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Meghan Markle baked a cake for front-line workers with lemons from her own garden

She made the lemon olive oil cake for a very special reason.
Collage of Meghan Markle wearing a lemon dress and her husband and the photo of a lemon cake
The Duchess of Sussex recently wore a sleeveless Oscar de la Renta dress adorned with lemons. TODAY Illustration / Spotify / World Central Kitchen
/ Source: TODAY

This week, front-line workers in Chicago enjoyed a home-baked treat that came from a surprising source. As a way of marking Women's History Month, the Duchess of Sussex personally baked the volunteers a lemon olive oil cake using lemons from her own garden!

The homemade treat was a part of the latest charitable initiative from the Duke and Duchess of Sussex’s philanthropic foundation, Archewell. The foundation has partnered with World Central Kitchen (WCK), a not-for-profit organization created by celebrity chef José Andrés, on several efforts in recent months to help “regions disproportionately impacted by hunger.”

World Central Kitchen thanked the women on the front lines in Chicago and shared a photo of their employees gathered around the sweet treat.

"In honor of #WomensHistoryMonth, WCK worked with Archewell, the non-profit created by The Duke and Duchess of Sussex, to provide meals & share a message of appreciation & support in Chicago," World Central Kitchen, founded by Andrés to provide meals in the wake of disasters, shared on Instagram. "Dessert was a lemon olive oil cake baked by The Duchess — with lemons from her garden!"

The post continued: "Since WCK’s Covid response began in Chicago, we’ve served nearly 500,000 meals. Today, Dorri of the YWCA Metropolitan Chicago — which has distributed 60,000 meals with WCK— and Sarah, co-owner of Fat Shallot restaurant, shared a safely distanced lunch with women picking up meals."

The couple sent along a sweet note with their homemade treat. "We hope you enjoy the offering we baked for you — a small token of thanks, from our home to yours," the Duke and Duchess of Sussex wrote in a note to the women. "Our hope with this effort is to show that, when we all participate, even the smallest actions can have a ripple effect," the letter continued. "Even individual actions can impact the whole of us."

The Duke and Duchess believe there's a lot of love involved in sharing of a meal. "In breaking bread, in connecting in a safe way today, you’re signaling that you hear each other, see each other, and will be there for each other," the note continued. "Sometimes we overlook how much it matters to express thanks and show appreciation. Perhaps we realize now more than ever that fundamental human moments, like enjoying a meal together, fill us up with more than just food (even if that food is delicious!). To that point, we hope you enjoy the offering we baked for you — our small token of thanks, from our home to yours."

The former Meghan Markle is quite the avid baker. This isn’t the first time she has personally shared one of her own recipes for an event. When the couple toured Australia during a royal visit in 2018, she made a homemade banana bread. The Duke and Duchess of Sussex also have a history of being lemon fans — their wedding cake was famously a lemon sponge cake drizzled with elderflower syrup.

Prince Harry and Meghan moved to Montecito, California in 2020 after stepping back from their role as working royals. Recently, they sat down for an interview with Oprah that involved a visit to their home. During the visit, Oprah saw their chicken coop and was even seen carrying a carton of fresh eggs to take home. Perhaps she sampled the lemons as well!