Let her eat double the cake. Meghan Markle celebrated her 37th birthday — her first as a royal — at the wedding of Prince Harry’s childhood friend Charlie van Straubenzee in Surrey on Saturday, August 4. Clad in a Club Monaco shirtdress with green and pink in the pleated skirt — which she accessorized with a Philip Treacy fascinator, Aquazzura pumps, and a Kayu clutch, according to Elle — the Duchess of Sussex happily shared her special day, greeting other attendees with a smile, as seen in photos.
Her husband wasn't by her side in the arrival shots, though he had a great reason: Prince Harry was part of the wedding where Markle spent her birthday. (They did walk hand-in-hand following the ceremony, however.) Despite royal photographer Tim Rooke tweeting on July 27 that Harry would serve as best man at his longtime pal's wedding to Daisy Jenks, the Duke of Sussex tended to usher duties instead, according to People. He and van Straubenzee do go way back, with the close pals remaining close in the years following their first meeting at Ludgrove Prep School.
In fact, van Straubenzee also reportedly acted as an usher himself at the Duke and Duchess of Sussex's royal wedding in May and gave a hilarious speech at the evening reception, according to Cosmopolitan UK. In the toast, he allegedly poked fun at Harry’s role as “dormitory monitor,” the magazine reported. “All I wanted was a cuddle from my mummy,” he said, per Cosmo. “Instead, Harry nicked my teddy bear and chucked it out onto the roof.”
According to the UK publication, van Straubenzee also referred to the royal as “our strawberry blonde prince” and added: “Ladies and gentlemen, I ask you, how can you put someone in charge of a dorm when that someone is worse behaved than the whole dorm combined?”
Van Straubenzee is also friends with Prince William, and he and wife Kate Middleton were also previously reported to be attending the wedding. However, the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge, who named the groom's brother Thomas as one of Princess Charlotte‘s five godparents in 2015, are currently vacationing with their three children in the private Caribbean island of Mustique, according to People.
At the wedding in the English countryside, Markle's birthday traditions would be perfect to share with the newly married couple. Inspired by her mother, Doria Ragland, the former Suits actress uses her special day (AKA her "own personal new year") to reflect on her life and wishes for the future, as she previously revealed on her former lifestyle blog The Tig, which she took offline last year.
Parts of her birthday wish for fans in 2014 could have been straight out of a wedding toast, too. She wrote on her blog:
“I want you to be kind to yourself. I want you to challenge yourself. I want you to stop gossiping, to try a food that scares you, to buy a coffee for someone just because, to tell someone you love them…and then to tell yourself right back. I want you to find your happiness.”
She has certainly found her own happiness with Prince Harry. Despite her non-material birthday requests, he did take her on a romantic safari vacation to Southern Africa for her 36th birthday last year, after she first celebrated with her mom in London, as reported by ABC News.
While it remains to be seen what stops Harry will pull out for his new bride after his childhood friend's wedding this year, it seems safe to say so many of Markle's dreams have already come true.