Meghan Markle's friendship group gives new definition to the term power squad. From her old college mate to A-list pals, Markle's friendships span the worlds of Hollywood, sport and politics.
As her star-studded New York baby shower proved, the Duchess of Sussex's faithful inner circle features Amal Clooney, Gayle King and her old tennis pro pal Serena Williams.
They're a loyal bunch, too. Earlier this year a group of Markle's friends spoke anonymously to People magazine defending her from the onslaught of public and media criticism since her marriage. The friends reportedly spoke with the Duchess' blessing - a highly usual move by a Royal Family member.
Now, only one question remains - who among the Markle faithfuls will be her baby’s godparents?
The college friend
TV producer, actress and What Pretty Girls Are Made Of author Lindsay Roth has been Markle’s best friend since they met in a literature class at Northwestern University. Markle was even the maid of honor at her wedding.
The beauty guru
The make-up artist is also a firm favourite with Elisabeth Moss, Gemma Chan, Michelle Yeoh and Nina Dobrev. Other than being the man behind Meghan Markle’s natural wedding make-up look (which has become one of the most requested celebrity make-up looks of all time), Martin was also a regular beauty columnist on Markle's former lifestyle website The Tig. Since she tied the knot with Prince Harry, they’ve enjoyed a discreet afternoon tea together and he’s also believed to have been attendance at her bridal shower.
Martin, who is also a Dior brand ambassador and creative colour consultant for Honest Beauty, revealed recently on Instagram stories that he had travelled out to Windsor. Some have believed this means that Martin was Meghan Markle and Prince Harry’s first official guest at their new home Frogmore Cottage, especially as he shared a snap of the Windsor Royal Shopping centre which is close to their home.
Before Priyanka was Priyanka Chopra Jonas, both women were rising actresses - they even went to Hamilton together in 2016, which Markle documented on her now-deleted Instagram. Priyanka even attended the Royal wedding, although Markle didn't make it to her equally lavish nuptials. There are recent rumors that the two are feuding but here's to hoping it's just hearsay - mostly because we'd love to see Markle at a Jonas Brothers concert now that they've reunited.
The actresses have been friends for more than a decade. The Tig even inspired The League actress to launch her own website, Alt Found.
Markle has been pals with her Suits co-star since long before they started filming the USA show together. "I saw her and was like, 'Who is this gorgeous girl?' She was just so stunning and there was just something about her, and that's how we met,” she told ET. They were born on the same day, July 4, 1981, only hours apart.
Spencer even contributed to The Tig. During her recent trip to New York, the pair dined at Cafe Boulud and ventured to the Met Breuer.
"She has incredible taste, she has really influenced my fashion and taste," Spencer said. "We have a lot of similarities in what we like,” she told People.
The Canada crowd
Celebrity stylist Jessica Mulroney is thought to be Markle’s best friend and her go-to for fashion advice. Mulroney became friends with Markle after she moved to Canada to film Suits. It helps that she understands marrying into a dynastic family - her husband, Ben, is the oldest son of former Canadian Prime Minister Brian Mulroney. Rumor has it that Markle and Prince Harry hid out at their house when they first started dating. They’re still all thick as thieves - Mulroney’s three children all served as bridal attendants at the Royal Wedding.
Anderson has often been snapped by Markle’s side, most recently during her New York baby shower weekend and most famously when she appeared at her first Invictus Games in 2017. Anderson is a consultant for private club Soho House.
International fashion designer Misha Nonoo dressed Markle during her time promoting Suits and the two often vacationed together. But most importantly, Nonoo reportedly set Markle up with Prince Harry. Her ex-husband, Alexander Gilkes, went to Eton with both princes. And Markle has supported her friend sartorially. The classic white button-down she wore to the Invictus Games is aptly named the “husband shirt” and was designed by none other than Nonoo.
“We were seated next to one another at a lunch, and we got along like a house on fire,” Nonoo told The Evening Standard.
The celebrity squad
Markle and the tennis superstars first crossed paths at a charity football game back in 2014. Markle supported her friend by wearing her blazer to a recent public event.
"We hit it off immediately, taking pictures, laughing and chatting—not about tennis or acting, but about good old-fashioned girly stuff. So began our friendship....She quickly became a confidante I would text when I was traveling, the friend I would rally around for her tennis matches, and the down-to-earth chick I was able to grab lunch with a couple of weeks ago in Toronto,” she wrote on The Tig.
The admiration is mutual. “Her personality just shines. I told her, ‘You’ve got to be who you are, Meghan. You can’t hide,’” the tennis pro told Vanity Fair.
Amal Clooney and Markle’s friendship became clear after the Clooneys attended the Royal wedding and even made the cut for the Frogmore House after-party. George Clooney even gave out shots of his Casamigos tequila brand and danced with the Duchesses. Princess Eugenie’s fiance Jack Brooksbank is a Casamigos ambassador, which could be the connection.
Meghan Markle and Michelle Obama met in London to discuss women’s empowerment. The private talk happened after Michelle Obama promoted Becoming at Royal Festival Hall.
Oprah famously attended the Royal Wedding clad in millennial pink. While she didn’t make it to the baby shower, her best friend Gayle King did.
“It left me feeling that anything is possible through the power of love,” Oprah told Vogue.
Where Oprah goes, her best friend Gayle King is sure to follow. King and Markle, a TV presenter on CBS This Morning, have never been seen together publicly. But it appears she’s close enough to the Duchess of Sussex to have scored an invitation to Meghan Markle’s reported New York baby shower, as she was photographed entering The Mark Hotel with a large gift bag in tow.
King also covered Meghan’s wedding to Prince Harry as a journalist, reporting live from the scene outside.