Thursday, 21 February 2019

The Duchess Returns to London Following New York Baby Shower

The Duchess of Sussex left New York last night following a whirlwind five nights in the city. The trip marked her first visit back to the US since she and Harry married and offered an opportunity to spend time with friends she hasn't seen in months. Click here to view additional images on The Mirror.


Several reliable reporters understood the Baby Shower took place on Tuesday. However, Tatler broke the news it was in fact scheduled for Wednesday afternoon. "According to a source, the baby shower is being hosted by Meghan's close friends, including Amal Clooney and Serena Williams. Williams reportedly chose the elegant, discreet spot after visiting several other properties in the area, clearly being a fan of its home from home aesthetic. The baby shower will kick off with a flower arranging lesson accompanied by a dessert table prepared by the restaurant’s head chef, Jean-Georges Vongerichten, who will be there to greet them." The shower took place in the stunning Penthouse Suite with Meghan reportedly wearing a sleeveless polka dot dress.


The Mark Penthouse features three King bedrooms, 2 Queen bedrooms, a library lounge, dining room and powder rooms. Decorated with custom furniture designed by Jacques Grange, every piece is unique to the hotel.


The private rooftop features panoramic views of Central Park.


Guests seen arriving for the Baby Shower included Amal Clooney, Jessica Mulroney, Abigail Spencer, Misha Nonoo, Gayle King, Lindsay Roth, Genevieve Hills and friends from Northwestern University.


Host Serena Williams posted a selfie from The Mark hours before the shower.


Meghan's friend and make up artist Daniel Martin shared a look at sweet treats from the shower.


Guests were reportedly given Away Travel luggage as party favours.

The ethical company donate a portion of their profits to Peace Direct, a nonprofit building peace in conflict areas all over the world. They have stores in both London and New York.


The Duchess looked casual as she left the hotel for the airport. Meghan wore a camel coat and a promotional cap for Rectify, a series Abigail Spencer starred in several years ago. (Abigail was seen wearing the cap yesterday).




Meghan teamed the jacket with the LuluLemon Align Pants. They are available in multiple colours for $98.


Meghan sported the Adidas UltraBoost trainers


The Duchess carried the $395 Cuyana Le Sud Leather Weekender.


And accessorised with the $850 Jennifer Meyer Mommy necklace (Meghan's is Mummy instead of Mommy). I expect the piece was a gift from the shower.


A word of thanks to Anne Young, Heaven, Meghan's Mirror, What Meghan Wore and Meghan's Fashion for their speedy ID work on the look.

Gayle King said that Meghan arranged for the flowers they arranged to be donated to different charities. "I thought it was a very sweet thing. It just speaks to who she is. She's very kind. I think her friend just wanted to celebrate her." King added "She didn't open any of the gifts because she wants to do that when she goes back to London, when she and Harry are back together."



More from Harper's Bazaar:

'The organization supplies previously-used floral arrangements to facilities like hospitals, hospices, nursing homes, cancer treatment centers, and domestic abuse and homeless shelters, and ensures the arrangements are composted once they can no longer be enjoyed.'

The floral arrangements were delivered to Ronald McDonald House New York.


Diana visited the US on a number of occasions throughout her life and the media reaction was quite literally off the charts. The late Princess loved The Carlyle Hotel and there were similar scenes outside the popular location when she visited to those we've seen outside The Mark this week. 

Embed from Getty Images

We should bear in mind, Meghan is an American. She was born and raised in the US. It seems entirely unfair to suggest she should never return and enjoy a weekend in a city she loves because she's a member of the royal family. Many, many royals do so - the difference is the level of interest in Meghan is enormous and for that she cannot be blamed. We have every right to expect our royals to work hard on behalf of Her Majesty and to represent the UK at home and abroad with professionalism and dignity. Meghan has done that with aplomb, even her most ardent critics struggle to fault her efforts in her role. I'm uncomfortable with the notion we have the right to dictate their private lives though, and that's very much what we've seen in recent days. Yes, it was a lavish trip. Yes, the shower looked incredibly expensive. We have to remember it was hosted by Serena Williams, a hugely accomplished and wealthy tennis star. If Meghan's friends wanted to go all out for her shower, then they have the right to do so. Every single member of the royal family lives a life of immeasurable luxury; they are in very fortunate positions filled with perks. If Meghan were jet-setting on a regular basis and doing very few royal duties, I would be the first to express disappointment. That's very much not the case though. I don't believe the occasional trip to the US should be a problem. When she was entirely absent from the public eye outside of public duties and keeping an amazingly low-profile, she received a full blown character assassination in return.


In a piece for The Guardian, Zoe Martin writes: Whatever Meghan does, she’s damned. Let’s not repeat history:

'The level of scrutiny the Duchess of Sussex receives is devoid of human feeling. This vilification must end. She can’t leave the house, pregnant, without being accused of “flaunting” her bump. She can’t walk into a room without wild speculation about whether or not she breached a protocol, by people who have no idea what royal protocols are. If a friend comes to her defence and asks people to stop hounding her, then who does she think she is, having a friend like that? OK, so maybe it is George Clooney. Someone’s got to be his friend. He might be perfectly nice. If she smiles for the cameras, then she’s luxuriating in the attention. “She’s being victimised, you say, George; you with your fancy hair and your coffee habits … then why is she smiling? Riddle me that.”
If she goes to New York, she’s pointedly “without Prince Harry”. But if she had taken Prince Harry, then you can guarantee that she would have been dragging her husband away from his duties, to partake of her frivolity.
If she does anything remotely normal, she besmirches the majesty of her office; if she looks at all grand, she’s got ideas above her station. The norms of the lowest-grade analysis – know thy place, woman, keep your eyes down – have permeated the rubric. Respectable news outlets find themselves wondering what the devil she thinks she’s doing, meeting her friends in an upscale hotel.'

The BRIT Awards took place last night. Although not present at the event, Beyoncé and Jay Z won the award for Best International Group. The couple recreated one of their music videos for a brief acceptance video. They used the opportunity to lend support to the Duchess, posing in front of a portrait of Meghan by Tim O Brien. Beyoncé later wrote on Instagram: "In honor of Black History Month, we bow down to one of our Melanated Monas. Congrats on your pregnancy! We wish you so much joy."


See you on Saturday evening for the beginning of the Morocco visit!

260 comments:

  1. Thank you Charlotte for this article I appreciate your frankness and I would have been disappointed also if Meghan was a lazy who would think only to celebrate, she has been married for 9 months and she has done an extraordinary job. I hope she was pampered with her friends and I look forward to being on Saturday

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  2. I don’t think it’s fair to criticize her for going to the US, it’s even okay to have a lavish party, maybe it could have been more discreet because that’s what royals do. I think the royals have lavish lives but they do it in a discreet way, that’s the difference from a royal and a celeb. But Meghan is new in the circle and I think we should give her time to adapt to her new environment. I didn’t like al the fuss but it was the first time, we should wait and see what happens in the future. I don’t think it’s fair to compare her to Diana, because Diana was a private citizen after her divorce and she didn’t represent HM during the last years of her life. The 80s where different, people were richer and the royals were seen in a different way. Nowadays they have to act carefully in order to not mantain their privileged position. But we should give Meghan time, she has acted beautifully during those months and I hope she had a great time with her loved ones.

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    1. Thank you! Well said.

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    2. I'm American, so may not understand how the BRF conduct their private lives, or are expected to. But, I don't understand why Meghan is criticized for getting together with her friends in the States. She has given up her country and proximity to her friends. She is ruthlessly criticized at every turn, and has been betrayed by her family members. If her American friends (who she must miss terribly) want to give her a lavish baby shower, why should she be criticized for that? She deserves all the pampering and love they can give her.

      R

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    3. Yes of course she deserves all the pampering!! I'm sure almost everyone among the royals have lavish parties and spends lots of money. My point is that I just think the way the act should be discreet, because the royals are there thanks to the people who want them to be there. They have to make people think they are different from the Hollywood celebs and the Kardashians in order to protect their privileged status.
      I think this is a valid point, I don't think Meghan can't live in luxuries or can't have her baby shower with her friends. She could have acted in a more discreet way, it would have been a smarter move as a royal, because that's how the royals act.
      But she's new in the royal circle, I just think we all should give her time, she's done a great job.

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    4. For those not familiar with New York, there are no secrets! She wasn't flaunting. In fact attempts were made to keep this under the radar. Someone blabbed! Let her be happy please!!

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    5. I agree completely, Anonymous. Meghan has gained a title, but in exchange she's also sacrificed privacy for the rest of her life, her country, having her friends nearby, and the career she worked so hard for. She had achieved success and wealth in her own right, too -- not on the level of Serena or the Royal Family, but she was worth several million dollars when she met Harry, which indicates the success of her career. Her friends were already accomplished and talented women in their own fields, so she's not suddenly sucking up to the rich and famous! She has done nothing in the world to be criticized for except give up her whole life to take on a demanding role with a historic family and do the very best she can, and she's been pretty darned amazing thus far in my book -- and with warmth and kindness to everyone she meets. So what is her reward in the trash press? To be vilified at every turn. It's completely shameful!

      I'm glad she had a wonderful and, yes, luxurious baby shower with her close friends! She has continued to work hard during her pregnancy, and it coming so soon after her marriage has meant her already whirlwind life is soon getting even crazier! A relaxing and happy few days in a city she loves with friends she loves is a great way to rest and recharge. And what is she doing the minute she gets home? Another official tour! She's about as far from a useless parasite as it's possible to be!

      So if her seriously rich friend Serena helps arrange a baby shower the likes of which few of us will be privileged to attend, I am nothing but happy for her. And I know she and Harry will have a wonderful time opening the wee baby gifts together. I hope their baby is healthy and happy and has Harry's ginger hair with Meghan's lovely warm smile!

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  3. Thank you Charlotte for this article I appreciate your frankness and I would have been disappointed also if Meghan was a lazy who would think only to celebrate she has been married for 9 months and she has done an extraordinary job. I hope she was pampered with her friends and I look forward to being on Saturday

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  4. Thank you for this post. It's so incredibly refreshing to read a non-judgmental post about this baby shower. Some people actually have the audacity to police how Meghan's friend spend their own money. SMH. I'm sure she enjoyed herself. And I loved seeing her reunited with her friends, especially Abigail and Markus! I was weirdly overjoyed to see Markus and Lindsay again. I missed seeing their pics with Meghan in IG. Lol.


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  5. *Thank you* Charlotte for pointing out that Meghan's life didn't begin when she met Harry:) I thought the Guardian article was on point; the daily mail is already trying to make this trip look like expensive frivolity when I know myself and many Meghan fans were so happy to see her get a break to be with friends. Loved that she gifted luggage:) I think the Beyonce/Jay-Z nod is boss. Love Meghan's camel/black ensemble, can't wait for Morocco.
    -op-

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  6. Thanks for your nice post (as per usual!). I'm done with reading the negativity that surrounds Meghan. If I click on one of the online articles then that's because I'm interested in their pictures. I feel we should ignore the trolls and continue our support for Meghan as we have always done. Karin

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  7. I wholeheartedly agree with everything you’ve written, Charlotte. Thanks for this.

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  8. I was happy to hear Harry had found love. From the beginning I looked forward to watching Meghan and how she would use her new role.

    I have written many positive comments at this MAM site, but this OTT baby shower in NYC does not have good optics for the Duchess.

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    1. Imagine if the money spent was given to a charity of Meghan's choice. Now that I could get behind.

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    2. All the money in the world would be not enough for some. I hoped we will not get there, where these people should spend their hard earned money.

      By the way, all the flower arrangements they made went to charities. Someone was still thinking about others while enjoying herself.

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    3. I like it when those with money spend it. Supports businesses that employ people. Spend away.

