Meghan Markle carves out new role in Royal Family by joining four new charities


THE Duchess of Sussex has been given four royal patronages of organisations linked to the arts, education, support for women and animal welfare, Kensington Palace has announced.

Meghan’s new patronages mark an increase in royal duties and show the duchess carving out her role within the Royal Family. Today she became patron of the National Theatre, the Association of Commonwealth Universities, Smart Works and Mayhew. Kensington Palace said in a statement: “The Duchess is delighted to become patron of both national and grassroots organisations 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. 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.”

Meghan Markle arriving at Smart Works after being announced as their patron Image GETTY
Meghan Markle arriving at Smart Works after being announced as their patron Image GETTY

It is a privilege to welcome the Duchess of Sussex as our new patron

The National Theatre

These roles are the first patronages Meghan holds in her own right.

The Duchess of Sussex visited Smart Works today, which is a charity helping long term unemployed and vulnerable women to get the skills they need to work.

The charity also provides outfits for women to wear to interviews so they look the part and feel confident.

Meghan will help pick out outfits today during her visit.

It is understood the duchess has already visited Smart Works a number of times privately.

Director of the National Theatre, Rufus Norris, said: “I would like to thank the Queen for Her Majesty’s long and unwavering support and service to the National Theatre.

Meghan Markle has been given patronages Image GETTY
Meghan Markle has been given patronages Image GETTY

“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.

“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.”

The Duchess’s new patronage with the National Theatre was accidentally announced on their website and reported by the media over the weekend.

Kensington Palace also said that the Duchess is excited to work with organisations that are “part of the fabric of the UK” and use her position to highlght their causes. 

The Palace said: “For the arts, the National Theatre’s mission is to make world class theatre that is entertaining, challenging and inspiring for everyone and to be as inclusive, diverse and national as possible.

“In support of access to education, the Association of Commonwealth Universities is the world’s first and oldest international university network and the only accredited organisation representing higher education across all 53 Commonwealth countries.

“With regards to supporting women, Smart Works 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.

“In terms of animal welfare, Mayhew 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.

“Over the last year, Her Royal Highness has held meetings and conducted private visits with each of these organisations. The Duchess will today visit Smart Works and over the next few weeks will undertake public visits to the other three organisations.”


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