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Meghan visits South Bank as she becomes National Theatre patron

London SE1 website team

The Duchess of Sussex made her first official visit to the National Theatre on Wednesday, weeks after it was announced that she would take over from the Queen as royal patron of the venue.

Meghan visits South Bank as she becomes National Theatre patron
Duchess of Sussex, Sophie Naylor, Camile Walters and Kate John at the National Theatre (Photo: Emilie Bailey)

The Duchess was welcomed to the National Theatre by director,Rufus Norris, executive director Lisa Burger and chair Sir Damon Buffini before joining a workshop with members of the Public Acts company led by director Emily Lim.

Launched last year, Public Acts brings together amateurs and professionals to create theatre.

The Duchess met current and former apprentices who are working as technicians in various departments including carpentry, metalwork and painting. The NT launched its apprenticeship and trainee programme in 2011. In most cases, the apprentices study for a level 2 or 3 qualification with a learning provider, combined with an opportunity to put the training into practice in the workplace.

The Duchess ended her visit by watching a performance inspired by War Horse by primary school children from Edith Neville Primary School in Camden which was created to mark the centenary of Armistice Day.

As part of this project primary schools were invited to see War Horse at the National Theatre and, in partnership with the Imperial War Museum, take part in a creative programme to enrich children's understanding of World War One.

Rufus Norris said: "It has been a pleasure to welcome the Duchess of Sussex to the National Theatre today for her first official visit as our royal patron.

"The Duchess shares our belief that theatre has the power to bring together people from all communities and walks of life so it has been wonderful to introduce her to members of the Public Acts company today.

"The Duchess also heard more about our work outside of London across the country as we continue to build on our national work through our tours and learning programmes. We very much look forward to working closely with Her Royal Highness in the years to come and sharing more of our work with her."

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