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British RoyalsThe Sussexes

The Duchess of Sussex visits her new patronage, the Association of Commonwealth Universities

The Duchess of Sussex visited City University London yesterday, the last in her recent spate of patronage visits since it was announced that she’d been handed patronage of the Association of Commonwealth Universities (ACU).

Meghan visited City, University of London to meet with students, faculty and staff and learned how the Association of Commonwealth Universities wants to build a better world through higher education.

The Duchess met with students from across the Commonwealth who are studying in the UK and professors who are working there as well. The ACU represents a network of 500 universities.


The ACU hosted a series of discussion groups for Meghan’s visit so that she could hear about key areas of the Association’s work, including gender equity, access and inclusion, and sustainability.

The ACU also spoke with Her Royal Highness about how their work informs and supports their vision, including the Queen Elizabeth Commonwealth Scholarships and innovative programmes for better access to higher education.

“Today was a fantastic opportunity to demonstrate how the ACU brings together people from across the Commonwealth and beyond through our unique network of universities, to advance knowledge, promote understanding, broaden minds, and improve lives,” said Joanna Newman, Chief Executive and Secretary General of the ACU.

“We’re looking forward to continuing to work with the Duchess as our patron.”


Meghan was also spotted Skyping with a student in Ghana, Hilary Harawo, about her education.

“Our new patron, of course, has such a fantastic record of speaking up about the issues we most care about in higher education, whether it’s equity of access, gender and girls, or a whole host of other issues,” Newman said today.

“The Duchess was very passionate about our work,” Dr Ephraim Kisangala, a Ugandan Commonwealth PhD scholar, told the Daily Mail.


Dr Kisangala is writing a thesis about menstrual hygiene management in refugee settlements in Uganda and is studying at Bangor University.

“I could tell she had a genuine concern for the women we are trying to help. She has been to Africa and has also identified the problem herself in the past for women who are suffering due to the attitudes towards menstruation across the world.”

The Duchess of Sussex ended up staying an additional fifteen minutes to ensure that she could chat with everyone who’d shown up to meet with her and then did a quick walkabout on her way out of the University before leaving.


The Queen had been the patron of the Association of Commonwealth Universities for 33 years before passing over the patronage to Meghan earlier this month.

The Duchess previously attended a meeting with the ACU in December to learn how higher education can address human trafficking, modern slavery, and gender equality.

About author

Jess is a communications professional and freelance writer who lives in Halifax and has a passion for all things royal, particularly the British Royal Family.