19 February 2021

Charities bid farewell to Duke and Duchess of Sussex

19 February 2021

Several of the Duke and Duchess of Sussex’s former patronages have thanked the couple for their support following the news they will not be returning as working members of the Royal Family.

Harry and Meghan’s honorary military appointments and royal patronages of sporting associations and charities will be returned to the Queen to be redistributed to other royals.

The Queen’s Commonwealth Trust – only founded in 2018 – of which the duke and duchess were president and vice-president respectively said it was “lucky” to have had their support.

The trust said in a statement: “The Queen’s Commonwealth Trust exists to support young people around the world who are delivering practical help to those who need it most.

“We have been very lucky to have had the keen support and encouragement of the Duke and Duchess of Sussex in our formative years.

“They have enabled us to make fast progress and have helped us to take the organisation to readiness for its next phase.

“We are glad that they remain in our circle of supporters.”

It added: “Our focus, as always, is on the young people we work alongside. We will be pressing on with vigour to help them reach even more people with the essential services they provide.”

The National Theatre, one of Meghan’s patronages, thanked her for “championing” its work with communities and young people across the UK.

It said in a tweet: “The National Theatre is very grateful for the support offered by the Duchess of Sussex throughout the course of her patronage.

“The duchess championed our work with communities and young people across the UK, and our mission to make theatre accessible to all.

“As Buckingham Palace have stated, the process of appointing a new patron is ongoing and will be announced in due course.”

The Rugby Football League, one of Harry’s patronages, said: “The Rugby Football League thanks the Duke of Sussex for his time, care and commitment in supporting Rugby League at all levels in recent years – from the children’s game to the Challenge Cup, the England teams and RLWC2021.”

Elsewhere, the Rugby Football Union said: “We would like to thank Prince Harry for his time and commitment to the RFU both in his position as Patron and Vice Patron.

“The RFU has greatly valued his contribution to promoting and supporting the game.”

The Association of Commonwealth Universities (ACU) thanked Meghan for her work promoting “access and inclusion”.

It said in a statement: “Since the Duchess of Sussex took over the role of patron of the Association of Commonwealth Universities from Her Majesty The Queen in January 2019, she has been a passionate advocate for our mission to build a better world through higher education.

“We thank the duchess for her support, which has shone a light on higher education, the impact it has on individuals and communities, and the importance of access and inclusion.”

It is understood the couple will continue to work with charities with whom they established a relationship outside of their role as royals.

The Invictus Games Foundation confirmed Harry would remain as patron, saying: “The Invictus Games was founded by him, it has been built on his ideas and he remains fully committed to both the games and to the Invictus Games Foundation.

“His military service and experience, combined with his genuine compassion and understanding for those who serve their countries, has raised awareness of wounded, injured and sick service personnel and the role they continue to play in society.

“His work has had an extraordinary impact on the way in which disability, service and mental health is viewed around the world. He has been instrumental in changing the lives of many.”

Smart Works, a charity helping women back into employment by offering them smart clothes and interview coaching, revealed Meghan would continue to work with them.

It said in a tweet: “We are delighted to confirm that The Duchess of Sussex will remain a patron of Smart Works.

“We are thankful for everything she has done in support of our clients and look forward to working together in the future.”

Meghan will also continue to work with Mayhew, a London-based animal welfare charity.

The organisation said: “We want to thank the duchess for all of her support, and look forward to continuing our work with her helping dogs, cats and communities in need.”

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