As we all know, prior to her days as a royal, Meghan Markle starred on a TV series called Suits. From her time playing paralegal Rachel Zane, Markle learned a thing or two about workwear, which she recently applied to her brand-new Smart Works capsule collection. Working with friend and designer Misha Nonoo, Jigsaw, Marks & Spencer and John Lewis, Markle released a range of 9-to-5-chic items that she calls the Smart Set collection. For every piece purchased, one is donated to her patronage Smart Works, which offers interview coaching and professional clothing for women on the job hunt. In addition to being a brilliant idea, the 38-year-old Duchess of Sussex’s latest endeavor also includes a little tribute to her sister-in-law, Kate Middleton.
How? Well, before Kate Middleton married Prince William, she worked as an accessories buyer at Jigsaw—yep, the same company Markle partnered with to release her Smart Set line. Coincidence? We think not.
As the story goes, the now 37-year-old Duchess of Cambridge landed the job after personally reaching out to Jigsaw founder and Middleton family friend, Belle Robinson. K-Middy worked several days a week at the London office and, as Robinson told the Evening Standard in 2008, “sat in the kitchen at lunchtime and chatted with everyone from van drivers to the account girls. She wasn’t precious.”
The businesswoman went on to say she was “impressed” by Middleton’s view on the endless photographers who followed her. “There were days when there were TV crews at the end of the drive,” Robinson recalled. “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?’”
Ultimately, Middleton left Jigsaw in 2006, saying that she needed “some time to herself.” She continued on to work for her family business, Party Pieces, and in November 2010, she and Prince William announced their engagement.
Now, she has a sister-in-law who’s just as fashion inclined as she is. As they say, all’s well that ends well.