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Meghan to step out on first solo royal engagement

The Duchess of Sussex will attend a major exhibition at the Royal Academy of Arts.

The Duchess of Sussex is to carry out her first solo royal engagement when she attends the opening of a major art exhibition next week.

The event will be a milestone in Meghan’s life as a member of the monarchy, as she will be venturing out without the support of Harry or other royals.

On Monday she launched her first charity project, a fundraising cookbook created by women from the Grenfell Tower community.

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Meghan cooking with women in the Hubb Community Kitchen in west London (Jenny Zarins/PA)

The 37-year-old former actress will join guests on September 25 at the opening of an exhibition of works from the Oceania region, at the Royal Academy of Arts in central London.

The Duchess of Cambridge carried out her first solo engagement – standing in for the Prince of Wales at a private fundraising dinner – in October 2011, almost six months after her wedding day.

Meghan, who married on May 19, will take part in her first royal event by herself four months after becoming a member of the monarchy.

The exhibition will celebrate the art of Melanesia, Micronesia and Polynesia, encompassing the vast Pacific region including New Guinea, Easter Island, Hawaii and New Zealand.

On display will be around 200 works from public collections worldwide, spanning more than 500 years.

The exhibition marks the 250th anniversary of the Royal Academy, which was founded in 1768 – the year Captain James Cook set out on his first Endeavour expedition.

Meghan and Harry are due to tour part of the region next month, visiting Australia, Tonga, Fiji and New Zealand. The duchess will be shown art from the four countries during her exhibition viewing.

She will meet the exhibition’s curators, artists and descendants linked to the works on display, and view a short performance by Ngati Ranana, a Maori cultural group.

The exhibition will be organised around three main themes: Voyaging will look at life on the water as revealed through the stories of indigenous navigation; Place-making will explore the settlement of communities; and Encounter will focus on trade and exchange in Pacific cultures.

Oceania at the Royal Academy of Arts will open to the public from September 29 to December 10.

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