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Amal and Sarena Williams to co host Duchess of Sussex baby shower in New York

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Amal and Sarena Williams to co host Duchess of Sussex baby shower in New York

Post by annemarie on Wed 20 Feb 2019, 16:06

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[size=34]Fit for a princess! Serena Williams and Amal Clooney prepare to host a lavish baby shower for Meghan in America's most expensive hotel room - a $75,000-A-NIGHT penthouse described as 'A Castle in the Sky'[/size]


  • Meghan, 37, arrived in New York City on Friday night for a secret trip to visit her girlfriends

  • The main event of the trip is an intimate baby shower set to be attended by 15 of her closest pals 

  • A source revealed the event will take place in the Penthouse Suite at The Mark hotel, where Meghan is staying

  • They claim it was chosen by Serena, 37, who is a long-time fan of hotel restaurant The Mark by Jean-Georges

  • Tennis pro Serena is also said to be picking up the bill for the cost of the suite 

  • The Mark's penthouse is believed to cost $75,000-a-night, making the country's most expensive hotel room  

  • It features all manner of luxury amenities, and boasts five bedrooms, six bathrooms, and five fireplaces 

  • The 10,000sq ft space also boasts an impressive 2,500sq ft rooftop terrace that overlooks Central Park 

  • Meghan is thought to be flying home to London on Wednesday after the shower takes place 

  • On Tuesday night, she had dinner at Ralph Lauren's restaurant The Polo Bar with Serena and Jessica Mulroney 

  • The visit marks the first time she has been in the Big Apple since she said 'I do' to Prince Harry in May 2018  


By CHARLIE LANKSTON FOR DAILYMAIL.COM 
PUBLISHED: 07:54 EST, 20 February 2019 | UPDATED: 10:42 EST, 20 February 2019





Meghan Markle is set to finish off her surprise trip to New York in true style by attending a lavish baby shower thrown for her by Serena Williams and Amal Clooney in America's most expensive hotel room - and $75,000-a-night penthouse suite. 
It had been previously reported that the event, which is said to be the main reason for the seven-months-pregnant royal's secret trip to the Big Apple, had taken place on Tuesday, however a source close to the 37-year-old royal claims that it is scheduled for Wednesday, shortly before Meghan is set to return to London. 
Speaking to Tatler, the source revealed that the baby shower will be held in the Grand Penthouse Suite at The Mark hotel on New York's Upper East Side, where Meghan and her friend Serena, 37, are both thought to have stayed on Tuesday evening, after enjoying dinner together at a swanky Manhattan restaurant. 
Although it is not known whether Meghan has been staying in the penthouse for her entire trip - which began on Friday when she flew in from London after spending Valentine's Day with her husband Prince Harry - the location will reportedly play host to the duchess and several of her closest pals while they celebrate the upcoming arrival of Meghan and Harry's first child.  

Described by the hotel as 'A Castle in the Sky', the 10,000sq ft suite boasts every luxury, including a 2,500sq ft rooftop terrace overlooking Central Park, five bedrooms, four fireplaces, six bathrooms, two powder rooms, two wet bars, a dining room, a conservatory, and a living room that can be 'transformed into a full-size Grand Ballroom' if desired by guests. 
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Ready to celebrate! Meghan Markle, pictured heading to dinner in New York City on Tuesday night, is reportedly set to attend a baby shower thrown by Serena Williams and Amal Clooney in America's most expensive hotel room on Wednesday 
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Settling in: Seven-months-pregnant Meghan and Serena, both 37, were pictured making their way into The Mark hotel, which is home to the $75,000-a-night penthouse where the baby shower will take place, after their dinner on Tuesday  
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Lavish: The Penthouse Suite at The Mark is widely reported to be the most expensive per-night hotel room in the US, and it boasts a sprawling living area, as well as an outdoor terrace
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Plenty of room! The large suite, which has a stately dining room, is more than capable of accommodating Meghan and 15 of her closest friends, with many reports suggesting that is how many were invited to attend the intimate celebration
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Queen of the castle: The 10,000sq ft penthouse, which is described by The Mark as 'A Castle in the Sky' boasts a 2,500sq ft roof terrace that overlooks Central Park 
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Spoiled for choice: It is not known whether Meghan has been staying in the hotel suite, which boasts five bedrooms, for the duration of her trip or whether it is just being used for the baby shower
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On top of the world: The sprawling penthouse suite is referred to as 'A Castle in the Sky' by The Mark, no doubt thanks in part to the sprawling roof terrace, and is also described as 'lavishly-adorned' and 'unprecedentedly spacious',
The two-story penthouse, which is located on the 16th floor of the hotel, is described on The Mark's website as being 'lavishly-adorned' and 'unprecedentedly spacious', and features 'majestic' interior decor designed by legendary French interior designer Jacques Grange.
According to Tatler's source, the location was chosen by Serena, who is a long-time fan of The Mark's in-house restaurant, The Mark by Jean-Georges, a renowned chef whose flagship restaurant on Central Park West boasts two Michelin stars. 
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Helping hand: The shower is reportedly being co-hosted by Amal, 41, whose husband George spoke out to slam the media's treatment of Meghan during a recent press event
She is not thought to have stayed at the hotel before Tuesday night, when she and Meghan were pictured returning to the location after enjoying dinner with two of the royal's closest friends Jessica Mulroney and Markus Anderson.
Mother-of-one Serena is also said to be footing the bill for the use of the pricey hotel room, who has been a close friend of Meghan's since they first met in 2010. 
The tennis pro is said to have chosen the location after 'visiting several other properties in the area', according to the source.  
Both Jessica, 39, and Markus are expected to attend the intimate baby shower on Wednesday, which is, according to sources, scheduled to take place at 12.30pm. 
The inside source also revealed that the shower will include a host of elegant activities, kicking off with a flower arranging lesson that will be accompanied by a variety of delicious desserts prepared especially by the hotel restaurant's head chef, Jean-Georges Vongerichten.
Jean-Georges himself is also set to be present at the start of the event, and will greet Meghan and her guests upon their arrival in the suite.  
As well as the two hosts, the guests at the event are expected to include newly-engaged designer Misha Nonoo, who visited Meghan at The Mark on Tuesday, and who is credited with setting Meghan and Harry up on their first date, hairstylist Serge Normant, who did the royal bride's hair for her wedding, publicist Celine Khavarani, and NBCUniversal Cable Entertainment Group chairman Bonnie Hammer.
Meghan is also thought to have invited a few friends from her Hollywood days, including her former Suits co-star Abigail Spencer, who spent the afternoon with the royal on Tuesday, joining her for a quick jaunt to the Met Breuer, before the duo enjoyed lunch together at swanky Upper East Side hotel The Surrey.  


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Spacious: The main living room, which boasts 26ft ceilings, can be 'transformed into a full-sized Grand Ballroom' according to The Mark's website
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Options: The 'unprecedentedly spacious penthouse' has six bathrooms and two powder rooms
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Views: There is also a conservatory in the penthouse, meaning that Meghan and her guests will be able to enjoy the impressive views from the comfort of the suite, instead of facing the chilly weather
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Amenities: As well as being filled with stunning flowers, furniture and pieces of art, the penthouse also has its own kitchen (right), that comes complete with multiple ovens and a wine fridge 
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Relaxation: The penthouse features multiple common areas where Meghan and her guests can sit and relax, including a Library Lounge that has plenty of books stacked up for patrons to enjoy
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Cozy: There are four fireplaces scattered throughout the enormous suite, including several of the general living areas (left), and there are also five bedrooms, although it is not thought that Meghan is using the suite to stay in 
The Vampire Diaries star Janina Gavankar, another close actress pal of the duchess, is also believed to be attending the shower, as well as some of Meghan's friends from her Northwestern University days, Lindsay Roth, and Genevieve Hills.  
It had originally been suggested that Meghan's long-time friend Jessica was spear-heading the organization of the event, however Tatler's source says that it is officially being co-hosted by Serena and Amal, 41, who attended Meghan and Harry's wedding along with her husband George, who recently spoke out to blast the media's treatment of the pregnant duchess during a press conference. 
The human rights lawyer has not yet been publicly pictured with Meghan, or at her hotel, since the royal's arrival in New York, however. 
Although the rest of the guest list for the event is not yet confirmed, there are two people close to Meghan who are likely not going to be in attendance - including her beloved mother Doria Ragland, 62, who was pictured walking her dog at home in Los Angeles on Tuesday, while her daughter was preparing for the swanky event.  
Meghan's close pal and fellow screen star Priyanka Chopra, who was a guest at the former Suits star's wedding to Prince Harry, all but confirmed that she would not be attending the baby shower, when she posted a selfie on her Instagram account on Tuesday afternoon, and listed Beverly Hills, California, as the geographical location of the snap.   
Meanwhile, pilates instructor Heather Dorak, another close friend who attended the royal wedding, welcomed her second child, a baby boy named Cody Cohen, on Valentine's Day, which presumably left her unable to attend the event. 
It was thought that Priyanka - who, like Meghan spent Valentine's Day in the UK - might have joined the royal on her trip over to the Big Apple in time for the shower, but it now appears that is not the case. 
On Tuesday evening, Meghan was pictured heading out to Ralph Lauren's swanky restaurant The Polo Bar on Tuesday night alongside fellow mothers Serena and Jessica, perhaps finalizing plans for the lavish baby shower set to take place today. 
Despite a busy day spent catching up with friends, Meghan looked fresh-faced and full of energy as she arrived at the high-end eatery - which is also known to be a favorite of President Donald Trump's, and is located just a few block's from his tower on Fifth Avenue. 
The party spent three hours inside the restaurant before stepping back out into the chilly New York night. Meghan and Serena were then spotted arriving back at their lavish hotel, The Mark, on Manhattan's Upper East Side.
Jessica, a Canadian stylist who has been helping best friend Meghan with her outfit choices for years and has three children: twins Brian and John, aged eight, and daughter Isabel, aged five. Serena has a one daughter, Alexis Olympia Ohanian Jr, aged one.
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Sweet treats! On Wednesday morning, just a few hours before the shower was due to start, a team of caterers was seen delivering several boxes, including a cotton candy machine, which may well be intended for Meghan's shower
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Supplies? Several of the boxes were labeled with 'Jean-Georges', the head chef at The Mark, who is reportedly providing catering for the baby shower, and it set to greet Meghan and her guests personally 
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On the town! On Tuesday evening, the 37-year-old royal was pictured heading to dinner at Ralph Lauren's restaurant The Polo Bar alongside Serena, Jessica Mulroney, and Soho House consultant Markus Anderson
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Beaming: Meghan positively glowed as she made her way into the restaurant, which is known to be one of President Donald Trump's favorite eateries, and is located just a few blocks from his tower on Fifth Avenue 


