For the first time in her reign as a duchess, Meghan Markle has brought her mother, Doria Ragland, to an official royal engagement.
Alongside husband Prince Harry, Markle hosted her very first Kensington Palace luncheon in celebration of the launch of her new charity cookbook, Together: Our Community Cookbook. People notes that for the palace event, Markle and her mother made a meal of coconut chicken curry, aubergine masala, and chapatis with the women of the Hubb Community Kitchen. Also, per People, the cookbook is less of rustic cuisine musings we might’ve seen on Markle’s old blog, The Tig — rather, it was curated by Markle to feature the culinary skills of a diverse group of women she met at the Hubb Community Kitchen, whose lives were affected by the devastating Grenfell Tower fire last summer.
In fact, none of the recipes even come from Markle. Rather, the duchess wrote the foreword to ensure the spotlight was given to the brave women who used cooking to overcome trauma and grief. “Together is more than a cookbook. This is a tale of friendship, and a story of togetherness. It is a homage to the power of cooking as a community, and the recipes that allow us to connect, share, and look forward,” she wrote in the foreword. “In January 2018, as I was settling in to my new home of London, it was important to me to get to know organizations working in the local community. I made a quiet trip to Al Manaar, a mosque close to the Grenfell community.”
She continued, “In 2017 I had watched the Grenfell Tower tragedy unfold on the news; I was in Canada at the time, sharing the global sentiment of shock and sympathy for what this community was enduring, while also deeply wanting to help. Fast-forward seven months, and I was set to meet some of the women affected by the fire, at a community kitchen in Al Manaar. 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,” Meghan adds. “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.”
Ragland, meanwhile, has been rumored to be planning a move to the U.K. in order to be closer to her newly royal daughter. A source previously told the Sunday Express, “She fell in love with England and told me when she got back that it’s somewhere she believes she too could happily live. I think this has been coming for a while. Even before the wedding she told me how she misses her Megs so much she would do anything to be closer to her, especially now Markle will be starting a family of her own.” Ragland also reportedly took a secret trip to visit Meghan and Harry in London over the summer; clearly, she didn’t wait very long for another journey across the pond.