Meghan’s $100k-a-night NYC baby shower
Meghan has been enjoying a lavish baby shower in New York with her famous friends, with the celebrations culminating on Wednesday afternoon with no-expense-spared at her $100,000-a-night penthouse.
A harp, crates of Sancerre and boxes bearing the branding of travel and lifestyle brand Away arrived at The Mark Hotel on the Upper East Side throughout the morning as fans and paparazzi crowded around the entrance.
Pink and blue roses were delivered on Tuesday to the luxurious hotel, along with luxury gifts including Babyletto's $530 convertible Hudson crib.
The hotel boasts the most expensive penthouse in the United States. The 3000 square-metres, two-floor suite boasts five bedrooms, six bathrooms, and four fireplaces, with panoramic views of Central Park and the Metropolitan Museum of Art.
The Duchess of Sussex flew in from London on Friday for the five-day celebration hosted by celebrity friends Amal Clooney and tennis legend Serena Williams, who picked up the bill for the shower, according to Tatler magazine. She headed home to the United States following a low-key Valentine's Day meal with husband Prince Harry, 34, on Thursday night.
The 15 guests included Meghan's former Suits co-star Abigail Spencer, best friend and stylist Jessica Mulroney, fashion designer Misha Nonoo, her wedding hairstylist Serge Normant, publicist Celine Khavarani and NBC Universal Cable chairman Bonnie Hammer.
Some noted that Meghan - who is expecting her baby with the prince in April - did not appear to have invited any friends from Britain on the holiday. The Duchess's mother Doria Ragland was also absent, seen walking her dog in Los Angeles while her daughter celebrated on the east coast.
It will be a welcome break for Meghan, who has faced relentless tabloid attention in recent months, amid drama with her father and rumours of a feud with sister-in-law Kate.
The 37-year-old visited The Met Breuer and The Surrey Hotel restaurant on Tuesday wearing Le Specs sunglasses, a black William Vintage trapeze coat, Hatch Maternity trousers and Stuart Weitzman nude heels.
On Tuesday evening, the pregnant royal arrived for dinner at Polo Bar wearing jeans and black knee high boots under a navy Victoria Beckham coat and scarf. She was accompanied by friend Markus Anderson, who works as a consultant for exclusive members club Soho House, and Williams arrived separately.
On Saturday, she visited the French Ladurée cafe in Soho with friend Jess for macarons and tea in one of the bakery's private spaces.
Tom Kennedy, a guest visiting The Mark from Florida, said it was "interesting" to see the hubbub of media, celebrities and staff flitting around the hotel. "I've stayed at other fancy hotels but this is the nicest," he told news.com.au. "It has all the amenities one could ask for - it's nice to experience.
"The staff, they're so nice, and personality-wise, always ask if they can help with something, If you want to go somewhere, they have drivers who'll take you there - within 20 blocks it's complimentary.
"I think (the staff are) used to it ... the valets, I got to know one, he said every week there's someone who comes up, Johnny Depp loves this place."
Meghan and her friends are enjoying exclusive private dining from the hotel's two Michelin star restaurant, which Mr Kennedy said served a variety of delicious Mediterranean food, mostly Italian and French. Williams is a regular visitor to Jean-Georges, the hotel's in-house restaurant, while celebrities including the Hadids, Gisele Bündchen and Anna Wintour have all stayed during the Met Gala.
A flower seller running a cart outside told news.com.au that while the hotel is popular with big names, it wasn't often they attracted quite so much attention. "We have it at Met Gala and we have it for events like this," he said.
"She came a couple of times in and out yesterday.
"There's always a lot of stress with security, getting it right, housekeeping getting all the rooms ... whatever needs to be done for her.
"It's the same day to day operations as usual, it's just tighter because there's a lot of importance on it so it's got to be on point.
"There was a lot of action yesterday and a lot of push, that brings a lot of people out on the street wondering what's going on."
Guests and visitors seemed intrigued, with the stall worker saying he believed it was "part of the fun and games, the adventure, a little bit of The Mark action."
One woman leaving the hotel after visiting its high-end hair salon was intrigued to learn the pregnant royal was inside. Another mother and daughter said they had been at The Surrey when Meghan was there yesterday, and hotel guests had still been allowed into the restaurant.
"We love the royals, they're young and they're funky, you can relate to them a bit," said Lisa Melotte, a tourist visiting from London with her family. "Her mother wasn't here which was very surprising."
Meghan is due to fly to Morocco with Harry for the final trip of her pregnancy on Saturday, returning to the UK on Monday.