Meghan Markle Announces End of Maternity Leave and It's Coming Up Soon
By Antoinette Bueno
Meghan Markle's first official post-baby engagement is fashion related and for a cause that's clearly important to her.
On Wednesday, it was announced that the Duchess of Sussex will launch her capsule collection for Smart Works in London, England, on Sept. 12, which is in support of the charity that helps unemployed women regain the confidence they need to succeed at job interviews and return to employment. Meghan is a patron of the charity and partnered with her friend, designer Misha Nonoo, on the new collection.
The outing marks the first official event Meghan will attend after giving birth to her and Prince Harry's first child together, son Archie, in May. Since giving birth, Meghan has gone on a few public outings -- such as the Trooping the Colour Parade in June to celebrate Queen Elizabeth's birthday and the Lion King premiere in London alongside Harry in July -- but none related to her official royal duties.
According to an official release on Meghan's Sept. 12 event, the idea for her new collection came about when the 38-year-old former Suits actress noticed during her visits to the charity that donations to Smart Works weren't always the right choices or sizes. She wanted to collaborate on the new collection to ensure that Smart Works' clients are equipped with both the skills and clothes they need to feel job-ready.
"When you walk into a Smart Works space you're met with racks of clothing and an array of bags and shoes," she shared. "Sometimes, however, it can be a potpourri of mismatched sizes and colors, not always the right stylistic choices or range of sizes."
"To help with this, I asked Marks & Spencer, John Lewis & Partners, Jigsaw and my friends, the designer Misha Nonoo, if they were willing to design a capsule collection of more classic options for a workwear wardrobe," she continued. "Taking the idea further, many of the brands agreed to use the one-for-one model: for each item purchased by a customer, one is donated to the charity. Not only does this allow us to be part of each other's story, it reminds us we are in it together."
As Meghan's maternity leave comes to an end, a source recently told ET that she and Harry are very happy with their third nanny for Archie, after the first two didn't work out. According to our source, the recent hire is a woman and she's been "a blessing" so far. The new nanny was seen accompanying Meghan and Harry on their recent getaway to their good friend, Elton John's, chateau in France, and is expected to accompany the couple on their upcoming royal tour of South Africa in the fall.