Who knew Kate Middleton had a connection to Meghan Markle's charitable clothing collection?
According to People, Kate used to work for Jigsaw, one of the brand collaborators in Meghan's Smart Works capsule collection, which was launched on Thursday. The Duchess of Sussex has designed a line of workwear clothing in collaboration with Jigsaw as well as Marks & Spencer, John Lewis, and her designer friend, Misha Nonoo.
People reports that the Duchess of Cambridge worked as an accessories buyer for the clothing brand in their London office in 2006, and got the job after she personally contacted Belle Robinson, the brand’s founder.
“She sat in the kitchen at lunchtime and chatted with everyone from the van drivers to the account girls. She wasn’t precious,” Robinson told Evening Standard in 2008. “I have to say I was so impressed by her."
Even then, Kate was a pro at navigating the trickiest parts of a public life. (She and Prince William were rumored to have begun dating in 2001, thereby thrusting her into the limelight.)
"There were days when there were TV crews at the end of the drive," Robinson told Evening Standard. "We’d say: 'Listen, do you want to go out the back way?' And she’d say: 'To be honest, they’re going to hound us until they’ve got the picture. So why don’t I just go, get the picture done, and then they’ll leave us alone.'"
Kate quit working for the brand in the same year she started, but it sounds like she left a stellar impression.
On Thursday, Meghan launched her collection in collaboration with Jigsaw while wearing a few pieces from the line (including Jigsaw trousers; $148, jigsaw-online.com), and gave a speech about why she was committed to Smart Works as a patronage.
“When I first moved to the U.K. it was incredibly important to me personally to be able to connect with people on the ground who were doing really important work. One of the places that I went to really early on was Smart Works,” the duchess said. “To be able to have one small project that has such big impact is something I’m really connected to."