Queen Elizabeth Shares This Key Belief with Meghan Markle — and It Involves Tea!
While hosting a party at Buckingham Palace on Tuesday evening, the 93-year-old monarch said that “a bit of toast and tea goes a long way.”
The Queen was celebrating the contribution of all faith groups to British life at the reception, where she asked guests about the problems faced by their communities, including a rising number of asylum seekers and refugees.
Queen Elizabeth said she had noticed that food was often a way to bring people from different faiths and traditions together.
Last year, the Duchess of Sussex introduced a fundraising cookbook — called Together: Our Community Cookbook — which was aimed at underlining how communities can unite and grow in understanding each other in the kitchen. It raised more than $500,000 to benefit the community around the Grenfell Tower, where 72 people died when it was engulfed in fire two years ago.
Meghan also knows the power of a good spot of tea — and toast! When she was hosting friend and makeup artist Daniel Martin earlier this year, he shared a snap of their meal, which included a pot of tea and avocado toast.
The Queen welcomed 160 guests — including Christians, Muslims, Hindus, Sikhs, Buddhists, Jews, Humanists, Bahai and those of no faith — to thank them and to “recognize those bringing about positive change in their local neighborhoods and celebrate the work being done to support people of all ages and backgrounds,” a palace spokesman said.
Two guests were overcome with emotion after meeting her, overwhelmed with the acknowledgement of their hard work.
Nighat Khan — from New Vision 4 Women in West London, which invites women from diverse communities to meet over cookery — told reporters at the reception, “She wanted to know all about our projects and the challenges the women we work with face. We thanked her for the lovely opportunity, and she said this is a good way of connecting and that we should all talk to each other and we can help each other in the future.”
Khan added the monarch was particularly interested in the cooking project, which sees women talk about their problems as a byproduct of working and eating together. Khan said, “People are happy to talk a bit in that process, and then we can help them. She said, ‘A bit of tea and toast can go a long way.’ It’s very British, isn’t it?”
The Queen’s remarks remark came after she met Anna Dyson, who runs a café in Leeds based on the Jewish values of social action. There, customers offer their money, time or a skill to help others in return for coffee, toast and other treats.
Dr. Rose Drew, Director of Interfaith Glasgow, which promotes religious diversity, said, “She spoke about the value of bringing people together, and was happy that connections will be made this evening that will help more people going forward.”
“It’s about creating a forum for people to speak,” Dr. Drew added. “She had noticed [from speaking to people] that food was often a way of bringing people from different traditions together.”
Dai Hankey, a pastor from Cardiff, Wales, who leads Red Community, a charity supporting survivors of human trafficking, said: “She was very interested and knowledgeable. You might get the impression that people who live in palaces don’t understand what’s happening [around the country], but she clearly did.”
“She said she imagined there are more people who are asylum seekers and refugees than ever before, because people are being moved around the world so much,” Hankey added. “It’s like wow, she actually cares. It’s very humbling that she has recognized everyone here tonight.”
Introduced to Pastor Kingsley Avagah, who is originally from Ghana and now runs runs the Christian-based performing arts group Paradigm Impact network in Doncaster, the Queen said she had admired the friendliness of the Ghanaian people during her visits there and was pleased he had brought that to Britain.
Meghan, 37, was baptized into the Church of England in a secret ceremony last spring ahead of her wedding to Harry. And the intimate service, which was a significant nod to Harry’s grandmother, Queen Elizabeth’s role as head of the Church of England, had special meaning for Meghan, as faith is a key pillar for her.
“A deep sense of gratitude and humility has guided her,” a longtime friend previously told PEOPLE. “We can still be modern women and feel all the feels with feminism and be strong moms and strong wives but understand that [our] relationship [with God] is so critical.”
The friend added: “Meg is extremely faithful. We pray a lot together. We meditate. She has had, and especially has now, a very close relationship with God.”