The Duchess of Sussex’s first four royal patronages has been announced.
Her Royal Highness will become Patron of four organisations that reflect the causes and issues she has long championed including the arts, access to education, support for women and animal welfare.
She is set to take over two roles from The Queen, who is granting Meghan two of her patronages as a show of support and trust.
Meghan will become Patron of 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.
Information about Her Royal Highness taking on the National Theatre role was accidentally leaked yesterday on the organisation’s website.
In December, the Duchess invited the director of the National Theatre, Rufus Norris, to a private meeting where they discussed plans for when she is the Patron of the National Theatre. Industry leaders spoke of their hopes that she would champion the arts.
American-born and Los Angeles raised Meghan, who had a successful acting career before joining the Royal Family, is thought to be a perfect fit for the role which will see her help a theatre that was founded in 1963. Her Royal Highness studied theatre at Northwestern University and starred in Hallmark Channel movies and popular US television series, Suits for seven years.
As the patron, the Duchess will also be involved with the American Associates of the National Theatre, a New York Charity that donates over three million a year to the Theatre. She will also play an important role in helping convince a younger generation of the importance of theatre.
Alex Clifton, the artistic director of Storyhouse Theatre, said that the Duchess is a “really powerful voice and can help any theatre achieve more of its mission, in terms of telling stories to as many and as broad a range of people as possible.”
Patronages are often life-long commitments, with the chosen royal having a strong interest in the subject matter. A lot of thought will have been put into this decision by The Queen and the Duchess.
As well as meeting Norris, the Duchess has met with Campaign for Female Education and the Association of Commonwealth Universities. She has previously advocated for gender equality and improvement of women’s education. Such organisations will be likely candidates for potential future patronages.