Surprise! Meghan Markle Secretly Visited Her Animal Charity Patronage While in London

Stephanie Petit

Before Meghan Markle headed to Canada to start her next chapter with Prince Harry and son Archie, she checked in on some furry friends.

A new post on her SussexRoyal Instagram Wednesday revealed that Meghan privately visited Mayhew, an animal welfare charity she announced last year as one of her first patronages, earlier in January.

“Earlier this month, The Duchess of Sussex popped in to see the amazing people at Mayhew to hear about the incredible progress made throughout the festive period,” photos of the visit, including a shot of Meghan squatting down to pet a German Shepherd named Khan, were captioned.

“The Duchess of Sussex, having been proud patron of Mayhew since January 2019 and long understanding the connection between animal and community welfare, applauds the people at Mayhew for the vital work that they do every day,” they added.

Mayhew also posted on Instagram about the visit, writing they were “delighted” to see Meghan. The charity added that the Duchess of Sussex was shown their new kennels and met some animals.

Meghan Markle | Sussex Royal Instagram
Meghan Markle | Sussex Royal Instagram

RELATED: How Meghan Markle and Prince Harry’s Two Dogs Are Adjusting to Life in Canada

Meghan memorably visited Mayhew last January for her first official visit, where she spoke about the joys of animal adoption and was particularly taken with an adoptable dog named Minnie. However, with the reminder of her baby bump, she noted that “our hands are too full” to add another pet.

Meghan Markle visits Mayhew, Jan. 2019 | Eddie Mulholland - WPA Pool/Getty

The visit likely occurred during the short period that Meghan returned to the U.K. before heading back to Canada. After spending the holidays Vancouver Island with 8-month-old Archie, the Duke and Duchess of Sussex returned to London for a handful of engagements on Jan. 7. They visited Canada House to thank the country for hosting them and also stopped by the Hubb Community Kitchen, one of Meghan’s first royal partnerships, to check in and wish them a happy new year.

Meghan, 38, and Prince Harry, 35, shared their decision to step down as senior members of the royal family on Jan. 8, soon after which Meghan flew back to Canada to reunite with Archie. Harry, meanwhile, remained in England to continue the discussion about the big changes ahead with Queen ElizabethPrince Charles and Prince William.

Harry made a number of appearances before reuniting with Meghan and Archie in Canada on Monday night.

Prince Harry, Meghan Markle and Archie | Samir Hussein/WireImage

One of the earliest signs that the couple were serious about a move to North America was the fact that they brought both of their dogs (Meghan’s adopted beagle Guy and the couple’s new Labrador) with them during their holiday in Canada at the end of 2019.

And their four-legged friends have already adjusted to the abundant nature surrounding their new home. The couple were even spotted out on a hike with the couple. Asymina Kantorowicz encountered the couple during a New Year’s Day hike. She told PEOPLE that the pups were already across the pond: “They had two dogs with them, and we wanted to pet one.”

Meghan Markle with her dogs, Bogart and Guy | Meghan Markle/Instagram

Meghan has a long history with animals (and animal rescue), dating back to the adoption of her first pup, Bogart, whom she brought home at the behest of Ellen DeGeneres. The former actress once told Best Health that she was in a dog shelter when DeGeneres and her wife Portia de Rossi came in.

“Now, I don’t know her, but Ellen goes ‘Is that your dog?’ And I said, ‘No,’ and she’s like, ‘You have to take that dog.’ And I said, ‘Well, I’m deciding.’ And she’s like, ‘Rescue the dog!’ ” she recalled. “It’s sort of like if Oprah tells you to do something. I’m sitting there holding him and she’s like ‘Have you thought of a name for him yet?’ And I said, ‘Well, I think I’d name him Bogart,’ and she’s like ‘You’re taking the dog home.’ ”

Meghan continued, “And she walks outside to get into her car but instead of getting in she turns around and comes and taps on the window glass and she yells ‘Take the dog!’ And so I brought him home. Because Ellen told me to.”

Meghan Markle | Source: Meghan Markle/Instagram

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Meghan opened up to reporters about her pups during the couple’s engagement interview.

“I have two dogs that I’ve had for quite a long time, both my rescue pups,” she shared. “And [Bogart] is now staying with very close friends and my other little guy is — yes, he’s in the U.K., he’s been here for a while.”

Guy even stayed at her feet as she sat for her hair and makeup on her wedding morning.