Here's How Meghan Markle's First Royal Patronages Compare to Kate Middleton's

Queen Elizabeth granted Meghan Markle not one, not two, but FOUR patronages on Thursday, just as she did for Kate Middleton (once upon a time).

These include supporting the arts via the National Theater; access to education via the Association of Commonwealth Universities; support for women with Smart Works, a charity which helps unemployed women regain skills; and animal welfare, through animal organization Mayhew.

While Kensington Palace announced Middleton’s patronages nine months after her wedding to Prince William, the queen waited eight months after Markle’s wedding to Prince Harry before bestowing the four patronages on her (new) granddaughter.

But both duchesses’ first patronages came as a given. Middleton’s first patronage was joining Harry and William as head of the Royal Foundation (which Markle has also been added to since marrying Harry). The foundation “unites people to tackle some of today’s biggest challenges. We use our passion and unique influence to change mindsets to make a lasting difference on the issues that matter to us and to society,” according to the Royal Foundation website.

Markle’s first patronage was technically the Royal Foundation as well, which she joined less than a month after the royal wedding (Middleton joined the Royal Foundation six months after her wedding). Her second, the National Theater, came as a surprise to no one. Kensington Palace gave a sweet reason for the queen’s decision: “The Duchess is a strong believer in using the arts to bring people from different backgrounds and communities together. Whilst Her Royal Highness spent ten years working in television, her training is in theatre.”

Since becoming patron of the Royal Foundation, Middleton has added ten charities to her resume, including the Victoria and Albert Museum and the National Portrait Gallery. (How artsy of you, your Majesty!)

Two duchesses, 15 charities, so little time for beauty rest! (And now we know why they need an assistant…or five.)

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