Meghan Markle officially announced as Royal Patron of the National Theatre
UPDATE: Meghan Markle is no longer Royal Patron of the National Theatre from 19 Feb. 2021. For more information, read here.
It has been officially announced that the Duchess of Sussex is the new Royal Patron of the National Theatre in London, following some weeks of speculation.
The role has been handed down to Meghan, who made her name as an actress on US television and theatre, by the Queen, who has held the role for the last 45 years dating back to when the National Theatre began at The Old Vic.
Meghan started her career as an actress in the early 2000s after training in theatre, and went on to take major roles in TV series such as Suits, and films such as Horrible Bosses, A Random Encounter and Anti-Social. She married the Duke of Sussex Prince Harry in the spring of 2018, and announced her retirement from acting.
The National Theatre confirmed the Duchess had met privately with the director of the National Rufus Norris at the theatre last year, and is expected to carry out a public visit at the theatre at some point in the next few weeks.
Norris thanked the Queen for her “long and unwavering support”, adding: “We were honoured when The Queen became our Patron in 1974 and have celebrated many moments together including, in recent years, the diamond jubilee and the marking of our 50th anniversary.”
On the appointment of Meghan to the role, Norris said: "It is a privilege to welcome The Duchess of Sussex as our new Patron. The Duchess shares our deeply-held conviction that theatre has the power to bring together people from all communities and walks of life.
“I very much look forward to working closely with Her Royal Highness in the years to come.”
Meghan has previously spoken in support of championing the arts, and has expressed she wishes to use her position to make a difference to the arts sector. She has previously volunteered at a performing arts school programme for children in underprivileged school districts in LA.