving them the scoop.

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    1. Anglophile in Ohio20 February 2019 at 01:36

      It was someone at a restaurant she dined at that notified the press.

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  9. Abigail Spencer’s was seen carrying a gift with blue tissue. Is the baby a boy? I thought they didn’t know the gender.

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    1. But then the flowers were pink. So maybe we are reading too much into these things?

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    2. Many pink flowers were delivered so these color hints are probably not hints at all.

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    3. Tissue paper doesn’t have a gender.

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  10. I love her i love and i hope she meet. Her family and friends

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  11. I'm so happy that Meghan gets to have some private time with her girlfriends. She looks great. I don't understand criticism of her wearing sun glasses on a private outing. Thank you, Charlotte, for your always informative posts.

    R

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  12. I feel like Meghan could avoid a lot of paparazzi if she wanted to or really thought it was worth it or necessary. It seems like she got out of London secretly. And made it into NYC secretly. So clearly it's possible. And the only picture of a guest that I've seen is of Abigail Spencer. So if Serena or other famous people were there, they managed to get into the hotel without being seen. Anyway..... I love the Carolina Herrera bag that she's carrying.

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    1. Anglophile in Ohio20 February 2019 at 01:35

      She was private until someone recognized her at a restaurant and notified the media. Then the paparazzi tracked down her hotel.

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    2. Yes, actually, we never see Meghan anywhere, so she can live under the radar when she wants.

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    3. If you search on other post you can see Serena ..Misha Nono Marcus Anderson being photograph when they enter the hotel

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  13. FYI: The US Secret Service provides joint security for all visiting DIGNITARIES which translates if the prefix to your name begins with HRH you are escorted by local and US federal security officers in addition to your own. That’s why some vehicles licenses plates in her entourage are marked “ US STATE DEPARTMENT.”

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  14. Courreges! Now that is a name I haven't heard in a long time! What a brilliant choice, and Meghan looks spectacular. Love this little vintage kick she seems to be on.

    Meghan probably could have kept the whole trip private and under the radar (Apparently Omid Scobie, according to himself, wasn't going to report it until it was over) if she had not gone to ANY restaurant, art gallery shop, etc. But who goes to New York to hide inside? Why does Meghan love New York? Meghan has written about New York as a city she loves, and loves what New York has to offer- the restaurants, galleries, theatres, shops, the people, etc.! (I wonder if she managed to sneak into a Broadway play-I think she could easily do it). Once discovered, she did, as Charlotte says, the sensible thing. I think Meghan even smiled. I'm always amazed when people criticize her for wearing sunglasses. I don't know about Britain, but in Canada and U.S. people wear sunglasses all year round- for sun glare, for protecting contact lenses, etc.,etc.

    How delightful for Meghan to have a "girls" weekend and be surrounded by the warmth of close friends. It seems to me that Meghan really knows how to pace herself. I'm sure it was relaxing and great for renewing her energy for the last bit of her pregnancy, and her last foreign tour before baby sussex. By my count, she will have done three foreign tours with Harry and she's only been a member of the royal family for a minute. She has definitely hit the ground running.

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    1. I completely agree! I couldn't have said it better myself! :)

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  15. One of the reasons you're seeing this crush of photographers in New York City is, of course, the difference in privacy laws between the US and Britain. What would be an invasion of privacy in the UK is absolutely fair game in the US. That's one reason Charles and Diana were able to bargain with photographers about coverage — they *had* bargaining power to begin with. (This all goes back to a famous "anti-paparazzi" case won by Princess Caroline in Germany in 2004, which led to the British privacy laws you see today.) —Tina

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    1. When the Duke and Duchess of Sussex attend events in the UK, they appear to be met with a large media presence, cameras flashing etc..so I don't see much difference in privacy between the US and the UK

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  16. For what it's worth, today was a very sunny day in New York and I had to dig out my sunglasses due to the angle of the sun, otherwise you were just blinded. And trust me, I am not a celebrity! :-) Sometimes I wear them just o keep the dust out of my eyes in NYC. She looks terrific!

