Meghan Markle: National Theatre Patron makes her official visit
A round of applause for the new Royal Patron of the National Theatre: Meghan Markle champions drama and diversity for her first official visit
After a 45 year tenure, the Queen has passed on her Royal Patronage of the National Theatre. The Duchess of Sussex continues the tradition of supporting the nation's theatre. Considering the NT's sustained strategy to appeal to new and more diverse audiences, the new royal connection is a coup. The 'Meghan effect' leaves everything the Duchess touches in high demand. And, as a self-proclaimed feminist, she adds a modern relatability to the Monarchical traditions.
Along with her remarkable influence, the Duchess also brings personal experience to the patronage. Before her ten year television career, Meghan was part of the esteemed drama programme at Northwestern University, where she achieved a double-major in theatre and international relations.
Duchess of Sussex, Sophie Naylor, Camile Walters and Kate John at the National Theatre (c) Emilie Bailey
She has spent time planning her new role with National Theatre artistic director Rufus Norris, and was given an extensive tour of the three performance spaces. The heavily-pregnant Duchess looked radiant in a pale pink shift dress and jacket with hair in her signature casual bun. She smiled and greeted children from the Edith Neville primary school in Camden, who gave a performance inspired by War Horse.
The Duchess also heard about the theatre's outreach programmes and chatted to members of the apprenticeship scheme.
Duchess of Sussex with National Theatre Apprentices (c) Emilie Bailey
'It has been a pleasure to welcome The Duchess of Sussex to the National Theatre,' says artistic director Rufus Norris. 'The Duchess shares our belief that theatre has the power to bring together people from all communities and walks of life so it has been wonderful to introduce her to members of the Public Acts company today.'
'The Duchess also heard more about our work outside of London across the country as we continue to build on our national work through our tours and learning programmes. We very much look forward to working closely with Her Royal Highness in the years to come and sharing more of our work with her.'
Rufus Norris and the Duchess of Sussex at the National Theatre (c) Emilie Bailey