How does Meghan Markle know Serena Williams and how long have the pair been friends?

MEGAN Markle and Serena Williams have remained close friends through thick and thin for years.

From Meghan waiting in the wings as Serena wins yet another grand slam to the tennis champ watching as her best friend wed Prince Harry, here's everything you need to know about their close friendship.

How did Meghan Markle and Serena Williams meet?

Years before Meghan Markle met Prince Harry and assumed her role as the Duchess of Sussex, the Suits actress met tennis champ Serena Williams at a Super Bowl party in 2010.

Describing their first meeting on her former blog The Tig, Meghan wrote: "Taking pictures, laughing through the flag football game we were both playing and chatting not about tennis or acting but about good old fashioned girly stuff."

The Duchess also described how the pair "hit it off immediately" and from then on have continued to support each other through their chosen charity work and business ventures.

Ahead of Meghan Markle's appearance at Wimbledon in 2017, Serena said: "We have always supported each other, just been there for each other through a lot."

How long have the pair been friends?

Since first meeting at a Super Bowl party in 2010, the two women have been friends for the past nine years.

Before her Wimbledon final in 2018, Serena also revealed: "Every year for a couple years [Meghan] comes out to Wimbledon and has supported me."

It is thought that Meghan was in London supporting Serena during the 2016 tournament when she first met Prince Harry and her life changed.

Meghan also took a seat in the royal box at Wimbledon in 2019 as she cheered on her pal, alongside Kate Middleton and Kate's sister Pippa.

How do the pair rely on each other?

Following her US Open outburst in September 2018, Serena Williams has revealed that she confided in her "long-time" BFF Meghan over text.

Speaking to Australian news programme The Sunday Project, Serena said: "We have known each other for a long time, but we really kind of are relying on each other a lot recently.”

Serena and her Reddit founder husband Alexis Ohania were among the chosen guests at Meghan’s wedding to Prince Harry in May 2018, and the athlete spoke of the special day during her interview.

She said: “To have such a monumental moment in England, nonetheless of all the places, I felt like we were literally watching history.

"I feel like in a few years we are going to look back at that moment and it's going to be so historic.

"It's going to be something that people never forget."

But above all, Serena added: "I just wanted to see my friend be happy. And I think that's what happened."

Did Serena attend Meghan's baby shower in New York?

Serena Williams co-hosted Meghan Markle's baby shower in New York in mid-February 2019, throwing a luxurious and peaceful celebration in the penthouse of the Mark Hotel on Manhattan's Upper East Side.

The penthouse costs $75,000 (£57,406) to hire per night, according to the hotel's website.

It is widely believed that Serena Williams and Amal Clooney footed the bill for the entire baby shower, which is estimated to be around $83,666 (£64,066), not including any gifts given to the Duchess.

When talking about the baby shower attendees, ITV's Lorraine was accused of racism after choosing glamorous photographs of all the other guests but using an unflattering one for Serena.

An on-screen picture compilation, which featured shots of Amal Clooney, Jessica Mulroney and Ayda Field, used a picture of the tennis champion in action on court.

In contrast, the snap of Amal was taken from the royal wedding in May – which was also attended by Serena – and was positioned alongside flattering photos of both Jessica and Ayda.

The picture choice was widely criticised on Twitter, where users accused producers of making a conscious decision to use an unfavourable snap of the only black woman featured in the line-up.

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