Meghan Markle's life has already changed in major ways now that she's married to Prince Harry, but the 36-year-old former actress has also made it a personal mission to change the lives of others. Over the years, Meghan has dedicated her time, money, and heart to causes near and dear to her; she is a counselor for the nonprofit organization One Young World, a global ambassador for World Vision and its Clean Water Campaign, and an advocate for UN Women.
During her adorable postengagement interview with Harry, Meghan revealed that she is very excited to "focus even more energy" on those causes. As she settles into her new life as the Duchess of Sussex, she will be expected to choose charities to be patron of, as is customary for all family members — and we can't wait to see which ones she picks. Ahead, we've detailed all the ways that Meghan's philanthropic spirit has made her a flawless fit for the royal family.
- She was raised "to be a global citizen, with eyes open to sometimes harsh realities." Meghan has credited her mother, clinical therapist, yoga instructor, and social worker Doria Ragland, with teaching her the importance of charitable actions. In an Elle UK essay, she detailed traveling to remote countries, delivering meals to people in hospices, and donating Thanksgiving turkeys to homeless shelters. "It's what I grew up seeing, so it's what I grew up being: a young adult with a social consciousness to do what I could and speak up when I knew something was wrong," Meghan wrote.
- She doesn't like seeing food go to waste. While working on the USA series Suits, Meghan made sure that the that any leftover food from craft services was donated to a soup kitchen she'd been volunteering at in Toronto.
She already knows the importance of using her fame and visibility for good. Over the years, Meghan has advocated for women's rights and worked extensively as an advocate for UN Women and with the HeForShe campaign; she gave a speech for International Women's Day and has traveled to Rwanda on behalf of the organization. She also traveled to Afghanistan to support the troops overseas.
In January 2016, Meghan returned to Rwanda as global ambassador of World Vision to bring attention to its World Water Day efforts. While there, she spent time with children at a refugee camp, an experience she called "as inspiring and affirming as you can imagine."
She's been fighting for gender equality since she was just a kid. After seeing a troubling advertisement for dish soap — which proclaimed "Women all over America are fighting greasy pots and pans" — 11-year-old Meghan was so upset by the sexist implication that only women washed dishes that she wrote letters to Procter & Gamble, who produced the soap, as well as Nick News host Linda Ellerbee, Hillary Clinton, and Gloria Allred.
Linda Ellerbee was so struck by Meghan's passion that she interviewed her on the kids' news show. Procter & Gamble even ended up changing its slogan to "People all over America are fighting greasy pots and pans." In a 2015 speech at a UN Women's event, Meghan described the pivotal moment as he first time she felt the power of her own actions.
- She loves animals and is a huge proponent of pet adoption. Meghan has two rescue dogs, Bogart and Guy, whom she regularly shared photos of on Instagram with the caption #adoptdontshop. In an interview with Harry for the BBC after their engagement, Meghan revealed that one of her dogs is staying with a close friend while the other lives with them in London. Her love of furry friends is definitely something she has in common with Queen Elizabeth II: Harry confirmed in the same interview that his grandmother's beloved Corgis "took to" Meghan "straight away."