Royals

Duchess Meghan stuns in an ever-so-chic maternity outfit as her royal patronages are announced

The causes are very close to her heart and she is "very much looking forward to working with them to bring wider public attention."

By Anita Lyons
Meghan Markle Duchess Sussex royal patronages maternity fashion

Eight months after her wedding to Prince Harry, Duchess Meghan's royal patronages have been announced.

Kensington Palace announced that the royal mum-to-be has been appointed the patron of the National Theatre, the Association of Commonwealth Universities, animal rescue charity The Mayhew and female employment cause Smart Works.

"The Duchess of Sussex will become Patron of four organisations that reflect the causes and issues with which she has long been associated including the arts, access to education, support for women and animal welfare," the statement read.

Two of the patronages, the National Theatre and the Association of Commonwealth Universities, had been bestowed to her by the Queen herself who held them for 45 and 33 years respectively.

A press release from Kensington Palace also read: "The Duchess is delighted to become Patron of both national and grassroots organisations that are part of the fabric of the UK, and is very much looking forward to working with them to bring wider public attention to their causes.

"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."

Although the patronages have only just been announced, Duchess Meghan has already visited with each in the last eight months since becoming Prince Harry's wife and will also continue her role as the fourth patron of the Royal Foundation, which she shares along with her husband and Prince William and Duchess Catherine.

Meghan is believed to have plans to visit all four charities again before she goes on maternity leave before her reported due date in April.

WATCH: Meghan meets employees of Smart Works and discusses why she's so drawn to the charity. Story continues below.

Overnight, the Duchess of Sussex visited SmartWorks, one of the organisations she will be working with. The charity helps long term, unemployed and vulnerable women regain the skills, confidence and tools to succeed at job interviews, return to employment and turn their lives around.

Duchess Meghan chats with SmartWorks staff members. *(Source: Getty)*
Duchess Meghan chats with SmartWorks staff members. (Source: Getty)

With her gorgeous baby bump on display, the Duchess wore her first maternity outfit, an Eliza dress by US label Hatch, Kimai earrings and a long Oscar de la Renta camel coat.

But it was her killer heels that had everyone talking - a fabulous pair of Gianvito Rossi cow-print stilettos.

Meghan wears Hatch, Oscar de la Renta and Gianvito Rossi cow-print pumps. *(Source: Getty)*
Meghan wears Hatch, Oscar de la Renta and Gianvito Rossi cow-print pumps. (Source: Getty)
The killer Gianvito Rossi cow-print pumps. *(Source: Getty)*
The killer Gianvito Rossi cow-print pumps. (Source: Getty)

Looking blissfully happy and glowing, she met with staff and women who have benefited from the charity and then heard about what the organisation does.

Meghan then helped the staff find outfits for the women who were in their "second dressing", before sitting in on a coaching session which featured interview preparation.

Duchess Meghan assists a woman with her bracelet, which she helped pick out. *(Source: Getty)*
Duchess Meghan assists a woman with her bracelet, which she helped pick out. (Source: Getty)

Speaking to Hello!'s royal correspondent, Emily Nash, interview coach from SmartWorks, Marina Novis, revealed why she thought Meghan was perfect fit for the organisation.

"She has done so much research. That's what I'm so impressed by. It's not some honorary thing, she really cares," she said. "She's amazing at talking with the candidates because she really listens and asks very pertinent questions."

During the interview she also revealed that the Duchess, who had visited back in March 2018 before her nuptials, had shared some confidence-boosting tips.

"It's funny, she said last year, someone was talking about confidence and we asked, 'how do you manage with confidence when you're feeling shy?'

"And she said, 'I'm about to take my big role, happening now. The most important thing is to breathe and to just have that inner confidence. That's the most important thing.' We all had a bit of a giggle about it."