Theatre lets its royal se­cret slip

The Daily Telegraph - - Front page - By Han­nah Fur­ness royal cor­re­spon­dent

IT HAD been one of the most closely guarded se­crets of the Duchess of Sus­sex’s ca­reer, as she worked be­hind the scenes to per­fect her first royal pa­tron­ages and an­nounce them to the world.

That is, un­til some­one at the Na­tional Theatre got a lit­tle overex­cited.

The theatre last night ac­ci­den­tally pub­lished of­fi­cial con­fir­ma­tion that the Duchess would be its royal pa­tron on its web­site, with a pho­to­graph cel­e­brat­ing the news.

In a post on the “what’s on” page of the site, dated to­day and in­tended to be shared once the news was con­firmed by Kens­ing­ton Palace, the theatre de­clared: “The Duchess of Sus­sex an­nounced as our new Royal Pa­tron.”

The pa­tron­age is cur­rently held by the Queen, who is un­der­stood to be hand­ing it over to her grand-daugh­terin-law in a pub­lic show of sup­port.

The role will be con­sid­ered an ideal fit for the Duchess, who was an ac­tress be­fore mar­ry­ing into the Royal fam­ily.

She is known to have re­cently in­vited Ru­fus Nor­ris, the artis­tic di­rec­tor of the theatre, for a pri­vate meet­ing at the palace, with in­dus­try lead­ers later

speak­ing of their hopes that she would take up a role cham­pi­oning the arts.

The an­nounce­ment was to be the re­sult of months of care­ful plan­ning, with the Duchess and her team mak­ing se­cret vis­its to nu­mer­ous char­i­ties. Palace sources had pre­vi­ously dis­closed that she had held reg­u­lar pri­vate meet­ings with char­ity lead­ers, em­pha­sis­ing her de­sire to choose pa­tron­ages care- fully and build life-long re­la­tion­ships.

The Duchess is also known to have met the Cam­paign for Fe­male Ed­u­ca­tion, which works to em­power young women in Africa, and The As­so­ci­a­tion of Com­mon­wealth Uni­ver­si­ties.

The first con­firmed pa­tron­age will see the Duchess work with the Na­tional Theatre to build on its mis­sion to con- vince a new, young, di­verse au­di­ence that the art form is for them.

Nor­ris is a vo­cal ad­vo­cate for broad­en­ing theatre au­di­ences, pledg­ing to in­crease the di­ver­sity of ac­tors and staff and promis­ing a 50-50 gen­der bal­ance.

The Duchess of Cam­bridge will next week visit The Royal Opera House cos­tume de­part­ment to learn about the 10,000 out­fits it uses each year. ♦ Vin­cent van Gogh’s Sun­flow­ers will be seen in Ja­pan for the first time, as it is dis­played there along with 60 other paint­ings from the Na­tional Gallery. The 1888 work will be shown in the ex­hi­bi­tion Mas­ter­pieces From The Na­tional Gallery, Lon­don, to co­in­cide with the 2020 Tokyo Olympics. Sun­flow­ers is rarely lent and this will be only the third time it has left the coun­try.

News of the Duchess of Sus­sex’s Na­tional Theatre pa­tron­age was ac­ci­den­tally leaked on its web­site a day early

Newspapers in English

Newspapers from UK

© PressReader. All rights reserved.