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British Royal Family

A bunch of rare, behind-the-scenes pictures of Duchess Meghan have surfaced this week for a special reason

The images come from both before and after she became a royal.

By Jess Pullar
Duchess Meghan celebrated her 39th birthday on Tuesday, and what better way to mark the occasion than by sharing some of her more personal, uplifting encounters.
If you've been scrolling Instagram over the last few days, you'll likely have seen a series of rare, unique images of Meghan from friends and acquaintances she's met over the years.
And given we very rarely glimpse the Duchess, these pictures are all the more glorious - especially because they show another side to the actress-turned-royal.
A very special charitable enterprise led the way in celebrating the Duchess' big day.
London's Luminary Bakery, which Meghan has worked closely with throughout her time as a royal, shared a sweet behind the scenes photo of the Duchess during one of her secret visits last year.
In the image, a very surprised-looking Meghan takes an apron from a woman named Monica - alongside a particularly delicious-looking cake.
"This picture is of Monica meeting Meghan when she came to help us officially open our second bakery in Camden last year. Monica enthusiastically lent her the apron she was wearing, which is true to Monica's generous spirit!" The caption read.
The gorgeous moment between Meghan and Monica was caught on camera. (Instagram)
The bakery, which supports vulnerable people by feeding them and up-skilling them by providing opportunities to help out in the kitchen, also launched an amazing new initiative in collaboration with CamFed, an female education charity, on the Duchess's birthday.
The bakery explained: "Monica who is based in London, will be joining Tisiyenji, in Zambia from @camfed to bake cakes "together" from across the globe to honour The Duchess of Sussex's birthday & celebrate ALL women through their beautiful bakes. Join along in our stories to see these amazing women & their cakes!"
Fans took to the comments section to share their love for the initiative - as well as their well wishes for Meghan.
"Everyone is doing great work in support of CAMFED, I am sure Harry and especially Meghan are thrilled by what is being done for their Birthdays by all the good people," one wrote.
Another added: "Happy birthday Duchess Meghan, wonderful initiative."

Young environmental activist Maya Penn, who launched her own eco-friendly fashion company by age 20, also shared a birthday message with the Duchess alongside a beautiful picture.
"Happy birthday to the beautiful and incredibly amazing Meghan Markle," she wrote.
The young activist continued: "We met when we both spoke at @createcultivate and we spent our whole conversation talking about our shared passion for giving back and she told me how much she loved my nonprofit and activism work and she got a copy of my book 🥺💚 she's genuinely one of the sweetest people i've ever met."

Famed makeup artist Bobbi Brown also shared a candid snap of the Duchess, taken before her royal days when she filmed a promo with them in the backseat of a car.
"Happy Birthday to #meghanmarkle who was such a joy to work with. Sweet, cool and so funny," she penned.
She then revealed that at the time the pair filmed the shoot in 2016, Meghan had just welcomed a new man into her life...
"At the time of the shoot she was telling me about a fellow she had just started to date from the UK. I didn't ask who. Saw them again at a very special @sohohouseamsterdam birthday day. Sweet as always."
We think we know exactly who that was...!

Meanwhile, humanitarian Rossana Burgos also shared her own snap with the Duchess from her own encounter with her just last year.
Sharing a sweet moment the pair shared while Meghan attended a roundtable discussion in Windsor about The Queen's Commonwealth Trust and One Young World in 2019, Rossana wrote: "The moment you realize you're both wearing the same colour..."
"Happy Birthday #meghanmarkle. Wherever you are, I hope you're enjoying yourself with your son," she continued before elaborating about a particularly special moment during the day.
"I will never forget this day, where I had the opportunity to tell her husband, HRH Harry, what his mother meant to me.
"I looked into Harry's eyes and I said 'Your mother was my hero. She is one of the reasons why I wanted to become a humanitarian.' He graciously responded, 'She was a hero for many of us.'
"Thank you @oneyoungworld for making this opportunity happen and for bringing together those of us who want to make the world a better place," she finished.

Duchess Meghan celebrated her birthday this year from her new base in Los Angeles, where she and Prince Harry have now moved with their young son Archie.
It's likely she marked the day with some low-key celebrations with her family, including her mum Doria Ragland who lives nearby.
And while her bubble amidst the COVID-19 pandemic likely remains small, she's certainly got plenty more friends from near and far who've celebrated with her in their own ways.
The multitude of pictures are case in point!

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