Last month, Meghan Markle traveled across the pond to New York City, where many of her friends from her pre-royal life gathered to throw her a baby shower. Serena Williams was there, as was stylist Jessica Mulroney, and the several days of festivities included a lunch at Ladurée, dinner at the Polo Bar, shopping at luxury children’s store Bonpoint, and a soirée in the $75,000-a-night penthouse suite of the Mark Hotel in Manhattan—all totaling approximately $200,000.
Though the general reactions to the shower ranged from apathy to pure delight that Meghan had finally returned to the U.S., one person tangentially connected to the royal family was thoroughly displeased. “Baby showers, it’s very much an American thing,” Dickie Arbiter, one of Queen Elizabeth’s former press spokespeople, told Us Weekly this week. “We don’t do it here in the U.K. It was a bit over the top in terms of expense and the way she got there.”
Before you start worrying that Arbiter’s snide comments reflect those of the queen, a few things to keep in mind. For one, he hasn’t been employed by the royal family since 2000, and seemingly hasn’t maintained close ties with them since: In 2014, before his book about his time working with Queen Elizabeth, Prince Charles, and Princess Diana was published—without the cooperation of the royals—Charles reportedly attempted to refute Arbiter’s accounts. Additionally, Arbiter, who is now a royal correspondent for various networks, has made a habit of sharing similarly catty remarks about Meghan Markle on his Twitter account on a regular basis—including, just this week, this particularly malicious musing:
There’s also the fact that, as is typical with most baby showers, Meghan’s friends paid for the whole event, with Williams said to have signed off on the bulk of the expenses. Sure, it was expensive and “over-the-top,” but it’s not as if Meghan was using British taxpayers’ money to sponsor a girls’ weekend across the pond.
On top of all of that, while it’s true that baby showers are much more common in the U.S. than in the U.K., they’re gaining popularity across the pond, and Kate Middleton is even reportedly planning to host a similar event celebrating her sister-in-law’s pregnancy sometime soon. “There is still going to be some sort of private baby-centric event for Meghan’s U.K. people, and Kate will host,” a source told Us Weekly shortly after the N.Y.C. event. “Her glam people and other relatives will be there. Not sure if it’s a total baby ‘shower,’ but you could probably call it that.”
All in all, it sounds like somebody was just a little disappointed about not receiving an invitation to either of Meghan’s baby showers.