Meghan to make first official visit to National Theatre as patron

The Duchess of Sussex will officially visit the National Theatre for the first time since succeeding the Queen as its patron.

Meghan, who is heavily pregnant, will learn more about the work of the institution and meet staff and apprentices working behind the scenes during the royal event.

The duchess has an affinity with the National Theatre after spending a decade working as an actress in television, where she was best known for her role in the hit US legal drama series Suits, playing paralegal-turned-lawyer Rachel Zane.

She also has a theatre background having studied theatre and international relations at Northwestern University, Illinois, and volunteered at a performing arts after-school programme for children in underprivileged school districts in Los Angeles.

Meghan is a strong believer in using the arts to bring people from different backgrounds and communities together – and her views chime with the National Theatre’s ethos of producing world class theatre with the aim of being as inclusive, diverse and national as possible.

During her visit, the duchess will join a workshop with members of the Pericles company, which was the National Theatre’s first Public Acts production in 2018.

The 2017-18 season saw the National Theatre stage 19 productions at the South Bank, 10 across the UK, three in the West End and six internationally.

Its UK-wide learning and participation programme supports young people’s creative education through performance and writing programmes like Connections, New Views and Let’s Play.

The National Theatre extends its reach through digital programmes including NT Live, which broadcasts some of the best of British theatre to over 2,500 venues in 65 countries, and the free streaming service On Demand In Schools, used by nearly 60% of UK state secondary schools.

Also on Wednesday, the Duke of Sussex, in his role of Commonwealth Youth Ambassador, will meet young people from across the Commonwealth at a roundtable discussion at Lancaster House.