She celebrated the arrival of her first child in style with a baby shower worth a staggering $430,000 (£330,000) and a lavish haul of gifts from her A-list friends.
So it’s perhaps little wonder the Duchess of Sussex decided to charter a private jet to transport her back to London on Wednesday.
Concierges were seen loading Meghan’s sizeable collection of presents into a van outside her swanky Upper East Side hotel last night shortly before the mother-to-be boarded a plane back to the UK.
Guests including Amal Clooney, Serena Williams and Jessica Mulroney descended on Manhattan yesterday for the lavish celebrations held in The Mark Hotel’s penthouse suite which costs an eye-watering $75,000 (£57,500) a night.
The upmarket establishment is billed as ‘NYC’s most boldly lavish five-star hotel’ on its website.
She’s off! The pregnant duchess left the swanky Upper East Side hotel where her baby shower took place on Wednesday evening after the lavish soiree, cradling her bump as she made her way to a waiting SUV, and wearing the same tan coat
Concierges are seen loading Meghan’s sizeable haul of baby shower gifts into a van outside her swanky Upper East Side hotel last night before she boarded a plane back to the UK
Suitcases wrapped in plastic packaging are loaded onto a waiting van to make the journey back to the UK. Meghan opted to fly by a ‘privately funded’ private jet
The cost of Meghan’s lavish New York baby shower
Return private jet from the UK to New York – $250,000 (£191,600)
The Mark Hotel Grand Penthouse Suite – $150,000 (£115,00)
Five nights in a one-bedroom suite at The Mark Hotel – $9,982.05 (£7,600)
Dinner for five at The Polo Bar – approx. $420 (£320) with drinks
Lunch at The Surrey – Cafe Bolud – approx. $78 (£60)
Afternoon tea for two at Laduree – approx. $25 (£19)
Two Royal Protection officers – $14,213 (£10,887)
Harp player Erin Hill – $625 (£479)
17 Away carry-on suitcases – $3,825 (£2,930)
Gifts: Babyletto Hudson 3-in-1 Convertible Crib – $379
10ft mandarin tree – approx. $140 (£290.24)
Lady Fleur NYC roses – approx. $399.95
Trek bicycle – approx. $609.99 (£306.28)
Carnival King cotton candy machine – $199.99 (£153.17)
TOTAL: $430,896.98 (£329,980.91)
TV anchor Gayle King, fashion designer Misha Nonoo, actress Abigail Spencer and Dior makeup artist Daniel Martin were among the VIP guests invited to join Meghan in New York, where she has been since Friday.
Meghan’s luxurious mode of transportation back to the UK – a Gulfstream G450 twin jet plane – is thought to have cost a staggering $125,000 (£98,500) for the six-hour journey back to the UK from the Big Apple.
The 37-year-old royal is also thought to have traveled to the States via private jet, meaning that a phenomenal $250,000 (£191,600) would have been spent on her round-trip travel – bringing the total estimated cost of the getaway to almost half a million dollars.
On Monday, Kensington Palace confirmed that Meghan’s travel for the six-day trip had been ‘privately funded’ because it was a personal getaway but the spokesperson would not comment on any other details of her visit to New York, and declined to give any official information about the cost of her security detail.
Meghan is back in Britain after her extravagant half a million dollar five-night trip to New York City and was travelling in the front Land Rover as it left Farnborough Airport this morning
Meghan needed two luxury 4x4s to carry her, her luggage and team away from Farnborough Airport and back to London following her baby shower, new pictures reveal
Mile-high Meghan: The Duchess of Sussex, circled, was pictured boarding a private jet on Wednesday evening bound for the UK, after spending five nights in New York City
The height of luxury: Meghan flew home on a Gulfstream G450 (pictured), a twin-jet craft that is one of the most popular picks for Hollywood elite with busy transatlantic schedules
Meghan’s sizeable collection of presents are loaded into a van outside her swanky Upper East Side hotel last night shortly before the mother-to-be boarded a plane back to the UK
Presents are transported from Meghan’s Manhattan hotel on Wednesday. The 37-year-old royal is also thought to have traveled to the States via private jet
Something fun! It appears as though one of the guests brought a bike for Meghan’s unborn child, with a staff member from the hotel seen carrying the large Trek box into the venue. The brand’s kids’ bikes start at $169.99 (£130.11) and go up to $1,049.99 (£803.43)
Stack ’em up! Not long before the shower was due to start, around 17 $225 (£172.21) carry-on suitcases from trendy travel brand Away were delivered to the hotel
Sweet treats! A team of caterers was also seen delivering several boxes, including a cotton candy machine, which may well be intended for Meghan’s shower
The entertainment! Harpist Erin Hill was seen wheeling her large instrument into the venue, suggesting that she may providing music for the guests at the shower to enjoy
Something special? A large garment bag was one of many deliveries seen being made to the hotel ahead of the baby shower on Wednesday as VIP guests began to arrive
However, exclusive video and images obtained by DailyMail.com confirms that the royal did indeed travel on a private jet in order to return home to the UK, with several sources claiming that she used the same form of transportation in order to travel to New York at the end of last week.
The duchess’s departure from New York comes at the end of a busy five-night, six-day trip that saw her catching up with friends, enjoying several meals at some of the city’s best restaurants, and, of course, being the guest of honor at her baby shower on Wednesday before flying home.
