As revealed in January, the National Theatre has confirmed that Her Royal Highness The Duchess of Cornwall is the new Royal Patron of the National Theatre.
She takes over from Megan, the Duchess of Sussex. Camilla is well known for being a devoted theatregoer and fan of the arts, and the hope is that her royal patronage will continue to shine a light on the National Theatre and the wider UK theatre community as it comes out of a difficult time for the sector.
The patronage is passed to The Duchess of Cornwall from The Queen, who has been associated with the National since its earliest days at the Old Vic in the 1960s. She last visited the venue in 2013 with The Duke of Edinburgh as part of its 50th anniversary celebrations.
Rufus Norris, Director and Joint Chief Executive of the National Theatre said in a statement that: “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.”
The Duchess of Cornwall is an avid theatre-goer and 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. Most recently, Her Royal Highness visited the Theatre Royal Drury Lane with The Prince of Wales last July and spoke about the importance and resilience of theatre at the virtual Olivier Awards in 2020. 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.