There are few things Duchess Meghan hasn’t checked off the list as her first year as a royal comes to a close. From saying “I do” to Prince Harry at Windsor Castle to launching her first solo charity project and announcing her pregnancy, there’s one major item remaining to solidify her role: her royal patronages! As 2018 wraps up, The Times has reported that Her Majesty is set to pass along a patronage to Meghan to kick off the New Year.
Per the report, the Queen is preparing to make some big patronage announcements in January or February, giving the 37-year-old an opportunity to pay visits to the organizations she’ll champion before heading on maternity leave and welcoming Baby Sussex in the spring. And this won’t be the first time the monarch has passed along positions with various charities – in 2016, she handed 25 of her more than 600 affiliations over to the younger generation of royals.
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The Duchess of Sussex yesterday attended a meeting with The Association of Commonwealth Universities (ACU) at King’s College London. Her Royal Highness joined university leaders, academics and international scholarship students as they discussed the role of higher education in addressing issues such as human trafficking, modern slavery, gender equality, peace and reconciliation, and climate change. In a speech during the Royal Visit to Fiji in October, The Duchess announced two ACU Gender Grants for the University of the South Pacific and Fiji National University, to fund new learning initiatives aimed at empowering female university staff and promoting gender equality.
It comes as no surprise that most are betting Meghan’s first patronage will shine a light on one of her passions – education, the arts and female empowerment. And as many already know, the duchess is one step ahead – she’s had private meetings with Campaign for Female Education, the Association of Commonwealth Universities and the National Theatre’s Rufus Norris, any of which could be included in her list.
Meghan’s passion for female empowerment, education and mental health was on full display during her first overseas royal tour of Australia, Fiji, the Kingdom of Tonga and New Zealand with Prince Harry. The former actress made three poignant speeches during the trip, touching on women’s suffrage in New Zealand, veteran health in Australia and the importance of education in Fiji.
While commemorating 125 years of suffrage in the South Pacific country, Harry’s wife said: "Yes, women's suffrage is about feminism, but feminism is about fairness. Suffrage is not simply about the right to vote but also about what that represents. The basic and fundamental human right of being able to participate in the choices for your future and that of your community. The involvement and voice that allows you to be a part of the very world you are a part of."
"Bravo New Zealand for championing the right of women to vote 125 years ago." — The Duchess of Sussex, as she and The Duke joined PM @JacindaArdern and @GovGeneralNZ Dame Patsy Reddy to celebrate the 125th anniversary of women's suffrage in New Zealand. #RoyalVisitNZpic.twitter.com/zpFhyPiE8r— Kensington Palace (@KensingtonRoyal) October 28, 2018
Duchess Kate, Meghan’s sister-in-law, has been a member of the Royal Family since her marriage to Prince William in 2011. She, too, announced her first patronage almost exactly a year after exchanging vows – kicking off with honorary positions q5 Action on Addiction, East Anglia’s Children’s Hospices, the Art Room and the National Portrait Gallery. Giving back is an important aspect of being royalty (the Queen has more than 600 patronages!) and we’re sure the mom-to-be will take on her roles in her usual confident stride!