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    4. I completely agree. Who knows if this was meant to fly under the radar or was leaked purposely (i have heard reports that a waiter lured them) but this was rather insane in both it’s cost and it’s over the top guest list and “red carpet arrivals”.
      It’s rather tricky and it can come across as picking on Meghan. Who knows how many insanely rich parties Kate has had and we know the royals do enjoy the perks of lavish travel. I guess it’s down to how under the radar they keep it.
      Meghan comes from a Hollywood background, her friends are rich and rich from publicity... I mean almost all of them have profited in some way from these events. Almost all of the guests Instagramed them arriving, traveling, the favors. This includes the wedding etc. That’s the game! But it can leave an unsavory aftertaste. Meghan was all about that, it was her livelihood really. She did ads on Instagram, had her blog... as a working actress she needed it to stay relavent and book jobs. And who really can say that she can’t have that anymore.
      I think what this signals to tabloids, detractors and also people who have gone to bat for her but now are a bit side eyeing her (I’ve read other comments on other sites) it seems like this is where she finally arrived. If she didn’t marry Harry, would she have Amal Clooney and Gayle King at this shower? This is the ultimate “I’ve made it to the A-list shin dig” whether it’s meant to or not.
      The product placements etc. It was planned by Serena Williams and Jessica Mulroney not her I’m sure, but this can come across as her getting the fame and expensive experiences that usually Hollywood starlets crave.
      Let the mud slinging begin... I do like her a lot and I don’t think she needs to fundamentally change how she lives her life etc, but I’m saying that in this case, I can see both sides.
      Very classy to donate the flowers though and I am also excited to see her in Morocco soon!

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    5. Meghan's wealthy friends spend their money as they wish and are not criticized -- unless that money is spent on Meghan. Then we hear that it should have been given to charity...

      R

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    6. Alright, I’m going to go out on a limb here and agree this was wayyyyy too extravagant. Whether her friends paid for this or not is irrelevant. Meghan has a role that needs to be held to a higher standard. No one can deny that she has spent excessive amounts on her wardrobe since she’s been married (there is no way that the amount of money she made while doing Suits could cover all of her travelling while dating Harry plus other expenses as well as her OTT wardrobe) and for her to continue to lavishly spend money while being 6th in line to the throne is kind of ridiculous. Wearing a hat that was promotional apparel for her friend’s tv show while walking out of the hotel was highly inappropriate. But the icing on the cake for me was the private jet to and from NYC. Even if it was paid for by the Clooneys, this goes against everything she claims she is (for the poor, against global warming, a humanitarian etc.). You can’t play the humanitarian card while flying on private jets and spending excessive amounts on a wardrobe as well as having a huge estate remodelled (that is not of huge relevance as say Kensington Palace or Windsor Castle that will require renovations over the years). I just think she’s spending too much and really starting to eat away at her humanitarian image that she tried so hard to portray before she got married and it’s really starting to draw the wrong kind of attention that people have been saying will happen.

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    7. Ok, I just have to give a shout out to all those Royals & Heads of State from other countries who lavish the BRF with jewels & many gifts more extravagant than we can even comprehend!! Way to pull off being "lavish" without being accused of being "lavish!! (eyeroll)

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    8. I just... couldn.t believe the promotional cap. All the rest, I had nothing to say about. But the promotional cap....

      Camilla

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    9. See, that's the problem with believing everything the tabloids write. The TV show that Meghan "promoted" ended back in 2016. And this is just a wonderful example of the sleazy work journos do lately.

      Humanitarian card, OMG what is next? Meghan is responsible for global warming? Ridiculous. She won't get less humanitarian by using private planes, wearing expensive clothes, asks the future heir or his wife....

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    10. What is extravagant to some, is just an expense to others. Who are we to judge on what her friends spend?
      Lesley from Dallas

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  9. I hesitate to write this because I very much disagree! I hope disagreement is allowed... IMO, flaunting your wealth is not a good idea. Yes, the royals have a very priviledged lifestyle. But no need to remind people of the fact, particularly in times of austerity and uncertainty. For even if Meghan does her job well, even if she did an engagement a day, which she doesn't, she still would be hugely overpaid.
    I am also uncomfortable with spending so much money on herself, regardless of who is footing the bill. That money could have been better employed, there is so much need in the world, and she could still enjoy her friends in a low-key setting. That's my personal opinion and I would have the same feeling if Camilla or Kate or Queen Letizia, in fact any royal, male or female was the one discussed.

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    1. Becca H in Colorado21 February 2019 at 16:07

      I disagree. As I wrote on another comment, other members of the royal family have all been known to take trips to incredibly expensive destinations and to take them often. At least Meghan is working hard in her role. There are terribly wealthy people in the world, the royal family among them, that's just the way it is. So why should Meghan not be allowed to enjoy a baby shower with friends in her off time?

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    2. Other key members of the BRF are on holiday right now. That money could be saved and spent on charity instead. The BRF have dozens of beautiful homes that could be sold and turned into flats to house people in England, yet those things aren't going to happen. This is one instance where one new member of the family had a very lux party, but lavish living by royals as been going on for centuries and that money might have been better spent else where too. Let's have some perspective on this, if we want to level a charge of mismanagement, let's look at the hundreds of years where the wealth of the BRF could have done much good else where and yet, it hasn't been turned over, or really demanded.

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    3. Meghan didn't pay for any of this.

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    4. Other members of the royal family have been very much criticized for having luxurious holidays, even by this small community,just have a look at the comments at DKB posts about Kate's holidays in Mustique. More broadly, remember the downfall of Andrew's popularity, air-miles Andy. The papers publish the cost of it all every time they can, if they take the royal helicopter for an engagement, there are countless headlines of reckless extravagance. That is something they should be acutely aware of. The money argument is always used. That's why discretion is so important, I so agree with Tea Kay's comment. King Juan-Carlos of Spain had to make public excuses because he was on shooting trip in Africa, hailed as very expensive and extravagant(he ended up abdicating- the shooting trip was the beginning of his loss of popularity, he had been a very popular King, it was felt he took things too much for granted). It makes no sense giving publicity to extravagant spending(as Meghan's friends seem to be doing), why provoke public opinion's resentment and jealousy? What's the point?

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    5. Anon,that is what I am trying to explain, the RF is in a precarious position, because of everything you say, beautiful homes, holidays, centuries old wealth. All this is being challenged daily by public opinion and the press. I will be blunt, but it is plain dumb to do a in-the-face extravagant party knowing that. Many posters here on MAM don't care for the monarchy but IMO Meghan should and she should be careful, like all members of the RF should be, it is not limited to her.

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    6. Her friends paid for this!

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    7. I guess we have to say when it comes to spending money, that it is all relative. For instance, I think nothing of having lunch with a friend, where we each spend $15 on our food. That might also be the norm for many of you. But in Africa, or India, $15 could well be more than a month's income.So when Meghan, who has vast financial resources stays in a hotel suite costing $75,000 a night...well it is all relative.

      If mistakes have been made, it was in allowing all this spending and celebrity type behaviour to become so public. Meghan and her friends have every right to spend their money in any way they wish. But this could have been done in a way that attracted less attention. The fact that Omid had details prior to the event happening, means that Meghan wanted the world to know about her trip and the shower. Some might see this as a publicity stunt to show that Meghan is loved by her friends. As for Gayle King's presence, well they needed someone to tell the story on morning television in the States...as Gayle did.

      In a nutshell Meghan and her frends have every right to be live with great luxury. Meghan, however, has a lot to learn about diplomacy and discretion.

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    8. It is not a question, exclusively, of who pays and how much. It is the impression that matters. And whether you want to accept it or not, the shower has come across as too much and too hollywood. Even if it had costed 100 pounds, it would have looked excessive.

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    9. I’m sure you had to rave at the pompous wedding of, for example, Eugenie of York recently, which did not generate significant profits to cover the security costs of the British taxpayer; And I’m still sure you haven’t thought of writing that the money from this wedding could help the poor. But it is easier to come and judge the private expenses of the friends of the Duchess of Sussex, because it is only Meghan’s money that will eradicate poverty, famine and unemployment in the world.

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    10. Then what do you call it when they wear luxurious gowns & are dripping with jewels & tiaras???? It's called living the reality of their lives, which is very nice & luxurious. This just seems like a lot of judgmental jealousy, being masked as a concern for discretion & living a false modest life! My Goodness! :(

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    11. Thank you Anon 21:12 for having the courage to speak so frankly!! xx

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    12. Anon 21:12, I remember people criticizing Eugenie's wedding costs!!! I was one of them.

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    13. Some people are wealthy. Some are not. Meghan's friends are wealthy. They gave her an expensive baby shower. People can spend their money in any way they like. There is so much hypocrisy about this. Any one of us is welcome to sell all we have and give it to charity. Every single one. Yet most don't, but they are happy to criticize someone else for not doing what they aren't willing to do themselves.

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    14. Again Laura, well stated and completely agree.

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    15. Anon, did you read the papers before Eugenie's wedding? The nastiness? The repeated question of why she should have a lavish royal wedding? The digs at her mother? Past history retold? The digs at her father? Past and present critics retold? The digs at her sister, the digs at her weight, at her fashion sense? Old pictures published again and again? The sneers when she gave an interview with her sister about her insecurities and the difficulty of growing up in the public eye and under constant critics?
      Are you seriously convinced it only happens to Meghan?
      The press is basically looking for something to criticise, scandal is what they thrive on. And there is also a permanent feeling of injustice, manifested or not, in the public opinion that makes all members of the RF fair game.
      As for giving money away to people in need, I think it is time we realized we all can and should do it. And at least the people I know, the tide is changing and people try to live austerely, organically and responsibly.

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  10. I am glad that Meghan was able to spend some quality time with her friends these last five days. I do not think it is fair or just to label her baby shower as "too Hollywood" or "too celebrity." These women and men she invited are her close and good friends, and given her career, it is only natural that she has some deep friendships with actors, actresses, and high profile individuals. There is nothing wrong with that. She should not have to give up her friendships just because she is married to Harry. Regarding the costs of the trip, I think it is very important to remember that the media is going to jump on money as a way of creating a negative story that riles up their readers. We have no idea what actual costs truly were, and her friends likely helped with much of the expense. Meghan is not making trips such as this frequently, so I am not going to pass any judgment on the cost.

    One aspect of the reporting on her trip that bothers me greatly is this undercurrent of judgment on American life and traditions. While I understand that baby showers are not prominent in the UK, they are very prominent here, and there is nothing wrong with that being one of our traditions. It doesn't make us weird or ridiculous or inferior. For first-time moms, especially, baby showers are a way to relax, enjoy quality time with friends, talk informally about pregnancy, childbirth, and parenting with others who have been through it, and celebrate the coming of a new baby.
    Meghan is an American at her very core, and the transition to the royal family and the UK must be incredibly challenging for her on many levels. She chose to make the transition because of her love for Harry, and I think she has handled all of it with an abundance of grace, dignity, patience, and energy. As Americans, we do not believe in or desire a monarchy or royal family as head of state for a host of legitimate reasons. For Meghan to find her own footing within an institution that greatly challenges many of the American ideals intrinsic to her and those of us who are American, is incredible. She has been willing to adapt, learn, study, and get to know her second home, while holding steady and true to who she's always been and holding true to her passion for activism and helping others. That is not an easy adjustment and transition to make. I know that I would struggle with the transition she's made, because I do not agree with the institution of monarchy at all. There would be so much from life in the US that I would greatly miss, as I'm sure there are many things Meghan misses too, even as she lives and adapts to life in the UK and within the royal family.

    I wish that the constant barrage of negative and false stories about her would stop, but I don't hold out hope for that. She doesn't deserve the cruel treatment being thrown at her from so many directions. It is bullying and destructive. I'm glad she has this close circle of friends who will stand up for her and support her. I believe she is an equally supportive and giving friend to them. I'm also so very glad that she has Harry and that they are there for each other. While it would be difficult for anyone to ignore the vitriolic stories being cast against them, I hope that she is able to block out as much of it as possible, and enjoy these final months of pregnancy.

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    1. In my travels in Europe, I did not find that to be true.

