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Meghan Markle's friend gets special recognition from the Queen

The Duchess of Sussex must be proud!

meghan harry church
Diane Shipley
Diane ShipleySenior Online Writer
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Clara Loughran, the Senior Programme Coordinator to the Duke and Duchess of Sussex, has become a Member of the Victorian Order as part of the Queen's New Year's Honours. The special designation is given only to people who have served the Monarch or a member of her family. This isn't the first time Clara has been rewarded for her importance to the royal household, however – the New Zealand native also played an integral role in Meghan's wedding to Prince Harry, handing the bride her bouquet of flowers. Behind the scenes, the 32-year-old ensured all the preparations for the big day ran smoothly and also accompanied the royal couple on their tour of New Zealand, Australia, and the Pacific.

meghan flowers© Photo: PA

Clara handed Meghan her flowers during the royal wedding 

Meghan and Harry welcomed their son Archie Harrison Mountbatten-Windsor in May this year, and he was the star of the family's Christmas card. A black-and-white image snapped by Meghan's friend, actress and photographer Janina Gavankar, the e-card showed Archie crawling towards the camera while his parents smiled at him in the background, as they sat in front of a Christmas tree. The Duchess looked relaxed wearing a chic but simple knit jumper and black trousers, while Harry wore a crisp white shirt. Little Archie looked festive in a Boden grey cashmere jumper with a polar bear on the front. The message on the card read: "Wishing you a very Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year. From our family to yours."

clara loughran© Photo: PA

The New Zealander accompanied the royal couple on their tour of New Zealand, Australia, and the Pacific

MORE: A look back at all the times Prince Harry treated a pregnant Meghan Markle like an absolute Queen

The card was shared on social media on Monday by the Queen's Commonwealth Trust, one of Harry and Meghan's patronages, who wrote: "Just sharing the sweetest Christmas Card from our President and Vice-President, The Duke and Duchess of Sussex. Very Merry Christmas, everyone!" A look at the Kensington Royal Twitter page showed that it was 'liked' by William and Kate's account – and who could blame them?!

READ: Prince Harry and Meghan have been spotted in Canada - here's what they've been up to 

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