Pregnant Duchess Meghan Markle Wears Baby Bump-Hugging Dress During Royal Charity Event

Meghan Markle made a surprise visit to one of her royal patronages on Thursday, Jan. 10, and the pregnant royal arrived looking as fashionable as ever in an ensemble that showed off her growing baby bump.

Markle visited Smart Works charity in London, which helps unemployed women gain the skills they need to return to the workforce, with the royal happily greeting members of the charity upon her arrival.

The Duchess of Sussex wore a figure-hugging black dress by maternity brand Hatch, which retails for $218 and is likely already sold out, an Oscar de la Renta trench coat, Kimai earrings, a Victoria Beckham top-handle bag and a pair of animal-print heels, her hair pulled into a sleek chignon.

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(Photo: Getty / Neil Mockford)

While there, Markle sat in on coaching sessions with the women as they prepped for job interviews, and she even helped pick out outfits for some of the interviews, as seen in a clip captured by royal reporter Rebecca English.

The video finds the Duchess helping outfit Patsy Wardally, who had been out of work for 16 years.

"It was so exhilarating to meet the Duchess. She picked out a Hobbs cape, a pair of earrings, a bracelet and a handbag for me," Wardally said, according to English. "She chose things that were fantastic and now I feel much more
confident and more beautiful."

Markle has previously paid private visits to the charity and had coached the women there, and she did so again on Thursday when she discussed the importance of confidence, which the charity helps the women regain through coaching and clothes.

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(Photo: Getty / Clodagh Kilcoyne)

Markle's first four royal patronages were announced on Thursday, and along with Smart Works, the Duchess will also support The National Theater, The Association of Commonwealth Universities and the animal organization Mayhew.

The four organizations are clear nods to Markle's interests and passions, as evidenced by the release in which Kensington Palace announced the news, stating that the mom-to-be "will become Patron of four organisations that reflect the causes and issues with which she has long been associated including the arts, access to education, support for women and animal welfare."

The National Theater and The Association of Commonwealth Universities are patronages passed to Markle from the Queen, while charities Smart Works and Mayhew are a new part of Markle's portfolio.

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"The Duchess is delighted to become Patron of both national and grassroots organisations that are part of the fabric of the UK, and is very much looking forward to working with them to bring wider public attention to their causes," the release reads. "Her Royal Highness feels she can use her position to focus attention on, and make a particular difference to these organisations and, more widely, the sectors they each represent."

Photo Credit: Getty / Ben Stansall