Meghan, Duchess of Sussex, gets her royal charities

The royal family has announced the charities Duchess Meghan will be most actively supporting, including two passed on from the queen.

Meghan will serve as Patron and work closely with four charities: The National Theatre, The Association of Commonwealth Universities (ACU), Smart Works and Mayhew.

Most working members of the royal family -- like Meghan and her husband, Prince Harry -- are given just a small number of patronages, the royal family explained.

"Royal patronages add status to an organisation, and visits and involvement from a Royal Patron can often bring much needed publicity," reads an entry on the family website. "For this reason, members of the Royal Family tend to limit their patronages to a manageable number to ensure that they can give each organisation a significant amount of their time."

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Here's a look at each of the charities chosen for Meghan:

The National Theatre

Meghan was working an actress before joining the royal family, so it's no wonder the queen chose to pass this charity on to her. Though she worked in television, the royal family pointed out, one of her majors at Northwestern University was theatre, and she volunteered at a children's performing arts program in Los Angeles.

The National Theatre not only aims to make theatre widely accessible, it also provides creative education programs for young people.

Queen Elizabeth II is passing on the patronage after 45 years.

The Association of Commonwealth Universities (ACU)

The Association of Commonwealth Universities (ACU) is "the world's first and oldest international university network," according to Kensington Palace. The queen has served as its patron for the past 33 years.

Meghan is particularly interested in promoting equal access to higher education, the royal family explained.

Smart Works

Smart Works aims to help unemployed and vulnerable women gain confidence to be successful in the workforce through training, opportunities and resources, including interview clothing. Meghan visited the charity on Thursday.

Meghan cares deeply about women's empowerment and has been involved in multiple projects to support that cause throughout the years, including one in her college years that provided prom dresses for young women in underprivileged areas.


Mayhew provides care for animals, but it also seeks to tackle the root causes of animal abandonment and neglect through community initiatives. The duchess will visit Mayhew next week to learn more about their work.

Meghan has worked with animal welfare charities before, including rescue centers in Los Angeles.


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