On March 19, the National Theatre announced that Queen Elizabeth has passed on the royal patronage of the organization to Camilla Parker Bowles, wife of Prince Charles. Director Rufus Norris said in a statement, “It is a privilege to welcome The Duchess of Cornwall as the National Theatre’s Royal Patron. The Duchess shares our belief that theatre enriches our lives in so many ways and that everyone should have access to the arts and creativity no matter where they are in the world … I look forward to working with Her Royal Highness for many years to come.”
Camilla Parker Bowles is also the patron of a number of other British arts associations, including The Royal Academy of Dance, the London Chamber Orchestra, London Youth Orchestra, and the Royal Society of Literature, so this isn’t an unexpected honor. However, the loss of the patronage to Prince Harry’s stepmother may sting a bit for Meghan Markle, who enjoyed a successful acting career before joining the royal family. As Page Six notes, Meghan lost other patronages when she and Harry relinquished their official duties, but this is the first time another family member has been tapped to take her place.
The new honor suggests that the queen is continuing to warm up towards her once-controversial daughter-in-law. In February, she stated her desire to have Camilla named as Queen Consort when Charles eventually ascends the throne, per BBC.