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Meghan Markle's friend gets special recognition from the Queen

The Duchess of Sussex must be proud!

Diane Shipley

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.

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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."

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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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