Today, The Duchess of Sussex’s first patronages were announced by Kensington Palace. Meghan, who joined the Royal Family in May 2018, has chosen organisations associated with her interests in animals, theatre and acting, fashion and women.
‘Her Royal Highness feels she can use her position to focus attention on, and make a particular difference to these organisations and, more widely, the sectors they each represent,’ a palace statement reads.
Her first was accidentally announced early by the National Theatre yesterday, after they published the announcement ahead of time. The Duchess ‘is a strong believer in using the arts to bring people from different backgrounds and communities together’, the palace said of the choice.
Being an actress before becoming a Royal, Meghan spent 10 years working in television, but her training was actually in theatre. She was a double major in theatre and international relations at Northwestern University, and the Duchess volunteered at a performing arts after school programme for children in underprivileged school districts in Los Angeles.
The second patronage is the Association of Commonwealth Universities, which is the oldest international university network. Of course, Prince Harry is President of the Queen’s Commonwealth Trust and the Commonwealth Youth Ambassador. Meghan is said to be ‘a strong advocate of accessible education for all’.
The Queen has passed on both organisational roles to The Duchess of Sussex; she has held the roles for 45 and 33 years respectively.
Mayhew is the third charity Meghan will support. Mayhew is an animal welfare charity working to improve the lives of dogs, cats and the people in our communities. ‘The Duchess has long understood the connection between animals and community welfare,’ Kensington Palace said.
Smart Works was the final announcement, which helps long term unemployed and vulnerable women regain the skills, confidence and tools to succeed at job interviews, return to employment and transform their lives.
Half of Smart Works’ clients are from an ethnic minority, are long-term unemployed and have been unsuccessful with a large number of job applications. The Duchess has met with many women who have benefited from the charity’s support.
The Duchess of Sussex arrives at @SmartWorksHQ and joins a discussion with volunteers and women they have helped succeed in job interviews.
So far, the charity has helped over 11,000 women and has plans to dress 3,500 women this year across the UK. pic.twitter.com/MvFnjUJHoo
— Kensington Palace (@KensingtonRoyal) January 10, 2019
She actually visited Smart Works today and will do the same for her other new patronages soon after.
The Palace also added that Meghan has been meeting these organisations over the last few months, which likely helped shape her decisions.