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  17. I don’t see anything unusual about her sunglasses, and I will refer you to photos of Diana and Kate wearing large, high fashion sunglasses. I wear them year round because my eyes are sensitive to bright light As Charlotte so ably explains, her appearance is something other Royals have done; permitting an organized photo opportunity in exchange for privacy thereafter. Seems a clever thing to do. She’s not naturally frumpy, so I can see why some might nitpick her stylish look today.

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  18. This is my favorite ensemble thus far in her pregnancy. I absolutely love the coat over her skinny jeans!

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  19. Thank you, Charlotte, for always being a voice of reason. I’ve been a huge fan of your work for over 2 years now and I’ve read every post. I find your blog to be really unique and refreshing due to your high quality, well-written and researched posts as well as the empathy you display toward your subject matter. It’s truly refreshing and I wish others would emulate your approach—analytical without being unnecessarily cynical, never quick to judge before gathering all the facts, and never unkind.

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    1. I would like to second these thoughts! In a world so eager to criticize, to complain, to be cruel, coming here is like breathing a breath of fresh air. Thanks Charlotte!

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    2. Upvote everything you said.

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  20. I think the sunshade look trending. I don't think there is anything wrong with her looking like a celebrity. She is a celebrity and she was one before she got married. Sounds same to me like some people complaining that she doesn't look pregnant enough.
    I am glad to see the images of the private travel. Please it is a private not a secret travel. It means details will not necessarily be shared with the public but that does not mean she plans to be stifled in her movement. She's trying to have as normal a visit of NY as possible and it gets progressively harder to keep her movement a secret as she stays longer. So it is easier for her to have stayed out of the radar the first few days and personally I would have been hurt if she had not allowed a decent and controlled photo op as this because I love to see the pics and it's better than those invasive pictures.
    Love you Meghan, continue to shine like the star 🌟 you are.

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  21. I think they dealt well with situation once it become known that she was in NYC. But it still seems like it is open season on Megh in NYC now. I have seen pictures and articles on every move she has made, every place she ate, every person she met.
    I know it is fun to share in this event, but we should never forget that Diana’s life was not made hell by internet trolls or haters. Her life was made hell by fans creating such a demand for pictures because they wanted to share in all the minute detail of her life.
    For the first time I feel that my following (even reputable) royal commentators and blogs are making me complicit in harassing this poor woman.

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    1. Yes, Queen of the Sun, we all need to acknowledge that we are complicit in the harassment. I am interested in Meghan and Harry (as well as other Royal Family members to varying degree). However, I am not a fan. I prefer not to stand for hours on the Legislature Lawns with a bouquet as others did when William & Kate were in Victoria.

      Instead, I appreciate the work of the photographers because I get to see more than I would if I were part of the 10-deep queue behind a barrier. However, in the feeding frenzy that surrounds Meghan and other royals it is easy for the photographers, the paps and the fans to forget the line at which adoration of a person becomes harassment and stalking. All of us bear responsibility to remembering this.

      Though I realize it's not going to happen, and the current levels of anarchy will likely only escalate as long as the media pays money for the information about and photos of royals and other people who become famous through their qualities which bring us joy (in music, theater, art or whatever), I would like to see a strictly controlled rotating system of authorized photographers covering scheduled events in a controlled manner. A certain number at a scheduled moment and that's it.

      Yes, I know that goes against the "freedom of the press." But just exactly how far should that freedom extend when it isn't coupled with commensurate respect and responsibility?

      I deeply resent people who give information to the press as to the whereabouts of individuals who simply wish to enjoy an exquisite meal with friends. I don't click on sources which provide them.

      I admire people like Freddy Mercury who made Diana up in drag and took her to a club. All the fan crush was on Freddy. For once she could relax incognito and thoroughly enjoy an evening partying without seeing herself on the front page of a tabloid the morning after. But why should it be necessary to go to such lengths to enjoy an evening outside the palace (prison) walls?

