Meghan Markle carried out her first official visit to her patronage the Mayhew today – an animal welfare center for which she is the official royal patron.
Relevant to both Meghan Markle and Harry’s animal-loving interests (the couple adopted their dog, Oz in August 2018), Mayhew is an “animal welfare charity working to improve the lives of dogs, cats and people in communities both in London and internationally.” The charity also works “with homelessness charities across London to ensure people and their dogs can be kept together.”
CEO of Mayhew, Caroline Yates said: “We are so excited that HRH The Duchess of Sussex has chosen to be our Patron. Mayhew works to improve the lives of dogs, cats, and the people in our community, tackling the root cause of animal abandonment and neglect and supporting vulnerable people to stay with their companion pets. The Duchess has spent many years championing animal welfare, and we are honored to have our charity represented by such a passionate Patron. We look forward to working closely with The Duchess and hope that, together, we can help even more animals and people.”
It’s been a busy start of the year for Meghan; She visited Smart Works immediately after announcing her new patronages in the beginning of January, then she and Harry took a trip to Birkenhead to visit organizations helping the community earlier this and week, and this evening they will see Cirque du Soleil at the Royal Albert Hall.
During today’s visit, Meghan saw first-hand several projects run by the charity. The projects are designed to improve the lives of animals to better communities both in London and internationally. Some of the projects include animal therapy visits, work with homeless people and their pets, and international projects, such as dog rabies vaccinations in Kabul.
She also toured the facilities and met animals and members of the community who have benefitted from the charity. She couldn’t help but give dog Roobarb a good pat on the head.
Meghan kneeled down to pet Azzy and Gallis, two dogs belonging to Wully. She talked with their owner, a formerly homeless Pet Refuge service user. He described to Meghan how Mayhew supports vulnerable people trying to keep their pets during tough times. His two Staffordshire Bull Terriers were cared for by Mayhew’s animal welfare officers while he worked to change his living circumstances. “They’re like my babies,” Wully told Meghan. “That I understand! That I understand,” she responded, smiling.
Meghan Markle was thrilled to meet the Jack Russell puppy Maggie (previously known as Truffle) during her visit to Mayhew today. The dog was there with her new owner, Emma. Maggie was rescued from a suspected puppy farm last year.
“Meghan – who was “very natural with the dogs, as one needs to be,” according to CEO Caroline Yates – was very taken with one of the dogs: a Jack Russell named Minnie that she held. “She asked about Minnie’s story and what she is like and whether she is up for adoption – and she is!” Yates adds. However, Yates ruled out the likelihood of Meghan and Harry taking on another pet.
“She has got dogs and they are an important part of her life and the family,” she said. “They have the two dogs already and with the baby on the way, it might be a bit much that’s happening!”
Royal fans will recall that Meghan had two rescue pups at her home in Toronto before moving to London. Guy relocated with her to London while the other, Bogart, was gifted to friends. Harry and Meghan have also gotten their own dog together. Although they are keeping the name to themselves, Meghan did let it slip that the couple’s new dog is a “she.” During her visit today.
Meghan’s love and connection with animals were also shown when she first met the Queen. Harry revealed during their engagement interview that the Queen’s corgis were immediately fond of Meghan; while Harry had spent “the last 33 years being barked at. This one walks in, absolutely nothing,” he said. Meghan added, “They were laying on my feet during tea!” Harry responded, “Just wagging tails. I was like argh!”
During the visit, Peggy McEachrom told Meghan how the dog had improved her outlook on life through his visits to Lawnfield Care Home, where she currently lives. She also marveled at Meghan’s blossoming bump, jokingly calling her a “fat lady.” Meghan laughed, responding, “I’ll take that!”
When meeting the dogs, Meghan spoke about her own experience of adopting. Guy, her beagle, was days away from being euthanized when she rescued him from Toronto’s A Dog’s Dream Rescue in 2015. And Bogart, a Labrador-shepherd mix who is too old to travel and currently lives in Canada with a close friend, was from a shelter in Los Angeles. Harry and Meghan also adopted a black Labrador last summer.
“He had been in a kill shelter before,” she said of Guy, who she walks without fail every day. “I remember getting this dog home and he was petrified of even coming to the front door.”
Below, a sweet video of Meghan Markle meeting a dog named Minnie during her visit to Mayhew. Omid Scobie tweeted: “CEO Caroline Yates tells me that Meghan was “quite taken” by a little Jack Russel called Minnie: “She asked about Mini’s story, what she’s like and if she’s up for adoption? And she is!”
Just two days ago, the Duchess of Sussex made a sartorial statement in a bright red and purple ensemble. Today, she rocked an ultra-elegant head-to-toe cream ensemble, She repeated a chic Armani coat first seen in Sussex last October.
The coat is the Emporio Armani Cream Cashmere Coat and is described as a “quintessential piece of outerwear, this timeless coat is perfect for completing your season’s look with casual elegance. Made from cashmere double cloth, the garment features a classic collar, three-button fastening, and flap pockets.”
She wore the H&M MAMA Fine-Knit dress
She styled it with the Paul Andrew Coquette Pump in Camel
She carried the Stella McCartney Falabella Tote in Medium Beige
We will see both Meghan and Harry tonight where they will be attending the premiere of TOTEM – Cirque du Soleil at the Royal Albert Hall in support of Sentebale. Stay tuned!