Jessica Mulroney, BFF to the newly minted Duchess of Sussex Meghan Markle, didn’t quite steal the show at the royal wedding, as some news outlets are reporting. (I mean, how could anyone detract from Meghan Markle!?!?). But Jewish mom Mulroney played a major role in the big day.
Though Mulroney, 38, may now be most famous for her blue dress (some said it was her “Pippa moment”), the stylist is also the mom of three Jewish kids who played key roles in the royal wedding: daughter Ivy, 4, was a bridesmaid, and 7-year-old twins Brian and John held Markle’s veil as she climbed the church steps and walked down the aisle.
(That’s Mulroney, on the right, who sat right behind Markle during the ceremony. If you want to know more about who sat where, here’s a seating chart, courtesy of the Daily Mail.)
Mulroney, born Jessica Brownstein, is the daughter of Veronica and Stephen Brownstein. When she married Ben Mulroney (son of a former Canadian Prime Minister) in October 2008, a “Monsignor” (a Roman Catholic official) officiated alongside a rabbi. The Montreal Gazette reported that “the Catholic and Jewish elements of the ceremony fit together well.”
A “source” told Vanity Fair last month about Mulroney, “She’s the one helping Meghan to make all the key decisions. They are on the phone daily discussing every element of the wedding, from the dress to the flowers to the canapés and the photography. Meghan is very dependent on Jessica and Jessica has been totally indispensable. She’s helped Meghan and Harry with so much already.”
Mulroney and her husband, Ben, helped the couple’s romance flourish. When news of their relationship broke in October 2016, Prince Harry was visiting Markle in Toronto, where Suits filmed. Paparazzi had staked out Markle’s home, so the couple took refuge at the Mulroneys’ place. As Vanity Fair reported, “The Mulroneys were two of the few friends who knew about the romance, and they were more than happy to let the couple take shelter from the paparazzi at their Toronto house.”
If you scroll through Mulroney’s instagram, there are tons of photos of Markle and her. During the Invictus Games in October 2017, Mulroney sat with Markle, her mom Doria Ragland (whom we’re also obsessed with, by the way), and Prince Harry.
As Mulroney instagrammed after the wedding, “Proud friend. Proud mom.”
Many wondered why Mulroney was sitting in the front row (literally in the prime spot), in front of Markle’s mom, Ragland. As one royal wedding commentator tweeted, “WHY IS DORIA BEHIND JESSICA MULRONEY SOMEONE TELL ME PLEASE.” But, many on Twitter deduced, Ragland was seated in the second row so she was in the background of all the video.
Plus, on the other side of the aisle, the Queen was also sitting in the second row. As Doreen St. Félix wrote in an essay on Ragland in the New Yorker, “A millennium of world-shifting encounters—of violence and of romance and of acts in between—produced this scene: the sixty-one-year-old Ragland, an American who teaches yoga and does social work in Culver City, California, sitting in the opposite and equivalent seat to Queen Elizabeth II. They’d agreed on green, the color of beginnings…One is a descendant of the enslaved, a child of the Great Migration and Jim Crow and seventies New Age spirituality; the other, the heir to and keeper of empire. Blood had long ago decided what life would be like for both.”
But back to Mulroney. She’s been discreet, a good friend to Markle, and her kids were fantastic on the big day.
Just look how cute they are in the official wedding portrait —
(Do you spot them? The twins are on opposite ends of the photo, and Ivy is the girl standing on the far right.)
We’ll leave you with this cute gif of Mulroney’s son freaking out as they enter the chapel. Mazel tov to the royal couple and the whole Mulroney family!
Header image via Kensington Palace on Instagram.