Why Palace Aides Reportedly Once Rolled Their Eyes At Meghan Markle

Meghan Markle, the Duchess of Sussex, celebrated her first pregnancy in February 2019 by taking a private jet to New York City for a baby shower with her friends. The trip drew criticism from those within the British royal circle, according to a report in The Daily Mail. Omid Scobie, who is the royal editor at large for Harper's Bazaar, is featured in a new documentary titled "A Very Royal Baby: From Cradle to Crown," which delves into the pressure expectant royals face. In an interview for the documentary, Scobie recalls Markle's five-day baby shower celebration with approximately 20 of her closest friends, which, he reported in Harper's Bazaar, included Serena Williams, Priyanka Chopra Jonas, Gayle King, and Amal Clooney.

"I remember speaking to a palace aide at the time who rolled their eyes, they were horrified that something so common was happening within the House of Windsor," Scobie said in the documentary. 

Heads turned over the perception of extravagance over the baby shower

Royal aides weren't the only ones who were more than a bit taken aback by the baby shower, which isn't customary in the U.K. Editor-in-chief of Majesty magazine and royal expert, Ingrid Seward called the event "trashy," as she described the scene which unfolded, saying: "They walked in through the front entrance carrying these enormous bags from the most expensive shops in New York. Crowds gathered because they were all celebrities, you had Gayle King, Serena Williams and Amal Clooney" (via Yahoo).

All told, it was estimated that the event, which was hosted by Serena Williams, and Meghan's friends Jessica Mulroney and Genevieve Hills, would have cost a head turning half a million dollars. The tab included a return trip on a private jet between London and New York, five nights' stay in a one-bedroom suite at The Mark Hotel, catering, as well as party favors for those who attended the event. The actual baby shower took place at The Mark Hotel's Penthouse Suite, which The Daily Mail reports was the "most expensive per night" room in the country. An aide reportedly told the publication, "It's fair to say that the optics of the somewhat flashy shower did not go down well with certain individuals at the Palace."

No baby shower is planned this time around

The same matter isn't likely to come up again with royal baby number two. It appears as though Harry and Meghan have chosen not to have a shower for their daughter who is expected to arrive any day now. While her first shower might have been exciting, an anonymous source tells US Weekly that "Meghan doesn't feel a big baby shower with gifts is appropriate right now. There is too much strife in the world. She and Harry have been so involved with humanitarian issues, they both feel their time and resources can be used for a better purpose." 

It's also not as commonplace to host a baby shower for a second baby, as etiquette expert, Diane Gottsman explained in an interview with Martha Stewart. "Traditionally, baby showers were for first-time parents who were getting started and needed everything from diapers to draperies for their newborn," further adding that celebrating any subsequent births are more intimate affairs that don't center around gifts and baby essentials.

Vanity Fair adds that the couple's decision to keep everything low key this time around fits in with the way they have been celebrating important events, like Mother's Day and Archie's birthday. The Sussexes have been asking supporters to donate to different charities, instead of sending presents or cards.

Royal fans are placing bets on what the new baby's name will be

Meghan Markle and Prince Harry are anxiously awaiting the arrival of their second child, as are royal watchers and fans, although their exact due date isn't known (via Elle). The couple revealed they were expecting a daughter during their March 2021 interview with Oprah Winfrey, but they didn't reveal many other details about their second pregnancy. The Duchess of Sussex was advised against traveling for Prince Phillip's funeral in April, which indicates she is likely due this summer. The Mayo Clinic advises women who are more than 36 weeks pregnant against flying.

While the couple has faced a lot of criticism since their televised interview with Oprah, that doesn't mean the the public isn't excited about the newest addition to their family. According to People, betting sites are ripe with fans looking to earn some money on the expected royal baby name. As of right now, the odds seem to be in favor of Philippa, in honor of Prince's Harry's late grandfather.