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Meghan Markle Shares What Helped Her After Being ‘Forced Apart’ From Family in 2020

Woman’s best friend! Meghan Markle reflected on the ups and downs of 2020 while revealing one of her bright spots during the coronavirus pandemic lockdowns and separation from family.

Related: Meghan Markle and Prince Harry's Charity Work Through the Years

In her foreword for The Mayhew Foundation’s annual year in review, Meghan, 39, explained that the love of her pets helped her manage being apart from her loved ones — and she wasn’t alone.

“When I reflect on 2020, I always come back to the importance of community and connection. We may have been forced apart, but we found new ways to be close and to support each other through this shared crisis,” she wrote. “For many of us, this was made all the easier with our pets by our side. Mayhew — and thousands of small, community organizations like them — will continue to listen, adapt their services, and provide the resources that people and pets need to stay together and persevere through hardships.”

What Helped Meghan Markle Through Being Forced Apart From Family 2020
Meghan Markle. Beretta/Sims/Shutterstock

The Bench author, who has been a patronage of the U.K. organization since 2019, also shared her hopes for the animal-focused institution as we come out of the COVID-19 pandemic.

“As we collectively build to the future, my sincere hope is that we do so with ongoing support and appreciation for organizations like Mayhew, who continue their vital work in days of crisis and in days of calm,” she continued. “Their commitment to the cause of animal welfare is steadfast and their effect on our community wellbeing is self-evident.”

Related: Meghan Markle Through the Years: Photos

Meghan started her work with Mayhew while she was still a working member of the British royal family. When penning the 2019 foreword for The Mayhew Foundation, she highlighted the importance of adopting animals after rescuing her dog Guy, who moved from Canada with her to London prior to her May 2018 wedding to Prince Harry and eventually to California last year alongside the couple’s Labrador Pula.

What Helped Meghan Markle Through Being Forced Apart From Family 2020
Meghan Markle pets a dog at a Dubbo community BBQ on October 17, 2018 in Victoria Park, Australia. Tim Rooke/Shutterstock

“As a proud rescue dog owner, I know from personal experience the joy that adopting an animal into your home can bring,” she wrote at the time. “The role that we, as people, play in rehoming and rescuing these animals is vital, but the role of organizations such as Mayhew is unparalleled.”

Since walking away from her senior duties in March 2020, alongside Harry, 36, the pet organization has remained one of her two patronages. The Duchess of Sussex has also continued to financially support the animal welfare charity during the health crisis, Newsweek reported in May 2020.

She is also still working with Smart Works, which is a U.K. organization focused on helping unemployed and vulnerable women return to the workforce.

Meghan and Harry confirmed in February that they would not be returning as working royals, but their charity efforts have not stopped since their relocation to California. The pair, who share son Archie, 2, and daughter Lili, who was born on June 4, have their own nonprofit organization Archewell, which they created in January 2020.

Related: Stars Who Are Adopting or Fostering Pets During Quarantine

Last month, they announced a multi-year partnership with Procter & Gamble that will focus on  “gender equality, more inclusive online spaces and resilience and impact through sport.”

Earlier this month, Meghan revealed that she and Harry would be donating 2,000 copies of her book, The Bench, to schools, libraries and more locations.

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