Meghan Markle’s maternity leave has officially come to an end and the new mum is diving back into her royal duties with the launch of a charity clothing line.
On Thursday, the Duchess of Sussex was all smiles as she stepped out in London to debut her clothing collaboration with charity Smart Works, marking her first engagement since her four-month-old son Archie Harrison was born on May 6.
Meghan back at work
The 38-year-old was on hand to tell the assembled crowd about her capsule collection, The Smart Set, which she created in partnership with leading British fashion labels Jigsaw, John Lewis & Partners and Marks & Spencer.
Meghan’s pal, US-based, Bahrain-born fashion designer Misha Nonoo, was also a key collaborator behind the affordable, five-piece capsule collection.
The range includes a “perfect white shirt, an elegant blazer, well-cut trousers, a dress that flatters everyone and the perfect tote,” according to the website.
At the event, Meghan told the captive audience that her aim was to “transform the idea of charity to community”, and to help women be part of other women’s “success stories”.
The concept behind The Smart Set is that for every item purchased by a customer, Smart Works will provide the same item to help a woman get back into the workplace.
“If you can share that blazer and be part of another woman’s success story, that’s community,” the duchess said.
At one point during her speech, Meghan made an impassioned plea for women to “support and uplift each other”.
The glowing royal even chose to model two pieces from the line herself: a crisp white shirt by Misha Nonoo and a pair of Jigsaw trousers, which she teamed with a Ralph Lauren belt.
Earlier in the day, the Sussex Royal Instagram page shared behind-the-scenes photographs of the duchess surprising her Smart Works clients during an earlier shoot.
In one candid shot, the ex-actor is pictured sitting next to another woman sporting the Smart Set blazer and dress.
Meghan’s busy maternity leave
While this may be the duchess’ first official engagement since wrapping up her maternity leave, the busy mum made a number of public appearances since her duties were put on pause for six months on March 19.
After introducing baby Archie to the world on May 8, Meghan was next seen at the Trooping The Colour parade on June 8, a key annual engagement for the royal family.
On July 10, she and Archie watched her husband Prince Harry play in the King Power Royal Charity Polo Match before popping up court-side at Wimbledon alongside the Duchess of Cambridge on July 13.
The very next day, Meghan walked the star-studded red carpet at ‘The Lion King’ premiere in London alongside Harry.
Last week, she flew to New York to support her friend, tennis player Serena Williams, at the US Open Championships on September 7.
And as if she doesn’t have enough on her plate, the duchess has also been involved in the running of the Sussex Royal Instagram account, according to reports.
Additional reporting by Francesca Specter.
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