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    2. Really? Unless I was at a nice hotel or a private apartment, the bathrooms were disgusting. They don't flush. They're small and cramped. And they're just dirty. I hate being in Europe for that very reason.

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    3. Bathrooms vary the world over. Many Asian toilets are just a hole in the floor. I don’t think we can generalize about European facilities. They vary from disgraceful to opulent. As for the States, well gas station facilities bring a new meaning to the word disgusting. I make it a point to judge a country by its people, not by its bathrooms.

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    4. Touche Laura!

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    5. Anglophile in Ohio22 February 2019 at 02:32

      Sarah from NC—that was beautifully and wonderfully stated. I wholeheartedly agree!

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    6. Amen Laura!

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  11. Very well put. The royals are different - which is one reason why we're interested in them. They are wealthy and can do things we cannot. Those are facts. I think tearing her down because her friends had a shower for her (whatever the scale) is just ridiculous.

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  12. Well said Charlotte. I totally agree with your words and usually only look at your photos and read your blog. I don’t read comments much as they make me too angry.

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  13. Thanks for this lovely write up, at first I was a bit worried about what the haters we come up with. later I conclude that no matter what haters will always find a reason to talk. Charlotte you're an asset to this generation. LADY B FROM NIGERIA, AFRICA

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  14. Shantel (@FashionandFaith)21 February 2019 at 14:09

    I am so happy that Meghan was able to come back and spend time with her close friends. From what we’ve been able to see, it appeared to be a lovely time. She deserves to be surrounded by love and positivity during this exciting time. She works hard (and that’s only based on what we see—I have a feeling she is toiling away behind closed doors, too), and seems to give her all to everything she does. She deserves to replenish her soul in any way she wants to.
    The only thing that makes me sad is that you—Charlotte—have to put defense of the shower/trip in your post. The fact that people are so negative that they can find fault with a woman celebrating the impending birth of her first child in her home country with her friends...what a world we live in.
    Thank you so much for your professional, heartfelt, well thought out coverage of this event (and every thing you cover)! You’ve always been my go-to source for royal news. So very well done!
    Shantel
    Minnesota, USA

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  15. Wow Meghan’s skin is glowing, her hair seems very healthy as well. I guess that’sone of the perks of pregnancy.

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  16. Charlotte, I have loved both your blogs for years and your support for both Meghan and Kate who have often been harshly and unfairly criticized, but I do have to differ slightly on this perspective. Sometimes we get so invested in defending a person, we will defend them no matter what.

    I totally agree that Meghan should be allowed a private life and that she should be allowed to visit with her friends in America with privacy and no fuss. But this trip was not that. The difference is discretion. When royals wish to have private getaways—they generally manage to do so. Meghan and Harry have done so numerous times. But Meghan’s so called friends are painfully indiscreet. I understand that people will say her presence there was revealed by a waiter, and you cannot help that, but someone provided those depth of details about the shower to reporters—and that was someone who was there. She has friends posting things from the shower on social media. There was no clear attempt to use side entrances by any of them to avoid the cameras. This is just a shame.

    The royals walk a fine line of immense privelege and service, and if they are seen indulging in the privilege, it always comes back to bite them, no matter who the royals is. You can think of William and his trip to Verbeir a few years ago (where he was actually trying to lay low and got caught by the cameras), Harry’s issues when he was younger, or even Sarah Ferguson years ago who wa loved at the time of her wedding and quickly disdained in part because she was seen as spending and partying so freely.

    As many have said for Kate, Meghan did not just marry a man, she married an institution, and like it or not, all of her actions reflect on that institution. I have seen William and Catherine and Harry work to surround themselves by people of loyalty and discretion—people who do not leak where they are or what they are doing. It makes me sad that Meghan’s friends do not seem to be able to do the same. This will lead to problems in the future.

    I hope this does not come back to harm them, but, in my opinion, the optics of this week long event were not good. I pray for her safe travels home and that their trip to Morocco is not overshadowed by this break—or her friends desire to share.

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    1. Tea Kay, I am so happy that you posted. I agree with so many points that you make--quite politely and respectfully, I might add. The whole celebration just seemed a bit crass--and it made me feel uncomfortable as a Meghan supporter from Day One.

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    2. Becca H in Colorado21 February 2019 at 16:01

      I have to disagree. Other members of the royal family have been known to take lavish getaway vacations to Mustique and other *incredibly* expensive destinations when some would say they haven't even put in as much work as Meghan has in the first 9 months of her new role. And those vacations were reported in the media, as well. Perhaps there weren't as many photos, but they were still much known about -- and the difference is because Meghan is more high profile than any other royal family member right now AND has high profile friends. She cannot help that. As Charlotte said in her last post, Meghan handled the media as best she could once her presence became public knowledge and made it easier for other guests of the hotel, etc, by using the main entrance.

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    3. Becca H in Colorado21 February 2019 at 16:02

      Also, as Charlotte so aptly stated, no matter what Meghan does, it's seen as bad optics.

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    4. Tea Kay, totally agree! I've been a fan of Kate and now Meghan, but I think this is probably one of the worst missteps made by either of them. I wish she had held a baby shower, but way more discreetly. Even though Royals are immensely privileged in many ways, they actually can't have it all.

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    5. I completely agree Tea Kay - this trip has a much more “in your face” feeling

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    6. I disagree.

      Meghan’s friends are too well known in their own right for this to be kept out of sight, out of mind. And given how well stories about Meghan sell, the paparazzis were out hunting and they don’t have to be a great sleuth to realize with this many famous faces turning up in the same city to know something’s up.
      - Martine

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    7. Tea Kay I could not aggree more - "painfully indiscreet"! I said something very similar under the previous post. I don't understand why they do this to Meghan. I never heard of Gayle King being friends with Meghan and now she is telling details of the baby shower on TV?! Why on Earth I am asking. Those things make Meghan look nice and thoughtful but they are incredibly private and should not have been made public. I am a bit disappointed by Meghan's friends' behaviour.Their oversharing lacks class IMHO.
      Ella

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    8. Becca H

      You’re correct—I should have included the Mustique trips in my original comment when I mentioned how this type of high profile event backfired on the royals in the past. So much criticism came to Kate and William over those trips, and I believe that it hurt both their image and the image of the royal family. But I do think rumors of getaways are better than the level of detail that has been shared by people who were there this weekend. Just saw a video on another site of one of the GMA anchors discussing the fact that she was there and dropping all kinds of hints. Reporters will try to ferret out any information they can on any of them. I just wish those closest to Meghan played it a little closer to the vest.

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  17. Charlotte, thank you for this post. And thank you for sharing your thoughts on the can't-win situation that the media places on Meghan. You and Zoe Martin aren't afraid to call out those who get it wrong... so very, very wrong.

    As for the baby shower, a flower arranging lesson sounds like a fun way to spend time with friends! I haven't heard of this as a party activity, and love the idea.

    If anyone has earned a trip to spend time with friends, before her life changes even more with the arrival of a baby, it's Meghan. She has worked hard for well over a year in her new role, and has blown us all away with her poise and dedication. Go Meghan! You rock!

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  18. Thank you Charlotte for reminding all that Meghan is a person in her own right and allowed to be so in her off duty time. Anyone criticizing the expense and extravagance put on by the hostesses needs to learn they cannot dictate how other people spend their own dang money. I’m happy that Meghan has such a loving group of friends willing to go out of their way to meet up and celebrate her in absolutely grand style.

    We should all be so lucky.

    I loved seeing all the videos of the fashionable guests. The coverage in the DM of the caterers and other vendors coming in was OTT but I guess that’s the daily mail for you, and a reminder to not click over there too often.

    The only thing I gave side-eye to (and not in meghan’s direction at all; it is solely my own irritation at a popular product) was the Away luggage delivery. Those cases are all hype and marketing, they’re way too heavy, the battery is gimmicky, they’re expensive for what they are. But, I can see how they’d be awesome for guests to take away their goodies!

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  19. First, I really enjoyed the shower and the photos because it seemed like a wedding reunion! Loved seeing that Meghan's friends are still as close to her as ever.

    It was lavish but the penthouse, jet, were all paid for by her friends. She gave away the flower arrangements to charity. I read that the luggage party "favors" were donated by the company.

    I'll try to say the following in a way that does not criticize any other members of the RF, because I mean no criticism: we have seen countless island and ski holidays, and they cost quite a bit. They are often family holidays. This was Meghan's family holiday. If she had a wealthy, say, uncle and he paid for her and her parents (this is a fantasy) and siblings (still a fantasy) and their children to go to Switzerland for a few days, that would be OK.

    After what Meghan has been through, I have little sympathy for complaints, though! And what a great group of friends -- diverse and interesting and fun. I would love to be part of the gang.

    I keep reading about a second baby shower in the UK. The reports are so certain but it still sounds iffy, unless it is because she is American and because it could include RF members. We have read that Kate didn't have a shower but I think it is possible that Pippa had one for George that was under the radar.

    She looked like the "old" Meghan and looked just so happy to be face-to-face with her friends.

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    1. Becca H in Colorado21 February 2019 at 15:56

      Totally agree. For all commentators saying she was flaunting her wealth -- what about all the other family members who have taken lavish trips to Mustique and ski resorts?! The double standard is so irritating.

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    2. Your comment really put things in perspective for me. Aside from Doria and Harry, this is all the family she’s got. For them to gather and celebrate this important milestone in her life is quite natural.

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  20. Forgot to add that Beyonce may not have done Meghan any favors. She is called "American royalty," although she's not in my playlist. I just go back earlier for my favorite songs. I had not known Meghan was on their radar, but as Charlotte said, she must be the most famous woman on the planet right now. And I wonder if that makes some in the UK jealous that an American (and we can add of mixed ethnicity) is so popular?

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    1. Serena Williams and Beyonce are good friends. Serena was featured in one of Beyonce videos I believe. There is a friends of friends connection I believe.

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  21. You know you've made it when Queen Bey stands up for you. Thank you for your intelligent writing, Charlotte.

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  22. THANK YOU CHARLOTTE! Your comments are spot on! And let me remind everyone, this was a private trip for the first 4 days before her presence became known.

    Glad that Meghan has a "family" of friends who love, support and celebrate her. All of these people were at her wedding and reception! And given the hellhole of a paternal family that she has been cursed with, I am glad she had these people in her life!

    This woman has been through the worse character assassination and smear campaign for months and no one has defended her!

    Thank God for her friends!

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  23. Meghan coverage has become an out of control feeding frenzy. It's taken on an almost physical energy, as Diana's coverage did, leading to her death. This is dangerous and terrifying, amplified by the multitude of media outlets/social platforms not around when Diana was alive. I take my hat off to Meghan, having the courage to even show her face, knowing she'll be vilified coming and going. I hope KP, the security people and whoever else appropriately included can come up with an agreement with the media to try to rein this in, if it's even possible to rein in at this point, for Meghan's sake and the sake of safer, saner coverage.

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  24. Really enjoyed well-written and thoughtful comment, Sarah from NC. No matter what Meghan does, the tabloid press, and sometimes even the respectable press will criticize and crucify her because they make money from it and it satisfies a certain segment of the population, and of course haters got to hate. I keep in mind that Meghan is still an American citizen, and although she has embraced what will be her new country for the rest of her life, surely she must miss many things about the country in which she was born. Mary of Denmark, and Maxima of the Netherlands return home to visit their countries and take their children. Meghan's friends wanted to give her a baby show-a common tradition in North America. It began when a community getting together to help a young family. Nowadays, more often than not, a shower occurs after a baby is born, and it is a celebratory event and an opportunity for the wider circle of friends and family to ooh and aah over the newborn. When the likes of Serena Williams and Amal Clooney are involved, there will be press interest involved. These are very wealthy women, so one cannot expect them to hold anything in less than five-star hotel and one that is used to handling security for high profile people. The press reports that the Clooney jet was offered, and Serena picked up the tab for the event room (and who knows what deal is offered to her regarding the use of the hotel). Other members of the royal family have accepted the loan of yachts (Charles and Camilla), and private jets (Kate and William) in the past, so not that unusual for royals to accept generous gestures. If Meghan had dropped all her former friends and ceased socializing with them, the criticism would be that she is such a snob, and taking her new royalty much too seriously. I know that the apparent extravagance sticks in the craw of many, especially when the tabloids just throw out figures that balloon with each update, but it should not be seen as an opportunity to malign a whole group of people and Meghan's character or judgement. Meghan flew "home" to spend time with her friends. If a shower by her American friends was planned in England, think of extravagance of demanding 20 people fly to the UK for her shower!

