Does Duchess Meghan’s National Theatre patronage mean she’ll return to acting?


Prince Harry and Meghan Markle have date night at the opening night of Cirque Du Soleil

People were going on and on about how “brilliant” and “shrewd” it was for Queen Elizabeth II to “pass down” a certain patronage to the Duchess of Sussex. But wasn’t it just an obvious choice to give Meghan the patronage to the National Theatre? It doesn’t take some huge, shrewd leap – Meghan is a former actress, and she enjoys that scene. It’s more like “the Queen thought this would be a natural fit.” Robert Lacey – who is some kind of royal expert – had a lot to say about this particular patronage for Meghan:

Meghan Markle could use her new royal role — recently handed down from Queen Elizabeth — to land back in show business. That’s the opinion of leading royal historian Robert Lacey, who says Meghan’s new patronage of the National Theatre — among four key causes and organizations she’ll be backing as Duchess of Sussex — presents fascinating opportunities for the former Suits star.

It “is a canny and shrewd [assignment] on the Queen’s part,” Lacey, a consultant for the Netflix smash The Crown, says in this week’s issue of PEOPLE. “If Meghan is ever missing the excitement of acting, this will put her back in touch with show business in a very creative way. It is tailor-made for her and she will throw herself into it.”

He believes the royal mom-to-be, 37, might even take an active part at some point: “I can see her getting involved with productions or even directing something.” Could she even return to acting? “It’s not out of the question that we’d see a member of the royal family performing on the stage of the National Theatre one day.”

[From People]

I truly believe that Meghan will never work as an actress again, and that she sees duchessing as her new profession. I don’t think she has any desire to return to the stage, nor would she be “allowed” to do so by the Firm. But directing a play? Eh. Maybe. For charity or something. But mostly I just think that Meghan will enjoy being patroness to the National Theatre because she just likes being around actors and theatrical types and she’s hugely supportive of artists.

Prince Harry and Meghan Markle have date night at the opening night of Cirque Du Soleil

Photos courtesy of Backgrid.

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98 Responses to “Does Duchess Meghan’s National Theatre patronage mean she’ll return to acting?”

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  1. Brunswickstoval says:

    No it doesn’t.

    • Ravensduaghter says:

      Certainly not! There is nothing more common than an actor! (clutches pearls)

      • Bunchita says:

        This is not about it being common. It’s about the fact that every time she gets a new role, there will be questions about whether she used “her connections” to procure it, or whether the people giving her the role were intereseted in what “her connections” could do for them.

    • Pandy says:

      Nope.

    • DinoMo says:

      I agree. She was never a stage actor, so the idea of her suddenly taking to the stage solely because she is a patron is bizarre. If only William would step down as President of the BAFTAs….

      However, she is in no way “barred” from working. She is at liberty to continue her profession at any time of her choosing. Sophie Wessex continued working for several years, and was only forced to resign because she made inappropriate comments. I fully anticipate Meghan having a lot more screen time in the future (cameos, etc) that benefit her various patronages.

      I repeat, pretty emphatically, that NO ONE in the royal family is barred from having a normal job (they are absolutely work-shy), and that no one would prevent Meghan from continuing as an actress so long as she remains non-political, etc.

      • CHATNUH says:

        You do know that the Duchess of Sussex has a degree in Theatre Arts, rt? And you may or may not know that a degree from any prestigious university, such as the one Meghan attended, is not handed to you on a platter because you took a few hours of classes in theory.

  2. Elena says:

    It’s fine if she wants to act. The time in my life I was most upset I was not working and I resented not having my own money.

  3. Notyouraveragehousewife says:

    Is she allowed to have a career outside of her royal duties? I really don’t think this patronage means she will return to acting but she may have felt happy to be around it again.

    • Eliza says:

      Sofie did for a while. But it didn’t work well with the public. I don’t think Meghan was a very strong actress, and it would be a lot of pressure to deliver a brilliant performance/ play as she’s not performing/directing for herself, but she represents UK with every show. I think she’ll enjoy the theater, and join in discussions, but not take on a role.

      • Erinn says:

        I agree. I think she can still have an active life as someone supporting the arts, and working with the theater in general. I think it’d be great if she encouraged kids to find a hobby/extracurricular that they excelled at, and worked to bring more attention to smaller productions and things like that. I think she can still have a really enjoyable time doing that sort of thing.

        Heck, having her drawing attention to even school drama productions and maybe sponsoring a production that could raise money for schools, could be something to look into. I think that would be fun, but also make a difference and not make her feel COMPLETELY separated from her old career.

        Are the Royals able to create scholarships or things like that? My knowledge is really small when it comes to the RF, so I have no idea. But it could be something worth looking into.

