Meghan Markle is well-known for her involvement in animal welfare. In January 2019, thanks to one of her dearest friends Oli Juste, Meghan Markle visited a shelter run by the animal welfare charity The Mayhew Animal Home in London. Six months pregnant with baby Archie, she spent a lot of time with Minnie, a one-year-old Jack Russell whom she would have liked to take home. "But with the baby coming, we can't have a new dog," she said with a smile. Meghan and Harry are already the proud owners of two dogs.
Shortly after that, the Duchess of Sussex became the patron of Mayhem and took on this role very seriously for four years. In 2020 for example, Meghan and husband Prince Harry made a holiday donation to the organisation to help them get through the difficult times of the pandemic.
Mayhem’s thank you note
It’s on Twitter that the charity announced the statement with a lovely message: “It has been a busy and productive three years together where we have gained so much from her kind support. Thank you to Meghan, the Duchess of Sussex. You'll always be part of the Mayhew family.”
Our Royal Patronage with The Duchess of Sussex came to an end at the beginning of the year. It's been an incredible privilege for Mayhew to have worked closely with Meghan, The Duchess of Sussex, since 2019 when she became our Patron. Full statement: https://t.co/dzSh7z9bTO. pic.twitter.com/RgdgwgqbQ5— Mayhew 🐶🐱 (@themayhew) April 6, 2022
Meghan Markle’s touching letter
The Duchess of Sussex wrote a beautiful letter in which she reflected on her work with the charity over the past few years, while also honouring the legacy of her late friend, animal behaviourist Oli Juste:
“It was nearly four years ago, as I was exploring possible organizations to volunteer with, that Oli brought me to Mayhew. He knew that beyond their adoption and rescue programs, their international work to keep animals safe, and their local work to find abandoned pets homes, that I would be drawn to their deep love of community, which transcended the animals themselves, and extended to the people around them. He was right. I fell in love with Mayhew, and soon became their Royal patron.”
She continues: “As my three-year patronage to Mayhew came to a close earlier this year, I reflected on the work they have achieved in the hardest of times—during a global pandemic with minimal resources, safeguarding staff from their stations in Afghanistan, and still resolving to remain steadfast in their vital day to day work for animal and human welfare throughout London and across the globe.”
Meghan Markle’s beautiful tribute to her friend Oli
In her letter, Meghan also paid tribute to her friend Oli, who sadly passed away mi-January. She writes: “On January 15, 2022, my beloved friend Oli tragically and very suddenly passed away. It has left me, and so many others, heartbroken and reflective—knowing that the legacy he leaves for our furry friends is beautifully simple: just love them. Especially those left behind or forgotten. In his memory, we will be creating the Oli Juste wing at Mayhew, to shelter the animals who may have a harder time finding their forever homes. Because much like Oli, they will never be forgotten, and they will always be loved.”
The Duchess of Sussex ends her letter by encouraging people to continue supporting the charity: “Though my time as patron of Mayhew has come to a close, my unwavering support has not. I encourage each of you to support in whatever way you are able.”
And ends with a beautiful sentence that we should all keep in mind: “The emotional support of a rescue animal is unparalleled—as you’ll soon realize: it is not you who saves them, it is they who save you.”
Although the Duchess has ended her patronage with Mayhem, she continues to support Smart Works, a charity that helps unemployed women return to work.
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