If you came here looking for a "royals, they're just like us!" summary of Meghan Markle's baby shower, you've come to the wrong place—and the wrong party.
The seven-month pregnant duchess—who has been known to cook and clean in her modest two-bedroom cottage herself—celebrated the birth of her future baby with an extravagant celebration befitting his or her royal pedigree. The New York City affair—held Wednesday during a New York City snowstorm—was no typical baby shower; it perfectly mixed the glamorous elements of her Hollywood history with the sophisticated air of her new British lifestyle. It was also quite a public affair for someone who laid low for her bachelorette party and to the media's knowledge didn't have a bridal shower.
Read on for all the details from the luxe event—including the cotton candy machine. (OK, maybe royals are a bit like us.)
Markle returned Stateside for the fête, specifically the Mark hotel on New York City's Upper East Side. The party was reportedly held in the hotel's penthouse suite, which boasts a price tag of $75,000 per night—making it the most expensive hotel room in the U.S, the Daily Mail reports. The suite is fit for a queen, including three king-sized bedrooms, two queen-sized bedrooms, six bathrooms, and a private rooftop terrace with views of Central Park.
It seems almost all of Markle's entourage came out to support the mommy-to-be. Amal Clooney was spotted entering the Mark Hotel Wednesday afternoon—in a chic red jumpsuit, no less. Other attendees included Gayle King; Markle's former Suits costar Abigail Spencer; her former stylist Jessica Mulroney; Misha Nonoo, the rumored friend who set Markle up with Prince Harry; her wedding makeup artist Daniel Martin, and longtime friend Markus Anderson.
The party's MVP was Serena Williams, who according to Tatler reportedly footed the $200,000 bill for the party. (What are best friends for?) The tennis star was also seen getting dinner with Markle the evening before the party.
And if you're wondering why the duchess's sister-in-law Kate Middleton wasn't in attendance, don't fret. Baby showers are largely an American tradition (and against royal protocol—Middleton never had a baby shower) which could explain her absence. And considering it's rumored Markle will have a second shower in England in a few weeks, Middleton may have another chance to celebrate the impending birth of her future niece or nephew.
According to Vanity Fair, world-renowned chef Jean-Georges Vongerichten catered a "dessert-tasting experience" for the attendees. If that didn't satiate them, paparazzi also caught a cotton candy machine being delivered to the suite, People notes.
Markle's friend and makeup artist Daniel Martin also shared a photo to Instagram sharing the sweet cookies at the party: a stork, a white and pale green rattle and a bib featuring the word "baby" written in script.
VF adds that the shower began with a "flower-arranging lesson"—which explains the dozens of orange and pink blooms being delivered to the Mark on Tuesday. But no word yet if they played "guess the baby food" or practiced diapering watermelons. People adds that New York City–based harpist and singer Erin Hill also was on tap to entertain the crowd.
Thursday morning, Gayle King revealed more details about the shower, which she called "a small, private affair, and a special time for her," during CBS's This Morning. The TV personality confirmed that the guests indeed made floral arrangements—and all for a good cause.
"A good time was had by all," King began. "I hope she won't mind me sharing this because I've never seen anything like this at a baby shower. They did flower decorations. They had flower arranging, they brought in somebody to explain how to arrange flowers, she said, adding, "We all each made an individual vase. And then Meghan, at her request, they got in touch with an organization I've never heard of with, Repeat Roses, and they're all donated to different charities. I thought that was a very sweet thing."
(The Daily Mail notes that Repeat Roses is not charity but actually a business that charges to breakdown events and then donates the leftover flowers to to shelters, hospitals and hospice centers.)
King then added: "It just speaks to who she is. She's kind, she's very generous. And a really, really sweet person."
See more from King, below.
A week after the event, Markle's makeup artist Daniel Martin, opened up about the "cozy" event.
“It was exactly what she needed, and it was a reunion for all of us, too, who hadn’t seen each other since the wedding,” Martin told People on Wednesday, February 27. “Snow was falling outside, and it was so cozy—we all sat on couches or on the floor and told stories and caught up,” he added. “It was like going to a family reunion.”
Another, unnamed guest added, “It was all baby talk. She was getting tons of advice.”
The Party Favors
The guests will likely be leaving the party with luggage in tow. Paparazzi snapped pics of a dozen or so Away suitcases arriving at the duchess's suite earlier in the day.
According to Hello, a pricey and eco-friendly Babyletto 3-in-1 Hudson crib was seen being delivered to the hotel before the party—a fitting gift considering it's been reported that Markle and Prince Harry are planning an entirely eco-friendly nursery. Several other guests, including King and Clooney, were spotted carrying gift bags into the party, and Nonoo who was seen with a shopping bag from luxury home goods store Rani Arabella.
And according to King, Markle didn't open any gifts during the party—instead, the Duchess plans to wait and open them in London alongside Prince Harry.
But the best gifts were undoubtedly for Markle herself: Paparazzi caught Markle leaving the Mark Wednesday night sporting a 18-carat gold "mommy" necklace. It's the first time the Duchess has been since wearing the jewelry, suggesting the delicate accessory was a gift from her NYC trip. (The Daily Mail reports it was designed by by Jennifer Meye and runs $850.)
And the Daily Mail adds that Amal and George Clooney lent the royal a private jet to make the journey across the pond—an estimated cost of $125,000. Even if George Clooney isn't up for the job of godparent, we get why Meghan and Harry would want the generous couple for the job.