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Meghan Markle Gives First Speech As A Duchess, Stresses The Value Of Food

Meghan Markle hosted her first solo royal engagement at Kensington Palace on Thursday, September 20.

The newly anointed Duchess of Sussex celebrated the launch of the Hubb Community Kitchen’s new charity cookbook Together: Our Community Cookbook, an effort to raise funds for the kitchen.

Markle, who first had the idea for the cookbook after a visit to the community kitchen and who also penned the forward, was inspired by the women of the Hubb Community Kitchen, who rallied together to feed those affected by the June 2017 Grenfell Tower fire.

The Grenfell fire, which broke out in the 24-story Grenfell Tower block of flats in North Kensington, West London, in the U.K., killed 72 people and injured more than 70 others.

According to Time Magazine, working on the book has been a “labor of love” for the Duchess:

Working on this project for the past nine months has been a tremendous labor of love. I just recently moved to London and I felt so immediately embraced by this kitchen—your warmth and kindness, and also to be able to be in this city and to see in this one small room how multicultural it was.

The cookbook features family recipes from Hubb (which, as one community member explained, means love in Arabic) Community’s volunteers, including dishes they cooked for survivors of the fire.

Speaking at the event, the Duchess acknowledged a community that had come together to help one another in their time of need, pooling their collective resources, skills, time, and experience, in order to nourish one another.

Time reports Markle said:

the power of food is more than just the meal itself. It’s the story behind it. When we get to know the story of the recipe, you get to know the person behind it. That’s what we’re talking about in terms of coming together to really engage and talk and to be able to celebrate what connects us rather than what divides us. That, I believe, is the ethos of ‘Together.’

In the book, Markle shares:

I immediately felt connected to this community kitchen; it is a place for women to laugh, grieve, cry, and cook together.

According to Money, the new cookbook includes more than “50 recipes for everything from coconut chicken curry to spiced mint tea.”

Proceeds from the book will support the Hubb Community Kitchen (currently only open two days a week) and its volunteers. They hope to sell at least 50,000 copies to raise about $330,000, enough to allow them to keep the kitchen open seven days a week.

The Duchess was joined by her husband, Prince Harry, and her mother, Doria Ragland, at the event.

The response online was staggeringly positive:

People couldn’t wait to get their hands on the book, no matter what side of the pond they’re on:

 

H/T: Time Magazine, Mashable, Twitter

Written by Vanessa Nix Anthony

Vanessa is a freelance-flame-haired-word-ninja-for-hire with a passion for storytelling. Her writing has been featured in The Oregonian, Baltimore Magazine, Oregonlive, KPTV, Metro Parent, and Trulia, among others. She’s the author of the Amazon title, “In Less than a Year,” and her successful Portland-based copywriting agency, The Portland Writer has been helping businesses tell their brand’s unique stories for over a decade. When she’s not writing, cooking, or making magical worlds out of cardboard for her son, Vanessa is hard at work illustrating her forthcoming children’s books or belting out karaoke to favorite 80s or Disney villains tunes. TWITTER: @nessnix, INSTA: @nessnixtony