Camilla, Duchess of Cornwall has replaced Meghan, Duchess of Sussex as patron of the National Theatre.
The 74-year-old duchess is an “avid theatregoer” and has been given the role previously held by her stepson Prince’s Harry’s wife before the couple stepped down from official duties two years ago in recognition of her “great support” for the arts.
The role was returned to Queen Elizabeth when Meghan’s patronage ended last February, and the monarch has now handed it over again to her daughter-in-law.
National Theatre director Rufus Norris said: “It is a privilege to welcome the Duchess of Cornwall as the National Theatre’s Royal patron. The Duchess shares our belief that theatre enriches our lives in so many ways and that everyone should have access to the arts and creativity no matter where they are in the world.
“The Duchess has shown great support to our industry throughout the pandemic, and I look forward to working with Her Royal Highness for many years to come. I would also like to express my thanks to the Queen for Her Majesty’s long and unwavering support and service to the National Theatre.”
A news release confirming the duchess’ post made no mention of Meghan’s stint and praised Camilla as an “avid theatregoer who regularly visits arts organisations in the UK and overseas to celebrate the creativity of others and the power of the performing arts to bring people together”.
Camilla – who is married to Prince Charles – has a string of other patronages within the arts, including the Royal Academy of Dance, the Royal Society of Literature, Friends of the Royal Academy, the London Chamber Orchestra, the National Youth Orchestra, the Theatre Royal Bath, the Unicorn Theatre for Children and the Georgian Theatre Royal.
During her stint as patron, Meghan undertook just one public engagement at the theatre in January 2019 and a second private visit in March 2020 when she and Harry were carrying out their final engagement.