Charities Publicly Support Prince Harry and Duchess Meghan After They Give Up Royal Patronages

With their royal roles officially over—and a number of patronages now returned to the queen—the Sussexes are not moving forward alone.

After being forced to leave behind a number of their royal patronages, Prince Harry and Duchess Meghan are closing the door on their royal lives with a lighter load. But, despite the joint loss of eight royal roles, the support from the remaining British charities and organizations in their lives is stronger than ever.

“We can all live a life of service,” the Sussexes said in a February 19 statement. “Service is universal.” That service includes continuing to work closely with their remaining private patronages—all of whom tell BAZAAR.com that they’re excited about the couple’s future.

For Meghan, this includes animal welfare charity, Mayhew, and Smart Works, which helps empower disadvantaged women back into the work place. Prince Harry will continue with his roles as patron for the Invictus Games Foundation, children’s charity WellChild, and Rhino Conservation Botswana.

CEO of the Mayhew, Caroline Yates, tells BAZAAR that the charity, which Meghan became patron of in January 2019, is excited to continue their relationship with the duchess. “We are very proud to have the Duchess of Sussex as our patron, and are so pleased with the positive impact she has had on Mayhew over the past two years,” says Yates.

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“[The duchess] has helped us to shine a light on the vital work we do in our local community—helping vulnerable pets and owners and championing the human-animal bond,” she continues, who notes that the Sussexes’ Christmas card, which was shared exclusively with the charity, reached 250 million people through its social media channels. “We have also seen a rise in awareness of Mayhew and our services since becoming one of the duchess’s patronages, and we are extremely grateful to the duchess and our many supporters for their continuing dedication and generous donations. We can’t thank our Patron enough for her ongoing support.”

Smart Works are equally thrilled to continue their work with Meghan, who released a capsule wardrobe collection in September 2019 to raise resources and awareness for the program. “We are delighted to confirm that the Duchess of Sussex will remain a patron,” a spokesperson said in a statement. “We are thankful for everything she has done in support of our clients and look forward to working together in the future.”

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Founded by Prince Harry in 2014 after serving in the military for 10 years, the Invictus Games Foundation has help thousands of veterans and military personnel around the world find new purpose and raise awareness of wounded, injured, and sick service men and women through its international sporting events and charity programs. In a statement shared with BAZAAR, CEO Dominic Reid, says the foundation is proud to have the prince as their patron.

“He remains fully committed to both the Games and to the Invictus Games Foundation,” says Reid. “His work has had an extraordinary impact on the way in which disability, service, and mental health is viewed around the world. And he has been instrumental in changing the lives of many.”

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The British children’s charity WellChild, which Prince Harry first worked with in 2011, has also enjoyed a long relationship with the royal. Chief executive Colin Dyer tells BAZAAR they’re “delighted” to still be working with the duke. “He has always been a great supporter of WellChild's work and we look forward to continuing to work with him in the future,” says Dyer, who notes that Harry has recently spoken with the charity about how the existing needs of vulnerable children should not be forgotten during the pandemic.

“He recognizes that WellChild is a lifeline for so many people and that we have had to redirect many of our funding resources during the pandemic," Dyer added. "We know he is as passionate as we are that young people with serious health conditions continue to receive the support they need as we recover, rebuild, and work to return to normal life.”

Earlier this year, the couple revealed the first initiatives for their Archewell foundation: collaborating with World Central Kitchen to help fund four new relief service centers around the world. The first, a facility at a primary school in the Commonwealth country of Dominica, was recently unveiled. The kitchen will serve the local community as well as being equipped to help in the event of a major emergency.

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“Of course they would have liked to continue with as many [of their patronages] as possible but, ultimately, returning the roles was not their decision,” a friend of the couple tells BAZAAR. “They’re moving forward proud of their achievements so far and eager to get on with the work ahead.”

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