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Meghan Markle snuck out of her hotel during her $500,000 New York baby shower to avoid giving the impression she was enjoying the media attention, State Department documents exclusively obtained by DailyMail.com have revealed.
The files, obtained through a Freedom of Information Act request, reveal the Duchess of Sussex told her protective detail she wanted to change the ‘optics’ of her departure from five-star The Mark Hotel by leaving through a side entrance.
According to the report: ‘The VIP [Meghan] explained that her intent was to change the literal optics of the departure, making it appear that she was at least attempting to sneak out of the hotel in photos rather than exiting through the main entrance and giving the potential impression that she was enjoying the media attention.’
The truth was that her demand to leave the hotel out of a service door necessitated vehicles be moved to line up at the door, telegraphing the change, says the report.
But the Duchess was more concerned with the ‘literal’ optics’ of her departure.
The documents also revealed that diplomatic officials conducted a full terrorist and internet threat assessment of Meghan before the trip to determine if she was at risk for an attack.
The Office of Intelligence and Threat Analysis said the chance of such an attack against the Duchess was low, But it didn’t rule out the possibility of harassment from an ’emotionally disturbed person’
This all came during the jaunt that some critics said was over the top. A host of celebrities – including Amal Clooney, Serena Williams, CBS anchor Gayle King and her best friend Jessica Mulroney – partied with Meghan throughout her whistle-stop tour of the Big Apple that brought streets to a standstill.
During her stay, delivery men were seen bringing large flower arrangements and decorations into The Mark – where she was staying in the $75,000-a-night penthouse suite.
Sneaking out of the hotel meant she avoided the crowds of fans and press lined up at barriers on Manhattan’s Upper East side during her star-studded celebration in February.
She left through an entrance around the side of the hotel to get in a State Department SUV and drive to The Polo Bar for dinner with the likes of Mrs Clooney and tennis star Williams.
Trying to evade the cameras, she then tried to change the route to the restaurant that was just 1.5 miles away, but details of her trip were leaked. She was snapped going in and leaving the restaurant.
The files also show Meghan changed restaurants at the last minute at lunch to a location where she couldn’t be photographed and how both US and British authorities tried to keep her trip secret.
She had wanted to eat at Flora Bar, the Met museum’s lavish restaurant that has a large glass ceiling where the public – and the paparazzi – can see inside.
But she diverted, and instead went to eat at Cafe Boulud at The Surrey Hotel.
DailyMail.com submitted a request to the State Department for all documents related to Meghan’s baby shower from February 19 to 22.
Large sections of the documents were redacted, but some were unclassified and provided to DailyMail.com, including two threat assessments conducted just days before she arrived in the Big Apple.
DailyMail.com asked The State Department how much her protection cost during the short trip, but it didn’t respond.
The Office of Intelligence and Threat Analysis said the chance of a terrorist attack against the Duchess of Sussex was low, but didn’t rule out the possibility of harassment from an ’emotionally disturbed person’.
‘Many members of the royal family are very easily recognized personalities; therefore, they are attractive targets for those seeking notoriety’, the document reads.
The Diplomatic Security Service also conducted a ‘Protective Intelligence Review’ assessing any threats that had been made online and any mention of the trips on news websites, social media or web forums.
It read that there were articles mentioning Harry and Meghan spending Valentine’s Day apart.
But the assessment also confirmed that there was no media coverage of the baby shower until just two days before she arrived.
Meghan flew to New York and back in a $40 million private jet owned by the Clooneys.
Her A-list friends paid for the lavish break, with the Clooneys and tennis star Williams reported among those stumping up the most cash.
In total, her baby shower is believed to have cost a staggering $430,000.
DailyMail.com columnist Piers Morgan said at the time: ‘The key thing about the royals is to be understated.
‘We all know that they’re royal, that they’re very wealthy. But the absolutely number one rule is don’t rub the British people’s noses in your wealth.
‘The British people pay the salaries of the royal family so they feel like they have a vested interest.’
The Palace points out that the royals carry out hundreds of engagements every year and represent Britain abroad.
The State Department told DailyMail.com they do not comment on the details of trips by foreign visitors.