The Duchess of Sussex, Meghan Markle, will become patron of four charities, Kensington Palace has announced.
The Duchess will become a patron of the National Theatre and the Association of Commonwealth Universities, which are roles that were previously held by the Queen.
She will also work with Smart Works, a women’s employment charity, and Mayhew, an animal charity. She held meetings and conducted private meetings with each organisation prior to announcing the patronages and will undertake public visits over the coming weeks.
The Duchess wanted to support causes she feels affiliated to, the Kensington Palace announcement said. She has a background in TV and the arts, and has campaigned on gender inequality and animal rights throughout her life. In the coming weeks, the Duchess will visit the charities and hold meetings to consolidate her relationships with the organisations.
Rufus Norris, director of the National Theatre said: “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”.
Juliet Hughes-Hallett, chair and founder of Smart Works, which was won one of Civil Society Media’s Charity Awards in 2017, added: “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. The Duchess’s patronage will inspire the women we serve and help them reach for the stars.”