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The Queen prepares to pass on patronage to Meghan Markle in the New Year

It's going to be a big year for the new Duchess

Hollie Richardson

After a whirlwind 12 months, Meghan Markle has another big year ahead of her in 2019, with the arrival of her first baby with Prince Harry. And it's about to get even bigger, as The Times have reported that the Queen is passing on a patronage to the pregnant Duchess in the New Year. According to the report, Meghan will announce her first few royal patronages in January or February, and she plans to visit each organisation before taking maternity leave to have her child in the spring. It's thought that the causes she will champion will reflect her interests in education, female empowerment and the Arts. Meghan has already privately met different organisations and key figures to learn more about their work, such as the Campaign for Female Education - which supports marginalised girls in Africa, the Association of Commonwealth Universities, and Rufus Norri who is the artistic director of the National Theatre.

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The Royal Family have links with hundreds of charities, military associations, professional bodies and public service organisations. The Queen alone is patron of more than 600 organisations and charities! But, in 2016, ahead of her 90th birthday the next year, Her Majesty handed 25 patronages to younger royals. Meghan is already a joint patron for the Royal Foundation with her husband Prince Harry and her in-laws Prince William and Kate, but this will be her first individual patronage.

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Meghan's sister-in-law, the Duchess of Cambridge, received her first patronage 12 months after marrying Prince William. In January 2012, it was revealed that Kate had accepted honorary positions with Action on Addiction, East Anglia's Children's Hospices, the Art Room and the National Portrait Gallery. She also became a volunteer for the Scout Association, working near her home in North Wales where she lived at the time.

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We're sure Meghan will make a great patron for whichever charities she chooses to support!

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