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  25. I am giggling at the thought of her friends trying to enter through a side entrance to avoid the cameras. I've not been to this particular hotel, but in many in the Western US there are NO side entrances where you could avoid the press. No matter how you tried to enter, you can be seen from the street or parking lot. Good for them to just go in the front entrance and let their photos be taken. About the money angle. Does anyone forget that Harry inherited millions from Diana's estate not that long ago? I doubt he has invested or spent it all already. HE seems to be so in love with Meghan that I can see him quite happily paying for this entire event out of funds from Diana. They are not entirely taxpayer supported!

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  26. I think she has every right to have a baby shower with what friends she chooses, etc, but given the press scrutiny (which everyone knew would happen), I do think a baby shower in a more private location would have had a better outward look to it.

    The difficult position here is that she is part of the RF, which let's be honest did nothing to gain their positions beyond being born or marrying into and then holding on. People expect different standards from them than anyone else. They really can't have it all. Is it fair? I don't know, but they do enjoy a particularly unique position in the world, both good and bad for one's own desires. I personally think this baby shower should have been a more discreet affair, just my two cents.

    -Sue

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    1. Unlike the other royals, Meghan and her friends are SELF-MADE millionaires. They have bo reason to hide and neither should they have to!

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  27. Charlotte, please do not compare Meghan to Diana. You are too young to understand what Diana was all about. Actually, Meghan is the antithesis of all that Diana stood for. Diana would have been horrified and embarrassed by the extravagance of this trip. She enjoyed luxury but in it's place and not for show. She would have been all too aware of how this would have been perceived.

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    1. How do you know? Knew her personally?

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    2. Are you serious? Do you mean the same Diana that vacationed on Richard Branson's private island in the Caribbean? Who had luxurious ski vacations in Switzerland? Who, at the time of her death, was vacationing in the south of France on a private yacht and then took a private jet to Paris?

      That Diana?

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    3. Wow that;s condescending. How do you know how old Charlotte is? And how is it your business?

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    4. I agree. Diana was very aware of how things looked in the media. It seems with her aristocratic background, Diana came across as "old money", despite her brother referring to the Spencer's as sheep farmers.

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    5. Is this comment for real? Meghan is the anthises of Diana? Two humanitarians who carry themselves with grace and dignity. And who also take advantage of their friends connections for luxury and travel. Which I do not believe is a thing they should be criticized for. Particularly when it does let the taxpayers mostly off the hook (excepting some security costs) They move in wealthy and well connected circles. This is the reality. It’s always been that way contrary to this re-write of history that seems to be going on with respect to Meghan.

      I am not too young. I remember Diana doing the following:
      Vacations to the Carribean on Richard Branson’s dime. (Multiple Times, all photographed)
      Vacations to the Swiss Alps to stay with friends of Charles (multiple times. All photographed)
      Vacations to the USA as the guest of vogue editors once and Kurt Russell and Goldie Hawn once (all photographed)

      And as much as I loved Diana I don’t actually think she had a great undersranding of how things would be perceived contrary to your assertion. The details of her divorce were aired in incredibly vulgar fashion. Often at her initiation and manipulation of the press.

      As far as I’m concerned as time has gone by the wales divorce has and will mark the low point of the modern royal family with regards to tackiness and lack of dignity. It will not be Meghan’s baby shower.

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    6. I have a general idea of Charlotte's age. There have been a couple of interviews with her and articles about her, and it's relevant to my comment. Anon 16:03

      All the royals live luxurious lives. There is a difference between living that life quietly and flaunting it. Diana did not flaunt it. As far as her last trip with Dodi Fayed, she wanted to be extremely visible. She was making a point to the BRF and, besides, she was a private citizen at that time.

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    7. Anon 16:03 your comment about Charlotte is offensive to readers who rely on her professionalism without disappointment. Further I choose to believe the absolute opposite. Diana would be over the moon with her new daughter in law and everything for which she stands. NYC Baby Shower included.

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    8. Diana took extravagant vacations, but she was not known to flaunt her wealth in public.

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    9. Anonymous. I have to respectfully disagree. I am old enough to remember Diana—and how much she was criticized for her lifestyle. Diana once attended the Met Gala (in a slip dress I might add) which continues to be one of the most photographed, lavish events in NYC. Diana certainly enjoyed luxury...

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    10. Living a life of luxury is very different from showing off. I agree with the original comment.

      Meghan's friends love to post their lives on social media. They show what they wear, buy, eat and do. We all know they have money but they like to show it. Is it how a member of the RF is expected to behave? No. As other comments say without naming William and Catherine, they also have luxury holidays. They go to ski and they go to Mustique. But there is a difference, they do not make a show of their trips. They are rich but they are also discreet. Meghan has succesfully gone on holidays with Harry and no paparazzi pictures. She had been in NY for 3 days and no pictures. Then, her friends leak information and the circus started. They love to be seen. If their friend wants privacy, as has been claimed, why do they post pictures of the shower biscuits, for example?

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    11. Diana died in 1997. Before social media. I 100% believe she would be a user of it in this day and age. As beloved as Diana was I’m sort of shocked at this re-writing of her as a discrete and tactful woman. It is well known fact that she called and tipped off the media and paparazzi. Her prime time interview airing details of her divorce is quite the opposite of discretion if you ask me. And was not at all respectful of the dignity the commenters here seem to believe the royal family commands. I understand she was in the painful throws of the divorce and leaving the family. But not one bit of the details of the War of the Roses needed to be discussed publically by Diana or Charles. I maintain my assertion that this was a very low point for the dignity of the royal family.

      Additionally, Diana was well known to be impulsive and immature. I think she was a captivating woman and accomplished a great many things. But I’m baffled at this interpretation of her as a model of tact and discretion.

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    12. I completely agree with Anon 16:03. No one is asking Meghan not to have her shower or expensive gifts - I think that she felt she needed the break and wanted to pamper herself with her friends, as she should 100%. It was the organized parade in front of the photogs that people objected to. She could have done all of this discreetly, like other royals do. I think that Meghan started off really strong with Together and some well-thought out and executed engagements but this is pap walk is going to put her at a disadvantage with the Queen and other members of the royal family. The most distinguishing characteristic of old money is that there are no obvious markers of wealth- they wear age old hunter boots and barbour jackets and they carry their status more subtly. There is no display of wealth even though they live the most luxurious lives imaginable. What Meghan did was the anti-thesis of what old money does. It is clear from reading comments that public opinion was not in favor of this. I think it will also lower her standing with Harry's old friends and the royal family.

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    13. You are saying Meghan should be able to control her friends on social media, or do you mean she should drop all her friends because she fell in love and someone stuck an HRH in front of her name?

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    14. I expect when Harry said his mother would have adored Meghan, that should be the final word on the subject. You seem to have idealized the real, flawed human being who was Diana into some sort of plaster saint in a sensible High Street mumsy frock, carefully chosen not to give offense to Bert and Doris in Manchester. That’s not how I remember her at all. It’s true that spending money is a huge cultural difference dividing the British and the Americans. Meghan was feted by her wealthy American friends, in a style that seems normal to them. Was she to demand that the party be moved to a local Holiday Inn and all the gifts come from the local Goodwill shop?
      If Diana was still alive, I think she would be thrilled with her kindred spirit daughter-in-law.

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  28. Wow, looks like quite the bash! Thank you, Charlotte, for this informative post. I have a few questions, though:
    1. What is a baby shower, and does it happen before every baby or just the first? I'm asking because we don't do baby showers in my community, so I am curious what happens there, why it's done, and where the idea came from.
    2. Isn't is rather odd to wear a Mommy necklace before one is actually a mother? I hope Meghan has a safe, healthy delivery, but until the baby is born, the woman is not a mother.
    3. What was Gayle King doing there? Is she friends with Meghan? Same with Amal Clooney -- she had nothing to do with Meghan before she was royal, so why was she at this shower that was for old close friends, like Jessica M., Daniel M., Abigail S., etc.? Gayle and Amal's presence there seemed strange (almost as if they're cozying up to the royals, which is hopefully not the case, as Meghan seems savvy enough to see through that).
    Overall, this should have been a fun trip for Meghan, hopefully a relaxing one too.

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    1. I am honestly asking how should a woman be called if not a mummy....

      And why were these people there? What a question?

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    2. I don't think a woman becomes a mummy the moment her baby is born and the umbilical cord cut. Just like her baby doesn't become her baby at that moment but long before that.

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    3. Lee she's well into her third trimester. Barring an extreme tragedy Meghan will be a mother.

      I think this much angst over a baby shower should make people dig deep. Frankly I think many Brits are not comfortable with a royal child being of mixed race, and rather than say that outright they're having a meltdown over a private (if somewhat lavish) baby shower. It's a reminder that the baby will be born soon, and that baby will be of mixed race.

      As for the "Mommy" necklace it's not my taste in jewelry but if a friend gave it to her what's the problem?

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    4. I think it’s perfectly okay for a pregnant woman to wear a mommy necklace. But I do agree that it was a bit over the top, found it strange that Gayle was their.

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    5. 1. A baby shower is an occasion for close friends and family to celebrate the upcoming arrival of a child. It's fairly common in America, similar to a bridal shower but with baby-themed games and gifts instead of wedding ones. Some families have baby showers for every baby, however sometimes it gets too hectic if the mother already has children and it only happens before the first.
      2. I have to disagree with you there. I and many women I know consider themselves "mothers" as soon as they find out they're pregnant. That's when you begin caring for and protecting the baby physically, and you start to love them, even though they aren't born!
      3. Someone with more knowledge should help you there. I don't know nor do I particularly care to.

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    6. As a European who lived a couple years in the US I had to get used to the idea of showers in general. The idea is that as a group of friends and family you shower the mom-to-be with gifts. It is a special day to celebrate the special time coming....In general, friends/family organise this and pick up the whole tap. The showers I have been to (now also becoming more popular in Europe) consist of having a good time w the people you love, receiving gifts for the baby and sometimes the mom and play some games or do something fun. Flower arrangement sounds like a thing that fits that. To be fair, even when my friends are not royal or celebrities, showers can get expensive and are often in nice restaurants or hotels. I am not at all suprised that if Serena Williams is organizing the event this was very well organized in a beautiful hotel and with a nice activity. That the press found out about it was maybe sad, but I think it would be more surprising with Megans high profile friends if they wouldn't have found out. I am glad for Meghan that even though she lives miles apart from her friends they got a chance to celebrate together... which was probably more important to her than any of the gifts, the hotel or the flower arrangement.

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    7. How can you possibly say she isn't a mother? Do you think if she miscarried (God forbid) right now, she's not a mom to that child? That seems incredibly insensitive to women who have experienced such a loss. You also don't have to literally push a baby out to become a mother--what about all the women who adopt or foster?

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    8. I agree, what a question! These guests were friends of Meghan's. Harry and Meghan are quite close with George and Amal Clooney. Why is it anyone's business who attends Meghan's private baby shower?

      As an American observer, it seems that British people think that because their tax $$$ support the royal family, any tax-paying citizen feels entitled to criticize what the members of the family do. However, it also seems that British critics don't understand which activities are supported by tax $$$ and which are funded by private monies.

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    9. Lee, Alma and the duchess worked together on refugee issues when she was in Suits. Do some research.

