New year, new role! The Duchess of Sussex has received her first royal patronages. In a Twitter statement, Kensington Palace announced that Meghan has been appointed patron of the National Theatre, the Association of Commonwealth Universities, animal rescue charity The Mayhew and female employment cause Smart Works. She officially joined the royal family in May following her wedding to Prince Harry, but speculation had been mounting that her new patronages would be announced this week. The palace's introductory tweet reads: "The Duchess of Sussex 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."
Meghan's new patronages have been announced
Two of the Duchess' patronages have been passed down by the Queen - The National Theatre and The Association of Commonwealth Universities. The Queen has held the roles for 45 and 33 years respectively. Meghan's new role at the National Theatre comes as no surprise, not only given the Duchess' former career as an actress, but because the news was accidentally shared a day early by the organisation – in a post in the 'what's on' section on the venue's website.
A further palace press statement read: "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."
While she was deciding which causes to support, Meghan, 37, had private meetings and discussions with different charities and organisations. She previously met with the Association of Commonwealth Universities and the Campaign for Female Education, which supports marginalised girls in Africa. Meghan was also concentrating on her role as the fourth patron of the Royal Foundation, alongside Prince Harry, Prince William and Kate. The pregnant Duchess is due in spring but she reportedly plans to visit each patronage before taking maternity leave.
Meghan attends the Royal Variety Performance last year:
Her sister-in-law Kate also waited roughly nine months before announcing her patronages. 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. The choices reflected Kate's interests in the arts, promotion of outdoor activity and supporting people in need of all ages, while also complementing Prince William's charitable work.
Make sure you never miss a ROYAL story! Sign up to our newsletter to get all of our celebrity, royal and lifestyle news delivered directly to your inbox.