Meghan Markle and Prince Harry's eagerly awaited return to the UK is just next month. As the couple look forward to visiting "several charities close to their hearts", we look at the London spots which hold great sentimental value for the Duchess.
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On Monday 5 September, Meghan and Harry plan to visit Manchester for the opening ceremony of the One Young World Summit. Then they will head to Germany for the Invictus Games Dusseldorf 2023 One Year to Go event, before finally returning to London for the WellChild Awards on Wednesday 8 September.
WATCH: Harry and Meghan to visit UK next month
But the Duchess may also want to pay a visit to a few other spots in the UK capital. Meghan formed incredibly close personal ties to a handful of places in London and these ones remain particularly close to her heart…
Megan Markle's heartbreaking bond with Mayhew
Meghan visited the Mayhew shelter while heavily pregnant
On 6 April this year, Meghan penned a beautiful but tragic open letter to the charity Mayhew to reveal that her close friend Oli Juste had suddenly passed away months earlier. She announced that: "In his memory, we will be creating the Oli Juste wing at Mayhew."
Meghan's message made it clear that "though my time as patron of Mayhew has come to a close, my unwavering support has not."
Meghan delighted workers at the animal and community charity
The unbreakable bond with the North London-based charity was clear from the start. Meghan shared that Oli had introduced her to Mayhew: "He knew that I would be drawn to their deep love of community, which transcended the animals themselves, and extended to the people around them. He was right. I fell in love with Mayhew."
When the pandemic hit, Mayhew’s first priority was ensuring that our elderly and more at-risk service users and their companion animals were safe. Find out more here.
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Meghan Markle's close connection with Smart Works
Meghan raised awareness of Smart Works
The Duchess's love of fashion and female empowerment made her role as an official patron of Smart Works the natural choice.
Meghan has quietly visited the Smart Works HQ in West London on several occasions and was even involved in the creation of 'The Smart Set' – a capsule clothing collection that worked with leading fashion brands like John Lewis to create the perfect working wardrobe for the women supported by the charity.
Meghan's visits have great value
“The reason I was drawn to Smart Works is that it reframes the idea of charity as community. It’s a network of women supporting and empowering other women in their professional pursuits," Meghan explained.
Kate Stephens, the CEO of Smart Works, has spoken about the Duchess' enduring involvement with the charity, and Meghan even surprised their clients with a one-to-one coaching session via Zoom call during lockdown.
Meghan visiting the Smart Works HQ in West London
The charity offers unemployed women a professional coaching session ahead of their job interview and then they are given the perfect interview outfit by a wonderful team of stylists thanks to donations from major fashion brands, high street retailers and members of the public.
SEE: Meghan Markle's workwear wardrobe - how to emulate her for the office
Meghan Markle's favourite cake companies
Both Duchess-approved bakeries, Luminary Bakery and Violet Cakes are London-based and are dear to Meghan's heart, so we imagine that she will be keen to sample their cakes during her visit to the capital.
Meghan and Harry trusted Claire Ptak's team to craft their wedding cake
After impressing Meghan and Harry with her spectacular lemon and elderflower cake for their wedding in May 2018, Claire Ptak and her team at Violet Cakes were entrusted with the special assignment of making their daughter Lilibet Diana's first birthday cake – a strawberry buttercream floral cake.
Lilibet Diana's first birthday cake was made by Violet Cakes
Luminary Bakery in Camden has also been publicly championed by the Duchess of Sussex for it's "social enterprise designed to offer opportunities for women to build a future for themselves."
Meghan's unforgettable visit to the Luminary Bakery
The entirely female-run company provides a safe and professional environment with the aim to "break cycles of poverty, violence and disadvantage once and for all."
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