It’s certainly been a testing few weeks for Meghan Markle and Prince Harry, following the death of his grandfather Prince Philip and the drama that surrounded the funeral. As she is currently heavily pregnant with the couple’s second child, Meghan was unable to fly to the UK to accompany her husband, who was facing his family for the time since their explosive tell-all interview with Oprah Winfrey. It was reported that Harry failed to heal the rift with many members of the royal family and flew back to Meghan in California as soon as he could. They are now focusing on the arrival of their daughter, who is thought to be due later this spring.
Meghan has famously admitted that she found being a member of the royal family challenging and restrictive, and she is now making the most of her new life in the US – and this includes her upcoming baby shower.
When she was pregnant with 23-month-old son Archie, Meghan caused a bit of a stir by flying from London to New York to have a baby shower – an event not normally celebrated by UK royals – at an exclusive hotel, which cost a reported £300,000. But now she is no longer under such scrutiny, she wants to go all out for this one, which will take place at her and Harry’s $11million mansion in Santa Barbara, even though it may still create controversy.
“The baby shower will be a classy affair – there will be no expense spared,” an insider tells heat. “The last few weeks have been very dramatic and quite stressful at times. There’s also certainly been some tension over the guest list, and whether it looks wrong to have a big showy event after all that’s gone on with the royal family over the past year, and the sad death of Prince Philip. Both Meghan and Harry were torn over whether to have it, but they’ve decided to go ahead, as they feel like they need to celebrate.”
The source adds, “There will be quite a few celebrities in attendance, such as Oprah Winfrey and Gayle King, as well as the likes of Beyoncé, Serena Williams and Katharine McPhee. It’ll be an intimate, outdoor event at their house, with plenty of games and lavish decorations. There will also be luxury touches, like gift bags, filled with wellness products and handmade mementoes that symbolise how important Meghan’s friends are to her – now more than ever. Meg’s hired some top chefs to provide a feast fit for Hollywood royalty, and only the best Champagne will be served, for those who want to drink it.”
The source continues, “Meghan is so excited about having a daughter, and can’t wait for such a girly day with those closest to her. It will also be a chance to have the big American-style baby shower she wants. She was so criticised for everything she did when she was expecting Archie – she’s so happy she can revert back to her LA roots, rather than be forced to follow stuffy palace rules.”
CHECK OUT Meghan Markle and Prince Harry's love story from the start
Prince Harry and Meghan Markle
Prince Harry and Meghan Markle met in London in July 2016.
We’re told Harry, and Meghan’s mum Doria, have been doing most of the organising and are making sure the 39-year-old former actress gets everything she asks for. “Harry has been very hands-on with the planning,” says the insider. “He’s teamed up with Doria and a couple of Meg’s friends to make sure it’ll be a day to remember. He wants his wife to feel like a proper princess from beginning to end, even though he won’t be there for the majority of the party – it’ll be a girls-only day, but he’ll probably pop in towards the end. He wants to make sure it’s a five-star affair with all the food, music, pampering and ambience she likes – plus a few special surprises.”
The source says only people Meghan feels really comfortable with have been invited. Her best friend Jessica Mulroney has made the list, despite their friendship cooling last year, when the stylist issued a public apology after being accused of “bullying” an Instagram influencer. We’re told Meghan is keen to move forward and wants Jessica involved in her children’s lives. However, she won’t be given the coveted role of godmother, as that is reserved for Oprah, following Meghan and Harry’s controversial interview with her in March.
“Meghan thinks Oprah would be the perfect godmother for her daughter,” our insider says. “She wants her girl to be surrounded by strong female role models, and Oprah certainly fits the bill. She’s been a real support to both her and Harry since they moved to California, and Meghan knows she can rely on her, no matter what. Other names in the running include Serena and Katharine, who have also shown their support. Meghan feels so blessed to have all these strong women in her life and gets teary when she thinks about how lucky her daughter is.”
As well as being surrounded by female role models, baby girl Sussex will also be born into a life of luxury and welcomed with lavish gifts from the couple’s Hollywood friends. “With Archie, Meghan felt embarrassed about receiving expensive OTT presents, but this time, she’s embracing it. She feels so much more relaxed with this pregnancy, and she doesn’t really care what people think,” our source says.
“All of her Hollywood friends are super-rich and are keen to spoil the baby, so the gift list includes high-end designer outfits, a top-of-the-range stroller, expensive jewellery for when she’s older, and other luxury keepsakes. Everyone seems keen to outdo each other and bring the best gift, so it’s going to be a pretty amazing haul. And Meghan has already decided that any duplicate gifts will go to charity.”
We’re told that, with only a few weeks to go until she gives birth, Harry, 36, is making sure Meghan is getting as much rest as possible. He doesn’t want her to lift a finger, especially as the fallout from the Oprah interview and Prince Philip’s death has made it a stressful time, with rising tensions between them and the royal family.
“Meg’s still very active and full of energy, but Harry’s right there to spoil her from the moment she wakes until bedtime,” our insider says. “He fixes her breakfast in bed, takes care of all the household chores, walks the dog and feeds Archie. She has some days that are busier than others, but generally the pace is pretty chilled and she’s going with the flow, rather than sticking to a rigid routine.”
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Since arriving back in the US after his time the UK, Harry – who was said to be shocked at the “cold reception” he received from his family – has been making sure Meghan is his priority, even if she thinks he’s being overprotective at times.
“Meghan is making sure she’s eating pretty healthily, although there have been some cravings like cupcakes and frozen yoghurt,” our source adds. “She’s taking plenty of naps and enjoying going for walks around the garden, plus some light gym work to keep herself active and supple. If Harry had his way, he’d have her wrapped up in cotton wool and waited on hand and foot 24/7, but Meghan has told him not to worry – she’s quite capable of looking after herself. He’s very protective of her, and tries to keep her calm and shielded from most of the daily stresses.”
The source adds, “Meghan, Archie and their unborn daughter are his world – he’ll do anything to protect them and make them feel special.”
Read more in the latest issue of heat magazine – OUT NOW.