As the Duchess of Sussex, Meghan lends her name and much of her time to a variety of different charities and organizations. Having a Royal patron or president provides vital publicity for the work of these organizations, and allows their enormous achievements and contributions to society to be recognized.
Here are the patronages that are officially undertaken by HRH The Duchess of Sussex:
- The Royal Foundation: Driven by a desire to make a difference together, The Royal Foundation of The Duke and Duchess of Cambridge and The Duke and Duchess of Sussex is the primary philanthropic and charitable vehicle for The Duke and Duchess of Cambridge and The Duke and Duchess of Sussex. Their programmes currently revolve around four main themes of work; mental health, wildlife and conservation, young people and the armed forces community. The Royal Foundation focusses on projects that meet some simple criteria – they must reflect the interests and passions of our Principals; they bring about sustainable change to issues that matter to society; they are innovative; and they work in a way that only The Royal Foundation can make happen. They support these projects by using our Principals’ convening power to provide a neutral platform where charities and other organizations can work together. The Royal Foundation was legally established by The Princes in September 2009 and became fully operational in 2011, when The Duchess of Cambridge joined as a Principal Patron. The Duchess of Sussex become the fourth Principal Patron following her marriage to Prince Harry in 2018. (from the Royal Foundation website)
- National Theatre: The National Theatre creates world-class theatre that is entertaining, challenging and inspiring. They aim to reach the widest possible audience, to be open, inclusive and diverse, and as national as possible. They a broad range of productions in London and tour extensively across the UK. Their international activity puts some of the nation’s leading artists on the world stage, with productions playing on Broadway and touring across the globe. They invest in the future of theatre by developing talent, creating bold new work and building audiences, partnering with a range of theatres and theatre companies. They also have an extensive nationwide learning and participation programme that supports creative education for young people through performance and writing programmes like Connections, New Views and Let’s Play. Additionally, they have a major new initiative, Public Acts, which creates extraordinary acts of theatre and community; the first Public Acts production was 2018’s Pericles. Lastly, they extend their reach through digital programmes including National Theatre Live, which broadcasts some of the best of British theatre to over 2,500 venues in 65 countries and theirfree streaming service, On Demand In Schools, is used by nearly 60% of UK state secondary schools. (From the National Theatre website – Announced January 2019)
- Association of Commonwealth Universities (ACU): As a university graduate, Her Royal Highness is a strong advocate of accessible education for all, something she spoke of most recently during her visit to Fiji last year. Established in 1913, the ACU is the world’s first and oldest international university network, with more than 500 member institutions in over 50 countries. It is the only accredited organisation representing higher education across the Commonwealth. The ACU champions higher education as a force for good in the Commonwealth and beyond. Among its key principles is the value of higher education to society – or its role ‘as a common good’ – and the conviction that this value is enhanced by international collaboration. The ACU manages international scholarship schemes – including the UK government’s three major scholarship programmes and The Queen Elizabeth Commonwealth Scholarships – that offer life-changing educational opportunities, convenes universities to address key policy challenges such as climate resilience and peace and reconciliation, and promotes the role of universities in delivering the UN Sustainable Development Goals. (From Kensington Palace – Announced January 2019)
- Smart Works: Created in September 2013, Smart Works exists to help long term unemployed and vulnerable women regain the confidence they need to succeed at job interviews, return to employment and transform their lives. Half of Smart Works’ clients are from an ethnic minority, long-term unemployed and have been unsuccessful with a large number of job applications. Thanks to the charity’s support, 60% go on to get a job following their visit to Smart Works. As well as providing complete outfits of high quality clothes for job interviews, beneficiaries also have access to one-to-one interview training and the opportunity to join Smart Works Network, meeting every month to further their professional and personal development. Her Royal Highness has also volunteered with several other projects in this sector in the past. (From Kensington Palace – Announced January 2019)
- Mayhew: The Duchess has long understood the connection between animals and community welfare and has supported various animal rescue centres in Los Angeles. Established in 1886 and entirely funded by public donations Mayhew is an animal welfare charity working to improve the lives of dogs, cats and people in communities both in London and internationally. Mayhew looks for innovative ways to reduce the number of animals in need through pro-active community and educational initiatives and preventative veterinary care. This includes working with homelessness charities across London to ensure people and their dogs can be kept together; running a Pet Refuge programme to provide shelter and care for the pets of people in crisis for short periods of time; and educating young people about animal welfare and the importance of responsible pet ownership. Internationally, Mayhew works with governments, local communities and charitable groups in Afghanistan, Georgia, Russia and India to help improve animal welfare. (From Kensington Palace – Announced January 2019)
Prior to becoming the Duchess of Sussex, Meghan was a celebrity ambassador for World Vision Canada. Meghan became a World Vision Global Ambassador after travelling to Rwanda with World Vision in February 2016. She saw firsthand the impact that clean water has on the lives of children and communities in Africa. While visiting a school in Rwanda, she met 25 students who now have access to a clean water pipeline, built by World Vision in 2015, in their community.