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Gal pals! The pregnant royal was joined by mother-of-one Serena, 37, who looked trendy in her low-key outfit of black jeans, a black sweater, and a long black jacket with fun pink plaid detailing on the sleeves and sides
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The pair were all smiles as they walked out of the midtown Manhattan restaurant on a chilly night 
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Strutting her stuff! Meghan's unofficial stylist and GMA fashion correspondent Jessica Mulroney was also in attendance at the dinner, flaunting her fashionable taste in a chic ensemble that featured a $890 plaid Mackage coat with a leather belt 
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Here we go: Markus, who is thought to have had a hand in setting up Meghan and Prince Harry, linked arms with his royal pal to walk alongside her as they headed into the restaurant together
Mother-to-be Meghan looked every inch the glamorous royal as she made her way into the restaurant, escorted by the same group of burly officers from the State Department and royal protection officers. 
The pregnant duchess recycled the same $3,085 (£2,250) navy Victoria Beckham coat that she was seen wearing in images published exclusively by DailyMail.com on Monday evening - the first photos taken of Meghan since she arrived in the Big Apple on Friday evening. 
She paired the chic double-breasted coat with a black scarf, a pair of black satin boots - thought to be from Isabel Marant - and a $1,140 (£915) black chain-handle handbag by vegan designer Stella McCartney. 
Meghan also modeled a much more glamorous makeup look than she had been seen wearing during the day, modeling a dark smokey eyeshadow, while emphasizing her natural pregnancy glow with some highlighter and bronzer. 
As the former actress climbed out of her SUV - which appeared to be the same State Department vehicle she has been using all day - she couldn't help but flash a wide smile, no doubt at the prospect of spending an evening with some of her closest pals, many of whom live an ocean away from the royal's home with Prince Harry at Kensington Palace.  
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Style star: The pregnant duchess wore the same $3,085 (£2,250) navy Victoria Beckham coat that she was seen in on Monday night when she was pictured for the first time since arriving in New York on Friday night 
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Something she said? Meghan appeared to share a joke with one of the female officers protecting her, who was seen smiling widely as she waiting for the royal to exit her SUV 






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After spending three hours inside The Polo Bar, Meghan left with Serena (far right) as well as her royal protection officers, and security from the State Department who had been with her all day
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She flashed the engagement ring Prince Harry gave her as she pulled back her hair on leaving the restaurant 
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She looked up from her hand towards a waiting crowd of fans and photographers as she finished the short trip back to her hotel, a few blocks away from The Polo Bar
Meghan's husband may well have been in her mind however thanks to the choice of venue. 
Not only is The Polo Bar known to be a much-loved celebrity haunt, the restaurant is also themed entirely around the popular equestrian sport from which it takes its name, a sport that Prince Harry has been playing for decades.  
Meghan and Serena have actually watched one of Harry's polo matches together, along with the tennis pro's husband Alexis Ohanian, who joined the two women to cheer on the prince in the Audi Polo Challenge in Oxfordshire back in July, not long after Meghan and Harry tied the knot. 
And there would have been plenty of reminders of that fun summer day inside the restaurant.  
In the main dining room, which is located downstairs, diners are met with a myriad of equestrian-themed artworks that cover the walls, while riding helmets and polo mallets can be found hanging on hooks near the bathroom, just waiting for a few social media-savvy patrons to pose for a photo or two. 
Upstairs, the is an intimate bar area, where diners can enjoy one of the many cocktails on the extensive menu, which not only features classic cocktails like the Moscow Mule and the Old Fashioned, it also boasts a number of signature reserve cocktails, including the Jockey Club and the Improved Negroni. 
There is even a drink on the menu named after Meghan's father-in-law, the Prince of Wales, a $22 drink that is made of High West Rendezvous Rye, Cherry Heering, honey, pineapple, and Champagne.
The restaurant also boasts an extensive wine list, featuring bottles from around the world, including a particularly pricey $18,000 1891 Brunello di Montalcino.  
As for the food, which was no doubt pregnant Meghan's focus, as opposed to the alcohol offerings, The Polo Bar boasts a host of classic American dishes, from a house chopped salad that retails for $18 to a 16oz New York strip steak, which costs $55. 
The restaurant even has its own signature hot dog, the $20 RRL Hot Dog, which comes complete with sauerkraut, sweet relish and mustard, all served on a toasted brioche bun. 
Having opened in early 2015, The Polo Bar quickly became one of New York's most popular eateries for high-profile diners, and has played host to everyone from Hillary Clinton to Gwyneth Paltrow. 
President Trump, Melania, and their son Barron also enjoyed dinner at the eatery back in June 2016, the night before Donald's 70th birthday, and just a few months before he went on to win the presidential election against Clinton.  
Meghan's evening outing came after a busy day of activities for the royal, which started early in the afternoon when she was seen leaving high-end New York hotel The Mark to enjoy an afternoon out. 
The seven-months pregnant royal was seen cradling her baby bump as she made her way to Met Breuer museum, which is located just a few blocks away from The Mark hotel - with her former Suits co-star Abigail Spencer joining her for the quick city jaunt.
Moments earlier, Meghan was pictured walking out of the five-star hotel at 1:05 pm, once again keeping a hand rested on her growing bump, surrounded by armed officers thought to be from the State Department, as well as several plain clothes royal protection officers, just moments after her close friend and former Suits co-star Abigail Spencer was pictured making her way into the venue.
Taking advantage of what is a bright and sunny day in the Big Apple, Meghan wore a vintage gray Courrèges coat for her surprise outing, pairing the outerwear with some skinny black jeans, and some nude suede heels. 
She accessorized her ensemble with a pair of dark sunglasses, which hid much of her face from the cameras, and was seen carrying a dove-gray handbag in the crook of her right arm, while the other hand was planted firmly on her large bump. 
Meghan was accompanied on the trip by what appeared to be several members of hotel security, as well as a handful of plain clothes police officers, including the same man seen escorting the mother-to-be out of a Manhattan apartment on Monday evening. 
Other than her impressive security detail, the royal appeared to be along as she made her way past photographers and into a waiting SUV, which had Department of State license plates. 
From there, she traveled the two-block distance to the Met Breuer museum, arriving at 1:10 pm, and was pictured spending time in the restaurant after her arrival, however a source revealed that she also found time during her 30-minute visit to take in some of the museum's artworks during a tour around one of the galleries, noting that the Duchess 'looked beautiful' during her visit. 
However a source at the museum told DailyMail.com that Meghan was initially supposed to have lunch at the Met Breuer, but made a last-minute change of plans because the venue was felt to be 'too public' thanks to the large windows in the restaurant, which make it easily viewable from the street outside. 
Because of this, Meghan, Abigail, and their entourage of protection officers, chose a more secure, private location for the royal to enjoy more of an incognito lunch - The Surrey hotel.  
Meghan's very brief trip to the Met Breuer was enough to provide a bit of excitement and intrigue for some however, with a few social media users sharing their shock at running into her in the art gallery - with one person revealing that they bumped into the duchess in the bathroom. 
'I went to see Julio le Parc at the Met Breuer and also ran into Meghan Markle in the bathroom,' Instagram user Ashley Toth wrote, while sharing an image of one of le Parc's pieces. Ashley then saw the duchess again while 'walking home', sharing an image of Meghan and Abigail exiting The Surrey hotel. 
Actress Abigail, also 37, also joined the royal at the museum, before the pair left together to walk the short distance across the street to The Surrey hotel - another high-end establishment that has played host to a slew of high-profile clients, from JFK to Bette Davis. 
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Chic: The Polo Bar boasts a sprawling downstairs dining room that affords patrons plenty of privacy from the outside world, while allowing them the opportunity to enjoy numerous equestrian-themed works of art 
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Memories! No doubt the theme of the restaurant brought back fond memories for Meghan, whose husband Prince Harry, seen in June, has been a keen polo player since he was a young boy, as are his father Prince Charles, and brother Prince William
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Close bond: Meghan has seen her fair share of polo matches since starting her romance with Prince Harry, and always appears happy to lend her support at the side of the field, as she did back in July 
Meghan and Abigail were flanked by two of the same royal protection officers seen escorting Meghan out of The Mark, with Meghan walking just a few paces ahead of her friend, flashing her three-diamond engagement ring as she placed her hand on her baby bump while crossing the road. 
Suits star Abigail was wearing the same red patterned shirt dress that she was seen modeling when she arrived at the hotel earlier on, but she had abandoned the gray beanie that she sported with it; she also traded the thick fur-trim parka she had been sporting, in favor of a more lightweight black jacket, allowing her to show off more of her colorful dress. 
The duo spent just over an hour at The Surrey, perhaps taking the time to enjoy a light lunch. 
At approximately 3pm, the friends were seen leaving the hotel in order to make the very short journey back to The Mark, arriving around three minutes later - presumably just in time to start getting ready for the main event of the day, Meghan's baby shower. 
Shortly after their return, newly-engaged designer Misha Nonoo - the woman credited with introducing Prince Harry and Meghan - was seen arriving at The Mark, having spent much of the day at her studio in NoHo, before going to join her royal pal.  
It is a double celebration for Misha, 34, who got engaged to oil mogul Michael 'Mikey' Hess, 32, during a Valentine's vacation in Mexico, with the groom-to-be proudly sharing the happy news on social media, before the designer was seen wearing her dazzling new diamond ring while out and about in New York on Tuesday. 
That same ring was front and center as Misha made her way into The Mark, wearing the same chic, but low-key, outfit that she was pictured modeling earlier in the day, when she left her Manhattan apartment in the morning, and when she stepped out to grab a salad for lunch. 
The bride-to-be bundled up against the chilly New York weather in a dark blue overcoat, black tights, and a bright red scarf, finishing the look off with a pair of heeled black ankle boots. 
Misha was also seen carrying her iPhone, and a small personalized red purse that had her initials MN embossed on the bottom corner.





