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Meghan Markle's touching tribute to late 'dear friend' two years after his death

The Duchess of Sussex was patron of Mayhew for three years

Meghan Markle wearing beanie hat in Vancouver
Danielle Stacey
Online Royal CorrespondentLondon
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The Duchess of Sussex has paid a fitting tribute to her "dear friend" Oli Juste.

As revealed on Sussex.com, Meghan, 42, has named a new wing at her former patronage and animal rescue Mayhew Animal Home in honour of the renowned dog trainer and animal behaviourist.

The Oli Juste Wing, unveiled on Wednesday, was dedicated in his memory by the Duchess and provides a space for enrichment, training and therapy.

A video message from the Duchess was played to guests including actors Nigel Harman, Rula Lenska, Beatie Edney and Laura Aikman.

Meghan said: "A heartfelt thank you to the wonderful team at Mayhew who have worked tirelessly to bring this dream to life. It was so important to find a way to celebrate Oli’s memory in a manner that he would have loved.

“Mayhew is a beacon of hope for those in need and a shining example of what can be achieved when we work together.”

A statement on Harry and Meghan's new website also read: "The Oli Juste Wing is a testament to his unwavering love and commitment to our furry friends, and will improve the lives of countless animals, reminding us all of the power of compassion, connection, and care."

Meghan Markle speaking via video call to Mayhew animal charity© Mayhew / Ben Stevens
Meghan sent a touching video message

Oli sadly passed away in January 2022, with Meghan saying that his death left her "heartbroken".  Mayhew said a “generous” donation made by Meghan through her Archewell Foundation, to help continue his legacy, had made the new refurbished kennels possible. 

The animal behaviourist was the one who introduced Meghan to Mayhew. The Duchess became patron of Mayhew, an animal shelter based in Kensal Green, North London, in January 2019. 

Meghan made her first public engagement to the charity that month, when she was pregnant with Archie, but it's understood that she has made several private visits.

Meghan Markle meets puppy at Mayhew© Getty
The Duchess visiting the Mayhew in 2019

The Duchess said of Oli in a letter for Mayhew in 2022: "We shared, amongst many things, a commitment to animal welfare, and a deep love of rescue dogs. In fact, it was Oli and his fiancé Rob who helped care for my rescue dog, Guy, when I had just moved to the UK and he was recovering from a debilitating accident. They loved him as though he was their own."

Meghan Markle at the Mayhew© Getty
The new Oli Juste Wing has been opened at the Mayhew

Renowned animal-lover Meghan had two rescue dogs when she lived in Toronto, Guy and Bogart, who regularly featured on her now-deleted Instagram account. 

Guy moved to the UK with Meghan in 2017 shortly before her engagement to Prince Harry, but Bogart, a Labrador-shepherd cross, stayed back in Canada with friends due to his old age. 

The Sussexes now reside in Montecito, California with their two children, Prince Archie, four, and Princess Lilibet, two, and their three dogs, Guy, a black Labrador named Pula and a rescue beagle called Mamma Mia.

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