The Queen has passed on two patronages to the Duchess of Sussex –The National Theatre and The Association of Commonwealth Universities. The Queen has held the roles for 45 and 33 years respectively. Markle will also take on patronage of two additional charities as part of her official working portfolio – Smart Works and Mayhew.
The Duchess said she is “delighted” to become patron of both national and grassroots organisations, and is “very much looking forward to working with them to bring wider public attention to their causes”.
Over the last year, Markle has held meetings and conducted private visits with each of these organisations. It is said the Duchess will today (10 January) visit Smart Works and over the next few weeks will undertake public visits to the other three organisations.
Rufus Norris, director of the National Theatre said: “I would like to thank the Queen for Her Majesty’s long and unwavering support and service to the National Theatre. We were honoured when the Queen became our patron in 1974 and have celebrated many moments together including, in recent years, the Diamond Jubilee and the marking of our 50th anniversary.
“It is a privilege to welcome the Duchess of Sussex as our new patron. The Duchess shares our deeply-held conviction that theatre has the power to bring together people from all communities and walks of life. I very much look forward to working closely with Her Royal Highness in the years to come”.
Juliet Hughes-Hallett, chair and founder of Smart Works added: “We are thrilled to announce that the Duchess of Sussex will become the royal patron of Smart Works. An acknowledged champion of women and their rights worldwide, the Duchess will motivate ever more women to come to our centres and get the job that will transform their lives. The Duchess’s patronage will inspire the women we serve and help them reach for the stars.”