How Meghan Markle's involvement in projects marks a new approach to being a royal working mum

The Duchess of Sussex returned to work after maternity leave last week with a headline-hitting project, launching her clothing collaboration with charity Smart Works.

Rather than showing up to cut a ribbon or attend a launch, Meghan’s hands-on role in the project - creating her own capsule collection - marks a new approach to being a royal working mum, according to commentators.

Speaking on Yahoo UK’s The Royal Box, The Sun’s royal correspondent Emily Andrews says for starters, while Meghan’s official return to work was the the launch of her Smart Set collection for Smart Works, she’s actually been working behind the scenes during her maternity leave.

“In fact she hasn’t really stopped working at all,” says Andrews. “After she had baby Archie he’d be in a bouncer on the floor of the kitchen of Frogmore Cottage while she and Harry and some key members of their team were working out the new foundation Sussex royal, finalising the Vogue magazine cover and obviously the clothing capsule collection that she and others put together for Smart Works.”

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Meghan returned to work with the launch of her capsule collection for charity Smart Works (Picture: Mark Large/Pool via REUTERS)

Royal commentator Victoria Murphy adds that the special element of the project is it’s something Meghan came up with herself.

“That is an example of the way in which she is working and the way she worked when she cane up with the Grenfell cookbook as well.

“It’s actually thinking outside of the box of ways that she can additionally help these charities over and above going along to look at the work that they’re doing and bringing the media with her.

“That’s the second time now that she’s really come up with a project that’s really worked and that is helping these charities in a way that perhaps she wouldn’t have to do - we wouldn’t be expecting that of her necessarily but she’s chosen to do that.”

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Meghan, the Duchess of Sussex, picks out a necklace with Lady Juliet Hughes-Hallett during her visit at Smart Works charity in West London, Britain, January 10, 2019. REUTERS/Clodagh Kilcoyne/Pool

Fellow commentator Omid Scobie agrees - saying Meghan is about more than just ‘putting her name to something’ or “showing up to the launch...cutting a ribbon and congratulating them on their work”.

“She was the one that picked up the phones in January and called the execs and ceos from each brand to say ‘we want to do this, do you want to be part of it?’.

“She was the one that was receiving look books via bike messenger to her home in Windsor whilst feeding Archie.

“So she’s been involved in every step of the way and you see her fingerprint all over it in the press materials, in the campaign launch that featured the real women who have actually been through the Smart Works programme so it’s kind of very much her thing that she’s done 50/50 with the charity themselves.”