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Time for some culture: Earlier in the day, Meghan spent time enjoying the sights and sounds of the Upper East Side, including a trip to the Met Breuer art museum
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Swapping it up: The royal reportedly wanted to have lunch at the Met Breuer, however the museum's restaurant was deemed 'too public' because of its vast windows that could be seen from the street, a source told DailyMail.com 
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Outing: After visiting the Met Breuer, Meghan and her former Suits co-star (pictured to the right) walked across the street from the museum to another hotel - this time The Surrey, another high-end venue located just a stone's throw from The Mark
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Gal pals: Meghan and Abigail are thought to have enjoyed a spot of lunch at The Surrey, before leaving the high-end hotel and making their way back to The Mark
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Ready to party! Meghan arrived back at The Mark shortly after 3pm
Although Meghan managed to spend a few hours away from the hotel, the venue was still alight with feverish activity even in her absence, with crowds gathering outside its main entrance in the hopes of catching a glimpse of the duchess, one of her close friends and guests - or at the very least one of the many fascinating deliveries arriving ahead of her shower on Wednesday. 
Abigail was the first of the royal's nearest and dearest to be seen making their way into The Mark hotel on New York's Upper East Side - trying to maintain a low profile by wearing a gray beanie hat and large, dark sunglasses as she made her way inside, flashing a wave at the waiting photographers on her way in.  
She spent just a few minutes in the hotel, taking the time to change up her outfit slightly, before heading out again to join Meghan at the Met Breuer.  
Abigail first sparked speculation that she had traveled to the Big Apple for the special occasion after sharing an airport selfie on her Instagram account on Monday - less than 24 hours before she was seen making her way into The Mark, shortly after bouquets of flowers, an orange tree, and a $380 travel crib were seen being delivered to the swanky venue. 
As well as her shades and hat, the actress was dressed in a thick black parka with a fur-lined hood upon her arrival, showing off just a hint of the more colorful, stylish pink dress seen poking out from underneath the thick winterwear.   
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Spotted! A couple of social media users revealed that they had seen Meghan at the museum, with one, Ashley Toth, admitting that she had bumped into the royal in the bathroom, the saw her again outside The Surrey not long after





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Here come the guests! Just after the duo's return, newly-engaged designer Misha Nonoo - the woman credited with introducing Prince Harry and Meghan - was seen making her way into The Mark
Meghan managed to make a very under-the-radar arrival in the city however, going almost entirely unseen by the public over the weekend, after reportedly arriving on Friday evening. 
On Monday night, the duchess attempted to go incognito as she covered up in a cap and long navy Victoria Beckham overcoat and a gray newsboy cap pulled down over her dark brown hair - and with her large diamond engagement ring clearly visible on her wedding finger. 
Meghan returned to the Big Apple over the weekend to spend time with her girlfriends before the arrival of her first child this spring, and was seen on Monday evening being escorted into an SUV by a royal protection officer. 
The palace declined to comment on Meghan's security detail for the duration of the trip, or the plain clothes officer seen accompanying her. 
Meghan is understood to have flown into the city on Friday for a surprise five-day trip after spending a quiet Valentine's Day evening with her husband, Prince Harry. A spokesperson for Kensington Palace would not divulge details of the Duchess's flights, but confirmed that as this is a personal trip, her travel was 'privately funded'. 
It is not known whether Meghan flew to New York on a commercial flight, or whether she was lucky enough to travel in a private jet.
The royal certainly has her fair share of high-profile pals who may have been able to secure her access to a private plane; TV mogul Oprah, who was in attendance at the royal wedding, and is said to have formed a close bond with Meghan's mother Doria, owns a private jet, and once said of the plane that it was incredibly useful for making the exact trip that the Duchess of Sussex made on Friday. 
'I would say having your own airplane is the greatest luxury,' Oprah told British Vogue editor Edward Enninful during a 2018 interview, before adding: 'Because it means one minute you're in New York, and then the next minute you say, "You know Edward, I think I'll fly to London."'  
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Caught up! Several people were seen making their way into the hotel either shortly before or after Meghan's return, however it is thought that a number of them were guests arriving for a stay, rather than attendees of the royals' baby shower
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Lightweight! There were a few people seen arriving without suitcases in tow, suggesting that they were there for something less long-term than a hotel stay, and were perhaps lucky enough to be attending the shower 
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Gifts for the baby? One woman was pictured arriving at The Mark with two large bags from Crate & Barrel, which may well have been filled with presents for expectant mother Meghan 
Her fellow royal wedding guests David and Victoria Beckham regularly travel via private jet with their family, as does George Clooney, another attendee at Meghan and Harry's stunning ceremony back in May. 
A private jet would certainly have made for a more comfortable flying experience for the pregnant duchess, who is expecting her first child in the spring, and is believed to be just a matter of weeks away from her due date. 
Despite being so far along in her pregnancy, Meghan is still perfectly safe to fly, according to advice offered by the Mayo Clinic, which suggests that expectant mothers can continue to travel via air until they are 36-weeks along; Meghan is currently thought to be in week 29 or 30 of her pregnancy.
And Prince Harry certainly doesn't seem to have any qualms about flying privately; the father-to-be actually chartered himself a jet to the tune of $26,100 (£20,000) in order to return home from Norway on February 14 so that he could spend his first Valentine's Day as a married man with his pregnant wife. 
The duke made his round trip in a double-engine Cessna Citation Excel for the three-hour visit to the Bardufoss air station, 200 miles (322km) within the Arctic Circle. The state-of-the-art 18ft plane flies in and out of smaller airports while offering 'the comfort and amenities of a midsize cabin jet' according to Cessna.
A direct chartered flight on the Citation Excel - based on a seven-hour round trip from Farnborough to Bardufoss, where Harry was traveling to and from, for seven people - would cost between $23,000 (£18,200) and $28,000 (£21,450) according to Luxaviation. 
Last October, the Duke and Duchess of Sussex were caught up in a mid-air scare when their private jet was hit by lightning. 
The couple was travelling to an opening party in Amsterdam when their luxury Dassault Falcon 7X was reportedly struck.
A bolt of lightning struck the nose cone, narrowly avoiding the navigation equipment. Around 30million volts surged through the plane's fuselage.
After the dramatic scare, the plane - which would have set the Duke and Duchess back around $26,100 (£20,000) for a return flight to Amsterdam - managed to land safely at Schiphol Airport.   
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Honored guests: Meghan's close friend and former co-star Abigail Spencer was arriving at The Mark hotel shortly before the royal was pictured leaving the venue
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Special delivery! Her arrival comes shortly after a huge bucket of pink roses was seen being delivered to The Mark on Tuesday afternoon, ahead of Meghan's lavish baby shower 
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For luck: An orange tree was also seen being delivered to the hotel ahead of the baby shower; in Eastern tradition, mandarin oranges are believed to represent prosperity, happiness and luck, particularly in the New Year
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Step aside! As well as the flowers, staff at the hotel were also seen wheeling in a large box housing a $379 travel crib, which may well have been a gift for the duchess, or a prop for the party
According to Private Fly, it could cost anywhere between $78,376 (£60,000) and $379,000 (£290,000) to charter a return flight on a private jet from London to New York, depending on the size and make of the plane, and the number of days it was required to be on call.  
And while it has not been confirmed whether or not Meghan flew on a private plane, the trip certainly seems to have been focused around ensuring that the mother-to-be was as relaxed and happy as possible. Her low-key itinerary is said to have already included shopping and plenty of good food, but the main event of the trip is a baby shower with 15 of her closest friends at a hotel on New York's Upper East Side. 
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On her way! Abigail first sparked speculation that she was headed to Meghan's baby shower when she shared this image of herself with a suitcase on Instagram on Monday 
The intimate event, due to take place today, is believed to have been organized by her best friend Jessica Mulroney - who arrived in the city at the end of last week from her home in Toronto. 
'The trip is a lovely chance to catch up with friends and spend time in a city she loves.'
This will be the last time a lot of them will see Meg until after the baby is born so it’s nice to share precious moments,' a source told Harper's Bazaar. 
Meghan kept her head down as she made her way to the SUV on Monday night, with her dark hair covering the side of her face. She carried a second wide-brimmed black hat - believed to be a £160 ($195) design from Rag & Bone - in her hand, along with a white bag. 
But while the Duchess of Sussex appeared to be making an attempt to go under the radar in her low-key ensemble, the large diamond engagement ring on her wedding finger was unmistakable. 
Her husband had the three-stone design made for her especially ahead of their engagement in 2017, using one diamond that he sourced in Botswana, where the couple holidayed together early on in their relationship.  
The dazzling design was clearly visible as Meghan made her way down the steps and into the car, carrying her spare hat and a simple white bag that may well have contained a gift. 
Her nails appeared to be painted with a subtle sheer pink shade - a much more low-key polish option than some of the darker, bolder colours she has been known to model, despite royal traditions suggesting that only the most subtle of nude shades should be worn. 
In her other arm, the expectant mother had a large gray leather handbag held in the crook of her elbow.  
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Incognito: Meghan Markle was seen stepping out in New York City on Monday evening after flying into the city to attend a baby shower organized by her closest friends 
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Helping hand: A bodyguard escorted the royal down a small flight of stairs during the outing, and was seen guiding the mother-to-be towards a waiting SUV 
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Catching up: This trip is thought to be the last one that Meghan (pictured left and right with her husband in London last week) will make to the US before the birth of her child in a few months 





