Meghan Markle Officially Announces Her First Royal Patronages
The past year has been full of firsts for the Duchess of Sussex, and now she's taking a huge step forward in her role as a working member of the royal family. A few days ago, Meghan announced that she is to become the patron of four charities: the National Theatre, the Association of Commonwealth Universities, Mayhew, and Smart Works.
"Her Royal Highness The Duchess of Sussex will become Patron of four
It also clarified that two of the patronages would be given to her by the Queen and two would be entirely new.
"Her Majesty The Queen has passed on two patronages to The Duchess of Sussex –The National Theatre and The Association of Commonwealth Universities. The Queen has held the roles for 45 and 33 years respectively," reads the statement. "Her Royal Highness will also take on Patronage of two additional charities as part of her official working portfolio – Smart Works and Mayhew."
The organizations chosen clearly represent Meghan's
"I think these four organizations encompass many of the things that Meghan is passionate about," royal reporter Victoria Murphy tells Town & Country. "They also reflect her existing interests and experiences as well."
Murphy also sees the Queen's decision to give Meghan two of her patronages as an "endorsement" of her work thus far.
"I think the fact that two of Meghan's patronages have been given to her by the Queen so early on in her royal career—especially ones that the Queen has held for a very long time—is definitely an endorsement of Meghan’s work within the family."
Meghan visited one of her new patronages, Smart Works, for the first time publicly.
Meghan helping to style a woman for a job interview at Smart Works.
The Sunday Times reported late last year that Meghan plans to visit each of the announced organizations before taking her maternity leave later this spring following the birth of her first child.
Katie Nicholl has also reported that the Duchess plans to work well into her pregnancy. Per her recent story in Vanity Fair, "Meghan has told aides she wants to work as close to her due date next spring as possible."
Here's a bit more about each of the charities of Meghan has chosen to highlight:
LONDON'S NATIONAL THEATRE
Meghan succeeding Queen Elizabeth as the royal patron of London's National Theatre was hardly a well-kept secret. Rumors that she would take on the role, started earlier this
The appointment doesn't come as too much of a surprise given Meghan's acting background. She also reportedly met privately with Rufus Norris, the artistic director of the National Theatre late last year.
This morning's statement focused on Meghan's belief in "using the arts to bring people from different backgrounds and communities together."
It continued, "The National Theatre’s mission is to make
THE ASSOCIATION OF COMMONWEALTH UNIVERSITIES
In addition to the National Theatre, the Queen has also given Meghan the patronage of the Association of Commonwealth Universities. Per Kensington Palace, the ACU is "
Given Prince Harry's role as Commonwealth Youth Ambassador, this new patronage only further suggests that the Sussexes will be focusing attention on the Commonwealth in the months to come.
Of the news, Dr. Joanna Newman, the ACU's chief executive
Mayhew focuses on one of the Duchess's clear interests: animal welfare. Kensington Palace reports that the group is a "grassroots charity working in a unique way to improve the lives of animals and people to better communities both in London and internationally."
This London-based organization offers support to unemployed women, assisting them with interview coaching and clothing to help in their career search. According to the Royal Family's website, Meghan has been working with them privately for months ahead of the official announcement.
"The Duchess has visited Smart Works several times over the last year where she has worked with many women who have benefited from the charity’s support, helping them through coaching and interview preparation," reads the official statement.
Following the news of Meghan's patronage, Juliet Hughes-Hallett, chair and founder of Smart Works, said, “An acknowledged champion of women and their rights worldwide, The Duchess will motivate ever more women to come to our
THE ROYAL FOUNDATION
Meghan at the 2018 Royal Foundation Forum.
In addition to the organizations on this list, Meghan also serves as patron of the Royal Foundation, which operates as "the primary vehicle for their royal highnesses' philanthropic work."
Back in February of 2018, before she married Prince Harry, Meghan attended the Royal Foundation
This story originally appeared on Townandcountrymag.com.
* Minor edits have been made by the Townandcountry.ph editors.