meghan-smartworks

Meghan Markle surprises one of her charity's clients during motivational Zoom call

The Duchess of Sussex checked in from LA

Danielle Stacey

The Duchess of Sussex got in touch with one of her first four royal patronages over a Zoom call to thank the charity for their "amazing work they're doing to adapt their programs to the reality of this pandemic." Meghan jumped on a video call from her and Prince Harry's new home in Los Angeles, with the team from Smart Works, an organisation which helps women into the workforce through job interview training and provides clients with outfits for those interviews.

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WATCH: Meghan chats to one of Smart Works' clients over Zoom call

READ: Prince Harry and Meghan Markle to release picture of Archie to mark first birthday

The mum-of-one, who was wearing her burgundy sweater from Joseph and a £135 Edge of Ember necklace, spoke to one of the charity's clients about her upcoming internship during the call on 27 March. During the session the Duchess praised her for being "such a beacon of hope" and "focusing on getting through this". Meghan wished the young woman luck at the end of the call and spoke of her pride at being Smart Works' patron.

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Smart Works, which has offices across the country, moved to a virtual service six weeks ago as the UK went into lockdown. The charity has been carrying out coaching online, over the telephone and by video conferencing instead. It has also been sending out styling care packages to clients as they have been unable to carry out the service in-house.

Meghan said: "It's been such an honour to meet and learn from so many talented women in the Smart Works network over the years, and recently to see the amazing work they’re doing to adapt their programs to the reality of this pandemic. Their ability to continue to empower women and help them harness the confidence they need to succeed during this time is inspiring."

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Meghan at the Smart Works capsule collection launch last September

The Duchess added: "It's a pleasure to support them, you see how great they do and how many people they help and that’s what it's all about. I've been really proud to be able to be their patron, but it’s an easy yes when you have such incredible women helping you."

After speaking with the Duchess, Smart Works' client said: "I just wanted to say a big 'thank you' to you, the Duchess and the whole team at Smart Works for making this possible for women all around the UK, because to see such work is truly inspiring and uplifting."

MORE: Recreate Meghan Markle's bold blue eyeshadow for your next Zoom party

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Meghan became patron of Smart Works in January 2019

Meghan became patron of Smart Works in January 2019 and launched a special capsule clothing collection with the charity last September, in collaboration with Marks & Spencer, Jigsaw, John Lewis and Misha Nonoo. For every item that was purchased, one was donated to the charity.

A Smart Works spokesperson previously spoke to HELLO! as they began their virtual service six weeks ago, saying: "It’s working really well, people seem to be really responding to it. The concern is it may not have the same impact as it does face-to-face, but actually our volunteers have been excellent at adapting and getting used to the new way of life and they've been really open to helping us."

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