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Inside Meghan Markle's 'Beautiful' Baby Shower Serena Williams Hosted in New York City

ELLE logo ELLE 2/21/2019 Carolyn Durand, Alyssa Bailey
Meghan Markle et al. posing for the camera: Meghan Markle spent her final full day in New York City attending the spectacular baby shower her friend Serena Williams hosted for her in the penthouse suite of the Upper East Side's five-star Mark Hotel. Here, all the details from the big day. © Max Mumby/Indigo - Getty Images Meghan Markle spent her final full day in New York City attending the spectacular baby shower her friend Serena Williams hosted for her in the penthouse suite of the Upper East Side's five-star Mark Hotel. Here, all the details from the big day.

Meghan Markle spent her final full day in New York City attending the spectacular baby shower her friend Serena Williams hosted for her in the penthouse suite of the Upper East Side's five-star Mark Hotel.

A Royal insider shared with Elle.com that “the shower was a chance for Meg to share excitement of the baby with her closest friends, some of which she hadn’t seen for some time. It was a beautiful gathering filled with love and celebration-she couldn’t stop smiling.”

While Meghan has adjusted to life behind Palace walls, she relishes the time with her nearest and dearest, many of whom live on the other side of the Atlantic in the U.S. or Canada.

Williams took special care planning the perfect party for Meghan: “Serena had made sure all the little things she liked were there: her favorite foods, flowers and music. Everything was so thoughtful and tastefully done," the source said.

Here, all the details about the afternoon.

The Party's Guests

Meghan's guest list was exclusive but featured some of Meghan's famous close friendsand some of her most personal ones. Celebrity attendees included Amal Clooney, CBS anchor Gayle King, Meghan's Suits co-star Abigail Spencer, Soho House Global Membership Director Markus Anderson, NBC Cable Entertainment Chairman Bonnie Hammer (who gave Meghan her big break on Suits), wellness guru Taryn Toomey, designer Misha Nonoo, stylist Jessica Mulroney, and actress Janina Gavankar. Meghan's best pals from Northwestern also attended, along with Meghan's longtime glam squad and the men behind her royal wedding look, hairstylist Serge Normant and makeup artist Daniel Martin.

Absent from the New York celebration was Heather Dorak, one of Meghan's oldest and closest friends from L.A. who had just given birth herself and her mother Doria Ragland. Ragland is expected at Meghan's second baby shower in London ahead of the Duchess's due date in late April.

King, Spencer, Mulroney, Nonoo, and Clooney were photographed arriving to the shower in city's snow. Clooney wore a red jumpsuit with gold heels:

a woman standing in front of a store: Celebrity Sightings In New York City - February 20, 2019 © Gotham - Getty Images Celebrity Sightings In New York City - February 20, 2019

King wore a purple coat and lavender heels:

Gayle King walking down a street: Celebrity Sightings In New York City - February 20, 2019 © Adrian Edwards - Getty Images Celebrity Sightings In New York City - February 20, 2019

Nonoo wore a grey plaid coat with a black mini skirt and grey top:

a group of people standing on top of a car posing for the camera: Celebrity Sightings In New York City - February 20, 2019 © Adrian Edwards - Getty Images Celebrity Sightings In New York City - February 20, 2019

Spencer was dressed in a navy skirt and a dark sweater:

a couple of people that are talking to each other: Celebrity Sightings In New York City - February 20, 2019 © Adrian Edwards - Getty Images Celebrity Sightings In New York City - February 20, 2019

And Mulroney wore pink heels and a black coat and skinny jeans:

a group of people standing in the rain holding an umbrella: Celebrity Sightings in New York City - February 20, 2019 © James Devaney - Getty Images Celebrity Sightings in New York City - February 20, 2019

The Venue and Decor

Meghan's party was in the two-story penthouse suite of the Mark Hotel, which normally rents for upwards of $75,000 a night. Williams reportedly viewed a number of spaces before settling on the Mark Hotel, which is frequented by the fashion elite and celebrities.

a group of people walking in front of a building: Outside The Mark Hotel. © James Devaney - Getty Images Outside The Mark Hotel.

The penthouse was decorated with beautiful spring blooms. Photos of the flowers arriving at the hotel show an array of pastel florals chosen in pinks, yellows, and pale greens.

a person standing in front of a window: Celebrity Sightings In New York City - February 19, 2019 © Gotham - Getty Images Celebrity Sightings In New York City - February 19, 2019

The expansive suite has vaulted ceilings, includes four bedrooms and a massive terrace overlooking Central Park and the Metropolitan Museum of Art. It also had a baby crib for the party, where guests dropped their gifts, along with a cotton candy machine alongside the five-star delicacies.

What the Party Was Like

ELLE.com understands that Meghan's baby shower was an elegant, sophisticated gathering for Meghan and her friends to enjoy ahead of her baby's birth. Dulcet tones of jazz could be heard from inside the private space. No party games or a gender reveal were planned for the afternoon festivities. (Meghan herself told well-wishers in Bristol that she and Prince Harry are keeping the gender of their first child a surprise.)

But there was one activity during the party: A Royal source close to Meghan shared that her guests were looking forward to participating in a flower arrangement session. They were equally eager to sample Michelin-starred celebrity chef Jean-Georges Vongerichten's cuisine. Vongerichten presides over the namesake Mark restaurant at the hotel.

Meghan, an avowed foodie, was "looking forward to spending private time with her closest friends and visiting some of her favorite restaurants in New York," a Royal source shared with Elle.com. Meghan ate at the Polo Bar, Ladurée, and Cafe Boulud during her trip.

When Meghan ran The Tig, her lifestyle blog, the Duchess would often share her relationships with various celebrity chefs. Her visit to Cafe Boulud with Abigail Spencer Tuesday had special meaning given that history. Meghan and its chef Daniel Boulud have been friends for years. She documented getting food from Cafe Boulud before on her own social media back in 2016. And Cafe Boulud's Toronto location was a favorite regular haunt for Meghan and her best friends there, Markus Anderson and Jessica Mulroney, along with the casts of Suits. (Meghan lived in Toronto while shooting the series.)

a close up of food: Inside Meghan Markle's 'Beautiful' Baby Shower © Instagram Inside Meghan Markle's 'Beautiful' Baby Shower

How Meghan Is Ending Her New York Trip

A Royal source told Elle.com that the Duchess of Sussex had plans to fly back to London tonight. But the unexpected snow shower today on the East Coast may delay her plans. Meghan is understood to have flown privately to New York City, borrowing a friend's jet accompanied by her Palace protection officer. She spent the weekend at Misha Nonoo’s Greenwich Village townhouse before checking in to the Mark Hotel Monday night.

Meghan will fly Saturday to Morocco with Prince Harry for their three-day royal tour of the country. It will be her third overseas tour since joining the Royal Family.

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