There was royalty both on and OFF the court at the U.S. Open final. As Serena Williams chased after her historic Grand Slam win, her close friend, Meghan Markle, cheered her on!
First, it was Gigi Hadid. Then, it was Priyanka Chopra. Now, Meghan Markle, 38, the Duchess of Sussex, has joined the number of significant stars attending the 2019 U.S. Open. As Serena Williams, 37, battled Biana Andreescu, 19, on the court of NYC’s Arthur Ashe Stadium on Sept. 7, the British Royal watched on. Meghan looked stunning in a denim dress under a grey cardigan. She was all smiles as she greeted other patrons and applauded from the crowd. She was in good company as she was seated in front of Anna Wintour.
While some might have been surprised to see a Duchess in Queens, Meghan’s trip wasn’t entirely secret. She boarded a commercial flight from London on Friday (Sept. 6) morning. Prince Harry, 34, and 4-month old baby Archie stayed behind in England, allowing Meghan to have this girl’s trip to the states. “It is a last-minute trip,” a source told The Times, which first broke the story about Meghan’s plans. “[She’s] excited to support her friend, and then come back.” The last time Meghan was in America was in February for her baby shower. When Meghan returns to the UK, she and her family will resume planning for their upcoming tour of Africa. Meghan will also unveil the capsule collection she created with friend Misha Nonoo next week.
Meghan and Serena struck up a friendship in 2010 at the Super Bowl in Miami, according to PEOPLE. They immediately hit it off, and have been close ever since. In 2018, Serena and her husband, Alexis Ohanian, joined Meghan to watch Harry compete in a polo match. Both Serena and Alexis attended Meghan and Harry’s wedding, and Serena helped throw that aforementioned baby shower. Meghan also was out in full force for Serena when she made it to the finals of Wimbledon in July. Meghan and sister-in-law Kate Middleton watched as Serena, unfortunately, failed to clinch the title. She fell to Simona Halep in two sets, 6-2, 6-2.
Meghan now becomes the latest star to watch Serena chase down history (if she wins the U.S. Open, Williams will tie Margaret Court for the most tennis Major tournament wins.) Gigi Hadid was spotted cheering on Serena on Aug. 28, as the tennis icon defeated Caty McNally. While Serena defeated Qiang Wang in the quarterfinals (in a mere 44 minutes), Priyanka was there to watch and go crazy in the stands.