Amal Clooney, Serena Williams at Meghan Markle's star-studded baby shower

Harry and Meghan announce first pregnancy

The Duke and Duchess of Sussex have announced they are expecting a child, just hours after landing in Sydney for the Invictus Games.

The most exclusive baby shower in the world has taken place in a $105,000-a-night New York penthouse in honour of mother-to-be Meghan Markle, the Duchess of Sussex.

Amal Clooney and Serena Williams reportedly co-hosted the intimate soiree in The Grand Penthouse at The Mark Hotel in Manhattan on Wednesday, with guests including her Suits co-star Abigail Spencer, designer Misha Nonoo, Markle's unofficial stylist and close friend Jessica Mulroney, plus TV personality (and Oprah's best friend) Gayle King.

Markle's mother Doria Ragland, the family member she remains closest with, did not attend. Neither did her sister-in-law Kate Middleton, and despite rumours ofa falling out between the pair in recent months, the Duchess of Cambridge is actually believed to be on a private ski trip with her husband Prince William and their three children.

Meghan Markle, the Duchess of Sussex, in New York on Wednesday.
Meghan Markle, the Duchess of Sussex, in New York on Wednesday. Photo: AP

Unsurprisingly, Markle's father Thomas and sister Samantha were not invited, according to a number of reports. The pair have been relentless in their verbal attacks against the Duchess since she first stepped out with Harry in 2016.

According to Vanity Fair, Williams, her tennis pro bestie, paid for the lavish affair at the 10,000-square feet penthouse, which features five bedrooms, six bathrooms, a library, a dining room, two powder rooms and a private rooftop terrace with panoramic views of Central Park.

Guests enjoyed a flower-arranging lesson and a multi-dessert meal by celebrity chef Jean-Georges Vongerichten, while the decor was kept neutral as the Duke and Duchess have yet to find out the sex of their baby, who is due in April.

Amal Clooney, human rights lawyer and wife of actor George, attending the shower in a snowy NYC.
Amal Clooney, human rights lawyer and wife of actor George, attending the shower in a snowy NYC.  Photo: AP

While Markle was enjoying her time in the Big Apple, she also managed to make a cameo in Beyonce and Jay Z's taped acceptance speech at the Brit Awards in London.

A regal-looking portrait of Markle hung behind the pair as they gave thanks for winning the Best International Group award for their album, The Carters.

During a time of incessant negative press about Markle, some have suggested that her inclusion by Queen Bey and her husband is a show of solidarity from one royal couple to another.

Gayle King arriving for the shower.
Gayle King arriving for the shower. Photo: AP

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