Meghan Markle is taking on an exciting new role in the royal family. It was just announced that the Duchess of Sussex is the patron of four new charities.
Two of those charities were under the patronage of Queen Elizabeth before her granddaughter took over the role. Those charities include the National Theatre and the Association of Commonwealth Universities
The Queen held the roles for 45 and 33 years respectively. Now, she's entrusted them to Meghan.
The other two organizations falling under royal patronage are charities Smart Works and Mayhew. Kensington Palace said in a statement the Duchess "held meetings and conducted private visits with each of these organisations... over the next few weeks will undertake public visits to the other three organisations."
According to The Mirror, Markle met with the Queen for tea to discuss the new role at the end of 2018. The 92-year-old monarch is reportedly looking to reduce her workload and pass things onto the next generation.
Rufus Norris, Director of the National Theatre said: “I would like to thank The Queen for Her Majesty’s long and unwavering support and service to the National Theatre. We were honoured when The Queen became our Patron in 1974 and have celebrated many moments together including, in recent years, the Diamond Jubilee and the marking of our 50th anniversary."
He continued, "It is a privilege to welcome The Duchess of Sussex as our new Patron. The Duchess shares our deeply-held conviction that theatre has the power to bring together people from all communities and walks of life. I very much look forward to working closely with Her Royal Highness in the years to come”.
Meghan was the obvious choice to be the patron of the theater. Before marrying Prince Harry, she studied theater and later acted on the hit television "Suits" for seven years.
The Duchess is a strong advocate of accessible education for all. Kensington Palace explained why she choose the ACU to patronize. The said, "Her Royal Highness is a strong advocate of accessible education for all. @The_ACU is the world's first and oldest international university network, and the only org representing higher education across all 53 Commonwealth countries. established in 1913, is the world's first and oldest international university network, with more than 500 member institutions in over 50 countries."
Dr. Joanna Newman MBE, Chief Executive and Secretary General of the ACU, said: “We are absolutely delighted that HRH The Duchess of Sussex has chosen to become Patron of the ACU. The Duchess shares our passion for the transformational power of higher education, and Her Royal Highness’ support will help champion higher education as a force for good in the Commonwealth and beyond.
The third charity is Smart Works, a charity that supports women who have been out of work. Founded in September 2013, Smart Works helps unemployed and vulnerable women regain the confidence they need to get jobs, succeed at job interviews, return to employment and transform their lives.
Part of this is helping women find outfits for their interviews. According to the charity, 60% of the women go on to get a job following their visit to Smart Works.
Juliet Hughes-Hallett, Chair and Founder of Smart Works said: “We are thrilled to announce that The Duchess of Sussex will become the Royal Patron of Smart Works. An acknowledged champion of women and their rights worldwide, The Duchess will motivate ever more women to come to our centres and get the job that will transform their lives."
She added, "The Duchess’s patronage will inspire the women we serve and help them reach for the stars.”
The final charity is Mayhew. She chose it because she "has long understood the connection between animals and community welfare," according to the palace.
Caroline Yates, CEO of Mayhew said: “We are so excited that HRH The Duchess of Sussex has chosen to be our Patron. Mayhew works to improve the lives of dogs, cats and the people in our community, tackling the root cause of animal abandonment and neglect and supporting vulnerable people to stay with their companion pets. We look forward to working closely with The Duchess and hope that, together, we can help even more animals and people.”
Congratulations to Meghan on her new role in the royal family. As someone who has worked her whole life, this is undoubtedly something that will give her life more meaning and help her adjust to being a duchess.