The California native is back in the U.S.A.!
Meghan Markle is getting showered!
The Duchess of Sussex made a secret trip to New York City to celebrate the upcoming arrival of her and Prince Harry‘s first child, due in late April. A source tells PEOPLE that Meghan’s friends are throwing her a baby shower before she heads back to London.
The mini-homecoming – the former actress hails from Los Angeles, where her mother Doria still resides – comes shortly before Meghan, 37, and Harry, 34, are heading to Morocco for a three-day visit highlighting two of their key causes: girls’ education and youth empowerment.
Although she now lives in the U.K., Meghan has maintained close friendships with those who were by her side before she was royalty.
Five members of the Duchess of Sussex’s inner circle recently spoke to PEOPLE about the woman they call their friend.
“From the outside, people want to paint a Cinderella story, but Meg had made her life quite amazing before this,” Meghan’s close confidante told PEOPLE. “She worked hard and earned an amazing career; she did loads of charity and volunteer work; she had a successful lifestyle website [the Tig] with a staff who loved her; she had privacy and freedom, but the means to really enjoy her life and to share that success with her friends —which she always did.”
The confidante added, “Whenever something good is happening in my life, she celebrates with me first, and when there’s a hardship, she’s there with Kleenex and a shoulder and a glass of wine and the best chat and a book that will help pull me out of wherever I am.”
On top of being “wicked funny,” a former colleague told PEOPLE that Meghan goes above and beyond to help her friends.
“She is one of the most selfless people I know,” says the former colleague. “A couple years ago, my son was at the beginning of a special-needs diagnosis. Meg screeched her life to a halt and used every resource she could muster for me: got me into a doctor in L.A., got me alternative doctors, called me, sent things to my hotel room. It was like a five-alarm-fire focus of her life to help me and support me.”