That's what friends are for!
Following her posh, private American baby shower in New York City on Feb. 20, Duchess Meghan returned to Britain on a private jet. But she wasn't alone — and she didn't pay for her flight either.
Britain's The Sun reports that the seven-months-pregnant royal hopped a ride home with Amal Clooney, the human-rights attorney wife of movie star George Clooney, and Amal's toddler twins, Alexander and Ella. "Meghan hitched a ride with Amal on the private jet. Amal was already flying back and covering all the costs so it made total sense," a source told The Sun.
The cost of the ride? A reported $163,000. But, adds the source, "Amal was more than happy for Meghan to fly back with her and the kids. It's absolutely not the case that the taxpayers or the royal family paid for the cost of the jet. The flight didn't cost Meghan a thing."
Neither did the baby shower. Reports claim that the party — which was held in the two-story, $75,000-a-night penthouse at Manhattan's The Mark hotel — was personally paid for by Meghan's good friend, tennis champion Serena Williams.
Guest also included "Suits" co-star Abigail Spencer, designer pal Misha Nonoo, best friend and stylist Jessica Mulroney, close friend Markus Anderson, college pal Lindsay Roth, journalist Gayle King and, of course, Amal, among others.
Vanity Fair reports that Prince Harry's wife flew to her native America five days earlier on a private flight that cost $100,000. But that also didn't get billed to the royal family or British taxpayers: According to Vanity Fair, one of Meghan's close friends in Toronto, where she used to film "Suits," owns the aircraft and covered the cost as a gift for the former Meghan Markle.
Ethically, there's no problem with Meghan receiving such pricey presents. According to Alexandra Messervy, founder and chief executive of The English Manor, a U.K. etiquette, protocol and household management consultancy, gifted flights are par for the course for royals.
"No, not a problem at all," Alexandra told InStyle. "The royal family have often been offered such things, the Prince and Princess of Wales took advantage of John Latsis's yacht and also the yacht owned by Donald Gosling Leander, for instance. I believe the Duke of Edinburgh and other members of the family have sailed on that." Prince Charles has also been taking private flights paid for by wealthy friends for years.