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    10. Hi Lee, we have showers in the USA that traditionally were for female family and friends. Like modern wedding showers , it has evolved to include men, or be more than one occasion. It was a tradition to help a young family. I don’t care for multiple showers for subsequent children unless there are a number of years between each child. Babies need so much : like car seats, cribs, strollers, and clothes.

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    11. To those asking about my comment on the Mommy necklace:
      I think a Mommy necklace is sweet, and I would buy one myself. But I wouldn't wear one before I actually had a living, breathing child in my hands. A healthy birth is not to be taken for granted. My grandmother, my aunt, and my friend all lost children well into their last trimester. Stillborns happen more often than you think, and there are all sort of complications that can occur during delivery. I wouldn't tempt fate by wearing a Mommy necklace before the baby was born. That's also why I don't approve of baby showers or gifts for the baby before it's born -- I don't tempt fate.
      To the poster who asked if you have to push the baby out in order to be considered the mother, yes. To be considered the biological mother, you must give birth to the baby, according to biblical law. Now, if you adopt or foster a child, you are an adoptive mother or a foster mother. Yes, that is a mother -- just not a biological mother -- but a different, wonderful type of mother. And if one suffers a miscarriage, they suffer the loss of potential. They had been carrying a fetus, but they were not yet a mother. May we never know personally of such tragedies.
      And to those wondering how I could ask about the guest list, I ask you: If Meghan hadn't married Harry, would Amal Clooney or Gayle King be showing up at her baby shower?

      To be clear, I think Meghan is an impressive woman with a lot of talent, and I take an interest in her life because I find it fascinating. Not out of jealousy, hatred, or spite, G-d forbid.

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    12. I think Lee was asking genuine questions and the only one to answer her kindly was Susan in Florida. I don't think people questioning a baby shower that cost nearly $300,000 makes them racists. Someone above said to "do some research" so here are some facts. The British people pay for the protection of the royal family. Their PPOs are assigned by Scotland Yard and do not work for the royal family. Therefore, the cost of the time, travel, accommodations, and meals of the PPOs in NYC is passed on to the taxpayers. The Americans did not escape either as the Department of State also protected her and provided vehicles and drivers. Those costs are also passed on to tax payers. Nobody, including royals, can hire government employees privately nor use government resources privately. Meghan may be a foreign dignitary if she is in another country on behalf of The Queen but she is not if she is on a private holiday. In America she may be a citizen but she is not entitled to government protection anymore than Jennifer Aniston or Julia Roberts or any other celebrity is.

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    13. Lee first of all I am sorry that you had people close to you lose a baby in the third trimester. However I think in this day and age it's VERY rare unless a calamity happens. The days when women bought a coffin before they gave birth are thankfully behind us. I don't see a problem with the "mommy" necklace. It's not really my taste in jewelry but hey, Meghan likes it. I also do think that pregnant mothers absolutely feel like mothers already. My mom said she was buying books to read to me in the second trimester.

      I disagree with some thing about this baby shower, but not the mommy necklace.

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  29. I need to retract my negativity over Beyonce's tribute; on reading more about it, it sounds very cool.

    Baby showers are meant to give some cheer and support to the mom-to-be, who is feeling really huge and uncomfortable. IThey also provide items that the parents to be perhaps can't afford. I think Serena and Beyonce and all the other friends (love seeing Markus back with Meghan!) want to shout out to the world that a woman they have known for years is something very special. And to leave her alone especially while pregnant.

    I thought about the Mommy necklace, and frankly, at this point, I'm sure she knows she's a mother.

    we all hope and pray that Baby Sussex will have n oproblems, but she is a mother now regardless.

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  30. I had hoped we were hearing about the baby shower after the fact, that she and her friends were that discreet about it, and that she got some peace out of it. Alas, no. Then I made a concerted effort not to click on any stories about it, so as not to feed the beast. But I really liked her weekender bag, so here I am.

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  31. Flower arraigning sounds way more fun then all the other cheesy baby games or wedding shower games for that matter. I so want to steal that idea for the next shower party we have to throw.

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    1. Tammy from California22 February 2019 at 01:08

      I really, really liked that idea. Loved that the flowers went to charities too. Pretty cute.

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  32. Liza in New York City21 February 2019 at 17:12

    Charlotte I have been a follower of your blogs since W&K engagement so I am sad to write that I must disagree with you on this event. I don’t believe in being an all or nothing fan of anyone and it disturbs me that Meghan has become a lightning rod for supporters or “haters”. She is a human being with strengths and weaknesses who can also make mistakes. I felt that Catherine made mistakes after her marriage and IMHO this event was an unnecessary mistake that screams showy attention seeking celebrity. Why? Because NYC has many ways to keep the privacy of the thousands of celebrities and important people who come through here. There are back doors and garages and myriad ways to stay discreet. IMHO this event did not have to be handled in this showy manner. Meghan is of course allowed to leave her house now but even when she does she is still a royal. Her behavior this week was as a celebrity. It was surprising for me to see. It is my opinion that she orchestrated everything from the location to the hotel to even alerting the press and leaving through the front doors.

    Also I usually refrain from commenting because almost all comments fall into two extremes - one is either a 100% fan or a “hater” - and I am neither. I do want Meghan to succeed because she has a lot of talents and discipline and compassion. When I see this sort of spectacle it does make me question her good sense. I just don’t think this event did her any favors. Just my humble opinion.

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    1. I totally agree with your stance on this. Well said.

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    2. I agree as well. Let's put this in the mistake column.

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    3. As others said, while there may have been nothing wrong with the event, the optics weren't great. Sometimes, it's worthwhile to think about how you are perceived.

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    4. I echo your thoughts Liza, especially regarding the growing trend towards the polarisation of opinions which ultimately results in an immediate dismissal of differing views and a lack of rational discussion between the two parties. Recognising the nuances of certain situations (whether positive or negative) and constructing a heterogenous view of an individual is what enables us to be firmly grounded in reality.

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    5. I agree.

      Camilla

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    6. How can you say that Meghan “orchestrated everything” ....even alerted the press”? How can you possibly know? I can never understand why people make these statements, I feel like I am at the Daily Mail comment section. And why would she orchestrate such things? What was the purpose? Well, I guess she likes when people criticize her, can not think of anything else.

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  33. I don't begrudge Meghan a trip home to the US to be with close friends, nor do I begrudge her a lavish baby shower. However, I roundly condemn her for her use of a private jet. We are living in an era of catastrophic climate change and things are only getting worse. The life of her baby and all children will be profoundly altered by this reality. She and the Royal family should all stop this practice and fly commercial at all times. They should be setting an example, rather than making private jet travel even more of a status symbol than it already is.

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    1. Amal's private jet was taking her and her children back to Europe. Meghan flew with them.

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    2. Silly, it’s nearly impossible for Meghan to travel like everybody else at this point.

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  34. Just heard Gayle King say that Meghan did not open the gifts at her shower. Wants to take them back home so she and Harry can open together. To me, this is unappreciative of the time and money the attendees spent on the gift. The main point of a baby or bridal shower is to watch the guest of honor open the gifts and ooh and aah over all the neat stuff. I’ve never been to a shower where gifts were not opened. If an excuse is that it all must be then brought overseas, I think she has people that could have taken care of that too.

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    1. Barbara U.S. I've heard both sides of this. I personally hate sitting around watching someone open gifts, and usually try to find some place to escape (look at the books on their shelves, finding someone else to talk to, etc.). Some people argue that seeing what everyone else got the mom-to-be can fuel jealousy or one-upsmanship. On the other hand, if you gave someone a gift, it can be nice to see their reaction when they open it, and it can be fun to see what other people get. The "I want to wait until I'm with Harry" explanation, while sweet, I guess, doesn't really make sense, since most dads-to-be aren't at showers (some are, and they can do whatever they want, of course). The shower should have been planned for him to be there, if that was what she wanted.

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    2. I think keeping the gifts wrapped prevented the blabbering hotel staff from giving away more details of the week. I worked in Spa that had celebrities for clients : Canyon Ranch in The Berkshires. We were under threat of getting fired if we leaked the names of guests.

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    3. I think keeping the gifts wrapped prevented the blabbering hotel staff from giving away more details of the week. I worked in Spa that had celebrities for clients : Canyon Ranch in The Berkshires. We were under threat of getting fired if we leaked the names of guests.

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    4. Barbara, like you, I have never been to a shower where gifts were not opened. Part of the fun is seeing the recipient's reaction to the gift and also seeing what others are giving. Saying thank you immediately, is preferred over writing a thank you note later. Also Harry can still see, admire and appreciate a gift, even if he was not first to do so. And if Harry is like most men, he will show less enthusiasm than girl pals will.

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    5. I haven't read this explanation elsewhere- it occurred to me-could the reason for unwrapped presents be a need for security to examine the gifts first? There seemed to be an intense security presence. It seemed actually greater than events where Harry has been included. Or, since the US State department was apparently involved, this must have been considered a quasi-official visit with a need for the gifts to be catalogued and publicly accounted for. Per American traditional baby shower procedure, the baby daddy sometimes makes an appearance at a shower but I have never heard of holding the gift unwrapping until later for him to share. Usually it is all about Mummy and baby.I realise these were friends giving the gifts but assumptions are the downfall when it comes to keeping someone safe. Of course the friends would not think of harming her; but unless the gift never was out of sight from purchase to arrival at the party--there is always a possibility of interference. That is why we are constantly advised to keep our eyes on our carry-on luggage when flying.

      That brings a thought. If Meghan merits a private plane for her personal travel why not for the Morocco trip, in view of her advanced stage of pregnancy. Although, most private jets don't have room for the staff, security, and numerous wardrobe changes. I really don't see how the Clooney jet would have room for Amal, Meghan, at least two security officers, plus baggage for all as well as gifts, including a crib! Although KP Twitter unusually has yet to officially announce the itinerary for the trip and we must rely on leaks for the information, it has been suggested that the couple will fly commercial airlines. I think an RAF plane would make more sense. Someone questioned the use of a private jet for the NYC trip--carbon footprint etc. The point is: if there is to be a monarchy, there are associated requirements, including providing for and protecting the monarch and family. Most countries do so for their Heads of State. If one enjoys following the royals for the glitz, glamour, and pageantry, don't whine about the cost. You can't have one without the other. Most especially, don't latch on to specific, isolated details to complain about until the facts are verified. Turns out, "sources" were guessing about the timing of the party and were wrong. They could have erred about the Clooney plane, as well. At any rate, I imagine security would prefer that her transportation means and route were not known. By the way, I believe the plane Kate, William, and their friends flew to Switzerland in belonged to the Duke of Westminster-an old family friend both of the Cambridges and the Queen.
      A crib? I can't imagine that she and Harry have not already selected one. I wonder if any of the gifts will be donated --perhaps to the families of the community kitchen. Some flowers were reportedly later donated but that is per royal tradition.

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    6. I am certain that Meghan's friends, who supported her relationship with Harry for all the happiness it brought her, would fully support her sharing the opening with her husband. I expect their love for her is selfless enough that they didn't need to see her open her gifts.

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    7. I think they didn’t really care, they wanted to spend time together and have fun, plus everything was packed nicely and she could easily take it home next day. Everything was well planned. Why people criticize her every move? Who cares what she did with her presents. Royals get many presents, which they never use and donate.

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    8. I find the opening of gifts in front of people quite rude and extremely uncomfortable and would be very uncomfortable if it were done in front of me. At my sister's recent baby shower, no gifts were opened at all. I'm only explaing my view to illustrate that, really it's non of our business if she opened her gifts or not and that we are all different in our approach to life. In light of the rediclious scrunity and attention that has been placed on this event, I find her gift opening an unnecessary thing to comment on and it bemuses me the assumptions made about her personality based on her opening gifts- or not!

