Over the weekend, Meghan Markle traveled back to New York City to take part in an American tradition: her baby shower. While the celebration seemed to be innocent fun, there were a few reports that the Duchess of Sussex’s expensive shower broke a rule regarding the royal family’s humble and modest appearance. Royal biographer Ingrid Seward said otherwise of the matter, explaining to People that there is no protocol against American-style baby showers among the British royals.
Seward, author of the novel My Husband & I about the queen and Prince Philip, revealed that traditional American baby showers have migrated to the U.K. in the past 20 years, but they are typically private and quiet events. Moreover, the author believes even Kate Middleton had a baby shower, but there were no fusses made.
Markle arrived via private jet in New York on Tuesday last week to begin her celebrations at the Mark Hotel in the Upper East Side of the city. Although she did attempt to keep a low profile at first, her visit soon went public.
The duchess and her celebrity friends, including Amal Clooney, Serena Williams, Gayle King, Abigail Spencer, and Misha Nonoo, were photographed on more than one occasion as they entered and left the hotel. They also spent time in a flower arranging class and ate at lavish restaurants.
Meghan Markle's been accused of being a hypocrite for flying by private jet to New York for a couple of days for her baby shower. The Duchess of Sussex's flight had a hefty carbon footprint, when she and Harry campaign for environmental issues. Thoughts? #jeremyvine pic.twitter.com/mWn0ZwdS5Q— Jeremy Vine On 5 (@JeremyVineOn5) February 22, 2019
“The Brits don’t have them in restaurants or hotels. Someone hosts them in a private house,” Seward said of the events. “New Yorkers do everything in restaurants and hotels. It’s a different culture.”
International news outlets Express and News.com.au reported that the no-doubt expensive celebration angered the queen and Prince Harry. The royals allegedly believed that Markle’s very public shower neglected their usually otherwise well-reserved manner.
“I think Prince William will be angered by all of Meghan’s lavish extravagance this week and the fact her baby shower looked so ‘celebrity’ rather than ‘royal,'” former royal butler Paul Burrell reportedly told Express at the time.
However, according to Seward, this is likely not the case for the royal family.
“If anyone in the royal family criticizes, they are envious that they didn’t have that too,” Seward said. “If she even knows about it, the queen will think, ‘I’m delighted the girl’s enjoying herself.’ There may be a bit of in-house sniping from courtiers but not from her.”
Seward continued on to explain that Markle’s history as an actress separates her from the rest of the royal family, and royal watchers should adjust to the notion that protocols are likely to change because of this.
“We are not used to seeing them act like celebrities,” the biographer said.