Meghan Markle, Duchess of Sussex, is “heartbroken” as she recalls a private “tragedy”

 Meghan Markle, Duchess of Sussex, is “heartbroken” as she recalls a private “tragedy”

Meghan Markle | Max Mumby/Indigo/Getty Images

The Duchess has penned an emotional open letter detailing the ‘sudden’ news. Meghan Markle has expressed her sorrow over the death of a close friend who helped pave the road for her work with a prominent animal protection charity.

In a fresh open letter to the public, the Duchess expressed her “heartbroken” over the January loss of Oli Juste, 45. Meghan first met Oli when he introduced her to Mayhew, a London-based animal protection charity.

The 40-year-old acquired the organization’s royal patronage for three years after falling in love with the rescue work done at Mayhew. Meghan has a long history with animal rescue, having adopted two dogs named Guy and Pula.

“I was introduced to Mayhew by my dear friend, animal behaviorist, Oli Juste,” the Duchess’ letter began. “We shared, amongst many things, a commitment to animal welfare and a deep love of rescue dogs.

“In fact, it was Oli and his fiancé Rob who helped care for my rescue dog, Guy, when I had just moved to the UK and he was recovering from a debilitating accident. Her three-year patronage at Mayhew came to an end earlier this year, according to the mother of two.

“I [have] reflected on the work they have achieved in the hardest of times – during a global pandemic with minimal resources, safeguarding staff from their stations in Afghanistan, and still resolving to remain steadfast in their vital day to day work for animal and human welfare throughout London and across the globe,” she wrote.

“Every day there was another twist and turn, every week another update – which Oli and I would connect about: ‘What can we do? How can we do more? Look at the amazing work they continue to do’.”

Meghan ended the message by reflecting on Oli’s death. “On January 15, 2022, my beloved friend Oli tragically and very suddenly passed away,” she said. “It has left me, and so many others, heartbroken and reflective – knowing that the legacy he leaves for our furry friends is beautifully simple: just love them.

“Especially those left behind or forgotten.” Meghan shared plans by the charity to honor Oli’s memory. In his memory, we will be creating the Oli Juste wing at Mayhew, to shelter the animals who may have a harder time finding their forever homes.

“Because much like Oli, they will never be forgotten, and they will always be loved.” Rob posted a note on Oli’s Instagram on January 20 to announce his fiancé’s death.

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