The patronages of the Duchess of Sussex were announced in early January, 2019 and one of them is the Association of Commonwealth Universities. This patronage is a clear endorsement of the Duchess of Sussex by the sovereign Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth herself. The Queen had held this patronage since 1986 before passing it onto the Duchess of Sussex to carry on her legacy.
Established in 1913, the Association of Commonwealth Universities (ACU) is the world’s first international university network, and remains the only accredited organization representing higher education across the Commonwealth.
The purpose of the ACU:
- champion the work of Commonwealth universities, particularly the central role they play in achieving all 17 Sustainable Development Goals;
- connect and convene our member institutions to share best practice, pool resources, and develop long-term partnerships;
- bridge the gap between the higher education sector and Commonwealth governments;
- Seed change, building the capacity of universities to serve current and future generations.
When the Duchess of Sussex married her husband Prince Harry her veil was adorned with wildflowers from 53 commonwealth countries. This was an important signal to how the Commonwealth would be central to the lifetime commitment of the Sussexes. Prince Harry was given the role of Commonwealth Youth Ambassador by the Queen and the patronage cements their commitment to education.
The Duchess of Sussex a graduate of Northwestern University in Illinois USA obtained two degrees from this very prestigious institution one in theatre and the other in international relations. Duchess Meghan the former Meghan Markle has long been an advocate for empowering women through education with her work with World Vision in India and Rwanda promoting providing sanitary pads to allow girls to go to school even during menstruation.
“Wasted opportunity is unacceptable with stakes this high. To break the cycle of poverty, and to achieve economic growth and sustainability in developing countries, young women need access to education. When we empower girls hungry for education, we cultivate women who are emboldened to effect change within their communities and globally. If that is our dream for them, then the promise of it must begin with us. Period.”- Meghan Markle
During the successful Royal 2018 Duchess Meghan stated:
“I am pleased to announce today that two new grants will be awarded to Fiji National University and the University of the South Pacific, allowing each of them to run workshops which empower their female staff.
This means that female faculty members are able to encourage others to follow in their footsteps and enter higher-education, and that more women become part of the decision-making process in academic institutions. Grants like this ensure that women are provided with the training and skills to operate effectively in their roles, and those with leadership potential are given the opportunity to be heard and recognized at the most senior level.” Excerpt from Speech by Duchess of Sussex in Fiji
Originally published Duchess of Influence