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Duchess of Sussex praises 'warmth and kindness' of Grenfell group at cookbook launch

The Duchess of Sussex has praised the "warmth and kindness" of a Grenfell community group who provided the dishes for a cookbook she has championed.

Meghan was joined by her mother Doria Ragland and her husband the Duke of Sussex as she hosted an outdoor reception at Kensington Palace to mark the launch of "Together".

The Duchess of Sussex was joined at the launch by Prince Harry and her mother, Doria Ragland. Credit: PA

The cookbook, which the Duchess described as "a tremendous labour of love", is a fundraising publication aimed at supporting the local kitchen where the cooks meet.

"Everyone embraced this so deeply because it's been a passion project for all of us and for a very good reason," she said.

"This is more than a cookbook and what I mean by that is 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 and to be able to celebrate what connects us rather than what divides us.

"That I believe is the ethos of 'Together'."

Ms Ragland attended the cookbook's launch while visiting her daughter in London for a couple of days. Credit: PA

The idea for the book came from the duchess after she was told, during her first private trip to the Hubb Community Kitchen in North Kensington, the facilities were only open two days a week because of a lack of funds.

The women of the Hubb Community Kitchen showcased their own personal recipes featured in the cookbook, many of which have been handed down through generations.

In her first solo public speech since joining the Royal Family in May, the Duchess said that "working on this project for the past nine months has been a tremendous labour of love."

The 37-year-old, who has been privately visiting the cooks, added: "I had just recently moved to London and I felt so immediately embraced by the women in the kitchen - your warmth, your kindness, and also to be able to be in this city and to see in this one small room how multi-cultural it was."

Speaking from a marquee in Perk's Field close to Kensington Palace, she said of the family chefs: "On a personal level I feel so proud to live in a city that can have so much diversity - 12 countries represented in this one group of women."

The Duchess of Sussex helped prepare lunch for the guests. Credit: PA

Guests enjoyed the home-made dishes including 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.

The Duchess and her mother have not been seen in public together since the royal wedding on May 19 and looked relaxed in each other's company.

Ms Ragland is on a visit to London to visit the Duke and Duchess for a couple of days, amid reports that she is looking to move to the capital to be closer to her daughter.

Doria Ragland introduced herself as "Meg's mum" as they arrived at the event, and said she was "head over heels" with pride.

Meghan picked up some new skills at Together's launch. Credit: PA