Meghan Markle animal welfare patronage ends as Duchess continues to cut ties with UK

7 April 2022, 16:35

Meghan Markle has one charity patronage left as Duchess continues to cut ties with UK. Picture: Alamy

By Liam Gould

Meghan Markle has relinquished her role as patron of the animal welfare charity Mayhew in a "mutually agreed" move, as she continues to cut back UK-based roles.

The Duchess of Sussex urged people to continue supporting the charity and "will continue to support Mayhew and champion our ambitions," the charity said.

It comes as Meghan continues to step away from UK-based patronage roles.

In a statement on the charity's website, Meghan said: “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."

She added: "The emotional support of a rescue animal is unparalleled-as you'll soon realise: it is not you who saves them, it is they who save you.

"To the Mayhew community, thank you for entrusting me as your patron. It has been an honor".

Meghan served as a patron of the animal welfare charity for three years, which she championed during her time in the UK and after stepping down as a working royal and moving with Prince Harry to California in 2020.

Howard Bridges, Mayhew’s chief executive, said “we have mutually agreed to end the patronage”, which expired at the beginning of the year.

But, he insisted that the Duchess would continue to support the mission of the charity going forward.

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The charity was founded in 1886 and has a broad range of supporting animals and local communities both in England and around the world, such as in India and Afghanistan.

The charity has a pet refuge service in London, provides vet services to vulnerable owners, and has a team of animal welfare officers who work with local residents in struggling communities.

Meghan has adopted a number of rescue dogs over the past few years including a Guy, a Beagle, and the Sussexes also have a black Labrador thought to be named Pula.

Meghan also paid a tribute in her message to her "dear friend" animal behaviourist Oli Juste, who died unexpectedly in January.

He had introduced the Duchess to the charity when she was looking for causes to represent and left her "heartbroken" and "reflective".

"It was nearly four years ago, as I was exploring possible organizations to volunteer with, that Oli brought me to Mayhew," she said.

"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."

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Mr Bridges said the opportunity to work alongside Meghan has been a "privilege."

"It has been an incredible privilege for Mayhew to have worked closely with Meghan, the Duchess of Sussex, since 2019 when she became our Royal patron for a three-year term," he said.

"It has been a busy and productive three years together where we have gained so much from her kind support.

He added: "As we look to the future, Mayhew has launched an exciting new strategy to maximise our critical animal welfare work."

The charity has named a wing of their re-homing centre in memory of Meghan's friend.