Meghan Markle ‘mutually agrees’ to end patronage of animal welfare charity in UK

Meghan served a three-year term as the figure head of Mayhew, which she championed during her time in the UK

The Duchess of Sussex has urged the public to support an animal welfare charity after announcing her time as its patron has ended.

Meghan served a three-year term as the figure head of Mayhew, which she championed during her time in the UK and after stepping down as a working royal and moving with Harry to California in 2020.

Howard Bridges, Mayhew’s chief executive, said “we have mutually agreed to end the patronage”, which expired at the beginning of the year, but said the duchess would continue to support their ambitions.

In a message posted on the charity’s website, the duchess wrote: “Though my time as patron of Mayhew has come to a close, my unwavering support has not.

Meghan Markle

“I encourage each of you to support in whatever way you are able.

“The emotional support of a rescue animal is unparalleled—as you’ll soon realize: it is not you who saves them, it is they who save you.”

The charity was founded in 1886 and today sees itself as an animal welfare social worker, keeping cats and dogs, whether family pets or companions for the homeless, safe and well alongside their owners, and supporting communities.

It has a pet refuge service in London, provides vet services to vulnerable owners and has a team of animal welfare officers who work with local residents helping local communities and also has operations abroad in places like Afghanistan and India.

The duchess has adopted a number of rescue dogs over the past few years including a Guy, a Beagle, and the Sussexes also have a black Labrador thought to be named Pula.

Meghan reveals in her message her “dear friend” animal behaviourist Oli Juste, who introduced her to Mayhew, died unexpectedly in January but there will be a lasting legacy to him.

Meghan Markle listens to a broadcast through headphones during a visit to youth-oriented radio station, Reprezent FM, in Brixton, south London to learn about its work supporting young people.

Meghan Markle listens to a broadcast through headphones during a visit to youth-oriented radio station, Reprezent FM, in Brixton, south London to learn about its work supporting young people.

She said: “In his memory, we will be creating the Oli Juste wing at Mayhew, to shelter the animals who may have a harder time finding their forever homes.

“Because much like Oli, they will never be forgotten, and they will always be loved.”

Mayhew’s chief executive said: “It has been an incredible privilege for Mayhew to have worked closely with Meghan, the Duchess of Sussex, since 2019 when she became our Royal patron for a three-year term.

“It has been a busy and productive three years together where we have gained so much from her kind support.

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“As we look to the future, Mayhew has launched an exciting new strategy to maximize our critical animal welfare work.

“Although we have mutually agreed to end the patronage, as a committed rescue pet parent, the duchess will continue to support Mayhew and champion our ambitions.

“The duchess has generously made a donation in memory of her much-loved friend Oli Juste, the well-known dog trainer and behaviourist, and we are naming a wing in his honor at our London rehoming centre.”

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