      • M.A.F. says:

        @Eliza – How come Sophie working didn’t work well with the public? Was it difficult for her to work because of the attention & what it might do to her & her work place? Or was it because the public didn’t like the idea of her working?

      • Tina says:

        Sophie got taken in by the “fake sheikh,” a reporter for the News of the World who pretended to be a potential client for her firm. She made a number of indiscreet remarks. It’s always a danger if royals are in business for themselves.

  4. Swack says:

    I can see her maybe doing a small part in a play used to raise money for some charity. But back to acting, no. This is a far reach for a reason to put her down – again.

  5. Melmella says:

    I have nothing against Meghan but let’s face facts she was a subpar actress. Anyone that has ever watched Suits or any of her other roles will see that her performance was forgettable. Out of all the Suits cast her acting was the weakest. In Hollywood once her looks had faded I doubt she would have gotten that much roles after.

    I have nothing against Meghan but let’s face facts she was a subpar actress. Anyone that has ever watched Suits or any of her other roles will see that her performance was forgettable. Out of all the Suits cast her acting was the weakest. In Hollywood once her looks had faded I doubt she would have gotten that much roles after.

    British theatre is known to be one of the very best in world, I seriously doubt Meghan would have even made it past the first auditions.

    • Colleen says:

      Yea she definitely over-acted. If this is part of her personality, I can see that she comes across as fake.

    • so cool says:

      This. She was in one show, where she was so wooden. I can’t see her in theater

    • Cafe Lady says:

      Wow!!! Such venom towards someone you’ve never met.

      • Megan says:

        How is expressing an opinion about someone’s acting venemous?

      • tempest prognosticator says:

        This makes no sense. You don’t have to meet an actor to critique her acting. You just have to watch her act.

      • Maria says:

        The show was great but not because of Meghan.

      • M.A.F. says:

        So one can’t comment on a person’s acting? So any review of any actor’s acting is now considered “venom?” There will be a lot of critics out of work if this is the case.

        Lets make no bones about it – no one had really heard of that show until news broke of her relationship with a Prince. She had a job, which is great given the career path she chose, but the show was a TV a channel that no one really pays attention to.

    • Melmella says:

      Just noticed I repeated my first paragraph!

    • Chaine says:

      I had honestly never heard of Suits or Meghan before she started dating Prince Harry, so I can believe that Hollywood isn’t wringing its hands over the loss as much as when Grace Kelly left for Monaco.

    • Dueberrygal says:

      Hollywood is filled with pretty faces with no acting talent and unfortunately Meghan fell into this category. I don’t think she would have had much of a career after Suits. Actresses who continue to have thriving careers well into their 40s & beyond are usually those that have the talent to back it up long after their youth fades such as Meryl Streep, Viola Davis, Glenn Close etc.

      • Lorelei says:

        Like it or not, Meghan was very successful as an actress. Obviously she’s not Meryl Streep, but who is? The fact is that only a very tiny percentage of actors registered with SAG are able to support themselves solely by acting. I forget the exact figure, but the vast majority need to supplement their incomes with other jobs like waiting tables.

        Meghan was not an A-list, international superstar, but she was absolutely a success as an actress. She will be receiving residuals for the rest of her life. Her career is the envy of most working actors.

        I would love to see her return to acting but would be shocked if it ever happened.

    • PrincessK says:

      How very catty and snobby.

      I am on Season Four of Suits and her acting just keeps improving, and her part also has grown larger since the first season. I am not saying that she is the best ever but IMO she is good, and she has every right tone proud of her acting skills. Anyway, how do you know that she would never get a part in a West End London theatre production?

      • Coco says:

        Was she the best actress in the world? No. But I thouroughly enjoyed her and her role as the show progressed.

      • Jensies says:

        I agree. She wasn’t given a lot, but she did fine. She wasn’t painful to watch, and I can name actors that certainly are. She was fine.

      • R says:

        I am sorry but how is not liking someone’s acting catty and snobby?

        So all those people who said Megan Fox really can’t act and she was bad in Transformers are catty and petty? Or does this only apply to Meghan Markle?

        Because I have seen a lot of discussion about acting talent on this board and nothing in this thread is nearly as bad as some of that.

        People think she is a bad actor (some of her public appearances bear that out) that doesn’t mean she isn’t a hard worker or a lovely person it means she isn’t a great actress- that is true of lots of people

      • Lady D says:

        Suits is one of the top three rated TV shows in the States. In Meghan’s last year on the show, it was USA Network’s highest-rated scripted show. You may not have heard about her or enjoyed her acting, but a majority has. Check the stats, they’re easy to find.

      • Brandy Alexander says:

        Lady D that’s not correct. I just looked it up, and they only cracked the Neilsen top 10 in 2017, arguably receiving a bump in ratings because her & Harry went public that year and people were curious. I don’t think it’s an insult to Meghan, who seems lovely, to admit that the majority of people hadn’t heard of her until she started dating Harry.