The bodyguard who escorted her to her waiting vehicle also appeared to be carrying a few of her possessions, including a Lululemon tote bag that was covered with Meghan's tan wool coat, suggesting the royal may have had more than one outfit option on-hand. 
Meghan appeared to be going out of her way to remain unrecognizable during the short walk to the SUV, keeping her head lowered, and her hair pulled across her face - a far cry from the smiling, hands-on appearances for which she has become known at pubic events.  
Her bodyguard also attempted to blend in, wearing a pair of charcoal-gray trousers, and a quilted blue coat with a hood. He also carried a phone in his hand, along with Meghan's belongings. 
Kensington Palace did not comment on the details surrounding the royal's security detail during the trip, and it is not known whether the protection officers are being paid for privately, or by taxpayers. 
Earlier this year it was announced that Meghan's armed Scotland Yard bodyguard, who accompanied the expectant mother on her royal tour of Australia with Prince Harry last year, was quitting her post after less than a year in the role. 
The inspector's appointment as head of protection made her the first woman to hold such a key post for the royals, and she was regularly pictured guarding Meghan on overseas trips.
In January, it was revealed that protection officers tasked with guarding the Queen and other members of the royal family earned six-figure salaries in 2016/17, bringing in around $130,000 (£100,000) each, after winning a pay dispute with Scotland Yard over their 'special escort' allowance. 
The latest accounts for the Metropolitan Police show 47 officers from the Royalty and Specialist Protection (RaSP) unit earned six-figures in 2016/2017. This is in addition to the large one-off payments given to officers after the dispute over the scrapping of escort allowance in 2012. 
The Met has not disclosed the exact payments, but at least £5 million was paid out among the 47 officers, which works out at as an average of $137,512 (£106,383) each.   
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No show: Meghan's friend Priyanka Chopra all but confirmed that she would not be attending the shower when she posted this image of herself on Instagram on Tuesday afternoon, and tagged the location as Beverly Hills, California
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Her hands are full! Pilates instructor Heather Dorak, another friend who attended the royal wedding, welcomed a child on Valentine's Day, which presumably left her unable to attend the shower
The visit marks the first time the Duchess of Sussex has been in the Big Apple since she said 'I do' to Prince Harry in May 2018, and she wasted no time before visiting some of her favorite hot spots. 
Sources confirmed to Harper's Bazaar that friends are throwing Megan a baby shower at an undisclosed Upper East Side hotel for 15 guests on Tuesday, the day before she leaves. 
Jessica Mulroney, Meghan's close friend and unofficial stylist, is thought to not only be attending the shower, but also helping to spear-head the organization of the intimate event. The GMA fashion expert is also thought to have had a hand in helping Meghan with the planning of her wedding to Prince Harry.  
Although no other members of Meghan's inner circle confirmed any details about the shower, sources have told Harper's Bazaar that the royal wanted the opportunity to spend time with her closest friends in one of her favorite cities before the birth of her first child, which is due in just a matter of months.
'The trip is a lovely chance to catch up with friends and spend time in a city she loves,' a source told the outlet.
'This will be the last time a lot of them will see Meg until after the baby is born so it’s nice to share precious moments.'
But while the trip may have come as a surprise to some, according to the unidentified friend of the royal's, Meghan's visit to the Big Apple was actually planned months ago.
'It’s been a relaxing visit. Nothing beats face time with your friends,' the person added. 'Meg will be flying home refreshed and relaxed - and with a lot of new baby clothes.'  
Meghan joined Jessica at Ladurée in SoHo on Saturday to enjoy macarons and tea in one of the location's private spaces, according to Harper's Bazaar.
Although Jessica is based in Canada, she arrived in New York late last week to film some style segments for Good Morning America, after being named the show's newest fashion contributor in late 2018.  
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Way back when: Meghan Markle once did a photo shoot for fashion brand Tod's in the ornate French restaurant 
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Big Apple fun: A source said the trip is a chance for Meghan to 'catch up with friends and spend time in a city she loves.' The former actress is pictured in New York City in 2016 
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Royal return: The visit marks the first time Meghan has been in the Big Apple since she said 'I do' to Prince Harry in May 2018. The couple is expecting their first child this spring 



The decision to visit Ladurée may well have been Meghan's however, as the known foodie once took part in a photo shoot for Tod's in the ornately decorated French restaurant. 
In an image from the shoot, she is seen sitting in the New York tourist hotspot, wearing a patterned suit, a white shirt, and a pair of silver Tod's loafers with fringing detail on the front. 
Her makeup for the shoot was rather more glamorous than the subtle, natural looks she seems to prefer now; in the photo, Meghan can be seen modeling a bright pink lip, and dark, smokey eyes, while staring right into the lens with a very serious expression on her face. 
But it seems the somewhat unimpressed look she was making in the shot does not reflect her feelings about the French eatery, which is famed for its colorful confections and wide variety of teas, as well as its elegant interior. 
The Duchess also praised the restaurant in an interview with writer Barry Samaha. 
'I love Ladurée in SoHo,' she said. 'It’s like a little slice of Paris in the middle of New York City. 
'It is absolutely beautiful, and the courtyard is awesome,' she added. 'Everyone should get the Coupe SoHo, which is this amazing salted caramel ice cream. It’s delicious!' 
And it's not just Ladurée that holds a special place in Meghan's heart; the Duchess spoke on a number of occasions about her love for New York City and its many restaurants, bars, hotels, and shops, even giving the website Citiphile a full rundown of her favorite spots back while she was still starring as Rachel Zane in Suits. 
During the interview with the site, Meghan referenced several much-loved New York establishments, including the Marlton Hotel, Italian eatery Babbo, piano bar Marie's Crisis, and West Village favorite Fedora - which she praised for its dirty martinis. 
But according to sources, when Meghan isn't indulging in pastries from Ladurée, she will be spending much of her time enjoying the many amenities at the undisclosed five-star hotel where she is believed to be staying for the duration of her trip. 
The day before she flew to New York, Meghan enjoyed a quiet Valentine's Day evening with Prince Harry, their first as a married couple.

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Re: Amal and Sarena Williams to co host Duchess of Sussex baby shower in New York

Post by party animal - not! on Wed 20 Feb 2019, 19:44

Here's Amal arriving as the snow/rain is falling......

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Re: Amal and Sarena Williams to co host Duchess of Sussex baby shower in New York

Post by party animal - not! on Wed 20 Feb 2019, 20:10

Aahh. So in these pix from Amal's entry an assistant is bringing two bags of baby goodies.

So is it twins?

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Re: Amal and Sarena Williams to co host Duchess of Sussex baby shower in New York

Post by annemarie on Wed 20 Feb 2019, 20:31

[size=42]Amal Clooney Stuns in a Bright Red Jumpsuit at Meghan Markle's Baby Shower

The Duchess of Sussex's party continues.

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By Amy Mackelden
Feb 20 2019, 1:19 pm EST[/size]

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Felipe Ramales / SplashNews.com

  • Amal Clooney arrived at Meghan Markle's baby shower in New York on Wednesday.
  • The two-day baby shower attracted a star-studded guest list, including Serena Williams and Abigail Spencer.
  • Clooney wore a stunning red jumpsuit with gold pumps for the party. She wore a black coat over the top of her outfit to shield from the inclement weather.





