Duchess of Sussex Meghan Markle stepped out this week in London for her first public event of 2019, looking as stunning as ever while she visited one of her new patronages, People reported.
On Thursday, January 10, the duchess visited Smart Works, a charity that provides interview clothing and coaching to unemployed women across the UK, showing off her growing baby bump in a black midi-length dress that was her first piece of maternity clothing ever worn during a public outing.
According to People, the $218 Eliza Dress by Hatch, a brand that has also been worn by Scarlett Johansson and Reese Witherspoon, features a “subtle ribbed crew neckline detail” and is made of a stretch cotton viscose knit.
Meghan completed her look with a camel-colored Oscar De La Renta swing coat and a pair of unique statement earrings from the ethical jewelry brand Kimai, and tied her hair back in a sleek bun.
During her visit with the charity, the Duchess of Sussex took part in a roundtable discussion with volunteers as well as women who have been helped by the organization. In a short clip posted to the Kensington Palace’s Twitter account, Meghan noted the sense of community within Smart Works that drew her to it in the first place.
Today The Duchess of Sussex will visit @SmartWorksHQ, which helps long term unemployed and vulnerable women regain the skills, confidence and tools to succeed at job interviews, return to employment and transform their lives. pic.twitter.com/oYFpwlYemz— Kensington Palace (@KensingtonRoyal) January 10, 2019
“It’s not just hand-me-downs,” she explained. “It’s saying, ‘Okay, this is the blazer that I wore that helped me land that interview, and I want this to be the piece that helps this woman have that part of her story.”
“So to know, as a woman coming in I would imagine, that you have so many other people believing in you on all the next phases is the piece that makes it so special,” she concluded.
Meghan also spent time in the dressing room during her visit where she helped put together an outfit for a woman who would be starting a new job soon.
In the @SmartWorksHQ Dressing Room, The Duchess helped Patsy style an outfit for her new job.— Kensington Palace (@KensingtonRoyal) January 10, 2019
The award-winning charity helps unemployed women in their upcoming interviews by offering them an outfit to wear and 1:1 coaching. pic.twitter.com/BZHDK01FeF
Smart Works has dressed 11,000 women for job interviews and hopes to dress another 3,500 across their offices in London and other parts of the UK in 2019. It is one of four patronages that the palace announced today the duchess will be taking on over the next year.
Meghan will also become a royal patron of the organization Mayhew, which aims to reduce the number of animals in need–a cause that has long been known to be important for the duchess. Queen Elizabeth has also passed on two royal patronages to her granddaughter-in-law with the National Theatre and the Association of Common Universities.