The Queen assigns Meghan, Duchess of Sussex, two of her royal patronages

The Queen assigns Meghan, Duchess of Sussex, two of her royal patronages
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LONDON — When the Duchess of Sussex joined the Royal family, she promised to “hit the ground running” in embarking on meaningful work.

On Thursday), as the former Meghan Markle unveiled the results of a year of secret charity visits, she set out the blueprint for a lifetime of service with four official patronages championing women, the disadvantaged and their animals.

For the Duchess, it is the culmination of interests she has had since childhood, from the feminist letter she wrote as an 11-year-old, to the prom dresses she gave away to underprivileged school girls while at university.

And now it is official: she is the royal patron of the National Theatre, the Association of Commonwealth Universities, animal charity Mayhew, and Smart Works, which provides a new wardrobe for women who are seeking work and gives them one-to-one coaching for interviews.

Kensington Palace said Thursday that Meghan will take over two roles as patron that have for decades been held by Queen Elizabeth II.

Queen Elizabeth II receives flowers from a child actor as she inspects the ‘War Horse’ during a visit to the National Theatre on October 22, 2013 in London, England. Lefteris Pitarakis - WPA Pool

The theatre and ACU have been handed to the Duchess by the Queen in a show of support for her experience as an actress and the speeches she has given about the importance of education.

Yesterday, shortly after the patronages were announced, the Duchess made her first public visit to Smart Works, to help offer advice as a stylist and life coach for women in need who were embarking on a job interview.

Admitting that she had been visiting the charity privately since March, she disclosed she had even donated her own clothes, once recommending her old bag to a client, only to be politely told it was not suitable.

The four charities set out the Duchess’ key focus in the years to come: women, animals, the arts and education.

Meghan, the Duchess of Sussex, accompanied by Juliet Hughes-Hallett, as they walk past racks of clothes at the Smart Works charity career centre in West London, Thursday Jan. 10, 2019. Clodagh Kilcoyne/Pool via AP

While her late mother-in-law, Diana, Princess of Wales, championed HIV victims, the fight against landmines and ending homelessness, and the Duchess of Cambridge focuses closely on child development, the Duchess of Sussex has now aligned herself closely with the socially and economically disadvantaged.

The Duchess is understood to have paid numerous quiet visits to each of the charities already, sitting in to help with client meetings as she worked to choose suitable royal patronages within her areas of interest.

Joining a round-table meeting at Smart Works yesterday, she described how the organisation impressed her with its ethos, saying: “It’s not just donating your clothes and seeing where they land, but really being part of other women’s success stories.”

After her first public visit to Smart Works, the Duchess will undertake engagements at each of the other three charities in the coming weeks.

Meghan and her husband Prince Harry are expecting their first child this spring.

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