The Duchess of Sussex headed to New York City for the weekend on a last-minute trip to support close friend Serena Williams in the final of the US Open

By Stephanie Petit
September 09, 2019 10:38 AM

Meghan Markle spent a low-key weekend in New York City — taking in a yoga class and surprising a friend for his birthday — but all eyes were on the Duchess of Sussex at the US Open.

The royal mom, 38, cheered on close pal Serena Williams at the women’s final of the tennis tournament on Saturday from the star athlete’s box at Arthur Ashe Stadium, sitting in front of Anna Wintour and behind Williams’ husband Alexis Ohanian as Serena lost to Canadian Bianca Andreescu.

At one point, Meghan appeared on the stadium’s Jumbotron with her title “HRH The Duchess of Sussex,” as captured on a Twitter video shared by royal fan Michaela. The royal looked up to see herself on the big screen, then gave a shy smile and a wave for the camera.

“The crowd went wild when they showed her on the screen,” a spectator tells PEOPLE. “They did it as soon as they possibly could — it was the very first break in action.”

“She was very into the match and jumped to her feet quite a few times,” the insider adds. “She stayed through the whole presentation, even after Venus left, which people were really impressed by.”

The outing marked Meghan’s first trip overseas without her 4-month-old son, Archie. On Friday, she made an unexpected last-minute trip aboard a commercial flight from London, PEOPLE confirmed. Prince Harry remained home with their son in Windsor.

Despite being so far from her family, the Duchess of Sussex kept them close to her heart with her sentimental choice of jewelry. Meghan, who sported a denim dress for the tennis championship, wore two gold dog tag pendants by Los Angeles jewelry brand Mini Mini Jewels, one bearing her own “M” initial and also one engraved with “H” to represent her husband Prince Harry. Both necklaces featured a diamond accent as does the third necklace she owns, engraved with an “A” for Archie, which she is yet to wear in public.

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“We are beyond thrilled, it’s been such an exciting day for us and we love Meghan, we were all hoping she would wear some of our pieces in public and now she has!” founder and designer Tracey Kahn tells PEOPLE, adding: “They are so delicate and tasteful, they really suit her style.”

RELATED: Ellen DeGeneres Met Baby Archie During Visit with Meghan Markle and Reveals ‘He Looks Like Harry!’

Meghan Markle
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Meghan Markle
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The royal’s last trip to America was in February for her baby shower with close friends.

Meghan first met Williams at the 2010 Super Bowl in Miami where they immediately hit it off. Last summer, the tennis pro and her husband, who both attended the royal wedding, joined Meghan to watch Harry compete in a polo match in Ascot, England. Williams also helped throw the baby shower for her friend in earlier this year.

In July, Meghan and some friends watched Serena’s match at the Wimbledon championships. She then joined sister-in-law Kate Middleton for the women’s final.

Kate Middleton and Meghan Markle
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Later this month, Meghan and Harry will be taking their first royal tour as a family of three.

The royal couple will bring son Archie to Cape Tape Town, South Africa, on Sept. 23. Although there’s been no confirmation as of yet for when royal fans can expect to see their son, the first scheduled stop of the couple’s visit is to a township.

They will leave little Archie — who was born on May 6 — with his nanny as they start the official first leg of the tour.

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