Also: The Queen isn't mad.
“I thought she looked so happy,” Ingrid Seward, author of the biography My Husband & I about the Queen and Prince Philip, tells PEOPLE of the mom-to-be. “She has worked so hard, and there she was having a bit of fun. She looked so at home and so happy.”
There’s no royal “protocol” regarding having a gathering with friends and family to celebrate a pregnancy.
Although baby showers are an American tradition, Seward says that they’ve migrated to the U.K. for at least the past 20 years. Meghan’s likely wasn’t the first royal shower of its kind – the author believes Kate Middleton had one, although it was “very private.”
Meghan’s was held on February 20 at The Mark hotel in New York, where the public could get a glimpse of what was going on from the flowers, cotton candy machine and celebrity guests arriving outside.
“The Brits don’t have them in restaurants or hotels. Someone hosts them in a private house,” Seward explains. “New Yorkers do everything in restaurants and hotels. It’s a different culture.”
“If anyone in the royal family criticizes, they are envious that they didn’t have that too,” Seward says. “If she even knows about it, the Queen will think, ‘I’m delighted the girl’s enjoying herself.’ There may be a bit of in-house sniping from courtiers but not from her.”
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Seward also notes the Duchess of Sussex’s acting background separates her from some of the traditions of the British royal family.
“We’ve been brainwashed to see them having a humble life, on vacation in the rain in Scotland. We aren’t used to seeing our royal family doing things we’d like to do,” she says. “Some British people might feel it is a bit flash, but it’s just that we are not used to seeing them acting like celebrities. And Meghan is a celebrity.”
In the end, Seward says Meghan looked glad to be back with her closest friends after a busy start to her royal life.
“Everybody needs a break,” she says.
Meghan’s friends – including Serena Williams and Jessica Mulroney – didn’t hold back when it came to planning the perfect shower for the future royal mom. The party was held in a suite at The Mark Hotel, whose head chef is world-renowned culinary expert Jean-Georges Vongerichten.
The New York City visit comes shortly before Meghan and Prince Harry are heading to Morocco on Saturday for a three-day visit highlighting two of their key causes: girls’ education and youth empowerment.