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How did the Duchess of Sussex and Duchess of Cambridge’s first speeches compare?

The Duchess of Sussex gave her first speech as a member of the royal family yesterday as she launched Together, a cookbook featuring 50 diverse recipes from women who came together in the aftermath of the tragedy in June 2017, in order to feed their families and neighbours.

Her mother, Doria Ragland, and husband Prince Harry joined her at the launch at Kensington Palace where the former actress said a few words showing her support for the project. The speech bore both differences and similarities to that of Catherine, the Duchess of Cambridge, whose first formal address focused on a children’s hospice in East Anglia back in March 2012.

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Here, we round up the similarities and contrasts:

Meghan had no notes

The Duchess of Sussex reportedly arrived with notes, but didn’t use any. Unsurprisingly given her role as a former actress and UN ambassador, she looked relaxed, calm yet passionate about her subject. “This is more than a cookbook,” she said. “What I mean by that is that the power of food is more than just the meal itself. It is the story behind it, and when you get to know the story of the recipe, you get to know the person behind it. And that’s what we’re talking about in terms of coming together.”

In contrast, the Duchess of Cambridge, who admits that speeches make her nervous, had notes in front of her which she referred to throughout.

The settings and atmosphere were very different

Meghan hosted her first address in a marquee in the garden of Kensington Palace, creating an informal atmosphere. Catherine’s first speech was held at the Treehouse, a new service run by East Anglia Children’s Hospices (Each). She stood before a podium, while Meghan stood more casually in front of a crowd.

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Prince Harry was in attendance

Prince Harry joined his wife at the launch event, and was pictured gazing at her smiling, and also sweetly attempting to fix her hair as it blew in the wind. Prince William, unfortunately, couldn’t attend Catherine’s first public address, as noted by Kate in her speech: “I am only sorry that William can’t be here today; he would love it here.”

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Both Kate and Meghan wore black and blue

Strangely, both royals wore the same shades of black and blue for their first royal speeches. Blue is often associated with stability, depth and wisdom, which might explain why it’s a popular choice.

Doria Ragland and Meghan Markle

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They were both full of praise for the people they’d met

“What you have all achieved here is extraordinary,” said Catherine of the new service launched for children in East Anglia. “You as a community has built the Treehouse. A group of people have made every effort to support and help each other.”

“It truly took a village to see this through, from home economists to photography to people donating their time and energy even for the event today,” said Meghan of Together. “Everyone embraced this so deeply because it’s been a passion project. To the women of the hub community kitchen, thank you so much for allowing me to be part of this adventure with you. I am so privileged to know you.”

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