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    2. Very well expressed, Philly. For my part, I have chosen to visit this blog (and I visit no other royal/celebrity fan site), no more than twice a week. I know that that is not much in the way of cutting down the demand, but it's a start. I feel that I will have to stop following any of them sometime to satisfy my ethical conscience. And yet, if everybody were to stop following them, their work would greatly suffer. There must be some kind of balance, but I don't yet know what it looks like. Your idea about press limits are intriguing, but I don't like limiting press freedom, especially in today's political climate. It's such a difficult issue. What other ideas are out there?

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  22. I get the feeling some people would prefer the Duchess of Sussex to be secreted in the basement of Kensington Palace only to be wheeled out when they think she should be. It's not going to happen, thank the Lord, so y'all need to get used to it.

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    1. May the Lord spare us such absurdity Grenada. Meghan is not an object, let alone a puppet. And thank heavens she knows... thanks Charlotte for the great work.

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    2. Couldn’t have said it better myself Grenada. Many people think they own her.

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    3. Well said. The criticism of Meghan over EVERYTHING she does is exhausting.

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  23. Love Meghan's look today! I really like this vintage coat and how she uses one vintage piece to add some fun and funk to her look! I sometimes do the same thing, are we fashion "sisters" now!?!

    I did want to say that Meghan has some very handsome men guarding her on this trip!!!! Lucky gal!!

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    1. She has some handsome men and one very big man. The images of her getting out of the car and meeting her friends to go into the Polo Bar were very telling. Meghan is delighted to see her friends, Markus is beaming to be with Meghan, and one bodyguard looks completely frantic in his effort to get Meghan out of the car and into the restaurant. He seems to be trying to guide her with his hands. :)

      For those who might criticize or compare, Kate very wisely spent a lot of time (and of course still does) with her family. She has amazing parents and very wonderful siblings. With the exception of Doria, Meghan does not. These friends are her family. That they would interrupt their very busy lives to come to NY shows how much they all care for each other.

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    2. Allison, I completely agree & you said it better than I ever could have! :)

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  24. Thank you Grenada!!! The amount of policing of what this woman is allowed or not allowed to do is unreal, Always under this vague royal protocol nonsense. It’s like people are waiting for the scandal where she totally breaks some made up rule. Well it hasn’t happened yet (and I doubt it will) so people latch onto sunglasses and nail polish and off shoulder dresses and any manner of trivial things that people think they can dictate to her about.

    I 100% agree she didn’t give up being a person with a life just because she married a prince. Neither did any of the other in laws who married in for that matter! She’s not going to only appear at royal sanctioned events with her sunglasses off and nails appropriately painted. She’s not all that different from some of the other consorts in Europe tbh. The BRF followers seem very old fashioned in some ways. Maxima and Mary are from other countries and regularly return there and are off duty. Madeleines husband hasn’t given up his career and is basically only seen at family events. Meghan is comparable in many ways yet people act like she’s not meeting a false standard of the perfect royal.

    I see nothing wrong with her trip to New York. She’s American and wants to have a baby shower with her friends. She shouldn’t have to give that up. People are going to realize she’s there. They’re handling it the best they can. And she can wear sunglasses or sweatpants if she wanted.

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    1. Even though there was a crush of photographers outside the hotel and restaurant, it is nice to see that the actual time in the restaurant, museum, etc. was private. It really is remarkable that she has such friends. And they became her friends before she met Harry, so they are true friends. She looks SO happy in the photos with Markus and Abigail. New York is a magical city. I lived around Washington Square while going to college and even broke, it was wonderful. To be young and have money and be with your friends in NYC is the best. I'm sure it restored her spirit amid the continuous nasty British tabloid lies. Rumor has it that Amal is throwing a shower this morning. Regardless, I love seeing her do her thing and being herself. It restored me as well as her.

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    2. Thank you ladies for being voices of reason (at least to me:) xx

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  25. I'm beginning to wonder if Meghan actually had a baby shower. Perhaps she just flew to New York to catch up with her friends. It would make absolute sense for her to fly to one of her favourite cities to catch up with close friends, as we all do. It just occurred to me that both Kate (going to her mother's birthday party) and Meghan have been "papped" recently. I imagine that the images of their wives caught by paps lenses could be very unsettling for William and Harry as it would very much bring their mother's struggles to mind.

