Meghan Markle and Prince Harry’s affection for the Soho House group of hotels, bars, and restaurants is well known. They opted for the private confines of the celebrity hidey-hole for their first and second dates and chose a country house just a few minutes drive from the Soho House’s country club in Oxfordshire for their second home.
Now it has been revealed that the couple went on an all-expenses paid weekend in the Netherlands for the opening of the club’s latest outpost in Amsterdam.
The couple has faced some criticism over accepting the invite as royals usually do not accept non-work-connected freebies.
According to a report in the Evening Standard, the hand-picked celebrity crowd invited to the Amsterdam “sleepover” that coincided with Soho House founder Nick Jones’ 55th birthday, included Stanley Tucci, Douglas Booth, Eddie Redmayne, Michael McIntyre, and Lily Cole.
Guests were promised a long weekend of “eating, drinking, napping, dancing, boats, and bikes.”
Meghan and Harry joined in the celebrations enthusiastically but wisely did not take part in a tour of the city’s famed red-light district, the Standard reports.
According to a report in Thursday’s Daily Mail, the young royals were present at big dinners on both the Friday and Saturday nights, where guests were served, among other treats, lobster spaghetti and tiramisu.
A guest told the Mail: “On the Friday night it was more of a loose party, and Prince Harry and Meghan were circulating with everyone. Because she went to the opening of Soho House in Istanbul in 2015, it was a very similar invitation list, so she did know a lot of people. She spoke to everyone, and Harry never left her side. They looked absolutely in love.
“They were side by side throughout the night and sat on the top table with Jones. As the evening wore on, I think more people became emboldened to go up and talk to her. She behaved beautifully. There was lots of drinking—it was a proper party.”
A waitress who served the royal couple dinner in the fifth-floor dining area told the Mail: “I was so shocked to see them there. They were like any other couple. They ordered food from the normal menu guests order from.”
William and Kate spent the weekend attending the wedding of Sophie Carter, at which George and Charlotte were pageboy and bridesmaid.
Newspaper columnist and TV presenter Giles Coren was at the Amsterdam bash and wrote about it in his column in The Times this week, describing how he told Meghan he had met her before she married Harry when his wife had asked “to get a selfie with you” at a party.
Coren related that Meghan replied, “Oh sure, I remember. That must have been, what, five years ago?”
To which Coren says he replied, “Yes, so, what have you been up to in the meantime?”