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Duchess of Cornwall visits National Theatre after taking over the patronage

The Duchess of Cornwall has visited the National Theatre for the first time since taking over from Meghan Markle as royal patron. 

Camilla, 74, was handed the position in March after the Duchess of Sussex was stripped of the patronage when she and Prince Harry stepped back as senior members of the royal family in 2020. 

The coveted position was one of two patronages handed to Meghan, 40, in 2019. The role had belonged to Her Majesty for 45 years. 

The move could be seen as a marker of Her Majesty’s faith in Camilla after she endorse her as the future Queen Consort in her Platinum Jubilee message in February. 

The Duchess of Cornwall has visited the National Theatre for the first time since taking over from Meghan Markle as royal patron

The Duchess met with patrons of the National Theatre's Public Acts company as she visited the theatre for the first time since taking over as patron

The Duchess met with patrons of the National Theatre’s Public Acts company as she visited the theatre for the first time since taking over as patron

During her time as patron of the National Theatre, Meghan made just one public appearance at the theatre, shortly after her appointment, and visited privately in March 2020

During her time as patron of the National Theatre, Meghan made just one public appearance at the theatre, shortly after her appointment, and visited privately in March 2020 

Camilla kept her look simple with a black skirt suit, adding a pop of colour with a blue scarf and a touch of glamour with a navy Chanel bag, pearl earrings and a statement silver brooch. 

The Duchess appeared in good spirits as she was introduced to the National Theatre’s Executive Director, Kate Varah and Director, Rufus Norris.

She then visited the Olivier Theatre where the Duchess watched a 10-minute workshop on The Odyssey, by members of the National Theatre’s Public Acts company.

Following the workshop Camilla heard Norris deliver a short speech welcoming hr to the National Theatre before making introductions to participants of the Public Acts community company.  

The Duchess is seen looking at costumes as she pays her first in-person visit to the National Theatre as royal patron

The Duchess is seen looking at costumes as she pays her first in-person visit to the National Theatre as royal patron

Camilla was seen shaking hands with staff members as she took a look at costumes during her visit to the National Theatre this afternoon

Camilla was seen shaking hands with staff members as she took a look at costumes during her visit to the National Theatre this afternoon 

The Duchess also met with director Emily Lim and Sharon Wilson from the Doncaster-based community organisation, Changing Lives. 

Camilla later met with representatives from departments across the National Theatre including the prop and costume teams, cast members and puppeteers from The Ocean at the End of the Lane and front of house staff. 

Meghan was given the patronage in 2019 – with royal insiders claiming her career as an actress made her a ‘natural fit’ for the position, after she starred in the US legal drama Suits for seven years. 

The esteemed role was among the patronages Meghan lost after the Sussexes confirmed they would not be returning as working members of the Royal Family last February. 

Camilla gets involved with actors as she pays her first visit to the National Theatre after being handed the patronage in March

Camilla gets involved with actors as she pays her first visit to the National Theatre after being handed the patronage in March 

The Duchess was seen throwing a plate as she got stuck in with performers during her visit to the National Theatre in London

The Duchess was seen throwing a plate as she got stuck in with performers during her visit to the National Theatre in London

An amused Camilla reaches out to touch a puppet on her visit to the National Theatre today

Camilla is seen meeting puppeteers as she pays her first visit to National Theatre as royal patron

An amused Camilla was seen meeting puppeteers as she pays her first visit to National Theatre as royal patron

A delighted Camilla is seen taking a look at some of the costumes as she visits the National Theatre for the first time as patron

A delighted Camilla is seen taking a look at some of the costumes as she visits the National Theatre for the first time as patron

An avid supporter of theatre and literature, Camilla was said to be ‘delighted’ after taking over the patronage and is keen to support an industry which greatly suffered during the pandemic. 

During her time as patron Meghan made just one public appearance at the theatre, shortly after her appointment, and visited privately in March 2020. 

Pictures of the visit were released on the same day Camilla delivered a speech on domestic violence at the Southbank Centre in London – a move said to have angered the Duchess of Cornwall.  

Buckingham Palace had reportedly urged royal correspondents to focus on the Duchess of Cornwall’s long-planned engagement, which came on a day when there were no other major Royal engagements. 

Camilla was said to be ‘very upset’ at the release of the images, insiders told the Mirror. 

In October 2020 the Duchess presented lyricist Don Black, known for his collaborations with Lloyd-Webber, with the Special Olivier Award at the virtual Olivier Awards ceremony. 

The Duchess appeared in high spirits as staff showed off a selection of the theatre's costumes during her first visit as royal patron

The Duchess appeared in high spirits as staff showed off a selection of the theatre’s costumes during her first visit as royal patron

The Duchess chatted with staff as she took a look at the selection of costumes during her visit this afternoon

The Duchess chatted with staff as she took a look at the selection of costumes during her visit this afternoon

The Duchess was appeared to be in high spirits as she chatted with Artistic Director and Joint Chief Executive of the National Theatre Rufus Norris during her visit today

The Duchess was appeared to be in high spirits as she chatted with Artistic Director and Joint Chief Executive of the National Theatre Rufus Norris during her visit today 

During the show, which was pre-recorded at the London Palladium, The Duchess said: ‘I believe in the theatre. Perhaps most importantly, those of us who believe in the theatre also believe in its resilience.

‘I should like to thank those of you whose profession is in the theatre for your determination and your flexibility. Please remain resilient – we need you and we have missed you.’ 

While at the theatre, The Duchess was joined by Lloyd-Webber and the co-founders of the Theatre Artists’ Fund, director Sam Mendes and chief executive of the Society of London Theatre Julian Bird, as well as three beneficiaries of the fund.

The fund has raised almost £4 million to date and helped more than 2,600 people in the industry.

Other patronages of Camilla’s include The Royal Academy of Dance, Royal Society of Literature, Friends of The Royal Academy, London Chamber Orchestra, National Youth Orchestra, Theatre Royal Bath, Unicorn Theatre for Children and Georgian Theatre Royal. 

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Read more at DailyMail.co.uk