Meghan Markle says her dogs have given her comfort in a year crammed with grief

FROM daily walks to cuddles on the sofa, our pet pooches have been a huge source of comfort for many of us during the pandemic – including Meghan Markle.

The Duchess of Sussex, 39, has revealed how her two dogs have proved invaluable in a year when people have been "forced apart".

Writing in the foreward of the annual review for London-based animal charity Mayhew, of which she is patron, the royal mum-of-two noted the importance of pets.

She acknowledged that it had been a time of "process of grief, growth and also of gratitude", and that our pooches have supported us through it.

The duchess – who gave birth to baby daughter Lilibet earlier this month – is a proud dog owner.

She has a beagle named Guy – who she adopted while living in Toronto – and also a labrador called Pula, who she adopted with Prince Harry, 36.

The duchess wrote: "Over the last year, each of us have felt the profound effects of the global Covid-19 pandemic.

"Be it the loss of a loved one, the health challenges far too many faced, or the disproportionate life changes everyone has experienced, it has been an overwhelming process of grief, growth and also of gratitude. 

"I have heard from so many of you about the impact of having a pet with you at home during the isolation of lockdown; you have mentioned the therapeutic effect of having your animal by your side and the solace and comfort you found in their company."

She continued: "When I reflect on 2020, I always come back to the importance of community and connection.

"We may have been forced apart, but we found new ways to be close and to support each other through this shared crisis. For many of us, this was made all the easier with our pets by our side.

"As we collectively build to the future, my sincere hope is that we do so with ongoing support and appreciation for organizations like Mayhew, who continue their vital work in days of crisis and in days of calm. 

"Their commitment to the cause of animal welfare is steadfast and their effect on our community wellbeing is self-evident."

The duchess – who is also mum to two-year-old Archie – has been a patron of Mayhew since January 2019, and paid a surprise visit to the charity as one of her final engagements as a senior royal in March 2020.

In other royal news, we revealed how the Queen has a secret WhatsApp group where Prince Harry and Meghan Markle shared baby Lilibet pics.

We also told you how the Duke and Duchess of Sussex have caused fury by creating just 35 minutes of content so far in return for £18m Spotify deal.

And an expert has claimed that Princess Diana remained a little in love with Prince Charles even after their divorce.

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