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  26. It was strange she decided to wear short sleeves in NYC this time of year. She had to be cold.

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  27. I have no problem with her activities, but of course she could have had a completely private secret event, like Pippa’s pre-wedding party that her sister managed to attend with no one knowing. If she had wanted a simple get together with friends, the U.S. is a big place, as is New York City, and I believe the royals manage to do such things often. But she was an invited guest for the shower, not necessarily the planner. All of her friends careers and media standing has been elevated by the attention they have received-I am not saying they have bad motives, it happens. Harry is off in military events where he seems most happy. I feel a little dumber for watching her “step out” in the Big Apple. Tip-to avoid being positively identified, turn that big ring around! I hope no one complains about being seen since they chose a very visible place, clothes, activities, in a city that never sleeps. I also hope she managed to have an enjoyable time with friends and that it was worth the effort for her to go. This level of notoriety can be suffocating. No on truly earns it-it is about the money others make from following famous people around.

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  28. I was really hoping she'd have a baby shower. I'm so happy for her because you can only celebrate your first child once. It's not her fault the media is obsessed with her so it shouldn't keep her from living her life, coming back to the States and celebrating with her dearest friends. You go Meghan! I love you and Baby Sussex, oh and Harry too lol

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  29. I'm sorry, I love Meghan and I think she's criticized a lot because of the hate towards her, but this just looks like too Hollywood to me. I hope this comment will not be seen like a way to criticize her, and I really hope this will be published because I would never spread hate toward Meghan, she's lovely. It could have been the Countess of Wessex, I would have thought the same. It's not a problem to act like Hollywood, I just don't like it. Everyone can have an opinion if this opinion is respectful.

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    1. Hmm. I agree that the pictures look a bit "pap walk" and it's odd because Serena and others who attended the baby shower don't look quite as "pap walk." However one thing I've noticed is that many people only like Meghan when she is being "royal." They love her royal visits, where her empathy and natural way with people comes through. They love seeing Meghan stand adoringly next to Harry. They love that Meghan.

      BUT for 36 years before Meghan met Harry, she was her own person. And that person WILL have some "Hollywood" in her because guess what? She was an actress! Unlike Kate she didn't start "learning on the job" years before she got married. It's difficult to get a mid-30's woman to change everything about her just to fit a pre-conceived ideal that is very rigid and you could say conservative.

      So I see Meghan's more "Hollywood" moments as actually refreshing. Right now she's probably still in that honeymoon phase with Harry. That honeymoon phase will fade as it does with all couples. Meghan will still be her own person, and many of her friends and support are from Hollywood. So she's going to have some "Hollywood" in her. Surely we don't want her being like Grace Kelly, who drank herself into misery after her husband cut her off from her past? Or Diana, who maybe relied too much on outside validation?

      Besides Meghan is essentially off the clock here. She's not on a royal engagement. She's with her group of friends in NYC. I've seen enough off-duty looks from Kate to know that Kate looks very different when she's off duty. There is no blowout, there's no makeup, there's no coat dress, there's no stilettos, there's not even her signature hose. She's often dressed very plainly. Jeans. Boots. Straight brown hair. If Kate is allowed to look vastly different "off duty" then so is Meghan.