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  35. Honestly, after all the negative press Meghan has been getting - even when she's under the radar doing things discreetly like the RF is supposed to - she still gets criticized. I remember reading somewhere that even if she plays by the RF rules, the goal posts keep getting moved. She was called too Hollywood for just standing on a balcony during the Remembrance Day ceremony. This institution is frustrating to me, I understand that there is a hierarchy upon which it thrives, but the vilification of a person who is in an inferior position on the hierarchical ladder to promote those who are in a superior position is ridiculous. I may be alone in this opinion, but I definitely believe there are some within the palace promoting the current narrative within the tabloids. So this week which was solely for her with her friends that she probably won't see for a while - she deserved, call it tacky or bad optics - I think she deserves it. Seeing that she's criticized even when she follows their rules, and even when doesn't - I say let her live her life every now and then. In my personal POV, I enjoyed reading about what her friends planned for her shower - it was fun to read about.

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  36. Thanks for this great post (as usual), Charlotte. Agree with your comments 100%.

    I avoid all the negative articles out there, but I wonder if the hateful writers and commenters who pretend to care about the monarchy, tradition, etc., care at all about Harry? Having finally dealt with his grief and mental health issues, and having found a strong, smart woman who shares his commitment to helping others, he surely deserves happiness. Wouldn't it be nice if people could focus on the joy of his having found a loving partner and on his impending fatherhood, rather than directing vitriol at his lovely and accomplished wife?

    I hope he (and of course Meghan) doesn't take the nasty stuff to heart. I believe that the hateful commenters do not represent the world at large. Unfortunately, the media and internet seem to amplify all things negative. I for one am happy to focus on the positives of a happy couple, trying to do good in the world and getting ready to bring a little one into it. Thanks again, Charlotte, for your informative site and its level-headed, positive tone.

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  37. Thank you, Charlotte. I view coverage no where else, and rarely even read comments here now,sadly. Blessings to Meghan, Harry and baby.

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  38. I anticipated a cultural clash as soon as reporters started to leak information about an NYC baby shower. There are massive cultural differences here in terms of socioeconomic backgrounds and countries of origin that should be noted, as Charlotte has. Perhaps we as consumers and connoisseurs of royal happenings can extend the benefit of our doubt?

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  39. It's customary here in America for the friends, coworkers, or family of a mother-to-be to throw her a baby shower. The expectant mother doesn't ask for it, she doesn't plan it or pay for it, though she is sometimes consulted as to whom she might like to have included on the guest list. It gives us a chance to celebrate a milestone in a loved ones life, show that mom-to-be how much we care, and ooh and ah over adorable, tiny clothes and shoes. It would be considered incredibly ill-mannered to discuss how much was spent on the shower, for whether lavish or humble, its something we do out of love for someone we care about.
    Thank you so much Charlotte, your blog is wonderful.

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    1. Goood explanation Anon 18:30 . All economic levels in the US have some type of baby shower. From a a humble living room in a small home or flat/apartment or a penthouse. The shower is a show of welcoming a baby by the friends and family. My sister received a stroller that my Aunt and two cousins had chipped in to give her. This Duchess has very wealth friends and therefore it stands to reason that her shower would be more lavish. I’m glad there was some small amount of privacy allowed for the Duchess to enjoy being with her friends. Amal and Serena could well afford to spoil their friend.

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    2. I respect your point, Susan. However, as a US resident, I want the world to know that I have never heard of the honored recipient bestowing expensive gifts upon those who attend--Maybe a small gift for the hostess or a decorated cookie as a favor for guests to take home--but not an extravagant gift exchange. I just don't understand the expensive luggage gifts to the attendees. Is anyone besides me puzzled by this "custom"? It seems to negate the whole purpose of the "shower" for the mother and the baby.

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  40. Charlotte, you said it perfectly and thank you.

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  41. She's independently wealthy and cosmopolitan. Her friends the same. Why shouldn't they have a nice time celebrating her pregnancy? Good to see the inclusion of done of Meghan's college friends! Seemed like they weren't guests at the wedding, which was odd, and didn't speak well of Meghan's ability/interest in maintaining long time friendships, so I am doubly happy to see that some of her Northwestern U pals are still in the picture. My o only quibble w the shower is the "product placement" for the provider of the party favors. We see that sometimes with "Hollywood" celebs (am looking at you Kim K) and it seems kind of tacky. But I doubt Meghan had anything to do with this instance.

    Hope she had fun and onward to Morocco and then Baby S!!

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  42. Respectfully, I would like to point out that the enormity of the media demand for Meghan-related information is not only fuelled by those eager to criticise her, but by her avid fans as well, who wish to know intimate details about her activities and whereabouts. Thus, I find it somewhat Janus-faced to condemn the media for supplying this continuous demand while engaging with its produced content nonetheless.
    I second the comments of many who emphasise the Duchess' right to spend her non-working, private days as she desires. Yet I can’t quite comprehend how someone of her profile would expect to remain under the radar by appearing in public and private places which simply maximise her exposure (e.g. Ladurée, Met Breuer).
    I presume many would agree that the British Royal Family is a decidedly unique institution and consequently hardly comparable to other constitutional monarchies dispersed across Europe and the traditions practiced by its members. Due to the enduring international interest in members of the BRF, they are ought to tread the line between royalty and celebrity with much more caution than, suppose the Swedish princesses or Queen Letizia of Spain (who receive mostly domestic media attention). To quote Walter Bagehot about the monarchy: “Its mystery is its life. We must not let in daylight upon magic.” In my view, those who struggle to grasp the relevance of said line, might fail to understand in its entirety what the role of the monarchy is in both every-day British reality and in the collective psyche of the British people. American or not, Meghan is now part of this institution and I would argue that she shares the responsibility with other members of the family to maintain this delicate balance by contributing to the reasonable modernisation of the institution while safeguarding its original purpose and value. At last, the substantial pool of international supporters and followers of Meghan notwithstanding, it is the British public who possess the ability to abolish the monarchy in favour of a republic.
    I would stress that this is merely my opinion and I recognise I might be in the minority on this blog regarding my thoughts. My comments are aimed at igniting an informed and cordial discussion at best, and in no way directing ill-intentioned criticism towards Meghan.

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    1. So eloquently put.

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    2. I'm a big fan of Meghan. I think that 1) She's great! and 2) What you've said here is also true! I can't fault her for wanting to go to New York City and go to Laduree with her best friends like she did before, and in her shoes I would probably do it too, but I hope she also has in mind what you've said. Wearing the hat for her friend's TV show is a little tacky to me, but I guess she's just supporting her friend. *shrug*

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    3. Daily Mail printed a piece by Kate’s brother regarding his touching and very personal battle with depression. Carol Middleton did a lovely piece about her life with the conservative Telegraph. The myth of the purity of the monarchy needs to be laid to rest. It’s a messy human institution with a history of enfolding commoners into its midst. Looking at the pedigrees of its many dukes, one can find common blood mixed in with those of royalty. RF is no longer arranged marriages of cousins and countries. The history of the monarchy is full of high jinx, messy love affairs, divorces which precipitated civil war, and ignoble and bloody spectacles.

      Martine

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    4. Anon 19:11 I genuinely appreciate your articulate and thought provoking perspective. Can you provide any insight as to whether or not the British public has embraced Meghan or are you of he opinion that her journey to acceptance will be more of an uphill battle given her American heritage?

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    5. The show was canceled in 2016?....

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    6. The show ended in 2016?.....

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  43. In a nutshell, I believe the problem is that people want to take Meghan down because of jealousy. Plain and simple jealousy. That's why it doesn't matter what she does or doesn't do. Those who want to find fault with her will find it. Jealous because Meghan had so much before she met Harry (wealth, success and beauty)...now add besotted hot husband, royal title, even more money and fame...well, no one is allowed that much good fortune in life, so they think! It's not because she's American, not because she's mixed race. Simply because she's rich, beautiful and has Harry and a royal title.

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    1. Becca H in Colorado21 February 2019 at 20:15

      To be fair, some people do begrudge her nationality and race. It's been all over the comments on Kensington Palace's Instagram, among others.

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    2. I strongly disagree that people are motivated by jealousy and that only and that's why they criticize everything that Meghan does. I hated reading it on DKB and I don't like it here either. I can only guess what is in the background. Since I can't read minds, I guess being American and mixed race, an actress, what else, everyhing.

      But one thing I do know and crystal clear after going through the comment section today, no matter what she does, she will always be the bull's eye. (she is not a mommy why the necklace, why those people are invited, why being a celebrity, why the lavish party, and flaunting money, why why why.

      She should go hiding behind palace doors and live her life behind closed doors because that where she belongs. Heck no!!! She lives in an abnormal world, and has every right to flaunt her hard earned money on what she wants just as much as the future king and queen consort of England who are spending some quality time together at the moment.

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    3. She has every right, as we all have, but we all should be aware of the consequences of our actions. IMO, she could have had the shower in a more discreet way, it could even have been secret, it could have perfectly been managed. It was a choice, hers or her friends to make it very public. It is her right to flaunt her hard earned money or that of her friends. But the consequences are that she is seen as flaunting her wealth, being a show off, a do as I say, not as I do, an extravagant spender, out of touch. Was it necessary and useful? Just when there were concerns about negativity? Why feed the beast? IMO, it was a stupid thing to do, and her friends are not making her any favors with their social media pictures.
      I am always surprised by people who think Meghan is the only one that is subjected to scrutiny, I suppose they discovered the RF when they got interested in her.

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    4. I believe that jealousy is a big factor in the ill will, but it seems to me that the jealousy is extra green because many see Meghan an inferior and less deserving because she is American, biracial, an actress, divorced (some claiming at least two previous marriages), and some claiming she never worked a day in her life! I have ventured over to DM to read some of the comments. It's difficult to imagine how miserable the authors of those hateful comments must be.

      R

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    5. I agree, Anett. And has anyone ever wondered how Meghan feels about being pregnant? She's 37, and this is her first child. She may have wondered if she'd even be able to have a baby; it's not that easy as you age. My sister in law had her first child at 37 and they'd tried for 1-1/2 years. So to conceive so quickly? She must be overjoyed. No wonder she's a bit over the top. I've seen plenty of pregnant women who are the same way.

      Let her enjoy it; reality will hit soon enough. She didnt spend taxpayer money other than security. William and Kate are on vacation now and last time they went they flew private, and stayed in luxury, and they have more security than Meghan had on her trip.

      So I'm not bothered at all. And it's her pregnancy, her friends, her shower and her friends' generosity. I don't see what's to get bothere dabout.

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    6. The people I know who don't like Meghan are American and not racist. Therefore I have come to the conclusion that they are jealous. I think it's a far more common and powerful motivation than we realize.

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    7. For my part I can say that it is not the case. For me, it is more about the word "consciousness". I think it is a huge trend in the celebrity and royal world now, to be conscious and act modest. I mean - while in the past it might have been okay for the "highest class" people to show up on a yacht/somewhere else, displaying all the luxury, now it is not anymore. Now the people (myself included) want to see modesty, charitable actions, empathy, normalcy. Meghan profiles as a humanitarian for mkst of her life and I have always thought she was exactly this modest, conscious, normal person. Because even in her most luxurious moments, she managed to stay thoughtful. She seemed to be down-to-earth and really understanding, aware of and even connected to everyday reality of most of the people. And staying one of the people - as much as possible. But except for the donation of flowers there was nothing conscious or charitable or normal on this whole NYC thing. It is so out of Meghan's picture that i cannot believe she actually liked it. She is said to love country life with Harry, and now she parties in NYC with Omid Scobie (and presumably other reporters) knowing in advance, with friends basically live-streaming the whole event and then talking about the whole thing afterwards. Honestly, I am shocked and a bit disappointed about this whole thing because it is just so different from the down-to-earth, diplomatic and discreet Meghan that we "know"
      Sorry for my lengthy post. I guess I just wanted to justify the fact that I am, for once, really openly criticising something Meghan-related, which I am actually sorry for and not used to.
      Thank god Morocco trip starts soon!
      Ella

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    8. I completely agree with you Anett! Some of the comments I have read are ridiculous- opening presents, product placement( who knows if this was just a PR team staging a photo op for thier products), is she a mummy? I mean, really? Yes, the money spent is incomprehensible to me, but then this applies to SO many other people around the world. The Clooneys and Serena are international jet setters, but is Amal critised for her humanitarian work and methods of travel? Is the gap of deprivation globally shocking? Are there people in the world who are existing with the most unimaginable suffering? Yes. But I don't think the blame for this lies at Meghan's Baby Shower. Could the money have been spent better as charity donations? Perhaps, but then maybe I should donate the money I spend on a new bag to my local Food Bank. Serena and Amal support charities globally and represent some of the most vulnerable groups of people, if they want to host a party for thier friend and walk through the front door of a hotel- then fine. The issues are only in our perceptions and the uneccesary over analysis of loose facts. Enough!

