Meghan's lavish lifestyle has been under scrutiny ever since she became the Duchess. Her recent baby shower held in New York is under fire and has been labeled as an extravagant show of wealth.
The Duchess of Sussex seems to be the center of attention as the day of her child's birth draws closer. However, given the extravagant baby shower she was thrown in New York, many are left wondering if Meghan Markle's Hollywood lifestyle is making its way into long-held royal traditions that have been laid down over the generations? Despite her humanitarian side, people seem to have been rubbed the wrong way with Markle's views and behavior. According to Daily Mail, Markle's five-day trip to New York leading up to the baby shower was ill-judged and perceived as a lavish exhibition of the wealth she enjoyed.
There's no denying that the 37-year-old former actress is a self-made, intelligent and hardworking woman who has used her celeb status for advocacy of women empowerment and charity. The Duchess is admired for being open about her views and opinions, using it for the greater good. She is no stranger to working for charitable organizations and speaking for the people. However, sometimes even the most honest deeds are overlooked when a single situation crops up showing the person in a bad light. The extravagant baby shower for Markle, that was hosted by her best friend and Tennis legend Serena Williams at her hotel room in New York had people judging her as being over-indulgent.
According to Royal biographer, Angela Levin, it was "widely perceived as an exhibition of extravagance at a time of national hardship." However, she wasn't the only person to talk about Markle's elaborate baby shower. Social media accounts run by Kensington Palace were bombarded with messages filled with criticism. Even her ardent fans would have found it hard to defend her actions amidst the jabs and taunts that were aimed at the Duchess.
Levin further talks about how Harry's reputation can be damaged due to Markle's negligence, the website reported. She spoke to the Prince last year where he accepted the line between royalty and a celebrity. He wants to contribute to public life rather than becoming a celebrity for the wrong reasons. His words were visible in his decision to stay at home and visit a youth center, handing out food to unprivileged children, while his wife was out celebrating the much-awaited birth of their baby with her friends in New York.
Markle's baby shower saw guests attending the bash at a 57,000-pound per night suite at The Mark hotel in Manhattan’s Upper East Side. The guests dined on 150-pound worth steaks and received presents of 445 pounds suitcases each. A-listers such as Amal Clooney and Serena Williams, who are some of the wealthiest women in the world also attended the grand event. They have also been said to pick up an approximate tab of 330,000 pounds, including the cost of the private jet which came up to 25,000 pounds.
This wasn't the first time Meghan's lavish lifestyle was criticized by the public and media. A fashion website spoke about how she wore dresses nearly worth 500,000 pounds, which is more than any royal woman in Europe. Her Givenchy wedding dress was worth 395,000 pounds which was later replaced with a Stella McCartney original worth 116,000 pounds for the reception. The question still remained—are her choices appropriate considering her position as a royal?
Levin went on to question the patronage of Smart Works honor, which was awarded to Markle by the Queen herself. "How does such luxury fit with her patronage of Smart Works, granted by the Queen last month? Smart Works uses donated clothes to help vulnerable and long-term unemployed women find jobs," she said.
While her humanitarian efforts are in no way questioned, Markle has been under the radar of royal watchers, many of whom have not shied away from criticizing Markle's views and opinions, talking about her so-called lack of respect for the norms that have been followed throughout generations in the royal household. "Being royal comes with duties and obligations quite different from those of Hollywood. Yet I am not so sure this is something she accepts, unlike her husband." Levin further added.
Another unconventional decision Markle has made is her choice to use a Doula while giving birth, according to Huffington Post. A Doula is a person with no medical training that is asked to help a pregnant woman during the birth of the child. They provide physical and emotional support in addition to have a traditional midwife. And while a Doula has not been part of a royal birth for generations, Markle would be the first in centuries to seek the assistance of one.
While there's no denying the negativity surrounding the Duchess' decisions and public appearances, many have often compared her to Lady Diana and her bold choices to go against the royal norms and tradition, sometimes in favor of freely expressing herself, and other times, for her two sons. Markle, too, has been under public scrutiny ever since the news of her relationship with Prince Harry made headlines, but ardent fans of the royal couple and the Duchess hope to see it blow over with time.