Published 4:25 PM EDT Apr 29, 2020
Duchess Meghan is spreading words of hope amid coronavirus in a new video.
The Duchess of Sussex, who is in quarantine with Prince Harry and son Archie in their new Los Angeles home, grabbed headlines Wednesday with a video and a message on the website of her Smart Works patronage, a month after she and Harry stepped back from royal duties and departed London for North America.
Meghan reached out to Smart Works, a London charity that helps unemployed women prepare for job interviews, to praise its work during the COVID-19 pandemic and to surprise one its clients with words of encouragement via video.
Her overall message followed a familiar theme she has repeatedly expressed – women’s empowerment – since marrying Harry in May 2018 and during their two-year reign as the world’s most famous and controversial royal couple.
“It’s been such an honour to meet and learn from so many talented women in the Smart Works network over the years, and recently to see the amazing work they’re doing to adapt their programs to the reality of this pandemic,” read Meghan’s message on the website under the headline, “A message from our Patron.”
“Their ability to continue to empower women and help them harness the confidence they need to succeed during this time is inspiring.”
The former Meghan Markle, 38, became the royal patron for Smart Works in January 2019. In September of that year, in her first official public engagement after giving birth to Archie, she launched her first fashion capsule collection for the working-women charity.
“Throughout this (pandemic) crisis, the Duchess has been keeping in touch with her Patronages and the organizations most important to her to offer her continued support,” according to a statement from her Los Angeles-based public relations team.
“At the end of (March), the Duchess was able to join a mentoring session with one of the Smart Works clients.”
In the brief excerpt of the video call, Meghan is seen wearing a burgundy V-neck sweater top with a couple of gold necklaces around her neck, and her hair pulled back from her face. She is speaking to a young woman who is not identified but is preparing to take on a psychology-related internship.
Meghan praised the woman for being “such a beacon of hope” and for “focusing on getting through this,” as the client gushes her thanks for “making this all possible” through Smart Works.
“You seem incredibly confident and prepared,” Meghan says. “I think you’re going to be fantastic. I just wanted to call in and tell you best of luck and my fingers crossed for you and all the positivity I can send your way.”
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In mid-April, Meghan also chatted by video with women at another of her patronages, the Hubb Community Kitchen in London, which has been helping deliver meals to families in need during the pandemic.
Harry and Meghan have not been seen much in public since they departed for Canada in mid-March and then moved to Los Angeles, where she was born and raised.
Their ongoing legal war with major British tabloids surged into a new phase of acrimony after the couple announced that they would no longer cooperate with four tabloid newspaper groups because of what they call “distorted, false or invasive” stories.
On May 6, their son, Archie Harrison Mountbatten-Windsor, turns 1 and their fans are expecting that they will follow royal custom and release at least one picture of the child, who hasn’t been seen in public since their tour of southern Africa last fall.
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