Saturday, 19 Sep 2020

Meghan Markle still ‘absolutely involved’ with beloved charity despite new LA life

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Meghan continues to work alongside one of her most loved patronages, Smart Works, the chief executive of the charity revealed. The Duchess of Sussex has been hands-on with Smart Works since she first visited it in early 2018 and noticed the impact the charity was having on the community. 

And she continues to show her support now, despite living in Los Angeles with Prince Harry and their son Archie Harrison, Kate Stephens revealed.

The head of the charity told online magazine The Flock: “She still is absolutely involved.”

Speaking about their first meeting, Ms Stephens said: “She came to see us first before she was married, when she was getting to know the charity sector in the UK.

“I think she just really connected with what we were doing and the way that we were doing it. 

“She saw the impact we were able to have, in terms of both the clothes and the coaching, in helping women.

“I think that’s always been a part of her own ethos, so she came quietly to see us over the course of that year and then when we asked her to be our patron, she said yes, which was lovely.”

Meghan married Prince Harry in May 2018 and was appointed patron of four organisations a few months later, in January 2019. 

The Duchess has since paid private visits to the charity and met its clients, unemployed or vulnerable women who receive support, coaching tips and professional attire ahead of their job interviews.

In September 2019, the Duchess also launched a capsule collection in collaboration with Marks & Spencer, John Lewis, Jigsaw, and Misha Nonoo.

Every product part of this collection sold saw another item being shared with a woman using the services of the charity.  

Unveiling the collection, Meghan expressed her love for the charity and its mission, saying: “When I first moved to the UK it was incredibly important to me personally to be able to connect with people on the ground who were doing really important work.

“The reason why I was drawn to Smart Works is that it reframed the idea of charity as community… it’s a network of women supporting and empowering other women in their professional pursuits.”

Speaking about Meghan’s contribution to Smart Works, Ms Stephens said: “She’s had great ideas and has been a great inspiration to our clients above all else.

“Whenever she comes to see us, she always gets involved in dressing and coaching our clients as well as bringing her ideas to the table too. 

“And she still is absolutely involved.”

Meghan demonstrated her commitment to Smart Works in late March when she joined in a coaching session via video call with a young client of the charity – who eventually got the job.

Meghan is also the patron of animal welfare charity Mayhew, the National Theatre and the Association of Commonwealth Universities.

The Duchess of Sussex is also the vice president of the Queen’s Commonwealth Trust.  

Meghan and Harry, who relocated to Los Angeles a few days before stepping down as senior royals, are yet to launch their new non-for-profit organisation, Archewell.

However, over the past few months, they have been in contact with several organisations and helped deal with the coronavirus pandemic.

Following the death of George Floyd, their focus is said to have shifted towards the Black Lives Matter movement and racial equality.

A source close to the couple told People magazine: “They are holding calls with community leaders and organisations but are doing that privately as they continue to see how they can play a role.

“But they also want to learn and talk about it like the rest of us.”  

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