British Royal Family

Duchess Meghan stuns in a chic maternity outfit as her royal patronages are announced

New year, new royal Duchess!

By Anita Lyons

Duchess Meghan has finally announced her royal patronages, an honour bestowed on the royal family.

In a statement on Twitter, 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 tweet read: "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."

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."

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 with her husband, brother-in-law Prince William and Duchess Catherine.

While Meghan is due to give birth around late March/early April, she is believed to be visiting all four before she goes on maternity leave.

Duchess Meghan arrives at SmartWorks, one of the four patronages she will champion as Duchess. *(Source: Getty)*
Duchess Meghan arrives at SmartWorks, one of the four patronages she will champion as Duchess. (Source: Getty)

Overnight, the Duchess of Sussex stepped out looking simply glowing, to visit one of the organisations she will be working with - SmartWorks.

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 around their lives.

With her gorgeous baby bump on display, she 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.

The Gianvito Rossi pumps were cow-print and frankly, they are fabulous!

READ NEXT: Duchess Meghan Markle's best maternity fashion moments

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, the Duchess 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 chats with SmartWorks staff members. *(Source: Getty)*
Duchess Meghan chats with SmartWorks staff members. (Source: Getty)
Duchess Meghan assists a women with choosing a handbag. *(Source: Getty)*
Duchess Meghan assists a women with choosing a handbag. (Source: Getty)
Duchess Meghan assists a woman with her bracelet, she helped pick out. *(Source: Getty)*
Duchess Meghan assists a woman with her bracelet, she helped pick out. (Source: Getty)

During an interview with 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."

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