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    2. You make a good point, Ivy Lin, that royals are allowed to be different when they’re off duty and on their own time. I get that. I can only speak for myself here, and nobody else, but I personally only follow royals because they are royals. I may like Kate’s and Meghan’s off duty clothes better than their work wardrobes, but I only keep up with them because they are royals. So, I do like it when royals “act like royals” and do engagements and wear jewels and tiaras and stuff. I like the pageantry of royals. I think sometimes people get worried, myself included, that their off-duty life will start bleeding into their on-duty life and people won’t be able to tell the difference between Hollywood and royals. It doesn’t make me think any less of Meghan at all, because I think what she’s doing work-wise is great, and I think she and Harry are genuinely happy together and I’m happy for them. But, I don’t really care for the celebrity lifestyle and the sense that everything is done for attention- no such thing as bad press because you’re still getting attention. I’m not saying this is what is happening with this baby shower at all, but I think some people are just getting weird vibes around the celebrity-ness of it all. I don’t think Meghan should have to give up her friends or go into hiding or anything, but it’s just a shift that’s happening and some are struggling with it as what we’ve known as “royal behavior” is changing. And I put that in quotes because it’s a concept that can be defined many ways by many different people.

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    3. Anonymous in Colorado20 February 2019 at 23:58

      @Anon23: **clapping** I want a standing ovation emoji that I could post! Because that is EXACTLY how I feel right now. My mom was a Diana admirer & that's when my love (obsession? haha) for royal watching started. I'm having lots of conflicted feelings about things Meghan-related lately. Like you said, it doesn't make me think any less of the DoS...just confused, that's all.

      Nonetheless, thank you, Charlotte for your excellent coverage :-)

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    4. Well the thing about "royal watching" is that it's essentially an artificial thing. And that extends all the way back to Louis XIV who used to put on those dance pageantry shows. I don't think anyone thinks that the Christmas tv addresses HM gives are anything like she is when she is off the clock. From everything I know of Queen Elizabeth she's a sharp tongued woman with a wicked sense of humor. So "royal watching" has evolved from the days when Elizabeth and Margaret would be impeccably dressed and stand atop the balconies to what it is now -- a mixture of the formal engagements and occasional peaks into their private lives. I think the difference between Meghan and Kate in this regard is that Kate when she is off duty REALLY looks off duty. At times I've had to do a double take at pictures. Is that really her? But then I remember that in real life Kate probably never does the blow out, seems to have an almost tomboyish taste in clothes, and looks more like a suburban housewife than anything else.

      Meghan when "off duty" I've found seems more camera conscious. Like at any moment the paps could be there and she could be all have a million cameras in front of her. I think that's where the 'weirdness' of the baby shower pics comes in -- very few women (not even Serena Williams) attend a baby shower with full makeup, sunglasses, designer bags, a very trendy vintage designer jacket, and so on and so forth. I live in NY and can attest that I've encountered many celebrities walking in the street and you would never peg them as celebrities. They really just look like normal folk. You see them on the red carpet and they look like completely different people.

      I think Meghan just has to be less camera conscious when she's off duty.

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    5. Yup Anon23, I agree. I live in S. California and have grown heartily tired of Hollywood. It's very much a self-centered, superficial, transitory, unclassy, politically correct industry. Getting some distance away from Hollywood is smart.

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    6. I agree with you! It's too Hollywood for me. Not even necessarily because of the guest list and the shower today (Feb. 20). (I sincerely doubt that Meghan and Gayle King are friends.) I can't imagine that the Queen likes all of the attention (although I obviously can't speak for her). It's too public and too showy. It all could have been private if she had wanted. No one saw anything about her wedding shower/hen do or whatever she had. It just screams "celebrity," which she's supposed to be above, now that she's a duchess.

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    7. What I react to is the "just too much" of this whole outing. Anyone who did this for a baby shower I would just think keep it to yourself, or do something not so over the top. It could have been kept quiet, but if she was the guest she may not have much of a choice, but I have to say there did not appear to be any non high profile celebrities at this event.

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    8. I’m the anon who started this conversation, first of all thank you Theresa for understanding. I think Anon23 is making good points, I agree with everything you said. I just like royalty, and as much as I like Kate and Meghan, I wouldn’t be here if they were someone different. I think they’re great though, I just like to follow the royals. I think one day people will have to consider that the royals are anachronistic, acting in a way that don’t make people see the difference between a celebrity and a royal will make the people discuss the importance of having a royal family. The royals have to act in a certain way in public and they have at least to appear frugal because they represent a country, if they are seen as the new Kardashians will people be happy to have them on the throne? That’s of course a different conversation and I’m not talking about Meghan at all, I’m talking about the way royals have to behave in public in general. Behind the walls they can do whatever they want. I hope Meghan is having a great time with her friends. I love her and I think she can do everything she wants, the way I feel about this outing will not make me hate her or think that she doesn’t do a good job as a royal!

