NEW YORK, NEW YORK – FEBRUARY 19: Meghan, Duchess of Sussex is seen in the Upper East Side on February 19, 2019 in New York City. (Photo by Gotham/GC Images)


Chaotic scenes unfolded on Manhattan’s Upper East Side on Tuesday afternoon local time (Wednesday AM AEST) for good reason: a royal was in town.

Cameras flashed and shocked onlookers gasped as Meghan, Duchess of Sussex emerged from The Mark hotel, where she is being honoured with a baby shower.

Meghan, surrounded by security, emerged briefly on Tuesday afternoon in a cape-style Emilia Wickstead coat, skinny jeans, nude heels and shades before climbing into a waiting SUV. It seems the American couldn’t resist a hit of culture while in the Big Apple, heading up the street to visit modern art museum the Met Breur.

NEW YORK, NY – FEBRUARY 19: Meghan, Duchess of Sussex is seen walking out of Cafe Boulud on February 19, 2019 in New York City. (Photo by Raymond Hall/GC Images)

The gallery visit was followed by lunch with friend and former Suits co-star Abigail Spencer at Café Boulud, helmed by French chef Daniel Boulud, at The Surrey Hotel.

After that, Meghan returned to The Mark, an exclusive boutique hotel where rooms typically start at AUD $1000 per night. It’s at The Mark that Meghan was to be celebrated with a baby shower hosted by stylist and best friend Jessica Mulroney.

Earlier, florists delivered bunches of flowers, and a box that appeared to hold a baby’s cot was delivered. The guest list is expected to number around 15 women, including Misha Nonoo, the fashion designer that introduced Meghan and Harry.

View of the main dining room through the lobby at Jean Georges’ The Mark restaurant in The Mark hotel in New York City

The Palace has not commented on Meghan’s private visit to the US, and the trip took many by surprise, given she is due to give birth to her first child in April.

But royal protocols could be why Meghan decided to head back to the States for the event.

Women in the royal family don’t typically have baby showers, since it would be seen to be too lavish and costly, given it would be at the British tax payer’s expense.

Having the shower in America, put on by Meghan’s friends, would alleviate possible criticism from the public that English tax payers were footing the bill for the party.