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Meghan Markle's baby shower is taking place in New York this week, and several of the duchess' high-profile friends have arrived to help celebrate the special occasion.
Following the arrivals of several of Meghan's close friends, including Serena Williams, Abigail Spencer, and Jessica Mulroney, Amal Clooney also put in an appearance at The Mark Hotel. Wearing a bright red silk jumpsuit, the lawyer looked absolutely flawless, and didn't seem worried about being caught in the rain.
Clooney was wearing a pair of Gianvito Rossi gold and PVC pumps, which are also favored by the Duchess of Sussex who owns a cow-print pair by the designer. Twitter user @MeghansMirror confirmed the matching styles:

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Felipe Ramales / SplashNews.com





[size][size]
Clooney joins an array of guests at the baby shower's second day, including makeup artist Daniel Martin, close friend Markus Anderson, and fashion designer Misha Nonoo. Priyanka Chopra is also expected to attend.
Meghan is, of course, pregnant with her and Prince Harry's first child, and is hosting her two-day baby shower in New York City. Harry didn't attend the party as he had a royal engagement in London, followed by a visit to the Royal Marines on Wednesday.[/size][/size]

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Re: Amal and Sarena Williams to co host Duchess of Sussex baby shower in New York

Post by ladybugcngc on Wed 20 Feb 2019, 20:53

The Duchess is absolutely beautiful.
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Re: Amal and Sarena Williams to co host Duchess of Sussex baby shower in New York

Post by Doug Ross on Wed 20 Feb 2019, 23:38

party animal - not! wrote:Aahh. So in these pix from Amal's entry an assistant is bringing two bags of baby goodies.

So is it twins?

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Pan, I really can't see the bags.

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Re: Amal and Sarena Williams to co host Duchess of Sussex baby shower in New York

Post by LizzyNY on Thu 21 Feb 2019, 00:21

Doug Ross - If you go way up near the top of this page you'll see a girl in a black jacket carrying two shopping bags. I'm not sure if she has any connection to Amal, though.
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Re: Amal and Sarena Williams to co host Duchess of Sussex baby shower in New York

Post by party animal - not! on Thu 21 Feb 2019, 00:26

I can see what's happened, guys.

The Mail have updated the pix again - so they're now publishing the guests leaving...

But if you go to Getty, search Clooney, you'll see the pix of the security guy behind with two bags - labelled baby

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Re: Amal and Sarena Williams to co host Duchess of Sussex baby shower in New York

Post by annemarie on Thu 21 Feb 2019, 00:27

When Amal left she returned to the Carlyle Hotel. So they haven't moved into the apartment yet.

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Re: Amal and Sarena Williams to co host Duchess of Sussex baby shower in New York

Post by What Would He Say on Thu 21 Feb 2019, 01:44

On a happy note, Amal looks so much like her Mum facially in these pics.....

On a not so happy note, Georges comparison to Princess Diana has just been blown out of the water .... Hope his reputation survives this .....

Stuff in the long grass always gets you... you never see it coming.... until you look back .....

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Re: Amal and Sarena Williams to co host Duchess of Sussex baby shower in New York

Post by party animal - not! on Thu 21 Feb 2019, 02:16

Yep, I thought that earlier in the day, WWHS....I don't think Meghan thinks she's being hounded do you? I'm not sure she would have agreed to this if she did. Very embarrassed and upset about her family's use of publicity, yes, but that's different.

Wonder if the Queen knows what a baby shower is?

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Re: Amal and Sarena Williams to co host Duchess of Sussex baby shower in New York

Post by party animal - not! on Thu 21 Feb 2019, 10:03

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I'm connecting the two......and the babies will sleep..

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Re: Amal and Sarena Williams to co host Duchess of Sussex baby shower in New York

Post by annemarie on Thu 21 Feb 2019, 10:27

[size=34]Back to reality! Amal Clooney is spotted leaving Meghan's baby shower with her 18-month-old twins after co-hosting a $430K party for the royal[/size]


  • Amal looked glam as she arrived at Meghan's baby shower in New York yesterday

  • It's believed she co-hosted the event with tennis star Serena Williams

  • Just moments after leaving she was spotted putting Ella and Alexander into a car

  • She may have joined Meghan - who boarded a private jet back to London 


By CHLOE MORGAN FOR MAILONLINE
PUBLISHED: 04:34 EST, 21 February 2019 | UPDATED: 04:52 EST, 21 February 2019

     


She spent the afternoon mingling with fellow celebrities and royalty, but it was back to motherhood duties for Amal Clooney as she left her friend Meghan's lavish baby shower in New York yesterday. 
The mother-of-two was spotted climbing into a waiting car with her 18-month-old twins Ella and Alexander, and a woman believed to be an assistant, to be whisked away from swanky Upper East Side hotel The Mark after the festivities. 
It's not known where Amal, 41, and her children were off to next but Meghan, 37, who is seven months pregnant with her first child, was later pictured boarding a private jet back to the UK. 
The human rights lawyer looked incredibly glamorous for yesterday's event, arriving in a red jumpsuit and gold heels, despite the snowy weather.  

For her onward journey, she seemed to have swapped the smart black coat she had slung around her shoulders earlier on for a leather jacket, while Alexander was bundled up against the cold in a blue puffer coat. 
Meghan, seven months pregnant, is back in Britain after landing in her private jet at Farnborough Airport in Hampshire earlier this morning. 
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It was back to motherhood duties for Amal Clooney yesterday, who was spotted leaving her friend the Duchess of Sussex's baby shower with her 18-month-old twins Ella and Alexander (pictured) 
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Amal Clooney arrived at Meghan's Markle's baby shower wearing a red Sergio Hudson jumpsuit - and with her black jacket stylishly placed  on her shoulders
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The human rights lawyer enjoyed a glamorous afternoon of celebrations, but it was back to normality as she headed off after the party with her 18-month-old twins 
She was whisked away from the UK's most exclusive airport in two blacked-out Land Rover Discovery vehicles containing her security team, luggage and gifts.  
Meghan appeared appeared far more casually dressed than we have seen her recently, eschewing her heeled boots and chic nude pumps in favor of figure-hugging black leggings and a matching sports top that highlighted he pregnancy bump.


Tennis star Serena Williams and chic Amal, were said to be co-hosting the Duchess' event for the Penthouse Suite. 
Amal and her husband George are close pals with Harry and Meghan and attending their wedding at St George's Chapel in Windsor in May. 
The royals have since hosted the Clooneys at their £2.5million Cotswolds bolthole for cosy weekends. 
And only last week, George defended the Duchess, claiming she had been 'pursued and vilified', just like her late mother-in-law Princess Diana.    
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Meghan Markle landed back in Britain after her extravagant half a million dollar five-night trip to New York City and was travelling in the front Land Rover Discovery as it left Farnborough Airport this morning after an overnight flight
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It's not known where Amal, who was accompanied by an assistant who sat in the back of the car, was off to next, while her friend Meghan headed back to London on a private jet
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Amal arrived at Meghan's baby shower - which cost a staggering $430,000, including the $75,000-a-night venue and the $125K private jet she took each way
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It is believed that Amal and her family, excluding George, may have been heading to Teterboro private airport to meet up with Meghan to catch a flight back to London. Above, arriving at the swanky hotel for the big event
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The pregnant duchess left the swanky Upper East Side hotel where her baby shower took place on Wednesday evening after the lavish soiree, cradling her bump as she made her way to a waiting SUV, and wearing a tan coat
The Duchess of Sussex, who is due in April, celebrated the impending birth of her first child with an intimate group of friends at her baby shower yesterday.
Meghan's baby shower cost a staggering $430,000, including the $75,000-a-night venue and the $125K private jet she took each way.
Abigail Spencer, a co-star on Meghan's former TV show "Suits," was among old friends in town to fete the upcoming birth. Also out and about with Meghan: Serena Williams, Jessica Mulroney and Markus Anderson.
Meghan was spotted boarding the Gulfstream G450 twin jet plane, which is believed to have cost £95,000 for the six-hour journey back to the UK from the Big Apple so that she could be reunited with Prince Harry - which landed early hours this morning.


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Mile-high Meghan: The Duchess of Sussex, circled, was pictured boarding a private jet on Wednesday evening bound for the UK, after spending five nights in New York. A one-way trip on the plane is believed to cost a staggering $125,000
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The height of luxury: Meghan flew home on a Gulfstream G450 (pictured), a twin-jet craft that is one of the most popular picks for Hollywood elite with busy transatlantic schedules. It is thought Amal may have joined her on the flight back to London
Despite her seemingly hectic schedule over the last few days - which saw her spending time with friends at hotspots like The Surrey hotel, The Polo Bar, and the Met Breuer - Meghan looked fresh-faced and glowing as she was pictured leaving The Mark a few hours after her baby shower ended.  
Her departure came at the end of a busy five-night, six-day trip that saw her catching up with friends, enjoying several meals at some of the city's best restaurants, and being the guest of honor at her baby shower on Wednesday before flying home.
After the whirlwind five-night trip, Meghan has just two nights to recover at her London home before flying to Morocco with Prince Harry on Saturday for a three-day trip to the north African country.
On Monday, Kensington Palace confirmed that Meghan's travel for the six-day trip had been 'privately funded' because it was a personal getaway but the spokesperson would not comment on any other details of her visit to New York, and declined to give any official information about the cost of her security detail.
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Re: Amal and Sarena Williams to co host Duchess of Sussex baby shower in New York

Post by annemarie on Thu 21 Feb 2019, 16:44

Meghan , Amal and the twins flew back to London together and Amal payed for the flight. The plane is used by the Clooney's regularly. The plane is registered to George's film company.


