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Meghan Markle's first patronages announced after IT blunder

Danielle Stacey
Royal Correspondent
Meghan’s first four patronages have been announced [Photo: Getty]

Kensington Palace has announced the Duchess of Sussex‘s first patronages as a member of the Royal Family.

Meghan will become patron of four organisations that reflect the causes and issues with which she has long been associated including the arts, access to education, support for women and animal welfare.

The Queen has passed on two patronages to the Duchess – The National Theatre and The Association of Commonwealth Universities. Her Majesty has held the roles for 45 and 33 years respectively. 

An IT blunder last night on The National Theatre’s website saw Meghan’s patronage announced a day early, before it was quickly deleted.

The company’s mission is to make world class theatre that’s entertaining, challenging and inspiring – and to make it for everyone. It’s an apt patronage for former actress Meghan, who starred in US legal drama ‘Suits’ for six years. 

The Queen opens the National Theatre on London’s South Bank in 1976 [Photo: Getty]

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.

In addition, the Duchess will become patron of Smart Works and Mayhew.

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.

Meghan is a big animal lover – she and Harry greeted the dogs of Ireland’s President Michael Higgins and wife Sabina in July last year [Photo: Getty]

Meghan rescued her dog Guy from a shelter in 2015 and she and Harry are believed to have adopted a second pup last year. 

Over the last year, Meghan 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 initiatives.

Meghan married Prince Harry at St George’s Chapel in May last year and is expecting her first child this spring.

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