With its pomp, ceremony and all-star guest list, the wedding of Prince Harry and Meghan Markle was by all accounts the royal event of the year.
If scenes outside a five-star New York hotel were anything to go by on Wednesday, even the glamour of that moving celebration could have been surpassed by none other than the Sussex baby shower.
The Duchess of Sussex was celebrating the impending arrival of the seventh-in-line to the throne, in a penthouse suite with her celebrity friends including Amal Clooney and Serena Williams.
The front entrance of The Mark Hotel was transformed into a makeshift red carpet, with guest arrivals documented by photographers in the pens outside.
A candyfloss machine was seen to be delivered, along with a musician wheeling a harp emblazoned with the name Erin Hill, the rock, pop and jazz harpist who advertises as having performed for Kanye West and two First Ladies of the United States.
Guests carried large gift bags with presents wrapped in blue and orange tissue paper, while hairdresser Serge Normant and make-up artist Daniel Martin - who recently shared a photograph of avocado on toast from the Duchess’ home in the UK - walking inside to join the fun.
Markus Anderson, a director at Soho House who accompanied the Duchess to her first public appearance with Prince Harry at the Toronto Invictus Games, was also in attendance, entering the hotel with designer Misha Nonoo who clutched a bag from Zittles, a children’s clothing store in New York.
Gayle King, television host and a close friend of Oprah Winfrey, bore a gift bag with a pink ribbon, after actress Abigail Spencer - one of the first in and laden with bags - wore a baseball cap.
Amal Clooney, the human rights lawyer whose husband recently spoke of how the Duchess is being “pursued and vilified and chased in the same way that Diana was”, wore a vivid red jumpsuit, black jacket slung over her shoulders, and gold-coloured high heels.
Fitness "guru" Taryn Toomey, who offers “music-driven, mat-based practice of self study through physical conditioning”, was also seen entering the hotel.
Adding to the festivities was a suitcase brand taking the opportunity to deliver clearly labelled cases apparently intended as gifts.
The party came on the second day of unexpected activity at the hotel, during the Duchess’ “private” visit to New York to see friends.
On Tuesday, news of her whereabouts was briefed to US celebrity magazines before she was photographed walking out of the hotel’s main entrance wearing dark sunglasses for an outing to a busy art gallery cafe and a high-end restaurant for lunch.
By the evening, the Duchess, Williams, Spencer, Anderson and Canadian stylist Jessica Mulroney were dining at The Polo Bar, owned by Ralph Lauren and regularly listed among the best restaurants for celebrity spotting in New York City.
On Wednesday, the US online version of Tatler was briefed details of the shower itself by a “source”, relaying the time of the baby shower and precise details of the guest list.
“The baby shower will kick off with a flower arranging lesson accompanied by a dessert table prepared by the restaurant’s head chef, Jean-Georges Vongerichten, who will be there to greet them,” it said.
The penthouse of the hotel is described as a “castle in the sky”, with space for a Grand Ballroom and an outdoor terrace amid its many rooms at a reported cost of $75,000 per night.
The bill is understood to have been paid by the Duchess’ friends, with Ms Williams named by several US outlets as the “host” and issued photographs of herself inside the hotel wearing her own clothing line on Instagram.
The meticulously-planned baby shower was carried out without the assistance of Kensington Palace, with the Duchess accompanied only by her protection officers rather than by aides from her private office or press team.
For exclusive insight into the Royal Family from Camilla Tominey and Hannah Furness, sign up for our free Royal Appointment newsletter.