January 10, 2019 11:42 am
Updated: January 10, 2019 12:08 pm

The key issues Meghan Markle wants to champion as a royal

WATCH: Meghan Markle reveals the causes she will be advocating for as a royal.

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It’s still early in 2019 — not even two weeks of the new year have gone by — but Meghan Markle is getting to work.

On Thursday, Kensington Palace announced the four organizations that the Duchess of Sussex will advocate for as a member of the Royal Family. The organizations “reflect the causes and issues with which she has long been associated including the arts, access to education, support for women and animal welfare,” the palace said.

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Markle, who is expecting her baby with Prince Harry this spring, is inheriting two causes from Queen Elizabeth II: the National Theatre and the Association of Commonwealth Universities.

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“The Queen has held the roles for 45 and 33 years respectively,” the palace said in a statement.

“Whilst Her Royal Highness spent 10 years working in television, her training is in theatre,” the palace said of the decision to hand over the National Theatre patronage to Markle.

“As well as a double major in theatre and international relations from Northwestern University, which is renowned for its drama programme, Her Royal Highness volunteered at a performing arts after school programme for children in underprivileged school districts in Los Angeles.”

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The other two charities 37-year-old Markle will work with are Smart Works, an organization that provides clothing and job interview training for unemployed and vulnerable women, and Mayhew, a grassroots animal welfare charity.

“The Duchess is delighted to become patron of both national and grassroots organizations that are part of the fabric of the U.K., and is very much looking forward to working with them to bring wider public attention to their causes,” the palace said.

“Her Royal Highness feels she can use her position to focus attention on, and make a particular difference to these organizations and, more widely, the sectors they each represent.”

Markle visited the London headquarters of Smart Works on Thursday and helped a woman pick out an outfit for her new job. The former Suits actor also sat down with volunteers and women who have used the service and discussed the importance of the Smart Works community.

“It’s not just donating your clothes and seeing where they land, but really being a part of each other’s success stories as women,” Markle said of Smart Works.

“So if that’s in the tools that you give, or the interview prep that’s happening … it’s not just hand-me-downs, it’s saying, ‘OK this is the blazer that I wore that helped me land that interview, and I want this to be the piece that helps this woman have that part of her story.'”

Markle added: “So to know as a woman coming in, I would imagine, that you have so many other women believing in you on all the next phases is the piece that makes [this organization] so special.”

In the past, Markle has worked with World Vision where she was global ambassador from 2016 to 2017. She’s also worked with the United Nations, advocating for women’s rights.

Laura.Hensley@globalnews.ca

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