Despite her seemingly hectic schedule over the last few days – which saw her spending time with friends at hotspots like The Surrey hotel, The Polo Bar, and the Met Breuer – Meghan looked fresh-faced and glowing as she was pictured leaving The Mark a few hours after her baby shower ended.
Strutting her stuff: Meghan’s unofficial stylist Jessica Mulroney attended the shower, and was pictured arriving at the venue on Wednesday wearing a chic black ensemble
A double celebration: Newly-engaged designer Misha Nonoo – who is credited with introducing Meghan and Prince Harry – was seen carrying a large white bag from high-end interiors company Rani Arabella into the hotel
The party starter: Meghan’s former Suits co-star Abigail Spencer was one of the first guests to arrive at the venue, with the actress making a very low-key entrance
Long-time pal: Soho House consultant Markus Anderson, who was not seen arriving at the event, made his way out of the hotel just in front of several Away suitcases gifted to guests
Glam squad! The seven-months-pregnant duchess’s makeup artist Daniel Martin – the man behind her bridal beauty look for her wedding to Harry – was also among the first to arrive
Fitness favorite! Trainer Taryn Toomey, creator of a workout called The Class that is loved by the likes of Naomi Watts and Jennifer Aniston, arrived at the event carrying two large white bags and a large sports bag
Party people: Many of the guests came baring gifts, with one woman carrying what appeared to be a cake (right), while fashion publicist Celine Khavarani (left) brought a white bag with her
Firm friend: One of Meghan’s oldest pals, Lindsay Roth, who she at Northwestern University, was one of the final guests to arrive, carrying with her a colorful gift bag with elephants
Feeling blue: One guest thought to be Meghan’s sorority sister Genevieve Hillis (left) made the brave decision to go bare-legged, despite the chilly weather, while a man seen carrying two gift bags (right), looked much cozier in his winterwear
A costly end to a pricey trip! Meghan faces paying hundreds of pounds in airport duty as she lands back in UK with baby shower gifts
Step aside! As well as the flowers, staff at the hotel were also seen wheeling in a large box housing a travel crib, which may well have been a gift for the Duchess
Meghan Markle may have splashed out a fortune on her New York baby shower but the Duchess of Sussex also faces a significant tax bill to cover the extravagant gifts she is bringing with her on her private jet.
Guests arrived at the exclusive The Mark Hotel in on the Upper East Side of Manhattan, overlooking Central Park laden with bag after bag of expensive gifts likely to be worth thousands or even tens of thousands of pounds.
The presents will have been loaded on to her private jet that set off for London last night but will be subject to UK import taxes when she arrives.
Meghan can bring in goods worth up to £270 into Britain from the US without paying any airport duty.
Once that total is exceeded she has to pay tax on it.
If a single item’s worth more than that allowance she must pay any duty or tax on its full value, not just the value above the allowance.
Only a handful of the gifts she received have been revealed and those alone will probably cost her hundreds of pounds to import.
Any item worth more £620 [$820] is subject to higher rates of tax.
For example high value jewellery including items containing diamonds are taxed at 20 per cent of its total value.
For example the Trek bicycle given as a baby shower gift is worth at least $609 [£470] could be subject to duty of around £50 because of a 14 per cent tax rate on bicycles from outside the EU.
Meghan must also pay 2.5% on the crib, mandarin tree, flowers and the cotton candy machine she was given.
Meghan appeared to be ready to settle down in the comfort of her private plane, and was far more dressed down than we have seen her recently, eschewing her heeled boots and chic nude pumps in favor of figure-hugging black leggings and a matching sports top that accentuated her large bump.
She also wore a black cap with the word ‘Rectify’ written across it, which appears to have been a gift from her friend and former Suits co-star Abigail Spencer, who actually arrived at the hotel for the baby shower earlier in the day wearing the exact same design. Rectify was the name of a SundanceTV series that Abigail starred in between 2013 and 2016.
Meghan’s whirlwind NYC trip
She is set to fly to Morocco this weekend for a royal tour with Prince Harry, but Meghan first spent some quality time with friends in New York City.
The 37-year-old arrived in Manhattan on Friday for a secret five-night trip in order to attend a baby shower being thrown for her by her nearest and dearest.
After catching up with BFF Jessica Mulroney at La Durée, she was pictured heading out to Ralph Lauren’s swanky restaurant The Polo Bar on Tuesday night alongside Mulroney and Serena Williams.
The high-end eatery is also known to be a favorite of President Donald Trump, and is located just a few block’s from his tower on Fifth Avenue.
The Duchess of Sussex leaves The Polo Bar on Tuesday evening, the night before her baby shower at the self-styled ‘most boldly lavish five-star hotel in NYC’
The party spent three hours inside the restaurant, and Meghan and Serena were then spotted arriving back at their lavish hotel on Manhattan’s Upper East Side.
Earlier on Tuesday, Meghan, Abigail, and their entourage of protection officers, took in artwork at Met Breuer art museum before heading to The Surrey hotel for an incognito lunch.
But while the trip may have come as a surprise to some, according to an unidentified friend, Meghan’s visit to the Big Apple was planned months ago.
She is also thought to have invited Amal Clooney, Lindsay Jordan, Northwestern University sorority sister, Genevieve Hillis and Janina Gavankar.
The Duchess of Sussex returned to London on Wednesday via private jet.