British RoyalsThe Sussexes

Duchess of Sussex talks about the strength behind vulnerability

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The Duchess of Sussex recently made a private visit to the Luminary Bakery in London, and now an exclusive insider’s look at the trip has been revealed by Bryony Gordon in the Telegraph.

Bryony Gordon revealed that she’s known Meghan for almost two years, having met her before the royal wedding in 2018 and keeping in touch since then. The two met for lunch one day prior to the wedding, and Gordon notes that “She ate monkfish, offering me some when I expressed my food envy, and we discussed some of our shared passions: mental health, running, yoga.”

She also said that the Duchess wasn’t much different from a normal person when asked about it later, saying that “I felt a little disappointed to have to answer honestly that she was really not that much different from the rest of us.”

The pair also chatted just before the Tom Bradby documentary, Harry and Meghan: An African Journey premiered, and Gordon revealed, “She lives in the solution, not the problem. She told me that she didn’t want people to love her – she just wanted them to be able to hear her. I have found that this is what the Duchess of Sussex stands for: using her voice to help give one to people less privileged than her.”

So Meghan and Gordon went to visit the Luminary Bakery’s new second location and chatted with some of the women who have been helped by the bakery’s mission of empowering women by “skills training, paid employment and a supportive community to help women thrive,” according to the Bakery’s website.

The Duchess of Sussex has been a staunch supporter of the Luminary Bakery, having profiled it in her September issue of British Vogue. During the meeting with the women, when she notices that some of them are overwhelmed by her appearance, Meghan says:

“One of the things I have realised since being here [in the UK] 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.”

When one of the women became emotional while talking about her experience, Her Royal Highness handed her a tissue and encouraged her, saying:

“I was talking about this with someone the other day. We get into this habit of wanting things done immediately nowadays. There’s a culture of instant gratification, of the instant fix. But we aren’t mechanical objects that need to be fixed. You’re a wounded creature that needs to be healed, and that takes time. And that’s what I love about this place. It gives you the support to heal.”

The Duchess also said, “I find that when you strip all the layers away, as people, and especially as women, we can find a deep connection with each other and a shared understanding.

“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.”

According to Gordon, Meghan is the one who encouraged Harry to speak about mental health with her on a podcast in 2017, where he discussed his mental health and how he continues to struggle with it after his mother’s death.

The Duchess of Sussex revealed that although Harry will be travelling to Japan solo this weekend for the Rugby World Cup final, she and Archie will be up early watching – Archie in an England Babygro – to cheer on England.

About author

Jess is a communications professional and freelance writer who lives in Halifax and has a passion for all things royal, particularly the British Royal Family.