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    9. I am not American, nor British. Here is why I am criticizing Meghan. Like I explained in answer of another comment above, I thing this extravagant and public trip was a mistake that could easily have been avoided. It was simply a stupid thing to do, and it doesn't make me think well of Meghan's common sense or that of her friends. I don't think I am jealous of Meghan , what for?

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    10. I agree, Anonymous 23:31 ("R")... for the naysayers who express racist or anti-America sentiments, jealousy is at the probably at the core of those feelings.

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  44. Anonymous @19:45. ALL the Royals are humanitarians and live ROYALLY: Expensive ski trips, vacations, two and three homes, etc. This ROYAL lifestyle didn’t start with the Duchess of Sussex, she married into it, bringing her own millions and wealthy friends. Both Princes, William and Harry have wealthy friends. It is reported that Prince William and his family are on a ski trip at this time. I’m inclined to agree with Pam from Boston @19:20, the “green monster” is all over the place as it relates to the Duchess of Sussex. Also, people seem to forget the power of the Queen. If Queen Elizabeth had NOT approved this trip and baby shower, it would not have happened. Thanks again, Charlotte.

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    1. I've said this often before but once again: Queen Elizabeth does not micro manage her family, is said to loathe conflict and therefore only gets involved when she feels that things have gone way, way too far. Meghan does not need to ask for her permission in order to go on a trip or have a baby shower, nor would the Cambridges ask granny if they may go on a ski trip.

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  45. I am an American and I am a Meghan/Harry fan, but I am not new to following the royal family. I have since Charles & Diana got married. There is nothing wrong with Meghan having a baby shower, but to do it this publicly was not a good idea, in my opinion. They had to know it would be found out. The New York press have spies everywhere. Now I am not saying that they wanted this to get to the press, but more that they probably they decided not worry if it did. This was a huge misstep, in my opinion. Even though the public purse does not pay for this, it does not matter. People are viewing this as Meghan still trying to hang on to her "Hollywood" lifestyle, whether that is true or not. Also, the amount of money spent on this are seen by some as over the top. Yes, it is fine for that amount of money to be spent, but I think it should be kept private. I am all about baby showers, being an American, but this could have been done a better way. They could have had the shower at one of her friend's homes. This would have allowed for it to be secluded and away from the prying eyes of the press. The way the celebrities walked into the hotel for the baby shower just looked like a red carpet walk. Now, please don't misunderstand what I am saying. I know the royals walk the red carpet for certain events, but these event are always in support of a charity. She also needs to tell her friends to quit posting selfies of their visits with her. If it is truly a private event, then keep it private. I agree to a certain point that Meghan should be able to do what she wants during her private life, but those choices should always be measured against that she is a royal now. What a royal should be able to do should always be considered against what is best for their image. Some of the criticism of this is ridiculous, I agree. For instance, her taking a private jet and preaching climate change...puhleeeeze! All royals take private jets at times because of their high profile and the security and privacy it offers. I also know that royals dine out in public with friends, but they don't all do a "red carpet walk" to see them. I really don't want to come across as harsh, because I really do like Meghan and Harry and I cannot wait for Morocco this weekend, but I feel that they are either not receiving good advice or at not taking it. Just my humble opinion.

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  46. I have to agree with many readers that this NYC visit was not great optics for Meghan- although I don’t see it as a catastrophic mistake. I imagine her friends planned the whole thing and wanted to totally pamper Meghan, like any true friends would! It just appears that no one was thinking about the optics, and perhaps by the time it was realized it was too late. The whole thing felt like a mega celebrity fashion show and a flagrant and proud display of excess and wealth. Just not a good look, and what we know of Meghan I have to think that she probably wasn’t super comfortable with all of either. Aren’t we all in a similar position sometimes- when our friends plan something a bit over the top for us but we love them and go along with it anyway? But in any case, this is a good learning experience and will be forgotten by most, much like DKC’s early mistakes.

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  47. Royalty and branding go hand in hand unofficially and officially. We see this among the younger set in particular because the media follows them. The young princesses go to their friends’ jewelry and fashion shows and we get photos and quotes. The royals wear certain clothing brands and people take note. They read certain books and drink certain boozy liquid and people take note. They eat certain food and people take note. They drive certain cars and people take note.

    It’s life in a goldfish bowl.

    If the people decided they want an end to the monarchy, well it won’t be the first time. Cromwell anyone? But outrage over Meghan and her baby showers because this may be perceived as a threat to the monarchy seems a bit too convenient. If the people vote for a republic, it won’t be because of Meghan.
    - Martine

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  48. I honestly don’t understand the big deal with this. And I’m not really a fan of Megan. She had a baby shower...big deal. Photographers took photos of the coming and going and she didn’t make herself look ridiculous cowering and covering her face...the horror. Unlike Kate AND Diana this life isn’t new to her. She even sought out a profession that this would be her life out in public. She’s fine with it.

    As for expense well that’s not actually her choice. She didn’t pay for the shower...friends did and they can afford more than a living room or church basement. Any event thrown by her friends will be luxurious. She doesn’t have a choice about the amount of protection she costs. I’m sure she’d be happier without it but it’s not up to her and unless she stays cloistered at all times but official visits it is what it is. As to the gifts they were paid for by her friends and they wanted to...does the public now dictate what her friends can and can’t do?

    Why should she have a celebration of her baby with her friends?

    The whole thing is ridiculous and petty.

    And the whole celebrity vs royal thing...well royals ARE celebrities. You can try and make distinctions but it’s just semantics...they are famous people...literal definition of celebrity.

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    1. Well said Anon 22:58 And I totally agree!

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  49. Contrary to popular belief, I don't think people are bothered by Meghan because of her background, skin color, previous marital status or anything like that. I think we are way past that kind of stuff now.
    I believe that what is frustrating royal watchers, and even Meghan-fans (like myself), is something that she seems to be struggling with. Discretion -- it's one word that speaks volumes.
    Discretion encompasses good decision-making skills, awareness of outside perception, sensitivity to nuances, and more. It's something that famous people often need to work on, more so than the average person, because of their status.
    Discretion means doing things smartly: You are taking engagement pictures that will be seen around the world? Of course you want to look fabulous, so buy a beautiful outfit! But why does it have to cost $75,000, regardless of who paid for it? The public doesn't know who foot the bill, but they do know the price tag.
    Discretion is: You are carrying a baby inside? Congratulations, that is wonderful news! Enjoy every second of your pregnancy -- but don't keep your hand on your bump so much. That is not discreet, and that will draw too much attention -- the kind of attention you don't want.
    Discretion is: You want to have a luxurious baby shower? By all means, go all out! We all want the best for you because you deserve it. But while you're partying, shhh. Keep it quiet. Keep it under the radar. Don't provoke comments, and don't draw attention because you won't be happy with the results.

    Again, discretion is not about right or wrong. It's about doing things smartly. When Meghan masters this skill, she will have more fans than she ever dreamed!

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    1. I am shocked that putting a hand on a stomach is considered "indiscreet." I've been around pregnant mothers before and many are constantly talking to their babies, and rubbing the bellies when their babies kick. Meghan acting like any other pregnant woman is a problem?

      I really think this child is bringing out a lot of racist tendencies in people. Simply put they're not ready for this baby to be born. She's of mixed race, and they;re not ready for that for the BRF. Point blank period. In fact if god forbid something happens to Meghan's baby I dare say the Dailymail commenters will be happy and relieved.

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    2. Yes, L! Thank you for this comment!

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    3. I very much agree with your comment, L. I really like Meghan, wish her all the best and applaud a lot of what she does; at the same time, what you say about discretion completely makes sense.

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    4. Are you serious?

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    5. L you absolutely nailed it. The concern is not out of jealousy, or because of her background, it is completely about discretion, or in the case of Meghan, rather the lack thereof. Your last statement says it all, if Meghan masters this skill, then she will be the entire package. Right now, though, she is not and it is disappointment that she hasn't realized this.

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    6. Yes I'm serious. Read the DailyMail. Many are actively wishing that something bad happen to Meghan's baby.

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  50. Rich famous accomplished women host a party for a fellow rich famous accomplished woman in an expensive hotel where they can all be together with relative privacy.... shock horror.... much ado about.......erininnyc

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    1. That about sums it up......thank you Erininnyc

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  51. Tammy from California22 February 2019 at 01:07

    This is not a knock at Meghan, but rather my feelings on celebrities in general: they all got LUGGAGE as a party gift? No wonder American celebrities can't relate in any way shape or form to the regular working class American. Ridiculous.

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    1. I referred to this in an earlier text, Tammy. I just don't understand the extravagant gifts to guests nor the significance of the luggage--maybe the thought was so that they could use it to pack up to come see the baby? I just don't get it. I thought it was tacky.

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  52. Here's a thought, for those who are criticizing that she accepted the gift of going on a private jet--would people really like to see here queuing up to board a 'regular' airplane?!

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  53. For those criticizing her accepting the gift of using a private jet.....would you rather have seen her queueing up to board a 'regular' plane?!

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  54. Maybe it would be more palatable if we said that the very wealthy Serena and Amal had a lavish party. They invited Meghan, and to avoid costing the British taxpayer anything, Amal paid for Meghan to fly in such a way to allow extreme comfort and thus safety for the baby.

    As an ex-New Yorker, I would be very upset if these details were hidden!! That's not the New York way. And we did not see a lot of the guests at the wedding -- a seating chart was finally produced of those in the front area but there could have been many of Meghan's friends in the more general area. I was happy to see that the person Harry met and fell in love with remains, and I thought Daniel showing the cookies, like he did for the avocado toast, is just him being so excited to continue to be part of the posse.

    I guess they could have gone to an island or skiing, but Meghan loves and misses New York. There is nothing like it; everything is in New York, and the food is outstanding. There is an energy to the city, and it's not just "Hollywood," or "Broadway." It's the universities, the artists, the hospitals, the cultures, the history, the architecture.

    And these are the friends who saved us from the nonexistent Kensington Palace PR. Finally someone said, "No, you are wrong about Meghan. Her father and step-siblings lie. None of the stories are true." People don't have to believe them, but relentless tales make people think that perhaps at least some of it is true. Having that letter published was a miracle.

    Maybe not opening the gifts was also a way of not embarrassing gift-givers; usually gifts cost about the same at baby showers, but someone could have brought something that was over the top. Traditionally, husbands are not part of the proceedings, but times have changed and Meghan wanted to include Harry.

    I like the thought of wealth going just to those in need, but I don't see why we have to single out Meghan. If she does nothing more than the Hubb Cookbook in her life, I'll be satisfied.

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  55. Oh, my goodness, I really had to bite my tongue reading some of these so judgemental comments. All I see is that Meghan is a very exceptional woman. She was exceptional when she was an 11 year old girl who wrote a letter to Proctor & Gamble pointing out that their commercial for dish detergent for sexist. Critical thinking skills when she was 11. How many girls do that? It's on video, so look it up if you need proof. To even insinuate that she might have a "lazy" bone in her body is what is known as a dog whistle. She's worked her entire life, graduated college, reinvented herself many times to keep working and creating a life for herself. She has done charity work for years way before meeting Harry. Finally got a good gig on TV for 7 or 8 years, modeled, taught classes, and let's not forget her lifestyle blog which I loved and then she met Harry. I love her sense of style.