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[size=34]The Clooneys' VERY lavish baby shower gift! Meghan is revealed to have flown back from her £330,000 New York bash with close friend Amal, who paid for £100,000 flight on private jet[/size]


  • Meghan Markle, 37, arrived in New York City on Friday night for a secret trip to visit her girlfriends

  • The main event of the trip was an intimate baby shower hosted by Serena Williams and Jessica Mulroney

  • She was seen boarding a private jet in New York City on Wednesday evening to return home to the UK 

  • MailOnline can reveal the plane is owned by a company at same address as George Clooney's film businesses 

  • Amal and George pictured on jet and it has been regularly been flying between US and their Sardinia pad 

  • Meghan flew home on a Gulfstream G450 plane, with the one-way trip costing around$125,000 (£100,000)

  • She is believed to have traveled to the US on a private jet, bring her total travel cost to $250,000 (£200,000)

  • Kensington Palace confirmed on Monday that Meghan's travel for the trip was 'privately funded' 

  • In August, Meghan was reported to have traveled to Toronto on Air Canada to visit Jessica Mulroney 

  • Even if she and her two protection officers had flown business, round trip would have cost around $22K (£16k)

  • Meghan's baby shower was held in a $75,000-a-night (£57,000) penthouse suite at The Mark, Manhattan 


By CHARLIE LANKSTON FOR DAILYMAIL.COM  and MARTIN ROBINSON, CHIEF REPORTER FOR MAILONLINE
PUBLISHED: 08:31 EST, 21 February 2019 UPDATED: 11:05 EST, 21 February 2019



     

     

     

     

     
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Meghan Markle was flown home from New York City in a $43million private jet laid on by George and Amal Clooney - and in an extraordinary baby shower gift the A-listers picked up the $125,000 bill, MailOnline can exclusively reveal. 
The Duchess of Sussex came back to Britain with Amal and her twins early this morning after the extravagant $500,000 trip to the Big Apple where she partied for five nights with her celebrity friends.
Meghan landed at Farnborough Airport in Hampshire after a $250,000 (£200,000) round trip to America following a lavish baby shower thrown by Serena Williams, Jessica Mulroney, and one of the royal's sorority sisters from Northwestern University.
MailOnline can reveal the $43million Gulfstream G450 private jet is owned by a US company with the same name as one registered to the same Los Angeles address as two of George Clooney's film companies, and all three appear to have the same agent.

But it is not clear if the Clooneys own the plane or just have use of it - and the actor's spokesman is yet to respond.
Last night Meghan boarded the luxury plane just hours after she was thrown a lavish baby shower by her closest friends in a $75,000-a-night (£57,000) New York penthouse - reputedly the most expensive hotel room in America. 
After the party ended Amal followed behind with twins Alexander and Ella, with the family travelling back to Britain with Meghan from the exclusive Teterboro private airport in New Jersey. 
Meghan and her husband Prince Harry have become extremely close to the A-list couple, who attended their Windsor wedding last May and soon afterwards hosted the newlyweds for four days at their Lake Como retreat.
George and Amal, who use the jet themselves to split their time between their US and UK mansions, are even rumoured as possible godparents to the royal couple's baby, due in April. 
Kensington Palace today declined to comment on the transatlantic flight gift, while the Clooneys have yet to respond to MailOnline's request.

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Re: Amal and Sarena Williams to co host Duchess of Sussex baby shower in New York

Post by benex on Thu 21 Feb 2019, 18:22

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Re: Amal and Sarena Williams to co host Duchess of Sussex baby shower in New York

Post by What Would He Say on Thu 21 Feb 2019, 21:55

I have never understood how people think they can SWAGGER their way into public affection.... that you can swagger respect.... swagger genuine affection..... swagger endearment, fondness or even relatability.....

You can’t..... Swagger ends the above... it historically can’t ignite it ...

So so sad ... seeing birds of a feather flocking....
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Re: Amal and Sarena Williams to co host Duchess of Sussex baby shower in New York

Post by annemarie on Thu 21 Feb 2019, 23:06

i think the problem with this event was that Serena who paid for this and planned it still thinks of Meghan as simply Meghan.

She forgot she is no longer like them she is a royal. This should have been handled differently more discretely. 

Meghan can't be seen doing things like this it cause drama she doesn't need. They should have figured that someone 

would inform the press that she was here and they would descend on the hotel. This is where the palace should have been

spoken to and explained how to handle this event. But, the thought was i guess it's a private event hosted and paid for by her friends so no big deal.

I love seeing the rich out and about having a good time. Their money how they spend it is up to them.

This is a lesson learned not only for Meghan but her friends as well.

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Re: Amal and Sarena Williams to co host Duchess of Sussex baby shower in New York

Post by What Would He Say on Thu 21 Feb 2019, 23:28

The Royal Family will, as always, rise far above this.... and know exactly how to deal with it....Wink

BTW .... Does anyone know where I can get my hands on an “Away Suitcase” .... Sweet Baby J, don’t tell me it’s a Casamigo subsidiary......
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Re: Amal and Sarena Williams to co host Duchess of Sussex baby shower in New York

Post by party animal - not! on Thu 21 Feb 2019, 23:41

Mm, I just watched a bit of The View on Youtube and one of them actually said that they thought it was a bit tacky. And an audience member said they sincerely hoped that nothing was wrong with the baby at birth. Pretty sure that would have been checked out before she travelled!

Most of the comment here is about the expense of it all and why given that she's pregnant all her wealthy friends didn't come across the pond to see her. She now has several residences!

It's also clear that Smokehouse probably own the plane and that Amal is busy in NYC with various
cases so the date may well have been organised with her return to London for other work in mind. Most papers seem to think that Amal paid the fare!

New York for the luggage WWHS - then again you could always go for TUMI which is the bag George chose to fill and give his friends a million each!


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Re: Amal and Sarena Williams to co host Duchess of Sussex baby shower in New York

Post by annemarie on Thu 21 Feb 2019, 23:45

Here you go WWHS 

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It's not as expensive as other luggage.

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Re: Amal and Sarena Williams to co host Duchess of Sussex baby shower in New York

Post by annemarie on Thu 21 Feb 2019, 23:59

Why do people worry about the cost of an event they didn't pay for? It is ridiculous her friends are rich and could afford to give her a grand party.

Like I said I think this party was handled wrong it should have been more discrete with gag orders in place. 

She is royal not just Meghan and she and her friends need to understand she walks a fine line with the public.

I read New York is one of her favorite places, and she has friends on the east and west coast so probably easier for them to all get home.

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Re: Amal and Sarena Williams to co host Duchess of Sussex baby shower in New York

Post by party animal - not! on Fri 22 Feb 2019, 00:05

You're right Annemarie - and I think quite a lot of the British public think that discretion is the better path and goes hand-in-hand with diplomacy and subtlety and as part of the Royal Family you don't spend what many consider to be taxpayers' money. 

Many are also unhappy about the environmental impact and that they should really be setting an example to others..

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Re: Amal and Sarena Williams to co host Duchess of Sussex baby shower in New York

Post by LizzyNY on Fri 22 Feb 2019, 00:31

PAN - I saw the View this morning, too. I think it was Abby Huntsman who thought the whole shower event was "tacky" - but she also said she wouldn't want an over-the-top shower for herself. It's not her thing.

As Annemarie often says, rich people have the right to spend their money any way they want. True, but as someone else on the View said, this seemed more Kardashian than royal. Maybe a little too public and in-your-face ostentatious.

By the way, I believe the woman who commented about the travel perhaps not being good for the baby was part of a group from the UK - the cast of a talk show similar to the View?
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Re: Amal and Sarena Williams to co host Duchess of Sussex baby shower in New York

Post by Donnamarie on Fri 22 Feb 2019, 00:44

As annemarie said many of Meghan’s friends may live stateside so logistically it may have made more sense to have the shower in NYC.  There are reasons it was chosen that we don’t know but I also think choosing a discreet location may have been a smarter way to go.

The shower was lavish by anyone’s measure but that doesn’t make it tacky.  It shouldn’t be our decision to judge. It’s  not our business.  The shower was organized by her friends.  Hopefully Meghan enjoyed herself and liked being back in the U.S. for a change.  

No doubt comments about this event are pretty negative, including those that PAN mentioned that were said on ‘The View’.  I remember comments being made about Amal when she travelled by air while in her late pregnancy.   I don’t think Meghan would have travelled by plane if she thought for a moment that it would endanger her pregnancy.
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Re: Amal and Sarena Williams to co host Duchess of Sussex baby shower in New York

Post by party animal - not! on Fri 22 Feb 2019, 00:48

Ah, and I thought that the woman behind the British contingent there was American because I heard one of the Brits arguing with her!

Abby Huntsman probably represents the majority of Britain because 'baby showers' are not really a thing (apart from those who watch a lot of American tv).

