Meghan celebrated the launch of her first project as a royal – a charitable cookbook – at Kensington Palace.
Meghan’s mother Doria Ragland came to London from California for a surprise appearance at the garden reception, where they were also joined by Harry. It was the first time mother and daughter have been seen together in public since the wedding.
Meghan has been very open about her modest upbringing and how it shaped her humanitarian efforts – from her volunteer trips with charities to volunteering at a soup kitchen in Toronto, during her time filming Suits.
“My mother raised me to be a global citizen, with eyes open to sometimes harsh realities,” she wrote on her former lifestyle blog, The Tig. “I must have been about 10 years old when we visited the slums of Jamaica. I had never seen poverty at that level, and it registered in my glazed brown eyes. ‘Don’t look scared, Flower,’ she said. ‘Be aware, but don’t be afraid.”
Meghan and Doria looked happy and relaxed together as Meghan was greeted by the women from the Hubb and their families.
Doria was heard introducing herself to guests by saying: “Hi, I’m Meg’s mom.”
When asked about the project, she said, “It’s amazing. I’m just as excited as you are. I’m so glad I can put the face with the recipes. I’m going to tell everyone; I met each of the cooks! I’m going to make everything; I’m serious.” With Harry adding that Meghan always came home with a “huge smile” on her face after spending time with them.
Meghan visited the kitchen for the first time in January 2018 and continued making private visits to the community. Via the simple act of cooking, Meghan became an advocate of the cookbook project to ensure the community kitchen affects lives and communities. She found inspiration in how the community came together, explaining: “”The kitchen was opened after the Grenfell tragedy, offering women who had been displaced and the community around them a space to cook food for their families. Their roles as matriarchs united them across their cultures; the kitchen provided an opportunity to cook what they knew and to taste the memory of home, albeit homes some had recently lost. I immediately felt connected to this community kitchen; it is a place for women to laugh, grieve, cry and cook together. Melding cultural identities under a shared roof, it creates a space to feel a sense of normalcy – in its simplest form, the universal need to connect, nurture and commune through food, through crisis or joy – something we can all relate to. During my visit I met Zahira, a working mum who oversees much of the coordination at Al-Manaar and whose infectious smile is enough to make you forget any troubles. Upon learning the kitchen was only open on Tuesdays and Thursdays I asked, “Why isn’t this open seven days a week?” Her response: “Funding.” And now just a few months later, here we are…Together.”
The Royal Foundation said: “United by their passion for cooking as a way of bringing communities together, The Duchess was inspired by how the project empowers women at a grassroots level and has championed the cookbook project as a way of ensuring the kitchen can continue transforming lives and communities through cooking.”
Following the launch of the book, it was said that sales of 50,000 copies would raise £250,000 – enough to keep the Hubb open for another two years.
Meghan joined the women in the kitchen to prepare and cook the meal.
The menu was shared on Twitter by Hannah Furness, the Daily Telegraph’s royal correspondent, and it sounds so good. The selection represents several different cuisines. There are potato fritters with chutney, vegetable samosas, kofta kebabs, tabbouleh, sweet puff pastries, and so much more.
Today also marked a another first for Meghan as a member of the royal family her first public speech. She spoke for about three minutes without notes to reflect on the journey working on the cookbook (her first solo project) and thanked the people who helped her make it possible.
Working on this project for the past nine months has been a tremendous labor of love. I had just recently moved to London, and I felt so immediately embraced by the women in the kitchen: Their warmth, their kindness, and also to be able to be in this city and to see in this one small room how multicultural it was. On a personal level, I felt so proud to live in a city that can have so much diversity. It’s 12 countries represented in this one group of women! It’s pretty outstanding. There’s so many people to thank. Of course, Penguin Random House, your support and belief in this from the very beginning has been just incredible. And Al-Manaar for the support and seeing this through for us, our team at Kensington Palace and the Royal Foundation. On a personal note, I’m especially grateful to them because this is my first project, so I appreciate your support in the vision I had for this and seeing it come into fruition. And then everyone behind the scenes, I mean it truly took a village to see this through!
You can watch the full speech below
Both Harry and Doria looked so proud
After enjoying the delicious meals, thet posed for a group photo together
Harry loved the food so much he sneaked some snacks with him
An amazing video from the day below
Meghan looked as elegant as ever for the occasion, combining some of her favourite labels.
She wore a blue Smythe Peaked Lapel Wool Blend Coat. Meghan has got several winter warmers by the Canadian brand in her wardrobe, but this has got to be my favorite so far.
The pleated skirt is by her friend Misha Nonoo. Misha was quick to gush over Meghan’s choice of skirt, saying she was ‘truly honored’ the piece was worn her friend to celebrate the ‘brilliant project’. On her website, the product description for the skirt reads: ‘Recently worn by Meghan Markle and great for any day of the week’.
Meghan opted for a sophisticated ensemble that comprised a turtleneck bodysuit by Tuxe.
She rewored her Sarah Flint Jay 100 pumps
Meghan accessorized her outfit with her Catbird stackable rings.