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Meghan Markle launches dream cookbook with Prince Harry by her side – live updates

meghan doria harry kensington engagement
Ainhoa Barcelona
Ainhoa BarcelonaContent Managing Editor
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meghan doria harry kensington engagement© Photo: Getty Images

The Duchess of Sussex has launched her dream cookbook alongside a group of women who were affected by last year's Grenfell Tower fire. Meghan, supported by her husband Prince Harry and her mum Doria Ragland, hosted a special event at Kensington Palace on Thursday, where she threw open the palace doors to welcome women from the Hubb Community Kitchen.

The Duchess, who is a self-professed foodie, got stuck into the cooking session, helping the women prepare some homemade meals that have been passed down through generations. The cookbook features over 50 recipes from across Europe, the Middle East, North Africa and the Eastern Mediterranean.

Doria, Harry and Meghan, who looked gorgeous in black outfit and blue coat, made their way around the tables of salads, kebabs and other mouthwatering dishes. They were joined by members of the local community, representatives from Ebury Press, Al Manaar Muslim Cultural Heritage Centre and The Royal Foundation.

Meghan provided the foreword for the book, writing: "I immediately felt connected to this community kitchen; it is a place for women to laugh, grieve, cry and cook together. Melding cultural identities under a shared roof, it 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… Through this charitable endeavour, the proceeds will allow the kitchen to thrive and keep the global spirit of community alive."

Click through to see the best photos from Harry and Meghan's culinary engagement…

meghan doria and harry© Photo: Getty Images

The Duchess' mother Doria made a surprise appearance, introducing herself to the group of women and saying, "I'm Meg's mum" while adding she was "head over heels" proud of her daughter. The launch took place in a marquee in the grounds of the palace, with Meghan, a self-professed foodie, playing host. She was also supported by her husband Prince Harry.

meghan markle and doria kensington© Photo: Getty Images

Meghan looked delighted to host the launch event for Together, which celebrates the power of cooking to strengthen communities and bring people together. She first visited the Hubb Community Kitchen – hubb means love in Arabic – in January 2018 and has been making regular private visits since.

meghan markle rice bowl© Photo: Getty Images

The royals and social worker Doria chatted to women from the Hubb Community Kitchen, who were preparing some of the homemade meals that feature in their cookbook.

"Oh I love that," said Doria as she was shown an enormous bowl of green rice. "That was the first thing I asked about." "Everyone's just hungry," Meghan added, pouring olive oil and fresh mint to the dish.

meghan markle cooking© Photo: Getty Images

Meghan proved a dab hand in the kitchen, flipping chapatis and turning koftas on a grill, while Harry and Doria watched on.

meghan markle cookbook kensington© Photo: Getty Images

Doria embraced each of the women with a warm hug, telling them: "It's amazing. I'm just as excited as you are." Speaking of the Duchess' experience at the kitchen, she 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."

Standing with a small group of women as she said goodbye, Doria also gave an insight into where Meghan's own beliefs have come from. "The power of women," she said. "We make things happens. We're curious, we say yes, we show up. I'm inspired."

meghan markle happy cookbook event© Photo: Getty Images

Some of the dishes in the cookbook include coconut chicken curry, aubergine masala and a range of chapatis and sharing dips, as well as caramelised plum upside-down cake, and spiced mint tea.

meghan markle cookbook engagement© Photo: Getty Images

The kitchen came about after members of the local Grenfell community decided to gather and prepare fresh food for their families and neighbours, as a way of helping the community to connect, heal and look forward.

The cookbook was released on Thursday 20 September and is already number one on Amazon. Proceeds from the book will support the Hubb Community Kitchen, helping it to stay open and to thrive.

prince harry happy meghan© Photo: Getty Images

The Duke followed a few steps behind his wife, making sure she took centre stage.

meghan markle speech© Photo: Getty Images

Meghan gave a three-minute speech without notes, saying: "On a personal note I'm especially grateful because this is my first project so I appreciate your support for the vision that I had for this and seeing it come to fruition. And everyone behind the scenes: it truly took a village to see this through. Everyone embraced this so deeply because it's been a passion project for all of us and for very good reason.

"The power of food is more than just the meal itself, 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. To be able to celebrate what connects us rather than what divides us, I believe, is the ethos of Together."

harry doria watch speech© Photo: Getty Images

Harry and Doria looked incredibly proud of Meghan as they watched from the side.

harry doria meghan goodbye© Photo: Getty Images

The royals and Doria said goodbye to the group of women, posing for last photographs and hugging the ladies.

meghan markle hugging© Photo: Getty Images

Meghan, who had described the project as "a tremendous labour of love," shared a particularity sweet moment with two women before leaving.

meghan markle playing child© Photo: Getty Images

The Duchess also said goodbye to a child before leaving. 

doria harry pose group picture© Photo: Getty Images

Doria, the Duke and Duchess of Sussex posed for a final group shot outside the marquee in Kensington Palace. 

meghan doria depart event© Photo: Getty Images

Meghan bid one last farewell to her friends as she got into her car.

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