Duchess of Sussex chooses charities where she feels she can make the biggest difference

The Duchess of Sussex has chosen four charities to support in her role as a new member of the Royal Family.

Kensington Palace has announced that Meghan will become Patron for The National Theatre, The Association of Commonwealth Universities, Smart Works and Mayhew.

It follows months of work since her wedding to Prince Harry in May last year.

The Duchess wanted to choose charities for which she felt she could make the biggest difference.

Two of the patronages have been passed on to Meghan by The Queen: The National Theatre and The Association of Commonwealth Universities.

The Queen has been a patron of the National Theatre since 1974. Credit: PA

In her role for the National Theatre she wants to help it broaden its reach to different parts of the population - attracting younger and more diverse audiences and actors.

She has held private meetings with the Theatre’s director Rufus Morris in recent months when they discussed how she could help with their plans for the future.

Meghan will use her knowledge from her former career, as a mixed race actor in the USA.

The Duchess has been to visit one of her chosen charities, Smart Works, today. The charity helps women who can’t get work.

The Duchess of Sussex during her visit to Smart Works. of which she is patron. Credit: PA

Half of Smart Works' clients are from an ethnic minority, are long-term unemployed and have been unsuccessful with a large number of job applications.

The duchess heard from staff members about the work of the charity and met women who have benefited from its support.

The Duchess of Sussex (centre), reacts as she looks at bags with Lady Juliet Hughes-Hallett. Credit: PA

She told the group, which included two former clients: "I'm so happy to be here. You guys know I've been quietly coming by ... close to a year.

"It's nice to be able to now do it publicly and really talk about the work that you do."

The Duchess of Sussex picks out a bracelet during her visit to Smart Works. Credit: PA

The Association of Commonwealth Universities is the only organisation representing higher education across all 53 Commonwealth countries.

Meghan spoke of her commitment to the Commonwealth in her engagement interview in 2017 and had the national flowers of all the member countries sewn into her wedding dress.

Mayhew is a grassroots animal welfare charity. Meghan supported a number of animal rescue centres in Los Angeles.

Mayhew works mostly in London and improves the lives of dogs, cats and prevents them being abandoned and neglected. It also educates people worldwide about responsible pet ownership.

Kensington Palace said: "Her Royal Highness feels she can use her position to focus attention on, and make a particular difference to these organisations and, more widely, the sectors they each represent."