Duchess of Cornwall to visit National Theatre for the first time as patron

The Duchess of Sussex was stripped of the prestigious title after she and the Duke of Sussex announced they would step back as senior royals.

The Duchess of Cornwall (Finnbarr Webster/PA)

By Summer Goodkind, PA

The Duchess of Cornwall will visit the National Theatre for the first time since taking over as royal patron from The Duchess of Sussex.

Camilla was handed the prestigious role by the Queen last month after Meghan was stripped of the position as part of the post-Megxit review.

During Wednesday’s visit to the London theatre, the duchess will meet staff and members of the National Theatre’s community programme, Public Acts, as well as the theatre’s executive director, Kate Varah, and director Rufus Norris.

She will also visit the Olivier Theatre and watch a 10-minute workshop on The Odyssey, by the Public Acts company, the National Theatre’s nationwide initiative to create extraordinary acts of theatre and community.

After the workshop, Mr Norris will give a short speech welcoming the duchess, before she meets representatives from departments across the National Theatre including the prop and costume teams, cast members and puppeteers from The Ocean At The End of the Lane and front of house staff.

Meghan was stripped of the prestigious role in February 2022 (PA Wire/ Aaron Chown)

The royal patronage of the National Theatre was the first of the Duchess of Sussex’s former roles to be taken over.

The new duty for Camilla is another sign of the Queen’s faith in her daughter-in-law, who she endorsed as a future Queen Consort while marking her historic Platinum Jubilee last month.

The Queen has been associated with the National Theatre since its earliest days at the Old Vic in the 1960s, last visiting with the Duke of Edinburgh as part of its 50th anniversary celebrations in 2013.

In addition to a number of private visits, The Duchess of Cornwall most recently visited the Theatre Royal Drury Lane with The Prince of Wales in July and spoke about the importance and resilience of theatre at the virtual Olivier Awards in 2020.

Camilla has previously been described as an avid theatre-goer, whose existing patronages include The Royal Academy of Dance, Royal Society of Literature, Friends of The Royal Academy, London Chamber Orchestra, National Youth Orchestra, Theatre Royal Bath, Unicorn Theatre for Children and Georgian Theatre Royal.

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