Meghan Markle launches charity cookbook with mother Doria Ragland, Prince Harry at first solo event

Meghan Markle celebrated the launch of her charity cookbook Thursday with her mother Doria Ragland and husband Prince Harry by her side at Kensington Palace

The Duchess of Sussex’s mother made a surprise appearance at the luncheon on Perk’s Field for Markle’s first solo project as a member of the royal family. It’s the first time Markle’s mother has been seen with her daughter since the royal wedding in May.

Meghan, the Duchess of Sussex, centre, accompanied by Britain's Prince Harry, the Duke of Sussex and her mother Doria Ragland walk to attend a reception at Kensington Palace, in London, Thursday Sept. 20, 2018.  Markle was joined by her mother for the launch of a cookbook aimed at raising money for victims of the Grenfell fire. Markle, now the Duchess of Sussex, hosted the reception beside her mother, Doria Ragland, to support the cookbook called “Together.� (Ben Stansall/Pool Photo via AP)
Meghan Markle’s mother Doria Ragland made a surprise appearance at the lunch party. (AP)

Ragland, who reportedly flew to London from Los Angeles last week, introduced herself by saying, “Hi, I’m Meg’s mom,” People reported.

Ragland also told Baroness Gail Rebuck, chair of Penguin Random House, that she was “head over heels” for Markle and the launch of “Together: Our Community Cookbook.”

Markle and the women from the Hubb Community Kitchen — the organization that first inspired the former “Suits” actress to write the book — came together and created a lunch meal that included coconut chicken curry, aubergine masala and capatis.

Meghan, the Duchess of Sussex, centre, reacts with one of the women behind the cookbook
Meghan, the Duchess of Sussex, centre, reacts with one of the women behind the cookbook “Together” during a reception at Kensington Palace. (AP)

The Duchess, wearing a black top with a pleated skirt and bright blue coat, also delivered a speech during the event. She recalled feeling “immediately embraced by the women in the kitchen” when she first moved to London.

“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, your warmth, your kindness and also to be able to be in the city and to see in this one small room how multicultural it was,” she said.

Meghan, the Duchess of Sussex, centre, talks to her mother Doria Ragland, with Prince Harry at centre right, as they attend  a reception for the cookbook
Meghan, the Duchess of Sussex, centre, talks to her mother Doria Ragland, with Prince Harry at centre right, as they attend a reception for the cookbook “Together.” (AP)

“On a personal level, I feel 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,” Markle added.

The book features recipes from women who were affected by the 2017 Grenfell Tower fire that killed 72 people. Markle, who wrote the foreword, came up with the idea of the charity book when she heard the Hubb Community Kitchen was only open two days a week because of lack of funds. The cookbook is aimed at raising money for the victims of the deadly fire.

Meghan, the Duchess of Sussex, left, reacts with one of the women behind the cookbook
Meghan, the Duchess of Sussex, left, reacts with one of the women behind the cookbook “Together” during a reception at Kensington Palace. (AP)

“I said in the foreword that this is more than a cookbook and what I mean by that is the power of food is more than just the meal itself,” Markle said on Thursday. “It is the story behind it and when you get to know the story of the recipe, you get to know the person behind it and 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.”

Ragland also said she “felt very much at home” in London.

Britain's Prince Harry and Doria Ragland, gesture as Meghan, the Duchess of Sussex, left, hugs a woman involved with the cookbook
Britain’s Prince Harry and Doria Ragland, gesture as Meghan, the Duchess of Sussex, left, hugs a woman involved with the cookbook “Together” during a reception at Kensington Palace. (AP)

“I’m so glad I can put the face with the recipes. I’m going to tell everyone, I met her [each of the cooks]! I’m going to make everything, I’m serious,” she said to the women at the event.

“The power of women,” Ragland said at the event. “We make things happen. We’re curious, we say yes, we show up. I’m inspired.”

The Associated Press contributed to this report.

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