Camilla, the Duchess of Cornwall, has been named as the new patron of the National Theatre – a role previously held by Meghan Markle. And it seems the royal role had twice caused tension between the two women
The Duchess of Cornwall has finally been named as the new patron of the National Theatre – taking over the role previously held by Meghan Markle.
Meghan was forced to give up the job last year when her exit from the Royal Family along with her husband Prince Harry was finalised.
It was one of several royal patronages handed to Meghan when she married Harry and it appeared to be the perfect fit for the former actress, who found fame in hit TV legal drama Suits.
But it appears the patronage has twice been the source of major tension between both Meghan and Camilla, who is also a known lover of the arts.
Chris Jackson/Getty Images)
The first time came in 2019 as according to a source, when the Queen handed Meghan the patronage, the news did not go down too well with Camilla.
They told the Times : “She really wanted it. She was pretty miffed when it went to Meghan.”
However, Meghan managed just one official visit to the National Theatre before she and Harry announced they were stepping down as senior royals and moving to the US for a new life.
Duke and Duchess of Sussex/Chris Allerton)
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When it was announced neither Harry nor Meghan would be returning to public life, Meghan had to give up the role and there was speculation it would be handed to Camilla.
And the source added that the duchess would be “all the more delighted to take it on now, after being disappointed not to get it first time round”.
The second time Meghan’s former patronage drove a wedge between her and her stepmother-in-law was in 2020, when the Mirror revealed an incident left Camilla “very upset”.
On that day, Meghan released photos of herself visiting the National Theatre at the same time Camilla gave a landmark speech at the 10th anniversary of the Women of the World Festival in London on domestic abuse
Meghan allegedly broke a pledge not to overshadow Camilla’s vital campaign by getting the pictures of her private visit to the National Theatre to be published the same day.
Palace officials remained tight-lipped about the row but one well-placed insider said at the time: “Camilla’s work is very important to her and her decision to highlight the scourge of domestic violence at the 10th anniversary of Women of the World was a carefully thought-out plan.
AFP via Getty Images)
“Over the last four years, she has worked tirelessly, mostly behind the scenes but to great effect, to use her platform and personal experiences to highlight the issue and help sufferers.
“Of course, it was known Harry and Meghan would be doing engagements this week, some privately, but everyone was in agreement that Camilla’s speech should take precedence. Unfortunately some people had other ideas.”
Earlier today, the National Theatre said it was delighted Camilla, a long-standing supporter for the arts, had been given the role, describing her as a devoted fan of theatre and champion of literature and drama.
Rufus Norris, director and joint chief executive of the National Theatre, 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.”