Camilla, Duchess of Cornwall Takes Over Meghan Markle's Former Role as National Theatre Patron

The patronage was originally held by Queen Elizabeth before the monarch passed it on to the Duchess of Sussex

meghan markle
Camilla, Duchess of Cornwall and Meghan Markle. Photo: Chris Jackson/Chris Jackson/Getty

Camilla, Duchess of Cornwall is taking over one of the patronages that previously belonged to Meghan Markle.

Camilla, Duchess of Cornwall is now the patron of the National Theatre, marking the first of Meghan's patronages to be handed to another member of the royal family.

"We are delighted to announce that Her Royal Highness The Duchess of Cornwall has become our Royal Patron," the National Theatre said in a tweet on Friday. "The Duchess, a long-standing supporter for the arts, is a devoted fan of theatre and champion of literature and drama."

The National Theatre, one of the U.K.'s most prominent publicly funded performing arts venues, was one of the four patronages Meghan announced in January 2019 as the causes she would support in her royal life. The role was given to the former actress by Queen Elizabeth, who had previously been the royal patron.

Camilla also shared the news on the official Twitter account she shares with her husband Prince Charles.

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"Today it has been announced that The Duchess of Cornwall, a long-standing supporter for the arts and a devoted fan of theatre, is the new Royal Patron of the @NationalTheatre . 🎭 The patronage is passed to The Duchess from Her Majesty The Queen," the tweet read.

Meghan made her first public trip to the National Theatre in London in late January 2019.

This marks the first of Meghan's former patronages to be redistributed to another member of the royal family since Meghan and Prince Harry stepped back from their roles as senior working royals.

meghan markle
Meghan Markle. Jon Bond - WPA Pool/Getty

The Duke and Duchess of Sussex gave up their royal involvement with numerous U.K. charities when they officially stepped back from their roles as senior working members of the royal family last year, and the patronages reverted to Queen Elizabeth.

Meghan has continued to support some of the U.K. charities, including Smart Works, which helps longterm unemployed and vulnerable women regain the skills, confidence and tools to succeed at job interviews, return to employment and transform their lives. In March 2021, Meghan sent handwritten notes (putting her famous calligraphy skills to good use) wishing luck to women who were job hunting.

She is also still listed as patron of animal welfare charity Mayhew on their website.

Kate Middleton has become the new royal patron of the Rugby Football Union and Rugby Football League, a role previously held by her brother-in-law Prince Harry.

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In addition to the charitable positions that previously belonged to Prince Harry and Meghan, all of Prince Andrew's military affiliations and royal patronages were returned to the Queen in January amid the sexual assault lawsuit against him. They are also expected to be redistributed to other members of the family.

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