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  56. The entire British royal family live a fairytale of wealth and privilege. It’s absurd to say it’s okay for them to do that so long as they are “discreet”; but this frightful American with rich and famous friends is wrong to accept their lavish hospitalty for a last weekend together before England slips a chain around her throat. She will never be what’s wanted, it seems. Reading these comments, I am struck by how similar they are to the type of attacks against President Barack Obama. Hmmm, what’s the connection? They’re both charismatic and mixed race. According to some of you, Meghan is personally responsible for solving world poverty and the destructive effects of climate change, celebrity culture and income inequality. Or at least, she’s the only one who has to constantly govern her personal behavior to reduce her carbon footprint, and only accept handmade from recycled plastic gifts, worth less than $10.00US. And be sure not to offend her good friends, whom some pretend to know better than she, by asking them if it’s okay if she carries the gifts home to share with her husband. It’s ludicrous to think women with the power and confidence of Gayle King, Serena Williams, and Beyonce would have their feelings hurt by that sweet gesture. Beyonce’s fortune is estimated at $500 million. Does anyone think this seemed like a lit of money to her? She’s almost as wealthy as the Queen of England.
    Yes, that’s exactly how ridiculous it looks. Just write “It’s okay unless Meghan does it.”.

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  57. The only thing I disagree with is the Royals always saying that they want as normal a life as possible, when they can’t possibly mean it. I am sure they would never trade their lives for a normal life. It smacks of immaturity on their part, it’s like stabbing a knife in the gut of us normal people, it really is sickening. William and Harry should stop touting this nonsense in public, on another note, I think every first time mom deserves a shower, no matter how wealthy, can’t imagine why they had the shower in The Mark though, I find the decor dull, dark and depressing. There are much prettier venues, some with garden themes that would have been wonderful. Something to note that we never think about is that we really have no idea how much the royals donate to charity, all we see is the published amount, I am sure they give discreetly. Also I am sick to death of global warming talk and carbon footprint bunk. God knows the hour and day when this world will come to an end, no matter what we do, the outcome is already set so why not enjoy like as it is? Also, why is the generation today trying to solve all the worlds problems? Why not just pick one, and leave the rest for future generations? If we can solve world hunger, that’s a huge accomplishment, we don’t have to solve everything right now!!!

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    1. No offense but what does global warming have to do with Meghan's baby shower?

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    2. What they mean is a life away from the public eye, that is a normal life. They’ll always be rich but it would be normal!

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    3. Tammy from California22 February 2019 at 16:18

      @Indigoisle: you make some excellent points. World hunger-exactly!

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  58. im love that she spending her time with family and friends i hope she can relax now and have the baby sussex

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  59. Yikes, ya'll are certainly opinionated! Glad I'm not famous - goodness know what horrible things I'd be crucified for by the masses!

    Thanks as always for a balanced and informed piece, Charlotte. I hope M had a special time with her friends that she will treasure forever.

    Also, Bey's tribute to M is pure MONEY! Personally I think the Carters are a little overblown, but this tribute was genius.

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  60. I would like to add that in the US the baby shower is also a celebration of the new life to come and often family’s offer up blessings for the coming birth, I find it very hard to believe that Brits don’t celebrate in this way... a very sad fact if they don’t!! Also it is a chance for extended friends and family to spend quality time together because everyone knows how demanding new parenthood is and most time people don’t visit the new parents and baby until the 3 month mark after birth, so baby showers are for much more than giving gifts. Too bad you guys across the pond are missing out!!

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  61. I am one who does not like ostentatious displays of wealth or frankly over consumption, just for the sake of consuming. I live in a community in the US with the wealthiest people in the world...I belong to the same clubs, and grew up and went to school with them. This stuff does go on behind closed doors, but really not this much, but it is never selfied, or done in places with easy press coverage. Many celebrities and frankly lots of want to be celebrities" display this type of consumption on social media, but I do not care who is doing it, I am not jealous...I have no need to be, this is just not the norm for a baby shower. Meghan may have had no control in this circus so to me that says her friends are pretty clueless. And yes you can do it under the radar and yes all high end NYC Hotels have off the main entrances for their wealthy clients. And no paying someone to set up a "create your own bouquet event to give out to hospitals, nursing homes "is not super special". It turns the act of giving from I gave because I l wanted to/cared to into look at me I created this great thing that I then donated," how special am I".This is what most people are reacting to.

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  62. Thanks for the great post im very happy that she got to recharge with her true friends in NYC. Beyonce and Jay-z paying honour to Meghan's beautiful portrait made my entire weekend!! I love that they gave her such respect to help shut up the haters and her wretched father and his side of the family.

    I just loved what they did for Meghan there by not saying a word about her but just standing in front of Queen Meghan like that !

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  63. Honestly, I loathe the whole discussion and especially what is made out of it from the media which are earning money with it. A baby-shower is an American tradition and Meghan is from the US. She has some friends who are well known and stars in their own rights and some got because of skills and ambitions and their jobs what an average would consider wealthy - like Meghan. Great for them! Of course living in the UK once in a while Meghan like to reconnect with friends, Go out for a dinner or coffee or to a museum. That's what we all do! And my guess is the baby-shower was arranged by her friends. And ASSUMING and SPECULATING in which room she stayed overnight and putting the highst priced penthouse into a calculation, don't blaming Amal for using the private aircraft with her kids but calculation the price to Megan's "Bash" it is just RIDICULOUS! Some of the commenters above are just falling in a trap set up by media and not looking behind the reasons. Probably if no one would have tipped the media (for a good amount of money or favors - corupt and disrespectful to Meghan) it would have gone unnoticed. She handled the sudden media fuss in her own charming stride and yet get's all the hate comments and money talks again. I hope she dearly enjoyed meeting her "girls" friends and be in a city she loves and enjoy the privacy (we only saw her going or leaaving!) of intimate talks with her dearest friends.

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  64. As always, you’re right on the money, Charlotte. All of the royals live incredibly lavish and privileged lives. I understand republicans who have a problem with that, as the royals are arguably funded or at the very least subsidized by UK taxpayers. But I don’t understand the problem with private citizens who earned their own money choosing to spend it as they wish to, or the arguments about US taxpayers’ burden when Meghan is actually a US taxpayer herself and has
    been taxed at the highest rates given her
    Income level. (I mean, I understand when people have a broader problem with excessive consumption in general but that’s not what people are arguing).

    And I don’t understand when professed royalists have a problem with Meghan enjoying luxury. The BRF all live in expansive estates, palaces, properties worth millions upon millions—yet they’re “discreet”? Somehow royal watchers can enjoy the expensive tiaras, jewelry, gowns, housing, parties, etc.—but suddenly draw a line st Meghan? I urge people who truly think the BRF are not lavish to think critically about the difference in coverage that Meghan receives vs the other BRF family members. If the coverage of the others were as unrelenting and endless, I’m sure they would have different impressions.

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    1. Anon 9:15, so well said & I couldn't agree more! xx

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  65. Meghan and her friends were very discreet. This was planned months ago and not one peep. Meghan was in NY for three whole days and a passerby/patron/wait staff outed her by selling info to Page Six. The press and paparazzi were en route within hours and were camped out in front of Misha's home.

    People think Meghan is too hollywod but I disagree. The press turned this into a spectacle and a circus.

    I'm pleased that she able to spend time her with friends and celebrate with an awesome baby shower.

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  66. Royal 👑 Watcher22 February 2019 at 12:15

    Is it the extravagance of this five day event that people are upset about? Or something else? They have the money, why can't they spend it how they want to? Do people want Meghan to be more discreet now that she is a royal? More classy, less nouveau riche? A less visible weekend in the Scottish highlands or the Swiss Alps instead of in your face New York? I can see the point. I used to work in Switzerland, and there was some incredible wealth that was never flaunted outside the doors of private chalet parties, private jets and 5-star hotel restaurants. No photographers anywhere, but the champagne was flowing and the caviar was being eaten by the spoonful by ladies covered in diamonds and dressed in couture. Maybe it is the extravagance then? Is that it?

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  67. Green eyed monster seems to be striking a lot. I can’t believe how bitter, jealous and twisted some people are. Get over it. If you can’t afford to live like that it’s your problem. It not up to Meghan and the others to hide their wealth so you don’t get jealous. Great article Charlotte it’s a shame it has been hijacked by bitter haters.

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  68. Well said, Anon 05:24. Thank you.
    And thank you to Charlotte for your truly professional, thoughtful coverage through all this.
    It seems to me that the phenomena of “look at this generous charity donation I made, see what a great person I am” is in some ways specific to American celebrity culture and to the hyper-individualist self-made person aspect of American culture, where some people become very pre-occupied with making a brand of who they are. It is the opposite of discreet. It is an aspect of bread-and-butter American narcissism. And Meghan marinated in this culture for years as an actress so it seemingly rubbed off on her, which is understandable. Although there are American actors/actresses who are discreet about their private lives (eg Meryl Streep; Paul Newman; Claire Danes; Matt Damon, to name a random few).
    Anyway, hopefully Meghan’s friends may take a page from that book in future. Of course Meghan has a right to have whatever sort of private baby shower she would like, but it seems like it probably can be done more under the radar.

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  69. As I read these comments I find myself wondering how much longer Charlotte will have the patience to continue with this blog. The level of bitching and complaining is simply exhausting and these are only the comments that Charlotte has allowed through, I can't imagine what type of comments she's had to read and then block.

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    1. As I said, the abuse really started when she became pregnant. I think the idea of a BRF member being of mixed race is something the British public is not ready for and this reaction to a baby shower exemplifies this. Simply put -- I think many people secretly would be happy if Meghan lost her baby.

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  70. Thank you, Charlotte, for your blog. I very much enjoy your royal reporting. You have achieved a great balance between the real important work the royals do and the fashion info many people are very interested in.

    I see Meghan as a great person. And I wish people like her would bring other things to the spotlight.

    Not because I want them to, but because this world needs someone to.

    Many people are furious because she/her friends "spent a lot of money". But is it a lot? For who? Because as someone wrote before, this is relative and what is wealth for you, is not wealth for the other.

    What about all the celebrities, sportsmen and business people, who have insane amount of money. Did they deserve it and do they spend it well? Who would decide? We shouldn´t dare judge other people so easily.

    And many people don´t realize that this absurd amount of money, luxury holidays, travels, popularity, living in the palace, wouldn´t make you happy.

    I would love to live in a world where everyone can afford this kind of baby shower. Unfortunately, this world is not fair.

    Meghan can use her life position to show other things.

    That having luxury life doesn´t mean you will live meaningful, happy life. That having great amount of very expensive clothes doesn´t mean you look pretty. That caring about other people is cool. That not wasting is great and important. That empathy and humanity is more important than money you have.

    I see Meghan as a great person. She can change the world. I so wish she will.

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  71. The mention of jealousy motivating all this negativity and hatred toward Meghan reminds me of something J.K. Rowling put into the mouth of one of her characters: Greatness inspires envy, envy inspires spite, and spite creates lies." I'm not sure I have the quote exactly right, but I think it says it all. The envy is motivated by feelings that Meghan does not deserve to be admired and respected because she is bi-racial, American, an actress, not an aristocrat, not British, a divorcee, etc. whatever is the hater's personal bug-bear. I'm not lumping the people who disapprove of what Meghan does or how she lives due to different values and upbringing.

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  72. Charlotte, please forgive my ignorance. I know nothing about the portrait of Meghan, that was featured in the Beyonce & Jay-Z video clip? Is this an official Royal Portrait that Meghan sat for, or was it something put together just for the video? I don't remember any announcement or portrait reveal.... ? Thanks in advance for the info. B

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    1. Hello Becca,

      It's a painting by Tim O Brien. I think it was initially commissioned for the cover of Meghan's former Kappa Kappa Gamma sorority. It's not official and she didn't sit for it though. I expect it will be another year or two before we see an official portrait :)

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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 :)