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    9. Anon 23 and Anonymous in Colorado, I agree with you on the conflicted feelings. For me, it is not Meghan herself who makes me feel a bit odd - it is her friends. I feel like for Meghan s sake they could be a little more discreet - e.g. Daniel Martin sharing the afternoon tea, Serrna Williams sharing picture of herself captioned *sips tea* and now posing in The Mark hotel.
      Ella

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    10. I really agree, you can admire Meghan but still have different views , I am almost afraid to raise them here, as generally you are jumped on for making any observation. I feel this whole trip was too out there, too showbiz. That is how it looks and I want Meghan to shine in her role as Duchess but this will not do her any favours over here. The British public are very fickle and will turn on someone, look at Sarah Ferguson. I feel she could have met her friends and kept it private and low key and nobody could say anything about it. Instead every aspect of her visit is being scrutinised and the cost of her using a private jet , the hotels etc are being discussed and criticized. I feel a lot of readers of this Blog are American and they just don't get how things work in the UK. The press can build you up but they will pull you down so quickly and they bring the public with them. People like Piers Morgan have huge platforms on Breakfast TV and MOL etc, and they do unfortunately reach out to people. Sinead

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    11. Anon2320 February 2019 at 22:34...'I think sometimes people get worried, myself included, that their off-duty life will start bleeding into their on-duty life and people won’t be able to tell the difference between Hollywood and royals'...this worries you? Global warming worries me. Meghan walking from her hotel to the car - I could care less about. But of course, you're only concern is preserving the royals as they are...I'm sure:)

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    12. Theresa J,
      What can I say, I worry about many things :-)

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  30. I love the Duchess of Sussex and have been really pleased to see her supporting cruelty-free/vegan brands like Stella McCartney, but I'm so disappointed to see her wearing boots made of haircalf, which is the skin and hair of a young calf. I get that cow skin is a by-product of the meat industry, but it's still heartbreaking to me. I feel all animals deserve our protection - not just dogs and cats.

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    1. Agreed. Thank you for caring about this. I also care--I don't eat animals nor wear them, but must painfully accept that others see it differently.

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  31. The main thing I notice is her eyes and the joy and peace they exhibit. To me, she always looks terrified when out as a Royal. I am so happy Meghan got this time with friends, and I hope she does it more often. She looks great!

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  32. I haven't commented on the blogs recently because I have been working 2 jobs and going to school but I wanted to jump back in. Meghan looks STUNNING - pregnancy looks good on her. I think it's wonderful that she is keeping her American ties but I find it odd that she selected NYC to meet with her friends. I understand she loves the city but NYC is not really celeb-friendly. There are some paparazzi who will stay outside of hotels known for famous guests on the off-chance someone happens to be there. When my friends and I spent New Years in Times Square, we were near a club that had a lot of celebs wandering around and it was like being in a sea of sharks. They have absolutely no regard for anyone other than who they're trying to get a picture of.

    I'm happy she had it where she wanted but I definitely think she would have flown more under the radar if she was in California or some other city where they could have more control over crowds and locations. Unfortunately, Meghan no longer blends in like she probably did before her relationship with Harry.

    I hope she had a wonderful time and I'm sure she was showered in love and good wishes. There is nothing quite like time with your close girlfriends.

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  33. The photos today are making it all clear. Yes, it is Hollywood. Read that Serena is at least a co-sponsor, so the cost is not an issue. Love that Meghan's makeup artist friend appeared. :) I think these friends are out to make a point about their friend. And the private photos should be wonderful. If she is truly having another shower in the UK, maybe her mom will go to that one. I am really enjoying reading about this event and seeing the photos. Love the bright clothes on a snowy NY day. Nothing like NYC during snow.

