Meghan makes touching tribute in honour of late ‘dear friend’

The Duchess of Sussex has sent a personal video message in memory of an animal behaviourist friend to mark the naming of a new rescue wing in his honour.

Meghan paid tribute to dog trainer Oli Juste, who introduced her to the Mayhew animal charity, leading to her becoming its patron for three years.

The recording of the duchess was played to guests including actors Nigel Harman, Rula Lenska, Beatie Edney and Laura Aikman at the unveiling of the Oli Juste Wing at Mayhew’s centre in north London on Wednesday.

Mr Juste died suddenly in January 2022, and Mayhew said a “generous” donation made by his “dear friend” Meghan through her Archewell Foundation, to help continue his legacy, had made the new refurbished kennels possible.

The duchess said in her message: “A heartfelt thank you to the wonderful team at Mayhew who have worked tirelessly to bring this dream to life.

“It was so important to find a way to celebrate Oli’s memory in a manner that he would have loved.

“Mayhew is a beacon of hope for those in need and a shining example of what can be achieved when we work together.”

Royal visit to Mayhew charity
The duchess with a Jack Russell called Minnie during a visit to Mayhew, an animal welfare charity in 2019 (Eddie Mulholland/Daily Telegraph/PA)

It added: “The Oli Juste Wing is a testament to his unwavering love and commitment to our furry friends, and will improve the lives of countless animals, reminding us all of the power of compassion, connection, and care.”

The duchess has adopted a number of rescue dogs over the years including a Guy, a beagle, and a black Labrador called Pula.

Mr Juste and his fiance Rob helped care for Guy when Meghan moved to the UK and the dog was recovering from an accident.

Meghan wrote in 2022 that she was left “heartbroken” by Mr Juste’s death.

– Advertisement –
– Advertisement –