The California native is back in the U.S.A.!

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February 18, 2019 03:12 PM

Meghan Markle is getting showered!

The Duchess of Sussex made a secret trip to New York City to celebrate the upcoming arrival of her and Prince Harry‘s first child, due in late April. A source tells PEOPLE that Meghan’s friends are throwing her a baby shower before she heads back to London.

The mini-homecoming – the former actress hails from Los Angeles, where her mother Doria still resides – comes shortly before Meghan, 37, and Harry, 34, are heading to Morocco for a three-day visit highlighting two of their key causes: girls’ education and youth empowerment.

Although she now lives in the U.K., Meghan has maintained close friendships with those who were by her side before she was royalty.

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Five members of the Duchess of Sussex’s inner circle recently spoke to PEOPLE about the woman they call their friend.

RELATED: Meghan Markle in Her Friends’ Own Words: ‘She Personifies Elegance, Grace, Philanthropy’

“From the outside, people want to paint a Cinderella story, but Meg had made her life quite amazing before this,” Meghan’s close confidante told PEOPLE. “She worked hard and earned an amazing career; she did loads of charity and volunteer work; she had a successful lifestyle website [the Tig] with a staff who loved her; she had privacy and freedom, but the means to really enjoy her life and to share that success with her friends —which she always did.”

Prince Harry and Meghan Markle
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The confidante added, “Whenever something good is happening in my life, she celebrates with me first, and when there’s a hardship, she’s there with Kleenex and a shoulder and a glass of wine and the best chat and a book that will help pull me out of wherever I am.”

Meghan Markle
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On top of being “wicked funny,” a former colleague told PEOPLE that Meghan goes above and beyond to help her friends.

“She is one of the most selfless people I know,” says the former colleague. “A couple years ago, my son was at the beginning of a special-needs diagnosis. Meg screeched her life to a halt and used every resource she could muster for me: got me into a doctor in L.A., got me alternative doctors, called me, sent things to my hotel room. It was like a five-alarm-fire focus of her life to help me and support me.”

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