Also to some extent the Royal Family set an example - again to do with taxpayers money and just the fact that for centuries they have been at the head of the Establishment

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Of course the Queen has not expressed her view - this is all speculation and filling of column inches!

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Re: Amal and Sarena Williams to co host Duchess of Sussex baby shower in New York

Post by Donnamarie on Fri 22 Feb 2019, 01:15

PAN, I guess just the optics of this event may have rubbed some people and the Royal family the  wrong way.  But bottom line Meghan most likely didn’t shell out anything for the trip.  Right?
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Re: Amal and Sarena Williams to co host Duchess of Sussex baby shower in New York

Post by annemarie on Fri 22 Feb 2019, 01:25

It's been said that Sarena paid for the event she even chose the hotel. 

That's what i don't get the royal's didn't pay for any of it . Amal and George supplied the air plane.

Piers Morgan said 

A little like Marie Antoinette': Piers Morgan says the Queen will be concerned Meghan Markle's $500k baby shower rubs people's noses in her wealth 


It wasn't her wealth it was her friends money that was used.

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Re: Amal and Sarena Williams to co host Duchess of Sussex baby shower in New York

Post by Way2Old4Dis on Fri 22 Feb 2019, 02:08

Okay, what am I missing?

They got a hotel suite. They went out for lunches, dinners, to a museum (?). They had a baby shower/party. Yes, it was all ultra expensive. But Serena Williams could  live in that suite for a year and cover the cost with her yearly endorsement money. A plane already commissioned for use between the US and UK was put into service. Friends from all over the country got together in one city they all enjoy to celebrate a joyous life event of one of their circle.

No one was inconvenienced. No one lost anything. There were no obnoxious displays of wealth. Nobody showed their ladyparts in public. None of them shilled or promoted a product. Service and support workers, and businesses, made money.

Where's the "tacky?" What was over the top? What wasn't discrete? Did any of them live blog the events and post the price tags? Go on YouTube and chant "Neener, neener?"

When a bunch of very wealthy, very famous, very accomplished women - at least three of whom have very wealthy, famous, and accomplished husbands -get together, money is gonna get spent. In fact, it gets spent to keep things as discrete as possible. And those of us on the outside of the circle are gonna watch.

And judge, apparently.

Sheesh. I guess next time take MegaBus, stay at the Topeka, Kansas Holiday Inn Express, don't leave the room, and order UberEats.

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Re: Amal and Sarena Williams to co host Duchess of Sussex baby shower in New York

Post by party animal - not! on Fri 22 Feb 2019, 02:18

I think the optics is exactly the right term Donnamarie - possibly the optics of excess for some - and possibly completely unrelatable for others. And silly things that irritate possibly for some - like the need to cradle the tummy in nearly every photo. I've heard many people who've had pregnancies themselves wonder what that's all about.

The public comparisons to Kate are inevitable - and I wouldn't have a clue whether she had a party for her friends with every pregnancy - and the fact that staff have left Harry and Meghan in such a short time - all fuel people's wonderings I think.

Have to say that I think that the Clooneys have been the souls of discretion in all this and the 'horror' of what everybody thought was a misuse of public money on flights turning out to be a treat from a multi-millionaire who was likely to be 'going that way already' in their own plane won't necessarily make the reaction dissipate for some - whipped up of course by certain media.

Have to say that I'm a bit confused about Serena Williams. I understand that she's a Jehovah's Witness (?) and doesn't celebrate birthdays etc but I guess this was okay.........

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Re: Amal and Sarena Williams to co host Duchess of Sussex baby shower in New York

Post by annemarie on Fri 22 Feb 2019, 02:43

What's funny is that her personal assistant was always going to leave she stayed to help Meghan get settled. But the press made it seem like there was a problem.

Do people really not think that people who work for the royals have lives and things change. How many people leave the other royals. No one knows because it's of no interest but because Meghan is new it's a big deal.

Maybe, the baby moves around a lot, and she feels more comfortable when she cradles her belly.
Or, maybe, it's just something she likes to do either way it makes no sense that this should even be a topic for discussion.

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Re: Amal and Sarena Williams to co host Duchess of Sussex baby shower in New York

Post by Way2Old4Dis on Fri 22 Feb 2019, 02:53

I think she probably acts like any other first-time pregnant woman, but it's so easy to only publish photos of her cradling her belly that now everybody thinks she walks around cupping her pregnant abdomen 24 hours a day.

She won't ever do anything right or be good enough for a lot of people.

The people who matter to her don't care about this crap, and the people who care about this crap don't matter.

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Re: Amal and Sarena Williams to co host Duchess of Sussex baby shower in New York

Post by LizzyNY on Fri 22 Feb 2019, 02:56

I hope they all had a great time and safe travels home. I wonder how many chances Meghan will have to hang out with her friends the way she did this week. I imagine she'll be hearing about this trip once she gets home.

Just a side note on the question of baby showers: If, heaven forbid, something goes wrong with a pregnancy having a roomful of baby gifts to dispose of just makes it that much more painful. That's why, in our family, we hold the baby shower after the baby is born - just to be on the safe side. Does anyone else do this?
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Re: Amal and Sarena Williams to co host Duchess of Sussex baby shower in New York

Post by Donnamarie on Fri 22 Feb 2019, 03:14

Lizzy I’ve heard of after baby showers but have never been to one.  I’ve only been to and had traditional showers.  Either seems fine.  I always thought that baby showers were universal so I was surprised to read here that it’s not a thing in the U.K.  I wonder if that’s the case in other European countries.

Meghan’s habit of cradling her tummy shouldn’t matter to anybody.  It’s a personal physical gesture she has taken to since she started to show.  It’s really sad that every bit of her life is under a microscope.  But Meghan must have been prepared on some level for her new life being on public display when she said yes to Harry.  Hope she’s got a thick skin!
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Re: Amal and Sarena Williams to co host Duchess of Sussex baby shower in New York

Post by party animal - not! on Fri 22 Feb 2019, 05:21

Speaking for myself I'd never heard of a baby shower until quite recently - and then only from the States - and when I did I wondered why it was called a shower.

People over here sometimes don't make massive preparations for a baby's arrival just in case something goes wrong with the birth. I and loads of friends didn't buy massive of nursery kit or lots of decorating - we figured it was a salesmen' dream and the wallpaper would quickly have to be replaced! The necessities yes obviously but you just never know. I was in hospital with the first for ten days.

Not aware of baby showers being huge over here even now to be honest - again people are busy just trying to pay the mortgage. People definitely buy gifts once the baby's born though and for any christening that may or may not happen.

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Re: Amal and Sarena Williams to co host Duchess of Sussex baby shower in New York

Post by annemarie on Fri 22 Feb 2019, 10:01

The name baby showers is basically to shower the baby and mom with gifts. Then you have the push present this one is relatively new in the last few years. The father buys mama a gift for having the baby.
I don't think he gets a gift just the baby.

You can also register for baby gifts , so you can tell everyone what you would like to have.

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Re: Amal and Sarena Williams to co host Duchess of Sussex baby shower in New York

Post by LizzyNY on Fri 22 Feb 2019, 16:12

Annemarie - Mommy deserves the push present for nine months of growing a human being and God knows how many hours of pushing a baby out into the world. Daddy already got his present when he planted the baby seed! Very Happy
 
Donnamarie - I think Meghan, like most entertainers, wants a certain amount of public attention. If she didn't she would have chosen a different career. Marrying Harry may have raised that attention to a level she didn't expect. I hope she's able to ignore the trolls and just get on with her life. I think if anything spoils their marriage it will be too many restrictions put upon her.
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Re: Amal and Sarena Williams to co host Duchess of Sussex baby shower in New York

Post by PigPen on Fri 22 Feb 2019, 16:20

party animal - not! wrote:You're right Annemarie - and I think quite a lot of the British public think that discretion is the better path and goes hand-in-hand with diplomacy and subtlety and as part of the Royal Family you don't spend what many consider to be taxpayers' money. 

Many are also unhappy about the environmental impact and that they should really be setting an example to ot
None of this was a surprise.  I feel confident the mom-to-be had a great deal of input regarding the venue, location, guest list, hotel she would stay at, etc.  We need to remember, not that ago, she was an actress- enjoying and wanting the limelight.  This appears to be more of that need.  It's been noted that she has a mind of her own and marches to her own drummer... remember when she opened and closed her own car door, the furry that caused in the press and public opinion.

I agree, less is more, discretion should have been their guide.  But then, the invited guests wouldn't have been able to be noted to be among the chosen-to rub elbows with the Dutchess.( the wedding was more of a red carpet event than not)

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Re: Amal and Sarena Williams to co host Duchess of Sussex baby shower in New York

Post by ladybugcngc on Fri 22 Feb 2019, 16:57

Very Happy
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Re: Amal and Sarena Williams to co host Duchess of Sussex baby shower in New York

Post by annemarie on Fri 22 Feb 2019, 17:09

I think maybe a more private hotel where the press couldn't see so much would have been better. I hope she had a wonderful shower. I also hope the trolls leaver her alone and that her crazy half sister shuts up. The half brother even admitted that Meghan and the sister weren't close. 

Now that the sister is writing a book Meghan and Harry won't be left alone. I feel for Harry this can't be easy he loves her and wants to protect her. Sadly, he can't protect her from her family .

