Meghan Markle was seen enjoying a hike with her close pals in California on Sunday, in the first picture to emerge after she opted not to attend King Charles’ Coronation in London with her husband Prince Harry.
The Duchess of Sussex, 41, looked relaxed as she headed on the walk with longtime friends Markus Anderson and Heather Dorak in Santa Barbara on 7 May, following Harry’s very brief trip to the UK on Saturday to watch his father Charles and step-mother Camilla‘s crowning in London.
Meghan, who remained in California with children Archie, four, and Lilibet, one, during the Coronation, cut a casual figure in navy leggings and a T-shirt, with her favourite J. Crew lightweight jacket tied around her waist.
She sported bright blue socks and brown hiking boots, and finished off her look with a wide-brimmed cream Panama hat, Victoria Beckham sunglasses and a dark pink bandana tied around her neck.
Meghan added a touch of glamour to her hiking attire however, as she was seen wearing $157k (£124.29k) worth of jewellery on the outing.
Two of the Duchess’ jewellery pieces one belonged to her late mother-in-law Princess Diana. Meghan sported Diana’s £17,800 Cartier French Tank watch on her wrist alongside a Carter tennis bracelet, which estimates suggest would sell for an eye-watering £1250,000 if went on auction today.
Meghan also added a Bentley & Skinner diamond tennis bracelet, valued at around £4,900 to her look, with the piece believed to have been a gift from her father-in-law King Charles III.
She accessorised with a further two bracelets; a £3,965 tennis bracelet from Jennifer Meyer and the Cartier Love bracelet, which retails at £5,000.
The mum-of-two completed her chic hiking look with the Maya Brenner x Abigail Spencer ‘The Clarity Retreat’ Necklace, which was created as part of a collection by her friend and former Suits co-star Abigail Spencer.
The necklace, which is currently sold out on the Maya Brenner website, may have a symbolic meaning to Meghan, as it is said to be a “powerful energy amplifier” which helps to “protect your peace…so every day can be your retreat.”
While Prince Harry, 38, didn’t appear to be present on the hike, Meghan’s close friends Markus, who is a consultant for Soho House, and pilates instructor Heather were both in attendance, as was her bodyguard – previously employed by Kim Kardashian.
Markus sported a yellow Camp Tamakwa sweatshirt and Nike shorts for the trek, while Heather, who has long been a friend of Meghan’s and publicly supported her after the Sussexes’ explosive Oprah Winfrey interview, wore a peach t-shirt along with a pair of Free City jogging bottoms.
Harry’s absence may have been down to his very quick trip to the UK, which saw him touch down at Heathrow Airport on Friday morning and jet back to Los Angeles on Saturday afternoon after the King’s Coronation ceremony.
He attended the King’s Coronation ceremony at Westminster Abbey and reportedly paid a quick 30-minute visit to Buckingham Palace, but opted not to stay for any of the other celebrations happening across the three-day bank holiday weekend, such as the Coronation Concert and the Big Help Out.
It was announced in April that Meghan would not be present at the King’s Coronation. Archie’s birthday celebrations are believed to have played a factor in Meghan’s decision not to head to the UK, along with Meghan wanting to “protect her peace”.
In an appearance on This Morning, royal expert Omid Scobie, who is believed to be close to Harry and Meghan, said that he heard, from friends of the Duchess, that this played a big part in her decision.
He said: “People around the Sussexes guided press at the time that this is very much about Archie’s fourth birthday.
“I disagree with that to some extent because I also know from friends of hers that she’s protecting her peace as well. She is aware of how much the spotlight goes on her when she sets a foot near the story.”
“I think a lot of that is often portrayed as intentional or that she wants to steal the spotlight But in this case should she have simply come over and stood next to her husband I would think the narrative or commentary on the day would be very different.”
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