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  34. Sorry but the baby shower just seemed very Hollywood to me, It didn’t seem royal at all. Why was Gayle King invited how does she know Meghan?

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  35. Read that Meghan stayed with a friend on the weekend, so it would be easy to be under the radar. I guess after the weekend Meghan moved to her hotel, and I'm sure that she would have expected to be recognized as she planned to be out and about to places with friends. Her protection officer and U.S. secret service would know exactly what to do. And it looked like she had lots of security. Hope it was a restful weekend! Regardless, whether she goes home tired or rested from catching up with friends, it always lifts the spirits to be surrounded by only loyalty and care.

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  36. Anon23!!! Yes. That’s exactly how I felt about this trip. I also have some conflicting feelings about Meghan lately. She shouldn’t have to give up her sense of who she is, yet she married into the royal family. A royal family of expectations and duty. As I read how much this baby shower cost, I gulped. It was a little over the top. For me. Perhaps not for Meghan, but after spending so much time on humanitarian visits, I was left scratching my head. I still like to see Meghan forge a role for herself, just confused on this trip. And traveling 7 months pregnant. I could barely walk at 7 months and I only gained 25 pounds! So on that note...good for her!!!

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  37. Charlotte I would like to know your opinion about the following too. I read a very interesting take by Lainey Gossip who says that this shower was Megan's way of asserting her independence. I wonder what you all think about it? If so then I think it's great. About time she broke free from antiquated rules. She is a true feminist and confident person. https://www.laineygossip.com/meghan-markle-in-new-york-with-friends-including-serena-williams/52016

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  38. The friends of the Duchess of Sussex happen to be what the media and a lot of influencers have called “celebrities”. The Duchess should not be ashamed of or drop her friends because she married Prince Harry. Her friends are actresses, a stylist and a tennis player, an attorney. That was her sphere of influence before marrying into the Royal Family. The Duchess of Sussex is attending a baby shower, not over throwing the govt. The Duchess of Cambridge attended her Mom’s party and her pic was taken. Prince William was daddy dancing at a party and his pic was taken. Prince Harry had a famous pool party and pics were taken. All three have survived. I hope the Duchess of Sussex has a good time; just don’t dance and please don’t take off your clothes, you never know who’s watching. Thanks, Charlotte.

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    1. Thank you! Thank you! Thank you! Marcia for being a voice of reason! This bashing is exhausting! I used to feel this blog was the one safe place to just enjoy Charlotte's posts! Alas.....

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  39. Thanks Charlotte. I hope Meghan will have a fantastic time with her true friends and forget about all the haters! I think she looks beautiful

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  40. I respectfully agree with you @Anonymous!

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  41. There is more!

    https://www.dailymail.co.uk/home/index.html

    Will you update this post or have a new one? Or none of them? :)

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  42. Sorry, I meant this article:

    https://www.dailymail.co.uk/femail/article-6728545/Meghan-Markle-lands-Britain-200-000-private-jet-New-York-baby-shower.html

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  43. I like your blog, but I am surprised that you link to Daily Mail and other tabloids that trash Meghan. They get rewarded for every click, 99.9% of ther info is trash and lies. I found people take screen shots to stop giving money to the hateful tabloids. I hope you will consider it.i too hope Meghan had a great time.

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  44. Never forget, that we are watching the lives of a group of very wealthy and well connected people. Normally this part of the population goes widely unnoticed just because they decide not to be seen but to spend their lives (an money) away from prying eyes. One should never be tempted to pitch ones life against these lives. The only result is envy and - in this case - venom. Celebrity is a two-sided blade. Cuts seem to be inevitable.The Duchess will eventually learn how to ride the dragon - let's hope she does.

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Welcome to Mad About Meghan! We do so look forward to reading your thoughts. Constructive, fair debate is always encouraged. Hateful, derogatory terms and insults are not welcome here. This space focuses on Harry and Meghan, not any other member of the Royal family. It's not the place to discuss politics either. Thank you for reading, we look forward to your comments :)