The Duchess of Sussex proudly showed off her growing baby bump when she met retired actors, directors and entertainers and said she was “feeling very pregnant”.
Meghan, who is expecting her first child in the spring, met the former stars from television, theatre and film when she made a festive visit to the Royal Variety Charity’s residential nursing home in Twickenham, south-west London.
The former actress appeared to have an affinity with the elderly performers – including former TV sitcom star Richard O’Sullivan – and sang carols with residents, helped create a Christmas collage and even chatted to one in fluent Spanish.
Meghan’s visit came after her father, Thomas Markle, claimed he was being “shunned” by his daughter, who he said had not spoken to him for months and did not reply to his daily text messages.
But she appeared relaxed and in a festive mood when she sat down in the dining room with Josephine Gordon, a former West End actress.
Meghan, who had taken off her coat by Soia and Kyo to reveal a dress by Brock Collection, confided to the ex-entertainer: “I’m feeling very pregnant.”
While Ms Gordon said: “I’ve read all about you in the papers.”
The duchess also chatted briefly to actress Mona Hammond who played Blossom Jackson in EastEnders in the 1990s.
Meghan joined residents at Brinsworth House when they had a festive sing-a-long of carols led by West End singer Cassidy Janson.
She clapped her hands and swayed in time to the music and later chatted to Rosario Serrano, 87, a former Flamenco dancer and singer who was accompanying the music with a bangle made of bells.
Ms Serrano, originally from Madrid, said Meghan spoke to her in fluent Spanish without an accent. She added: “She was telling me about her life and her acting, she was talking about everything. She said she started doing a job she enjoyed then she met Harry.”
Meghan was working in the hit US legal drama series Suits, in which she played paralegal-turned-lawyer Rachel Zane, when she met and fell in love with Harry following a blind date.
Later, the duchess popped into the hairdressers where Daphne Shadwell, a director of drama, comedy and children’s programmes, was waiting to have her hair done.
Meghan commented on the bond between the care home’s residents and staff when she chatted to the former TV director, who worked on the children’s classic show Rainbow.
She said: “It’s fantastic, everybody seems to be just a family and care so much.”
Among the famous entertainers who have been cared for at the residential home are Sir Norman Wisdom, Dame Thora Hird, EastEnders actor Leslie Grantham and comic Charlie Drake.
Actor Richard O’Sullivan – known for his roles in the sitcom Man About the House and the spin-off sitcom Robin’s Nest – was in the home’s bar, drinking a cup of tea, when the duchess was invited in, and when she asked: “Do you miss acting?” he replied: “No”.
The duchess also joined in a Christmas craft workshop where residents were creating a collage of paper baubles around a picture of Brinsworth House.
On her bauble, Meghan wrote “Merry Christmas Love Meghan” in decorative writing.
Activities co-ordinator Jay Cranks said about the duchess: “She said she used to teach calligraphy. She was so natural, so wonderful to be with, she can join our class any time.”
Giles Cooper, chairman of the Royal Variety Charity, had taken the duchess on her tour of the home and said the royal visit had made Christmas for the residents.
He added Meghan had mentioned a care home for actors in Los Angeles which she had visited many times and said Brinsworth House reminded her of the US institution.
Mr Cooper said: “Obviously as an actress she felt amongst her own, I think.
“She was chatting all the way round, great fun in the hairdressing salon, in all the areas actually, really joined in and made a real effort to speak to absolutely everybody – it was fantastic to see.”