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Meghan Markle gives rare glimpse into home life during maternity leave

The Duchess of Sussex is an animal lover

Meghan Markle is a patron of many charities for causes close to her heart, including the animal welfare charity Mayhew.

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On Thursday, Mayhew shared a statement from the Duchess of Sussex, in which she thanked animal lovers across the world for supporting the charity.

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She spoke of her pride at watching the charity "adapting to the moment" during the COVID-19 pandemic, as it continued its vital work.

Meghan is a proud owner of two rescue dogs, and in a rare glimpse into her home life, she shared how they made coping with the pandemic "easier" for her.

"When I reflect on 2020, I always come back to the importance of community and connection," she wrote.

"We may have been forced apart, but we found new ways to be close and to support each other through this shared crisis.

"For many of us, this was made all the easier with our pets by our side."

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The Duchess of Sussex is a keen animal lover

Back in January, in an exclusive chat with HELLO!, Mayhew's CEO, Caroline Yates revealed the importance that Meghan's two dogs have with her.

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"Whenever we talk to the Duchess about the charity, she always references how important her dogs are and what a support they are, particularly during everything that's happened this year, with COVID, and with the personal trials and tribulations she went through this year," she explained.

She added: "It was really nice to share our experiences with her about how important animals are when things are tough and what a comfort they can be.

"That's what Mayhew is all about, that's what we want to try and encourage, we want to try to promote the human-animal bond and what a great source of comfort and stimulation, and joy pet ownership can be."

On Thursday, Meghan broke her silence after going on maternity leave to thank fans for their support after her book, The Bench, became a number one seller on The New York Times bestsellers list.

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Meghan recently welcomed her second child with Prince Harry, Lili

In a statement on the Archewell website, a message read: "Meghan, The Duchess of Sussex's debut children's book, The Bench, is #1 on The New York Times Bestseller list for children's picture books after being released just last week. Congratulations to everyone involved in the project."

The Bench started as a Father's Day poem for her husband, Prince Harry. It then expanded into a children's book with imagery that captures moments of love and shared experiences between a diverse group of fathers and sons.

The message also included a previous statement from Meghan, which read: "While this poem began as a love letter to my husband and son, I'm encouraged to see that its universal themes of love, representation and inclusivity are resonating with communities everywhere.

"In many ways, pursuing a more compassionate and equitable world begins with these core values."

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