Gwyneth Paltrow joined Prince Harry and Meghan Markle for a surprise outing last week.
The 50-year-old actress and her husband Brad Falchuk, 52, stepped out for a dinner date with the Duke and Duchess of Sussex as well as Cameron Diaz and her husband Benji Madden in Montecito, California, according to reports.
“Meghan, Prince Harry, Gwyneth Paltrow, Brad Falchuk, Cameron Diaz and Benji Madden all enjoyed dinner at Sushi by Scratch Restaurants: Montecito on Friday, May 12,” a source told Entertainment Tonight.
Page Six reported that Bumble CEO Whitney Wolfe Herd and her husband Michael Herd also attended the A-List gathering at the Michelin-starred restaurant.
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The couples are all residents of the exclusive coastal enclave in Santa Barbara County. Paltrow and Falchuk moved to Montecito in 2016, while Markle, 41, and Harry, 38, relocated to the area in 2020 after officially stepping down from their roles as working members of the royal family.
Diaz and Madden purchased a $12.67 Montecito mansion in May 2022. The Herds became locals in January after buying Ellen DeGeneres and Portia de Rossi’s historic Rancho San Leandro estate.
While Paltrow has enjoyed long friendships with Diaz and Herd, the Marvel star has no previously known connection to the Sussexes.
However, Markle and Paltrow share a common interest in their love of lifestyle blogs. In 2008, the Academy Award winner launched her weekly newsletter Goop to provide her family, friends and fans with health and wellness tips. Over the years, Paltrow has built Goop into a lifestyle empire valued at over $250 million.
In 2014, Markle launched her lifestyle, travel and food blog The Tig while starring on the USA Network show “Suits.” The former actress’ website, which she described as her “passion project,” was “inspired by Gwyneth Paltrow,” “To Di For Daily” podcast host Kinsey Schofield told Fox News Digital in February.
Markle announced that she was shutting down The Tig in April 2017, a few months after she began dating Harry. However, rumors swirled in March that The Tig might be poised for a comeback when paperwork was filed with the U.S. Trademark and Patent Office to revamp the website, according to documents obtained by US Weekly.
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While Schofield predicted that Markle could relaunch The Tig in order to go toe-to-toe with Paltrow’s Goop, other royal watchers speculated that the two’s recent dinner outing indicated that the Duchess of Sussex may instead be seeking advice from “The Politician” alum.
Paltrow’s newfound friendship with the Sussexes is far from her only royal connection. The “Emma” star has previous ties to other members of the British royal family including King Charles III and the late Prince Philip.
In 2003, Paltrow and her “Shakespeare in Love” co-star Joseph Fiennes met Charles and his wife now-Queen Camilla at an event for the recently crowned monarch’s youth charity The Prince’s Trust.
Paltrow and Fiennes performed monologues from “Romeo and Juliet” during the Shakespeare Gala at the Globe Theater in London. The stars were later visited by the royal couple in the Green Room, per Australian outlet The Age.
The “Sliding Doors” actress later became an ambassador for the Prince’s Trust, joining the ranks of Elton John, Mick Jagger, Bryan Adams, Sting and Pierce Brosnan among others.
In 2006, Paltrow and Sting were pictured chatting with Charles and Camilla during the Prince’s Trust gala at London’s Roundhouse.
Paltrow and the then-Prince of Wales reunited once again in 2008 at the Prince’s Trust Celebrate Success Awards, which were held at The Odeon in London’s Leicester Square. During the ceremony, the Los Angeles native praised Charles and his work with the Prince’s Trust, which he founded in 1976.
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“I am a great admirer of The Prince of Wales,” Paltrow said, per the Evening Standard. “The work he has done through his charity to help young people is quite remarkable.”
While Paltrow showcased her acting skills during her first meeting with Charles, she showed off her musical talents when she met his father Prince Philip.
In 2011, the late Duke of Edinburgh hosted a reception for the launch of The Arts Club, a members-only social club in London’s Mayfair District. Paltrow, who is an investor in the club, attended the event with Diaz.
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During the event, Paltrow, Diaz and Philip were photographed smiling and chatting before sitting down to enjoy dinner together at the duke’s table. According to the Daily Telegraph, the then 90-year-old royal stayed late into the night to watch Paltrow give an impromptu concert.
“Gwyneth clearly enjoyed his company and was chatting away to him as if he was an old uncle,” an insider told the outlet.
The source added, ”The Duke had a real twinkle in his eye and was having such a good time that after he made his speech he stayed on for a concert downstairs for an hour or so.”
The “Glee” alum was joined on stage by producer Mark Ronson and the late Amy Winehouse’s backup band The Knights Before.
According to the Telegraph, Paltrow performed several songs including the uncensored original version of Cee Lo Green’s 2010 song “Forget You.”
”Before she sang it, she said to the Duke, ‘I hope you don’t mind the lyrics — don’t tell the queen,'” a source recalled.
”The Duke had been due to leave about 10 p.m., but he was enjoying himself so much that he stayed for an extra half-hour to listen to all of Gwyneth’s songs,” the insider added.
Paltrow also has ties to royals outside the British monarchy. In July 2019, the mother of two enjoyed a summer getaway in the Hamptons with Princess Märtha Louise of Norway and spiritual guru Durek Verrett.
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During their trip, Märtha Louise took to Instagram to gush over her newfound friendship and share a selfie of herself beaming as she posed with the actress. The princess also posted another snap of herself and Paltrow with Verrett standing in between them.
“Meeting amazing people that make us grow is such a gift of life, don’t you think?” Märtha Louise wrote in the caption.
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She continued, “Meeting @gwynethpaltrow was such a gift. Your wisdom, strength, your clear vision and soft personality with a great sense of humor is so inspiring.”
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“Thank you for being who you are and for receiving us all with open arms. So looking forward to our next encounter. Who inspires you to grow? #newfriends #inspiring @shamandurek.”
Verrett is a self-described sixth generation shaman and a Los Angeles-based “spiritual guide and gifted healer.” His clientele includes Paltrow and Falchuk as well as Nina Dobrev and James Van Der Beek.
Märtha Louise, a self-proclaimed clairvoyant, and Verrett began dating in May 2019 and announced their engagement in June 2022.
In an interview with People magazine, Verrett revealed that he consulted Paltrow about the ring that he chose for the princess ahead of his proposal.
“When I first got it, I showed it to my dear friend Gwyneth Paltrow because I knew she’s very particular about nice things, so I wanted her to be the first to see it,” the “Spirit Hacking” author told the outlet.
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He continued, “She said it was the most fantastic ring she’s seen and loved how much thought and care I put into it and knew that Princess Märtha would love and cherish it — having a stamp of approval from a friend such as her made me happy.”
Last November, Märtha Louise announced that she was officially stepping away from her royal duties to focus on the alternative medicine business that she runs with Verrett.