The Duchess of Sussex made a surprise visit earlier this week to Luminary Bakery’s new Camden, London location wearing a crisp white and blue stripe button down from With Nothing Underneath.
The all-female London-based bakery provides disadvantaged women with an opportunity for employment and training, as well as a safe and professional environment where women have the chance to grow and build a future.
You may recall reading about Luminary Bakery in Vogue’s September 2019 – Forces for Change issue in which the Duchess was guest editor.
Luminary‘s blog had this to share about their Commercial Director, Rachel Coulson and the direction of the bakery. —
Building a future takes time, opportunity, and most of all, support! This is what Luminary offers and the inspiring direction that Rachael has added to our vision in growing a business that’s making that impact — aka. #PurchaseWithAPurpose. It is not just about cake, but engaging with a wider societal issue.”
“And what an impact it has been, with 66 women already supported, 25 women moved into work and 10 women starting their own business! We love that we get to be a part of their journey – whether in our own business, in a partner company or helping them to reach their dreams of having their own enterprise. And with a team full of women like Rachael helping to guide our vision, the influence is far reaching!”
Meghan sat and spoke with the group of women who have participated in the bakery’s training programs.
The women shared how Luminary Bakery has made such difference in each of their lives.
From Bryony Gordon’s article in the Telegraph, Meghan had these encouraging words for the women —
“One of the things I have realised since being here [in the UK],” begins Meghan, “is that people have an expectation when I’m coming somewhere, so I’m like, let’s just be really relaxed, keep everyone nice and chilled, because at the end of the day we’re all just women. We all have a story to tell, and I feel honoured that I am getting to hear yours.”
“I find that when you strip all the layers away, as people, and especially as women, we can find deep connection with each other, and a shared understanding,” she says.
“Our lives may be different, our backgrounds, our experiences, all varied, but I find that in these moments of connection it becomes abundantly clear that our hopes, our fears, our insecurities, the things that make us tick…. well, those are very much the same. And there’s comfort in that.”
Meghan stopped to speak with Halimot who started her own business, Haliberry Catering, after graduating from the bakery’s courses.
More from the Telegraph —
“I’m a child of nobody,” says Halimot. “And you are a somebody. It means so much that I can meet you.”
Meghan smiles at the woman. “Oh no,” she says beaming widely, and taking the woman in her arms. “It means so much that I can meet you.”
The Duchess met former bakery student, Sarah, who started her own baking business, Bake Yourself Better, which promotes mental health, self-love, hope & kindness!
Sarah gave Meghan a box of her empowering cupcakes (below) with words of encouragement written on each of them.
You may remember seeing Sussex Royal’s Instagram post in August featuring the inspirational cupcakes.
Meghan assisted Sarah in putting some final touches on a delicious looking cake!
Below, from Bake Yourself Better Instagram, previous posts of Sarah’s empowering cupcakes and cake showing the inspiring messages.
The cake completed with fresh fruit and rosemary is ready for the celebration!
The Duchess takes a group photo with the women.
A moment of laughter before cutting the cake.
Below a video of the bakery visit from Sussex Royal.
For the visit to Luminary Bakery the Duchess kept her look casual and relaxed.
Meghan wore her J. Crew – Juliette Collarless Sweater in Heather Dove, $148 – still available. We first saw the piece worn to the US Open in September.
She wore a shirt from With Nothing Underneath – the Poplin White & Midnight Blue Stripe Shirt, £80 ($103.72 USD at today’s exchange rate).
With Nothing Underneath noted on their Instagram post today that they have pledged a donation to Luminary Bakery.
Meghan’s belt is from Madewell – the Leather Crisscross Skinny Belt in English Saddle, $45. The belt also comes in true black.
Meghan brought back her Stella McCartney – Stella #Stansmith Adidas sneakers, $365.
She first wore the shoes during the New Zealand visit to Abel Tasman National Park, October 2018.
UPDATE: Meghan wore her Natalie Marie earrings – Sun Stud earrings in yellow gold, $695.
Meghan had on a pair of denim jeans which have not yet been identified.
Upon closer look at additional images, they do not appear to be her DL1961 or Outland denim – the stitching and jean rivet (button on the front) do not match that of the pair Meghan is wearing. After searching through a number of brands, the closest match I’ve found is from Pistola jeans. I’m actually wearing a pair and noticed the rivet is the same as Meghan’s pair as well as the stitching and change pocket shape. This wouldn’t surprise me as I tend to wear many of the same brands of denim jeans Meghan wears. – Susan C.
We leave you with this piece from Byrony Gordon of the Telegraph, who spent the day with Meghan at Luminary Bakery — read the full article here: Behind the scenes with Meghan Markle: Duchess tells Bryony Gordon how vulnerability is one of humanity’s greatest strengths.