      • jan90067 says:

        I always thought she was pretty good in Suits. I loved her and “Mike” together. It was a good ensemble cast. Gotta say though, Donna and Louis were the most fun to watch!

    • minx says:

      I had never heard of her until she started dating Harry, then I checked her out on Suits. She was fine in her role, I don’t see her having a lot of range though.

    • Tina says:

      I go to the theatre 2-3 times per week here in London. Trust me when I say that there are some actors in the West End who are a lot worse than Meghan (Pixie Lott in Breakfast at Tiffany’s comes shudderingly to mind).

    • suzysunshine says:

      I’m glad you said it. I watched Suits for the first time as I was unfamiliar with Megan or the show. I had heard so much about it and her acting that I was excited to see it. I could barely get thru a single episode–it was that bad. I’ve gone thru several seasons and have yet to make it thru an entire episode. Megan is lovely and appears to have a genuine and kind personality. IMO, Suits would have been the pinnacle of her acting achievements. Too many pretty faces with acting ability to choose from for her to have had a lengthy, substantial career as an actress.

  6. Brunswickstoval says:

    The more interesting issue will be whether being around the arts makes her miss her old life. It was said Princess Grace wanted a divorce and to return to Hollywood before she died. Sometimes successful careers can be very hard to leave once the blush fades. Being around people still living that life may be hard. Or not.

    • Aoife says:

      Totally agree, I bet she will miss acting sooner or later.

    • Bettyrose says:

      Not really comparable.
      Princess Grace went from glamorous movie star to royalty in a tiny country. Meghan was never movie star level famous, and now she’s much more than that.

      • Brunswickstoval says:

        Yes you’re right I’m not comparing their skill or fame level more how much they might miss an old career in the limelight. I watched one season of Suits and thought she was awful so she’s definitely nowhere near the same level but it’s easy to lose perspective on this site so many seem to adore her

      • PrincessK says:

        @Brunswickstoval….exactly you only watched the first season, I am on Season Four and she has improved so much since she first started.

      • MrsBump says:

        I’ve only watched part of the last season of suits she was in so I cant attest to how much she has progressed since her first season , but i felt her performance was largely forgettable, with a lot of overacting. Im not sure what i was expecting exactly but i left decidedly unimpressed.
        She was smart to branch out into charity & the lifestyle brand thing via her blog, because i don’t think she had much of a future beyond suits, until she met harry of course.
        I think her real skills lies in networking and social climbing, she wasn’t above contacting Piers Morgan for example.
        And she mostly seems to have friends far more famous than herself (other than the ex cast members of course)

  7. Enny says:

    I just want to say that Meghan’s hair and makeup are lovely in these pics. I am usually a fan of her messy bun look, but I’m so glad she went sleek and sophisticated here, for this event, especially with that gown. And Meghan’s makeup is so often just a little off – we’ve spoken of the excessive bronzer use, for example. She still has an unfortunate bronzer situation – in one shot her cheek actually looks bruised! – but overall she toned down the dark powders a bit, the lipstick is gorgeous, and the overall effect is improved.

    Since it’s unlikely she’ll rewear a gown in particular (since she’s been extensively photographed in it – much like other celebrities don’t tend to rewear special event wear) I hope she and Mauret can brainstorm ways to repurpose this gown as one or more other garments (a skirt perhaps, or a cocktail dress) because the color, the fabric are so gorgeous, I’d love to see it on her again, even if in a different form…

  8. AnnaKist says:

    Nope. Her acting days are over. No paid acting. No ‘’charity’’ acting. She now works for The Firm. Unless she and Harry divorce. 😐 Then she can name her price.

  9. Becks1 says:

    No, I don’t think she will ever act again. I can see her being involved in some of the productions though – not every one obviously, but maybe helping with a specific play that will raise money for a charity or something. I think this is a good patronage for her because it will still allow her to be hands on with acting and theater (if she wants to be) even as a royal. I think this was a really nice gesture from the queen to give her this patronage – I don’t know that it was “brilliant,” like you said it seems kind of obvious – but the queen didn’t have to give it to her, and its nice that she did.

  10. Mego says:

    Duchessing is her role now and she will be sticking to it. Her passion is philanthropy (and Harry of course). Despite the tabloid speculation I think she is very happy.

    • Peg says:

      I think Meghan is happy with Harry, and looking forward to the birth of their child.
      Forget Samantha and Jr. I don’t think Meghan gives a damn about their BS, but her father taking part in the sellout had to be hurtful.
      Being pregnant helped in making a decision to cut ties with her father, all his posturing, lying, close to death, bullying and taunting, just sealed the deal.
      Although, I would not be surprised if she told him two days after the wedding that their relationship was over, and this is why he has been acting like vindictive person he is, because he knows there is no going back.

