Today, after plenty of suspense and internet detective work, Kensington Palace finally announced what Meghan Markle’s first royal patronages are. She’s taking on four organizations, which is a lot of work for someone who’s about to have her first baby.
Kate Middleton did the same thing back in 2011, and she’s been killing it with her philanthropic work ever since. Here’s how the two women approached this royal milestone.
What they chose
Royal fans speculated earlier this week that Meghan’s first charity would be the National Theatre, which turned out to be true. But in a plot twist no one saw coming,Kensington Palace named Meghan the patron of three other charities, as well—Smart Works, The Association of Commonwealth Universities, and Mayhew, which is an animal welfare charity.
The Duchess of Sussex will become Patron of four organisations that reflect the causes and issues with which she has long been associated including the arts, access to education, support for women and animal welfare. pic.twitter.com/tU9QWDlPyH
— Kensington Palace (@KensingtonRoyal) January 10, 2019
Technically, Kate’s first patronage was announced in 2011, the year she married Prince William. She joined Prince William and Harry’s foundation called The Royal Foundation, which works to support various charities. So that was her first ever patronage, which is very different from Meghan’s (first) four.
But! The Royal Trust kinda doesn’t count because it’s a group effort, and in 2012, KMidd got four charities just like Meghan did. They were East Anglia’s Children’s Hospices, the Art Room, the National Portrait Gallery, and the Scout Association.
The reasoning behind the choices
Both Meghan and Kate picked charities that support issues they care about deeply.
For Meghan, the National Theatre reflects her background in acting, duh. Smart Works helps women who are unemployed gain skills so they can re-enter the workforce, and Meghan is clearly passionate about women’s advancement, so that one is a no-brainer. Same reasoning for why she took on the Commonwealth Universities. She’s been a vocal advocate for women’s education (see speech below). And she loves animals, which explains the addition of Mayhew.
Harry (in a printed bula shirt) and Meghan (in a Figue dress) make their way into the Japan-Pacific Information Communications and Technology Centre. pic.twitter.com/QN46VTvpia
— Omid Scobie (@scobie) October 23, 2018
Kate’s approach was really similar. The Art Room and the National Portrait Gallery reflect her love of art and photography. She was an art history major in college and she’s taken some of the official portraits of her kids, so those two definitely make sense. She also loves children, which explains the Children’s Hospices and Scout Association (basically the UK’s equivalent of Boy Scouts and Girl Scouts).
Here’s a picture of Princess Charlotte taken by Kate, just because.
How soon the announcement came:
If you don’t count Kate joining The Royal Foundation, Kate and Meghan’s patronage announcements came during the first new year after their royal wedding, so in 2012 and 2019 respectively.
The first outing:
Meghan made her first appearance at Smart Works today, the day the announcement happened. She helped women pick outfits for future job interviews, and the videos of her doing so are precious.
Meghan the stylist! pic.twitter.com/cxfOrOl4dw
— Rebecca English (@RE_DailyMail) January 10, 2019
Meghan’s earrings are popular pic.twitter.com/kTTH7fU9ku
— Richard Palmer (@RoyalReporter) January 10, 2019
And here’s what she wore, FYI. Yep, those are animal print shoes and she looked daaaaamn good in ’em.
Kate’s first outing was to the National Portrait Gallery, but she waited about one month to do it. She previewed the Lucian Freud Portraits exhibition and talked to people who work at the museum.
And here’s what she wore.
Okay! I believe that brings you up to speed on all things Meg/Kate patronages. Enjoy!
This article originally appeared on Cosmopolitan US
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