Meghan Markle coaches intern on video call ahead of interview

Meghan Markle has given advice and encouragement to a young woman preparing to start an internship who was helped by the employment charity Smart Works.

The Duchess of Sussex called one of the charity’s clients at the end of March and praised her for being “such a beacon of hope” and “focusing on getting through this”.

Smart Works gives unemployed women clothes and coaching to help them secure jobs.

Part of the call has been released on the charity’s Twitter account, where Meghan, 38, tells her “you seem incredibly confident and prepared”.

She speaks to the unnamed client about her focus on mental health and what excites her about the internship.

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Meghan tells her she thinks it’s “excellent” that she has a focus on mental health as well as her other work.

She goes on to say: “I think you’re going to be fantastic.

“I wanted to tell you best of luck and my fingers are so crossed for you.”

The client tells the duchess “it means so much” to have her encouragement.

She said: “Thank you for making this whole thing possible through Smart Works and through you championing women.”

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Meghan designed a capsule wardrobe for Smart Works while she was a senior royal, and is a patron of the charity.

The collection, released in 2019, allowed the same item to be donated to a woman seeking work each time it was bought.

Smart Works moved its coaching online six weeks ago and has since given 200 hours of free advice and coaching to help women get jobs and internships, it said in a tweet.

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Meghan launches the Smart Works capsule collection. (Getty Images)

The charity added: “The Smart Works service is available for any woman who is unemployed and has a confirmed job interview, referrals are made by our employment support partners including women’s charities and Job Centre Plus. Our mission is to help anyone who needs it, no matter the circumstances.”

After the call, the duchess said: “It’s been such an honour to meet and learn from so many talented women in the Smart Works network over the years, and recently to see the amazing work they’re doing to adapt their programs to the reality of this pandemic.

“Their ability to continue to empower women and help them harness the confidence they need to succeed during this time is inspiring.”

The client said: “just wanted to say a big 'thank you' to you, the duchess and the whole team at Smart Works for making this possible for women all around the UK, because to see such work is truly inspiring and uplifting.”

Meghan and her husband Prince Harry travelled to Los Angeles at the end of March after spending time in Canada when the stepped back from their roles as senior royals.

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Meghan, the Duchess of Sussex, chats with Patsy Wardally as they pick out clothes, during her visit to Smart Works. (Getty Images)

The date on the video means it could have been one of the last things she did before leaving their home on Vancouver Island.

Since then, she and Harry have been spotted helping deliver meals in Los Angeles through Project Angel Food.

Two of Harry’s previous projects have also been detailed, including his introduction to a new episode of Thomas and Friends, and a mental health initiative with the Ministry of Defence.

And she gave her support to one of her former projects too, backing a delivery service by the women who wrote a cookbook after surviving the Grenfell Tower fire.

They said they would be releasing a new photo of their son Archie before his first birthday on 6 May.