Meghan Markle Has a New Official Job With the Royal Foundation
The Duchess of Sussex wants to "hit the ground running."
It’s been less than a month since the royal wedding and Meghan Markle — now the Duchess of Sussex — is already back from honeymoon and starting work in her first official role as a royal.
The charitable organisation will soon be known as the Royal Foundation of the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge and the Duke and Duchess of Sussex. Catchy!
The charity focusses its work on young people, mental health, environmental conservation, and the armed forces.
“For me, it’s very important to want to hit the ground running,” said the new duchess in February, when she appeared at her first event for the Royal Foundation — the Royal Foundation Forum, which gives them the opportunity to update the public on their charitable work.
“Even if it’s doing it quietly behind the scenes which is what I’ve focussed my energy on thus far,” she said, “it’s meeting with the right people, meeting with the organisations behind the scenes quietly, learning as much as I can so I can maximise the opportunity we have here to really make an impact.”
“I certainly know how passionate I am, and Harry and I see the world so similarly in our approach of being very hands on with things,” she added.
The Duchess of Cambridge with #MeghanMarkle at the Royal Foundation Forum: "Since our roles are lifetime roles, our commitment to the work we do through The Foundation is genuinely long-term." pic.twitter.com/rxdV4M62F9— Roya Nikkhah (@RoyaNikkhah) February 28, 2018
The appearance in February was the quartet’s first official appearance together, and gender equality activist Markle immediately took the opportunity to speak out in support of the #MeToo movement.
And on Twitter, Kensington Palace — described as the “official account of the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge, the Duke and Duchess of Sussex, and their Royal Foundation, based at Kensington Palace” — has changed its picture to include both pairs of Dukes and Duchesses.
Read more: 5 Issues We Want Meghan to Tackle as a Royal
The Royal Foundation was set up by Harry and William in 2011, to pursue their interest in charity and philanthropy.
A current focus is the mental health campaign Heads Together, which aims to raise awareness and mental illness, and strip away societal stigmas. The programmes include using digital platforms to make support more accessible, and improving education about mental health.
“What’s important to all three of their royal highnesses at the moment and Ms Meghan Markle is that this generation of the royal family is seen to work together collectively to make a difference and make a significant impact on the issues that matter both to them as individuals and matter to them collectively and to society,” Lorraine Heggessey, the chief executive of the Royal Foundation, told Sky News in February.
“I think for Ms Markle she just naturally had synergy and, you know, understood that idea,” she added. “It resonated with her and we’re now researching, [at the] very early stages, the areas of interest and themes that might develop for her in the future.”
In terms of what those areas of interest might be, given Markle’s previous efforts to combat gender discrimination, it’s a fair assumption that gender equality will be up there.
In the run-up to their wedding in May, the couple also named seven charities — both British and international — to which people wanting to mark the occasion could make donations in Harry and Meghan’s names.
The charities focussed on tackling period poverty and taboo, homelessness in the UK, and HIV — an issue on which Princess Diana, Harry’s mother, also fiercely campaigned.
The foundation also has an American connection, in the American Friends of the Royal Foundation, which was established in 2011 and supports the foundation’s activities both in the UK and internationally.
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