Meghan Markle and Prince Harry praised for $25k donation during New York lunch date

The Duke and Duchess of Sussex left their mark on a famed Harlem restaurant after they pledged to donate $25,000 to its COVID relief fund.

The couple stopped by Melba’s restaurant after visiting a school in the area, with Harry having his first taste of the beloved soul food dish chicken and waffles.

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Taking to social media after Harry and Meghan’s visit, owner Melba Wilson tweeted: “It was such an honor to officially welcome Prince Harry and Meghan, the Duke and Duchess of Sussex to Melba’s!”

WATCH: Meghan Markle reads her children’s book to kids at a Harlem school

She added: “I am so thankful for their commitment to donate $25k and hope to welcome them back soon. Thank you for dining with us! #sweetpotatopiehugs.”

The fund, which was set up by the restaurant, is aiming to raise $250,000 in order to provide financial relief to the dozens of hourly workers impacted at Melba’s during the pandemic.

According to a fellow diner, Harry and Meghan were served Southern fried chicken and eggnog waffles, spring rolls, catfish, collard greens and yams, reports Page Six.

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Meghan and Harry pledged to donate $25k to Melba’s COVID relief fund

Another diner took to Twitter to share their delight at being in the same restaurant as the famous couple – even revealing that their offer to pay for Harry and Meghan’s meal was politely declined.

“Just had a delicious lunch with @anthonyha, Meghan Markle, and Prince Harry,” the diner tweeted. “They wouldn’t let us pay for their meal (true story, we tried).”

Aside from enjoying their meal, the Sussexes also spent some time chatting with Melba about the non-profit City Harvest — New York City’s largest food rescue organization — which takes food that would otherwise go to waste from restaurants and distributes it to food programs in the city.

The couple are on their first tour of New York

Melba later told The New York Post that the couple were “so kind” and that she’s grateful they stopped by after hearing about her restaurant through “word of mouth”.

Meghan and Harry began their New York tour on Thursday with a visit to the One World Observatory, joining New York City mayor Bill de Blasio and Governor of New York State Kathy Hochul.

On Friday morning they surprised students at P.S. 123 Mahalia Jackson to highlight school initiatives and to promote early literacy.

The trip marks their first outing since stepping back from royal duties in March 2020, and since the birth of their daughter, Lilibet, in June.

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