Meghan launches Grenfell cookbook and says she's 'proud to live in diverse' London

The Duchess of Sussex has gushed about her new home city as she launched a charity cookbook for the families of the Grenfell fire.

Her mother Doria Ragland came to London from California for a surprise appearance at the Kensington Palace garden reception, where they were also joined by Prince Harry.

Speaking to those gathered for the launch, the Duchess said: "I had just recently moved to London and I felt so immediately embraced by the women in the kitchen, the warmth and your kindness and also to be able in this city and to see in this one small room how multi-cultural it was.

"On a personal level, I feel so proud to live in a city that can have so much diversity. It's pretty outstanding."

The cookbook is a compilation of recipes from families who lived in and around Grenfell.

And it was the first time mother and daughter have been seen together in public since they were pictured on the steps of St George's Chapel following the royal wedding on 19 May.

There are reports Meghan has made a secret trip to Los Angeles to see her mother since then and there is even talk that Ms Ragland is considering moving to the UK to be close to her only daughter.

The duchess and her mother looked happy and relaxed together as Meghan was reunited with women from a Grenfell community group who have been cooking together following the fatal fire last June.

Ms Ragland was heard introducing herself to guests by saying: "Hi, I'm Meg's mom."

Her appearance alongside her famous daughter was unusual as non-royal family members do not attend official royal engagements.

Meghan's husband and mother looked on proudly as she gave a speech to launch the book, telling them the multi-cultural kitchen has been integral in helping her feel welcome in London after moving from Canada where she lived while filming the popular TV series Suits.

She said the project had been a "tremendous labour of love".

The coat the duchess was wearing - a striking petrol blue long coat by Smythe - sold out within minutes of her appearance.

Earlier this week Kensington Palace released a video of Meghan cooking with the women in support of the new recipe book - called Together: Our Community Cookbook - which aims to raise money to support the local kitchen.

She came up with the idea for the book during her first of many visits to the Hubb Community Kitchen in North Kensington, just a couple of miles away from her new palace home.

As part of her first solo project since becoming a duchess, she thought the book could help fund the kitchen opening more than just two days a week.

Guests at the reception inside a tent in Kensington Palace's gardens enjoyed dishes made by the women, many of which have been handed down through generations.

Sky's royal correspondent Rhiannon Mills said: "We'd expected Prince Harry would be there to help Meghan celebrate the release of the Grenfell cookbook, but no one was anticipating that her mum would turn up, too.

"It was obvious that she was delighted to be sharing Meghan's success. You can tell they're close, but I'm told Doria is only visiting the UK despite the rumours that she's thinking about moving over permanently.

"Mum was also on hand for some added moral support as Meghan delivered her first speech since marrying into the royal family. Not that Meghan needed it.

"Without any notes she talked passionately about what this project has meant to her. I'm told Harry couldn't have looked more proud.

"It was a reminder that they are a powerful couple, prepared to speak from the heart and put everything into the causes that matter to them.

"Celebrating her first solo project and delivering her first speech make this an important day for Meghan. She is quickly ticking off those royal milestones. And having her mum there was another sign of how this duchess is prepared to do things differently.

"But as Meghan kept saying, this 'passion project' is about the women she has grown so close to at the Hubb Community Kitchen near the Grenfell Tower.

"For her, the cookbook has been a 'tremendous labour of love'. It's already top of the Amazon charts and looks set to help raise the funds the community kitchen needs to stay open seven days a week."

The menu for the palace event included chicken curry, aubergine masala and a range of chapatis and sharing dips.

Caramalised plum upside-down cake and spiced mint tea was also served.

Meghan joined the women as they cooked the dishes and helped with preparing the feast, making chapatis and turning koftas on the grill, before they all sat down with Prince Harry, Ms Ragland and their guests.

Guests included members of the local community, staff from Ebury Press, which is publishing the book, members of the Al Manaar Muslim Cultural Heritage Centre, where the kitchen is based, and staff from the Royal Foundation.

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