Harry and Meghan Markle: Will they keep charity patronages after moving to Canada?

Sophie Gallagher
Prince Harry and Meghan Markle sign autographs and shake hands with children as they arrive to a walkabout at Cardiff Castle on January 18, 2018 in Cardiff, Wales: Getty

Members of the British royal family have long had links with hundreds of charities, professional bodies and organisations, as well as associations with the military. Some of these charities are household names while others are smaller, private bodies working in local or specialist areas.

This link can either be an official patronage or a similar position that sees them amplify the work of the charities.

They are usually chosen based on the interests of the individual. Prince Harry has slowly acquired his patronages over the years, such as the rugby football union, while Meghan Markle's four affiliations are based around culture and fashion, and were all announced in January 2019.

But as the Duke and Duchess of Sussex announced they will step back as senior members of the royal family to spend more time in Canada, there was speculation over whether they would continue to uphold their existing patronages.

Buckingham Palace confirmed the pair would maintain their private patron duties, but the duke would lose his military associations.

So what charities are the couple still affiliated with, and which will they be waving goodbye to?

African Parks

The Duke of Sussex will remain President of the African Parks non-profit conservation charity.

African Parks manages the rehabilitation of 16 national parks, covering over 12 million hectares, across Africa.

The national parks are in 10 countries including Benin, Central African Republic, the Democratic Republic of Congo, Malawi, Mozambique, the Republic of Congo, Rwanda, Zambia and Zimbabwe.

Dolen Cymru

Prince Harry will remain a patron of Dolen Cymru, a charity that links Wales and Lesotho.

Founded in 1985, the charity works with young people and women's organisations to promote education.

Henry van Straubenzee Memorial Fund

Prince Harry is joint patron of the Henry van Straubenzee memorial fund with the Duke of Cambridge.

The charity aims to lift children out of poverty through education in the south-eastern region of Uganda.

Invictus Games

Prince Harry will remain the patron of the Invictus Games foundation.

(AFP via Getty Images)

The foundation works with wounded, injured and ill servicemen and women, as well as veterans, and hosts an annual Games.

The Invictus Games in Toronto was the location of Meghan and Harry's first official outing together.

Rhino Conservation

The Duke of Sussex will continue to be a patron of the rhino conservation charity in Botswana.

The charity monitors and protects black and white rhinos, as well as rescuing them from poaching hotspots across southern Africa to be moved to the safety of Botswana.

Rugby Football Union

Harry will continue to be a patron of the sport governing body.

This will include his work with rugby in schools and the injured players foundation.

Sentebale

The duke will continue to be a patron of Sentebale, a charity providing support to children and young people in Lesotho.

It was at a Sentebale charity dinner that Harry gave his speech saying there was "no other option" but for his family to leave.

Silverstone heritage/Motorsport World

The Duke will continue to be a patron of Silverstone heritage, which he first joined in 2016.

The project "brings to life" the extensive heritage of Silverstone and British motor racing for an estimated half a million visitors a year.

London Marathon Trust

Harry will continue to be a patron of the London Marathon Trust, whose vision is a society in which everyone is physically active.

Royal Foundation of the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge

Although the royal foundation is run by his brother and sister-in-law, Prince Harry was one of the co-founding members of the charity, which says it "unites people to tackle today's biggest challenges".

On the foundation's website it says: "We use our passion and unique influence to change mind-sets to make a lasting difference on the issues that matter to us and to society."

He will continue to support the organisation from Canada.

Wellchild

The duke has been a patron of Wellchild since before he became a parent.

The charity supports chronically sick children and their families.

As well as these patronages, Harry will continue to be an honorary member of the Gloucestershire Cricket Country Club and the Royal Ontario museum, alongside his brother.

Harry will also continue, alongside Meghan, to be President of the Queen’s Commonwealth Trust, which aims to support and enable young people across the Commonwealth to make a difference in their local communities.

What is Prince Harry losing?

Despite keeping many of his patronages, Harry has had Honorary Air Commandant at RAF Honington, Captain General of the Marines and Commodore-in-Chief of Small Ships and Diving taken away along with his HRH title.

The duchess is a natural coach and our clients were inspired and helped by her....

Meghan also has her own individual patronages that she will continue to support. They are: ​

Mayhew

Meghan will continue to be a patron of the Mayhew animal welfare charity. They work to improve life for dogs, cats and people in the community.

Days after leaving for Canada, Meghan shared photographs on the Sussex Royal Instagram of her visit to Mayhew.

Smartworks

Meghan has been an official patron of Smartworks since January 2019, but raised their profile when she involved them in her guest-editorship of British Vogue in July last year.

Smartworks supports women with the clothes and confidence they lack for interviews and on the first day of a new job. The charity released a statement welcoming Meghan and saying: “The duchess is a natural coach and our clients were inspired and helped by her.”

Association of Commonwealth Universities

The duchess will continue to be a patron of the inter-university network comprising around 500 academic institutions around the Commonwealth.

This will work alongside her role as vice-president of the Queen's Commonwealth Trust (Harry is president).

Royal National Theatre

Meghan's fourth charity is the Royal National Theatre in London, which performs a wide range of contemporary and earlier drama.

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