Just two weeks into the new year, members of the British royal family are already making great strides into 2019. On Thursday, Meghan (née Markle), Duchess of Sussex, was named the royal patron of four organizations, including two Queen Elizabeth II supported for several decades. This is exciting news for Meghan, who officially joined the royal family in May when she married Prince Harry, Duke of Sussex. Becoming a royal patron will allow her to continue philanthropy work for causes that are close to her heart.
Meghan inherited the queen’s patronage of the National Theatre, which the queen supported for 45 years, according to E! News. Kensington Palace said Meghan is a “strong believer in using the arts to bring people from different backgrounds and communities together.” That makes sense given her history before becoming a royal; after majoring in theater at Northwestern University, Meghan went on to star on the TV series Suits for many years before she was written off the show prior to her marriage to Prince Harry.
The queen also handed down her patronage of the Association of Commonwealth Universities, which Queen Elizabeth II supported for 33 years. This patronage will allow Meghan to continue her advocacy for accessible education for everyone in the Commonwealth and beyond.
Additionally, Meghan has reportedly chosen to support two organizations: Smart Works, an organization that aims “to help long-term unemployed and vulnerable women regain the confidence they need to succeed at job interviews, return to employment and transform their lives,” and Mayhew, an animal welfare organization that depends on public donations. On Thursday, Meghan visited Smart Works, where she helped a woman named Patsy prepare for a job interview.
In the @SmartWorksHQ Dressing Room, The Duchess helped Patsy style an outfit for her new job.
The award-winning charity helps unemployed women in their upcoming interviews by offering them an outfit to wear and 1:1 coaching. pic.twitter.com/BZHDK01FeF
— Kensington Palace (@KensingtonRoyal) January 10, 2019
“The Duchess is delighted to become patron of both national and grassroots organizations that are part of the fabric of the UK, and is very much looking forward to working with them to bring wider public attention to their causes,” Kensington Palace said in a statement. “Her Royal Highness feels she can use her position to focus attention on, and make a particular difference to these organizations and, more widely, the sectors they each represent.”
Over the last year, Meghan has worked with women at the Hubb Community Kitchen in London to pack meals for Grenfell Tower fire survivors as well as others in need in their community in addition to writing the dedication for their cookbook, Together, which has so far sold enough copies to allow the kitchen to open seven days a week as opposed to just two. She’s also delivered speeches in New Zealand and at the 2018 British Fashion Awards, championing women’s accomplishments. Becoming an official royal patron for the National Theatre, the Association of Commonwealth Universities, Smart Works and Mayhew is a means for Meghan to continue this kind of work in an even more official capacity.