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Meghan Markle isn’t known for keeping things low-key.
From her and Prince Harry’s £32 million 2018 wedding celebrations (with £14k spent on flags and banners alone) to her 2019 New York-based two-day baby shower organised by Serena Williams and Amal Clooney and costing £300,000, the duchess loves a royal knees up. But for this year’s milestone birthday celebrations, she’s taking a different tack.
According to a source, ‘Meghan wants a small gathering. About 65 people are invited, her closest friends and family.’ Ok, so 65 people might not exactly be three-tables-booked-in-your-nearest-pub-garden kind of low-key, but it’s a big change for her. The party – said to be held in the Sussex’s Montecito mansion – will be held in line with California’s covid restrictions, where limits on gatherings have recently been eased.
The smaller party may work in Meghan’s favour; she shares a birthday with Obama, who is going for a more lavish celebration at Martha’s Vineyard over the weekend. Guest lists may collide, with both Oprah Winfrey and the Clooneys being close friends of the Sussexes and the Obamas.
Make no mistake – the gathering may be smaller, but it’s not any less stylish. Markle is said to have hired celebrity favourite party planner, Colin Cowie. Voted number one in Vogue’s ‘Ultimate Wedding Planner Master List’ in 2018, Cowie was reportedly recruited by the duchess after he planned the party of Oprah Winfrey. His other celeb clients are said to include the likes of J-Lo, Tom Cruise, Jennifer Aniston and Kim Kardashian.
So it’s safe to say the party is still a pretty big deal. As for the finer details, Harry has apparently been entrusted with the task of cake ordering, for which he has turned to Posies & Sugar, a Santa Barbara bakery which is known for its naked cakes topped with fresh floral arrangements. Not skimping on the snacks, the Sussexes are said to have opted for ‘grazing tables’, laden with locally-sourced foods and wines.
This is just the first of the royal 40th bashes set to unfurl over the coming months; whilst the Duchess of Cambridge marks the milestone in January, Prince William will celebrate next June. Maybe we can look to them for a fully post-covid super party – but for now, the ‘low-key’ parties will have to do.