Every Photo from Meghan Markle's First Royal Hosting Event — Featuring Prince Harry and Mom Doria
Doria was spotted catching a flight from LAX Airport in Los Angeles on Saturday, prompting speculation that Meghan would have a special guest at the event celebrating the publication of Together: Our Community Cookbook.
Prince Harry was careful to follow several steps behind Meghan throughout the event, making small talk with guests and watching proudly as his wife took center stage.
One of the cooks promised to set food aside for the royal couple, with Meghan telling her: "Oh, thank you, I'll take that home and have it for dinner."
The trio, who at one point stood with their arms around one another in a line, made their way around four food stations, with the duchess standing behind a tabletop grill to help cook while her mother and husband watched on proudly.
Meghan joined the women from the Hubb Community Kitchen and created a meal of coconut chicken curry, aubergine masala and chapatis at the royal couple's Kensington Palace home.
As they made their way through tables of salad, chapatis and kofta kebabs, Doria asked the cooks about the ingredients, listening carefully to the herbs and spices they described.
Baroness Gail Rebuck, chair of publisher Penguin Random House, told Doria she must feel "very proud" of the Duchess of Sussex and her work on the cookbook.
"Head over heels," the proud mom replied.
At the first stop, Ahlam Saeid showed off an enormous bowl of green rice.
"Oh I love that," said Doria. "That was the first thing I asked about [after learning of the cookbook]."
Meghan laughed as she added fresh mint and olive oil to the dish.
Dessert included caramelized plum upside-down cake and spiced mint tea.
Meghan showed off her cooking skills, flipping chapatis confidently and turning koftas on the grill.
Meghan wrote the foreword for the book, which features recipes from a group of women whose community was affected by the Grenfell Tower fire in which more than 70 people died.
In the forward, Meghan said the Hubb (which means love in Arabic) "is a place for women to laugh, grieve, cry and cook together. Melding cultural identities under a shared roof . . . 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."
Proceeds from the cookbook will help the kitchen to stay open, and enable it to widen its reach.
Meghan shared a group hug with two of the women from the community kitchen, smiling as she embraced them together.
The Duchess of Sussex gave her first public speech as a member of the royal family at the end — and she didn't miss a beat, even without notes! Prince Harry and her mother proudly watched from the side while Meghan spoke for three minutes about how the women of the Hubb Community Kitchen welcomed her shortly after her move to London.
"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," Meghan said. "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."
At one point during the speech, Prince Harry and Ragland exchanged a smile, clearly proud of Meghan's work.
Of course, no event is complete without a group photo!
Harry, Meghan and Doria posed for a group photo with the women and their children before staying to chat.
Doria then embraced each of the women with a warm hug, telling them, "It's amazing. I'm just as excited as you are."
Speaking of her daughter's experience at the kitchen, Doria said, "She felt very much at home. 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."
Meghan also shared a smile with a young girl at the event.