Earlier today, Kensington Palace announced that the Duchess of Sussex has been named patron of four organizations: the National Theatre, the Association of Commonwealth Universities, Smart Works and Mayhew. The announcement was followed up with a surprise appearance at Smart Works, kicking off HRH’s 2019 with a bang.
The press release outlining these four organizations makes clear that Meghan spent last year attending a series of meetings with each group – and likely others – before making her choice. Smart Works speaks to Meghan’s commitment to women’s issues as the group is focused on assisting participating women with professional coaching and interview prep, while ACU complements Harry’s role as the Commonwealth Youth Ambassador. The National Theatre appears to be a more traditional choice of supporting a domestic institution, albeit one with some focus on diversity, and Mayhew is dedicated to animal rescue.
Meghan’s stop by the Smart Works headquarters was a quick jump from her home base of Nottingham Cottage to North Kensington. She noted at the start, “I’m so happy to be here. You guys know I’ve been quietly coming by… close to a year. It’s nice to be able to now do it publicly and really talk about the work that you do.”
She met with staff and women using the organization’s services, helping to pick out outfits and sitting down to talk about the group’s impact.
For the day, Meghan wore a black midi dress by Hatch under a trench coat by Oscar de la Renta. Her handbag is Victoria Beckham and her shoes are Giovanni Rossi. I’m still burnt out from trenches since the Oceania tour, but I actually really like this dress. While it may not win the fashion stakes come next December, it’s incredibly flattering.
All in all, today’s announcements of patronages is very exciting and yet another new milestone marked in Meghan’s royal career. We’ll next see her on Monday with the Duke of Sussex for a day of engagements in Birkenhead.