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Meghan moves into more visible roles in UK royal family

Meghan, the Duchess of Sussex, is accompanied by Juliet Hughes-Hallett, as they walk past racks of clothes at the Smart Works charity career center in West London, on Jan. 10, 2019. (Clodagh Kilcoyne/Pool via AP)

LONDON (AP) -- Meghan, the Duchess of Sussex, is taking an increasingly visible role in the British royal family as she becomes the patron of four organizations including the prestigious National Theatre.

Kensington Palace said Thursday that Meghan will take over two roles as patron that have for decades been held by Queen Elizabeth II and is taking two other roles as well.

The palace says the queen "has passed on" the role of patron of the National Theatre and the Association of Commonwealth Universities.

In addition, Meghan will become patron of two additional charities: Smart Works, which helps vulnerable women find the skills needed to work, and Mayhew, a grassroots organization active in London and internationally.

Meghan and her husband Prince Harry are expecting their first child this spring.

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