AceShowbiz - Meghan Markle, Duchess of Sussex is to take over from Queen Elizabeth II as the patron of Britain's National Theatre.
Royal officials announced the Duchess would be supporting four organisations with her first royal patronages, including the London arts venue, on Thursday, January 10. The official announcement came the day after the news was mistakenly revealed by National Theatre bosses, who briefly shared the news on their website on Wednesday before quickly deleting the post.
The royal, who gave up her career as a top U.S. TV actress to marry Prince Harry last May, explained in a statement she is "a strong believer in using the arts to bring people from different backgrounds and communities together."
Royal officials indicated the former "Suits" star is "delighted" to take on her new roles and believes "she can use her position to focus attention on, and make a particular difference to these organisations and, more widely, the sectors they each represent."
View this post on Instagram
The Duchess of Sussex will become Patron of four organisations that reflect the causes and issues with which she has long been associated including the arts, access to education, support for women and animal welfare. Her Majesty The Queen has passed on two patronages to The Duchess of Sussex –The National Theatre and The Association of Commonwealth Universities. The Queen has held the roles for 45 and 33 years respectively. Her Royal Highness will also take on Patronage of two additional charities as part of her official working portfolio – Smart Works and Mayhew. Visit the link in our bio to find out more. 📷 Phil Noble / Reuters
Meghan takes over from the Queen, who has been patron of the National Theatre for 45 years. Founded in 1963, the prestigious theatre company has hosted plays starring some of Britain's most famous actors, including Helen Mirren, Andrew Garfield, Benedict Cumberbatch, Anthony Hopkins, and Judi Dench.
The National Theatre's director Rufus Norris said in a press release it was a "privilege" to welcome Meghan as their new patron as she, "shares our deeply-held conviction that theatre has the power to bring together people from all communities and walks of life."
The other organisations she will offer patronage to are The Association of Commonwealth Universities, jobs charity Smart Works, and the animal welfare non-profit Mayhew.