Royals | Celebrity

Meghan Markle Delivers Her First Speech As Duchess And Totally Nails It

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Earlier this week, Meghan Markle revealed the results of her first project as a member of the royal family.

The Duchess of Sussex has spent the last nine months working on a very special collaborative project with a group of women whose lives were altered by the Grenfell Tower fire, one of the worst fire incidents in British history.

The 37-year-old's first solo project as a royal involves a charity cookbook, Together: Our Community Cookbook, for which she wrote the foreword.

The book showcases over 50 recipes from the women of the communal kitchen at Al Manaar Muslim Cultural Heritage Centre in West London. The women welcomed Meghan to into their lives when she first moved to the city, and she "immediately felt connected to the community kitchen."

"It is a place for women to laugh, grieve, cry and cook together," she said in a statement.

Meghan championed the idea of a cookbook whose sales will hopefully help keep the kitchen open seven days a week, and also support other related projects. She was "inspired by how the project empowers women at a grassroots level."

Today, she hosted a launch party for the book, and delivered her fist speech as duchess. Meghan, a former actress and proud advocate, is no stranger to speaking in front of a large audience and it definitely showed.

As her husband Prince Harry and mother Daria Ragland proudly watched from the sidelines, the new royal confidently spoke about being part of Hubb Kitchen and the book she calls "a tremendous labor of love" without cue cards or a teleprompter and didn't stumble once.

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"Working on this project for the past nine months has been a tremendous labor of love,” she said in a Twitter video posted by ITV's Chris Ship. “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."

She continued, “On a personal level, I feel so proud to live in this city that can have so much diversity. There’s 12 countries represented in this one group of women. It’s pretty outstanding.”

“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. It’s the story behind it. When we get to know the story of the recipe, you get to know the person behind it,” she added. “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."

Meghan kept her speech short at just three minutes so the crowd can feast food created by the team at Kensington Palace using the recipes in the new cookbook.

“I know some have started eating — as you should, I’m the last one who’d want the food to get cold — so please enjoy a beautiful lunch,” the Suits alum said before requesting a round of applause for the women of the Hubb Kitchen.

The charity book is just the start of many solo projects Meghan will be working on as she settles into her role within the royal family.

In preparation for her and the Duke of Sussex's tour of New Zealand, Fiji, Tonga and Australia, she will be attending the opening of the Royal Academy's "Oceania" exhibit on September 25. It's possible that we may hear the poised duchess address a crowd again.

Awa has been writing for Shared for 3 years. She is a serial snacker who unapologetically loves celebrity gossip. Drop her a line at awa@shared.com.