A lot of parents decide to do things a little differently when it comes to the birth of their second child. So it would not be surprising – especially considering how much her life has changed in the past two years – if the Duchess of Sussex could be set to eschew a baby shower ahead of the arrival of her daughter this summer.
A source reportedly told US Weekly: ‘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 would certainly be in keeping with the Sussexes’ recent statement on their son’s second birthday, as they asked well-wishers to donate to a vaccine equity programme, rather than buy him a present.
While not traditional in the same way in the UK, baby showers are a rite of passage in the US and something that many expectant mums look forward to as a chance to celebrate with their closest friends – and also receive several gifts that might be helpful to the newborn.
When Meghan was pregnant with her first child, Archie Mountbatten-Windsor, she celebrated with a lavish baby shower hosted by her celebrity friends Serena Williams and Amal Clooney.
Taking place across a few days in February 2019, the glamorous shindig saw the Duchess jetting off to New York to stay at The Mark hotel, where the group reportedly rented the penthouse. While there, they were treated to a dessert trolley prepared by head chef Jean-Georges Vongerichten, as well as a floral arranging masterclass, amongst other things. She returned to the UK via Clooney’s private jet.
The event drew criticism from some in the tabloid press, who falsely speculated the shower had cost Meghan £232,000, and that she had invited celebrity friends over her own mother, Doria Ragland. The Duchess responded to these claims in a legal filing in November 2019, according to Hello! magazine.
‘The suggestion that the Claimant (Meghan) deliberately left out her mother from her baby shower and ditched her in favour of her famous friends is untrue and offensive to her,’ it said. ‘The Claimant’s mother was of course invited, and the Claimant also offered to buy her airline tickets. However, her mother was unable to attend due to work commitments. It was also untrue and offensive to suggest, as the article does, that “not a single guest had known [the Claimant] for more than a decade”.
‘In fact, the true position was that the baby shower (which actually cost a tiny fraction of the $300k falsely stated in the article) was organised and hosted by one of her best friends from university; the fifteen guests who attended the shower were close friends and included long-term friendships some of which had existed for over 20 years.’
It might be that Meghan is keen to avoid such criticisms or false reporting again – after all, her media treatment was one of the reasons for her and her husband Prince Harry’s break from the Royal Family and their decision to live in the US.
Another reason that Meghan may skip a baby shower this time round is Covid-19. While the vaccination programme in the US is going full steam ahead, the pandemic is far from over. The couple may feel it would be irresponsible to host a gathering at the moment, even if it would be outdoors.
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