Meghan Markle and Prince
Harry’s eagerly awaited return to the UK is just next month. As the couple looks
forward to visiting “several charities close to their hearts”, we
look at the London spots which hold great sentimental value for the Duchess.
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.
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…
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.”
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.
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
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.
“The reason I was drawn to Smart Works is that
it reframes the idea of charity as a community. It’s a network of women
supporting and empowering other women in their professional pursuits,”
Kate Stephens, the CEO ofSmart
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 the lockdown.
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.
Markle’s favourite cake companies
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.
Luminary Bakery in Camden has
also been publicly championed by the Duchess of Sussex for its
“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.”