Meghan Markle visits Smart Works as first royal patronages are announced

Meghan walks through racks of clothes with Lady Juliet Hughes-Hallett chair of Smart Works during her visit to the charity. Clodagh Kilcoyne  PA Wire

Meghan started her career as an actress in the early 2000s after training in theatre, and went on to take major roles in TV series such as Suits, and films such as Horrible Bosses, A Random Encounter and Anti-Social.

"The Duchess of Sussex is very much looking forward to working closely with these organisations, and her continued work with The Royal Foundation of which she is joint Patron along with the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge (Prince William and wife Catherine) and the Duke of Sussex (her husband Prince Harry)".

Queen Elizabeth II has passed on patronages for The National Theatre and The Association of Commonwealth Universities, roles the Queen has held for 45 and 33 years respectively, to Duchess Meghan.

Meghan's first sole royal patronages will champion education, women's employment and animal welfare.

Meghan visited her new patronage Smart Works in London on January 9.

Meanwhile, it's no surprise that Meghan, a vocal feminist, chose an organization focused on helping women regain the skills and confidence to find jobs after unemployment.

Kate's first royal patronage was announced in October 2011, when she joined husband Prince William and brother-in-law Prince Harry at The Royal Foundation.

The Duchess of Sussex chats with Patsy Wardally
The duchess chats with Patsy Wardally

Hollywood insiders recently told Vanity Fair that Meghan is "not a person you can actually be friends with" and that the "insanely smart" Duchess "was always to become a household name".

The Director of the National Theatre, Rufus Norris, quickly reacted to the news, thanking the Queen for "long and unwavering support and service".

PA Wire/PA Images Meghan picks out a bracelet during her visit.

Patronages are often life-long commitments, with the chosen royal having a strong interest in the subject matter.

While Markle's support and celebration of the British fashion industry has been made clear for some time, it's fantastic to see her apply that to a positive cause. "This country is still very class-driven and there is a perception, and anything that adds to the perception that this place is not for everyone can be a downfall".

According to The Telegraph, the theatre confirmed that the Duchess of Sussex would be their official royal advocate on the "What's On" section of their website.

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