Meghan’s friend Jessica Mulroney posts ‘strong woman’ quote on Instagram

By Catherine Wylie, PA

Jessica Mulroney, a close friend of the Duchess of Sussex, has posted a quote on Instagram about a “strong woman” facing a challenge.

The Canadian stylist and TV star, believed to be a key member of Meghan’s inner circle, has spoken out in the past about her royal friend’s critics.

Following Harry and Meghan’s bombshell statement on Wednesday evening, Mulroney shared a picture of a quote attributed to Gina Carey, which said: “A strong woman looks a challenge in the eye and gives it a wink.”

The picture was not captioned and comments appeared to have been turned off on the post.

Mulroney is married to Ben Mulroney, son of former Canadian prime minister Brian Mulroney, and her twin boys Brian and John and daughter Ivy were pageboys and bridesmaid at Harry and Meghan’s wedding.

It is not known who took on the role of godparents to the couple’s son Archie, but Mulroney was among friends tipped to play an important part in his life.

As recently as October, Mulroney publicly backed her friend when female MPs offered Meghan their support in her stand against the “distasteful and misleading nature” of newspaper stories about her and her family.

Mulroney praised the MPs on Twitter, writing “That’s what I’m talking about”.

In August, Mulroney hit out at Meghan’s critics as “racist bullies”, writing on Instagram: “3 years of undeserved hate and abuse. It’s enough.”

Mulroney, second left, holds bridesmaids’ hands as they arrive for Meghan and Harry’s wedding (Ben Stansall/PA)

Her words were taken as referring to the duchess, who along with her husband, had been under the spotlight for taking four private jet journeys in 11 days, despite their environmental campaigning.

Mulroney posted a quote, which read: “When someone faces unfair criticism, you call it out.

“When that person is your friend and your family, you call those critics what they truly are. Shame on you, you racist bullies.”

Mulroney also supported Meghan in the difficult days leading up to the wedding amid the turmoil caused by the absence of her father, Thomas Markle.

Ahead of the birth of Archie last year, Meghan caught up with friends including Mulroney and Amal Clooney when she attended an exclusive baby shower in New York, with the private jet journey and penthouse suite, reportedly funded by friends, said to have cost some £300,000.

Amal Clooney attended Meghan’s baby shower (Dominic Lipinski/PA)

Abigail Spencer, who starred in the US drama Suits with Meghan, was also spotted arriving at the lavish five-star Mark Hotel to join the bash, while others attending included harpist Erin Hill, fashion designer Misha Nonoo and television presenter Gayle King.

Meghan also managed to catch up with friends at Wimbledon last summer when she paid a visit to watch her pal and tennis superstar Serena Williams in action.

The duchess was flanked by two friends from her university days as she took her seat among spectators.

Genevieve Hillis and Lindsay Roth were fellow students of the royal who studied both theatre and international relations at Northwestern University in Evanston, Illinois, graduating in 2003.

Meghan watching Serena Williams at Wimbledon with Genevieve Hillis, left, and Lindsay Roth (Mike Egerton/PA)

Meghan also has a close friend in Benita Litt who runs her own brand agency and helps others to start businesses, while her best male friend is Markus Anderson who is director of members’ club Soho House.

There has been no shortage of celebrities showing support for Harry and Meghan, with the royal pair even holidaying with George and Amal Clooney in Italy, and visiting Sir Elton John’s home in the south of France.

Among the big names at their star-studded wedding in 2018 were chat show queen Oprah Winfrey, David and Victoria Beckham, actor Idris Elba and singer James Blunt.

Harry and Meghan have also received backing from some of the world’s most famous people since they got married.

The Duke and Duchess of Sussex meet Beyonce and Jay-Z (Niklas Halle’n/PA)

They met Beyonce and Jay-Z at the European premiere of Disney’s The Lion King, with Beyonce telling them: “We love you guys.”

American singer Pharrell Williams heaped praise on the Sussexes, saying their relationship was “significant” and “beautiful”, with the duchess appearing to add: “They don’t make it easy.”

Former US presidential candidate Hillary Clinton said of Meghan that she wanted to “put my arms around her. Oh my God, I want to hug her”, over the alleged racist and sexist treatment she faced.

American comic Ellen DeGeneres also backed the couple, saying: “I mean I can’t tell you how sweet they are. But the most important thing is I got to hold Archie. I fed Archie. I held Archie.”

She added: “And I just hate it, I see them get attacked and it’s not fair.”