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Criticism grows of Meghan Markle’s $500,000 baby shower: ‘It was in poor taste,’ royal expert says

As Meghan Markle reportedly prepares to be feted with a second baby shower thrown by sister-in-law Kate Middleton, her lavish first shower held last month in New York City is increasingly being criticized by royal experts as ‘over the top,’ ‘in poor taste’ and inappropriate for a member of the British monarchy.
The U.S.-born former TV actress, expecting her first child with Prince Harry, flew to New York City last month on a private jet, where she spent several nights, dining at upscale restaurants before she was honored with the Feb. 19 shower thrown by A-list friends Serena Williams and Amal Clooney.
The shower took place   in the $75,000-per-night Grand Penthouse Suite at The Mark Hotel, with the Duchess of Sussex’s entire shower journey estimated to cost around $500,000, according to The Daily Mail. 
The shower itself was a small intimate affair with some of the Meghan’s close celebrity gal friends, but it became a public spectacle when the media gathered outside The Mark to photograph the arrival and depature of Clooney, Gayle King and other guests.

Amal Clooney was spotted leaving Meghan Markle’s baby shower with her Away suitcase – very jealous! #duchessofsussex #royalbaby
— HELLO! (@hellomag) February 20, 2019

Meghan Markle's friends threw her a baby shower in New York's Upper East Side yesterday, with some big name guests in attendance, including Amal Clooney, Serena Williams and our very own @GayleKing !
It was Markle's first trip back to the U.S. since her marriage to Prince Harry.
— CBS This Morning (@CBSThisMorning) February 21, 2019

“I think what Meghan’s got to realize is she cannot live life in the royal family like an A-list Hollywood star,” said Anna Pasternak, who wrote biographies on Princess Diana and Wallis Simpson, in an interview for Yahoo News’ “The Royal Box.”
“Within the monarchy it requires a very different set of behavior,” Pasternak continued, saying: “You cannot have it all. You cannot have your freedom and this privilege … It’s not a fairytale. Recognize that and live with the consequences.”
Pasternak added that the shower itself “was in very poor taste,” especially given the fact that the U.K. is in a state of anxiety over its efforts to leave the European Union and with many Britons struggling financially.
Pasternak also said it’s hypocritical of Meghan, who shows her concerns for the environment by wearing sustainable fashion, to fly by private jet.
“You cannot on the one hand, say to the people: ‘Save the planet, save plastic,’ and then be revving up a private jet with a massive carbon footprint for a lavish baby shower in New York,” Pasternak added. “I don’t think it looks good and I don’t think it’s appropriate.”
Pasternak’s criticism was echoed by Dickie Arbiter, the former spokesman for Queen Elizabeth.
“It was a bit over the top in terms of expense and the way she got there,” Arbiter said about the shower and Meghan’s private jet travel in an interview this week with Us Weekly .
Arbiter added baby showers are “very much an American thing,” declaring, “We don’t do it here in the U.K.”
Actually, Arbiter may be a bit out of step with the times, with reports saying that Kate plans to host some kind of celebration in London, though, yes, the event may not be called a “shower.”
“There is still going to be some sort of private baby-centric event for Meghan’s UK people, and Kate will host,” a royal source told Us Weekly . “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.”
The “glam people and other relatives” at the party is expected to include Meghan’s mother Doria Ragland, who is expected to fly from Los Angeles to be with her daughter when she gives birth sometime in April, Harpers Bazaar reported .
Meanwhile, the Duchess of Sussex also was called out this week for parading around in stylish and sometimes pricey maternity outfits for royal events, with the combined total of her ensembles estimated to cost more than $600,000 — all of which reportedly comes out of royal funds. However, some Meghan fans defended her need to dress elegantly as being essential to her royal role.
Pasternak sees in Meghan a need to be the center of attention, and not just because she currently is a mom-to-be. Pasternak said this need could hurt her relationships with other members of the royal family, including her sister-in-law Kate, with whom she has or has not been feuding, depending on whose report you read.
“I don’t think she [Meghan] understands that she can’t be this international star on a global stage. That has to be the Queen, then Charles, then William and Kate,” Pasternak said.
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But Pasternak added that this need could also undermine the long-term survival of the 1,000-year-old monarchy.
“They have to be the stars. That’s how you ensure continuity of the monarchy,” she continued. “The House of Windsor has done incredibly well to stay together when so many other European houses have collapsed. And they’ve done that because they recognise it’s the monarch who has to be the main event.”

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