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Re: Amal and Sarena Williams to co host Duchess of Sussex baby shower in New York

Post by party animal - not! on Fri 22 Feb 2019, 19:08

Another phrase I've heard used by some lovely thoughtful husbands who  say that the one with the stretch marks who secretly did all the work gets the gifts.........

James Cordon tells the story of how he flaked out on the sofa one evening saying how tired he was when his wife who was very pregnant pointed out to him that she had had a very busy day too as well as growing some hair, some tiny feet, eyelashes, organs etc.

Don't think he ever made that mistake again!

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Re: Amal and Sarena Williams to co host Duchess of Sussex baby shower in New York

Post by party animal - not! on Fri 22 Feb 2019, 19:17

Now  here's a story that popped up in the British Press today.The timing is interesting 

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Re: Amal and Sarena Williams to co host Duchess of Sussex baby shower in New York

Post by annemarie on Fri 22 Feb 2019, 19:22

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[size=34]Queen lodges appeal against ‘punitive’ business rates increase at her Balmoral estate after SNP’s land reforms landed her with a £16,800 bill[/size]


  • The Queen is appealing the rateable value of sporting land she owns at Balmoral 

  • She was hit with bill of £16,800 as part of decision to overhaul Land Reform Act 

  • Since 1994, land used for shooting and dear-stalking were ineligible for rates 

  • However under the current Scottish government, that has been abolished 


By RACHEL WATSON FOR THE SCOTTISH DAILY MAIL
PUBLISHED: 04:25 EST, 22 February 2019 | UPDATED: 07:51 EST, 22 February 2019

     




The Queen has lodged an appeal against a ‘punitive’ rates increase at her Scottish estate following controversial SNP land reforms.
The Sovereign is appealing the rateable value of the sporting land she owns in Balmoral.
The move comes after she was handed a business rates bill for £16,800 following the Scottish Government’s decision to overhaul the Land Reform Act.
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+3



The Sovereign is appealing the rateable value of the sporting land she owns in Balmoral. Pictured today: The Queen attends a service to celebrate the centenary of the granting by King George V in London
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+3


Part of the Queen's Balmoral Castle Estate in the North East Scottish Highlands


Previously, land used for shooting and deer-stalking had been ineligible for rates but this exemption has been removed by SNP ministers.
It means that the Monarch must, like all other businesses including pubs and shops, pay rates on her land.
It is understood Buckingham Palace is seeking a review over how the rateable value of the property in Balmoral is calculated as it straddles two different local authorities – Aberdeenshire and Angus.

What are the new reforms? 


Areas used for shooting and deer-stalking previously did not have to pay rates on their land. 
Now under SNP rules, like other businesses, landowners now have to start paying tax due to an overhaul in the Land Reform Act. 
The Scottish government reintroduced business rates to land used to shooting and stalking.
Sites across Scotland had previously been exempt under legislation passed by the Tories in 1994.
Business owners across Scotland have been appealing their rates following a 2017 revaluation - the first time in nearly a decade.
Finance minister Derek Mackay had to place a cap on rates in certain sectors, like green energy and hospitality, after some saw bills rise by up to 400 per cent. 




However, they refused to comment on the issue last night.
According to the Scottish Assessors Association, the Queen is appealing the rateable valuation of £22,500 and £12,500 at two sites at Balmoral.
The two sites have a joint business rates bill of £16,800 – based on the valuation by surveyors.
Scottish Conservative economy spokesman Dean Lockhart said: ‘Businesses across Scotland are appealing their punitive rates bills under the SNP.
‘In addition the introduction of the large business rates supplement is making Scotland increasingly uncompetitive.
‘The SNP’s budget will only make this worse and continue to undermine our economy.’
The Scottish Government reintroduced business rates to land used for shooting and stalking after campaigners opposed the exemption – which they claimed unfairly favoured landowners in Scotland.
Sites across Scotland had previously been exempt under legislation passed by the Conservatives in 1994.
However, they now face massive bills based on the size and location of their land. But Green MSP Andy Wightman yesterday claimed the charges are fair.
He said: ‘Bringing shooting estates into non-domestic rates is about fairness and it’s no surprise landowners are seeking to pay as little as possible.’
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+3


Queen Elizabeth II and Prince Philip, Duke of Edinburgh with their children, Prince Andrew (centre), Princess Anne (left) and Charles, Prince of Wales sitting on a picnic rug outside Balmoral Castle in Scotland in September 1960




The Queen is now one of thousands of business owners in Scotland who have been forced to appeal their business rates bills following the 2017 revaluation – the first in nearly a decade. This saw some faced with rises of up to 400 per cent before Finance Minister Derek Mackay was forced to place a cap on rates for certain sectors, such as green energy and hospitality, after initially refusing to do so.
The Scottish Government has faced repeated calls for businesses to reform business rates – but Mr Mackay has stopped short of an overhaul.
Earlier this year it was revealed 22,000 businesses in Scotland are having to pay more in rates than their English counterparts because of the SNP’s ‘supertax’.
In 2016 the Scottish Government doubled the Large Business Supplement to 2.6p in the pound. This is added to the rate for businesses where premises are valued at more than £51,000. Elsewhere in the UK, it is 1.3p.
A Buckingham Palace spokesman said: ‘We wouldn’t comment on matters relating to a private estate.’

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Re: Amal and Sarena Williams to co host Duchess of Sussex baby shower in New York

Post by LizzyNY on Fri 22 Feb 2019, 21:40

PAN - Why is Balmoral considered a business? Isn't it a residence for the Queen?
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Re: Amal and Sarena Williams to co host Duchess of Sussex baby shower in New York

Post by party animal - not! on Fri 22 Feb 2019, 22:00

I'm guessing that in the acres she owns, there is permitted hunting and deerstalking to help with the running costs of such a huge estate.

The Queen, Prince Philip and Prince Charles are all massive savers of energy and funds (and are known to have as little lighting and heating on as possible to keep the bills down and help the environment - both the younger princes have mentioned it. I imagine several layers and a travelling rug for your knees are a good idea - the rooms and ceilings of all these ancient castles are very high).

She is also protesting the rise of tax and from the wording regards it as extremely high - and the current Scottish government is the Scottish National Party who wish to tax Scottish landowners at higher rates. The amount she's protesting about seems pretty small tho given the other figures being bandied about this week!

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Re: Amal and Sarena Williams to co host Duchess of Sussex baby shower in New York

Post by Donnamarie on Fri 22 Feb 2019, 22:21

It’s does seem a relatively small amount PAN.    Is the Queen known as a pretty frugal Royal, a real penny pincher?  How wealthy is the Royal family?  I thought considerably...
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Re: Amal and Sarena Williams to co host Duchess of Sussex baby shower in New York

Post by party animal - not! on Fri 22 Feb 2019, 23:46

I wouldn't describe it a frugal or penny pinching. I just don't think she's a fan of excess and is always mindful of people's perceptions of how things look and whether it's inappropriate.  She simply doesn't want to abuse it. 

Remember that she committed herself to a life of duty to the British people when her father died unexpectedly, and as a child lived through the war and the Blitz. She was definitely aware of the population living on rations and she was an army mechanic and driver then - so no ceremonial.

Of course she inherited vast amounts and endless property and a lot of what she does as you know is ceremonial and on behalf of the British people who are taxed to support what the Royal Family do in our name.

I think she has a huge sense of responsibility.

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Re: Amal and Sarena Williams to co host Duchess of Sussex baby shower in New York

Post by Donnamarie on Sat 23 Feb 2019, 00:14

PAN, hope you didn’t think I meant my description to be derogatory.  I don’t know that much about the Royal Family other than the occasional story that I read about them.  Was a big fan of ‘The Crown’ tho as a non Brit I don’t know how accurate the series got the Queen’s portrayal.  The Queen has come across to me as pragmatic in her reign ... no nonsense and practical.
I would think that she is still so well liked in the U.K. because of these attributes.
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Re: Amal and Sarena Williams to co host Duchess of Sussex baby shower in New York

Post by LizzyNY on Sat 23 Feb 2019, 00:56

These massive homes must cost the earth to maintain. I remember reading somewhere that the Queen feels she holds them in trust for the British people more than seeing them as her personal property. I think if I were in her position I'd try to save money whenever possible in order to have money to spend on upkeep. She must feel it's a great privilege as well as a responsibility to be the resident as well as caretaker of these historic properties.
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Re: Amal and Sarena Williams to co host Duchess of Sussex baby shower in New York

Post by party animal - not! on Sat 23 Feb 2019, 01:42

Yes it really isn't about the grandeur and money or the spending of it at all - it's also about decorum and behaving in the right way too.

I have a few friends who have property and live in the right London addresses - and I can tell you that in the depths of winter they are sitting in the smallest possible rooms in the house in order to save on the heating - no doubt that's why they're well off!

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Re: Amal and Sarena Williams to co host Duchess of Sussex baby shower in New York

Post by annemarie on Sat 23 Feb 2019, 02:11

Pan have you read the article in the fail by Diana's aid.It's title the true cost of of Meghan's New York Shower.

This is crazy the woman had a baby shower which she didn't pay for. 

She is making the same mistakes that Diana did. Please, all the royals have rich friends the only thing Meghan's friends

did wrong was have it so publicly.

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