A month ago, most people had never heard of Zoom. Now the app is the default means of communication. Teleconferencing is a necessity in the age of social distancing—even for royals. The Duke and Duchess of Sussex have kept a low profile since stepping down as senior members of the royal family, but the couple resurfaced this week to lend support to great causes linked to the Covid-19 crisis. They had to venture outdoors to deliver meals in Los Angeles for Project Angel Food, and their second charitable action took place online with the Duchess jumping on a Zoom call with the members of Hubb Community Kitchen.
Displaced after the Grenfell tower fire in 2017, Hubb’s all-female staff work out of the Al-Manaar Muslim Cultural Heritage Centre in London to provide free food for vulnerable members of their community. In 2018 Markle wrote the forward to the group’s cookbook and has remained connected to the organization’s leadership. When it was announced that they would be joining the Evening Standard’s Food for London Now initiative, the Duchess called to congratulate them on their hard work. Together with The Felix Project, a non-profit dedicated to food distribution, they have been preparing between 250-300 meals per week all for at-risk Londoners. Rather than dress up for the video conference, Markle kept things simple with a classic white t-shirt, slicked-back hair, and a bright smile.
It’s easy to overthink what you wear on Zoom—plenty of ink has been spilled about what is and isn’t appropriate attire for a video chat. The intimacy of the platform, which provides a glimpse into the homes and private lives of co-workers and celebrities alike, can be a cause for anxiety. Markle’s casual, no-frills approach offers an antidote to the idea of meticulously styled above-the-waist outfits. A fitted white tee is always polished, but it is far from the formality of the royal wardrobe. By keeping things simple, the Duchess placed all the attention on her message of admiration and respect for women on the frontlines. “You all had it in you,” she told the group. “It’s just inspired so many people.”
Originally published on Vogue.com