  11. Bettyrose says:

    How would that not be a serious conflict of interest? Presumably roles in National Theatre productions are highly sought after.

    • Meganbot2000 says:

      Exactly. I work/have worked with the National Theatre. There’s zero chance of her being cast in an NT production, because it would be clear she didn’t win the role through auditions and call-backs (can you imagine the NT calling her in to audition? And making that casting choice? Even if she did win a role fair and square from auditioning, no one would believe it). Maybe she could do a little one-off scene for a benefit gala or something, but certainly not act in an actual production.

  12. Lily says:

    I’m interested to see what she does with this particular patronage – and if Charles and the Queen will pass down more ARTS patronages down to her such as The National Gallery, the Royal Ballet, etc. It’s said the National Theatre ceased using the ‘Royal’ from their name because it’s no longer a good look, it alienates new talent especially those from less wealthy backgrounds and loads of places such as The Royal Academy of Arts are beginning to see the disadvantages too. Meghan, a former struggling actress who once said finding work was difficult because she was too white for the black roles and too black for the white roles, could help set up new projects as Royal Patron to encourage inclusivity within The Arts’ scene in London.

    • Rosie says:

      The Royal Opera and Ballet are already Charles’s and Kate’s thing. I don’t think it would be taken off Charles. He’s also the patron of the RSC. Andrew took over as patron of the English National Ballet from Diana. I don’t know if anyone followed on from Princess Margaret at Sadlers Wells Foundation. That could be a good one.

      • Tina says:

        If Princess Alexandra is ready to give up English National Opera (and she probably is, she’s 82) that would be a good one for her to take over.

      • Lily says:

        It’s not Kate’s official patronage. Kate’s thing, as you put it, is her interest in textiles.

  13. Zabar says:

    I think she is well suited for the Duchess life because of her acting background. Confidence in front of the cameras, her speaking skills, etc.
    Off topic, but I wish she’d discover Seraphine Maternity clothes. They are at decent price point ($80- $200)& photograph well- lots of celebs & Duchess Kate have worn them. It’s a good medium between uncomfortable $25 H&M dress and $3000 made-into-maternity ballgown.

  14. L84Tea says:

    This makes me think of Grace Kelly and how she gave up her acting career to become a princess. She was still offered roles but always had to turn them down. She did however find a creative outlet in her later years and was allowed to do a series of poetry readings on stage before audiences.

  15. Nikki says:

    The article’s third word “could” says this entire piece is nothing but conjecture and fantasy. I don’t think the Royal Family would want Meghan to take an acting job, and I think her new job, duchessing, is where her heart is now. No one here wants to hear this, but amongst upper crust society, acting is still often looked at as a lower profession than many others. JFK Jr. wanted to become an actor at one point, and his mother did everything in her power to dissuade him, even with her love for the arts. She understood how he would be exploited in any production he’d be in, as would Meghan, and could you imagine the security nightmare? I really don’t think Meghan will ever be an actress again, unless she goes back to it in a midlife crisis, when the focus is more off her and more on the younger generation of royals coming into adulthood.

  16. Alexandria says:

    That’s a reach, I think she will not return to acting even though the patronage is a good fit. I can only see her in a tiny cameo role with a few lines, so as to pack the theatres. And only maybe once every ten years kind of thing (similar to what the Queen did for the Olympics). I don’t even see her directing, that’s an intense role and she has Duchessing to prioritise.

  17. Prairiegirl says:

    LOL absolutely not. Opens one up to far too much criticism. Anyone else remember Prince Edward’s televised debacle?

  18. minx says:

    I really doubt it.

  19. Ennie says:

    She did well for herself in acting, but she has said it was not her main objective in life. I see it sort of like Angelina Jolie in that they acted, yes, but their actual passionsh in life were different, and they acted on them, Angelina through wirking with the UNCHR and charities, and Meghan working with charities as well, and her lifestyle side project. Meghan has a bigger platform now, If she wanted and were “allowed”, approved to act, it would be for fun, not because she misses her life calling. Anyway, people are criticizing where she puts her hands or where she looks to, so I don’t think she will do something as controversial as acting again. (Sarcasm intended for critics/ haters)

  20. Lanne says:

    Princess Diana surprised Charles early in marriage by doing an onstage dance with Wayne sleep of royal ballet at a gala. Perhaps in a few years Meghan could do something like that. If she did it would be with the full permission of the firm. I don’t think Diana had permission. From what I gather, it was seen as charming at the time. I wonder how people would view Meghan in a similar fashion.

  21. Charfromdarock says:

    At most, I could see her do a cameo in a one night for charity production.

    Her acting days are behind her, I think she was well aware of that and made the decision eyes wide open.

  22. Guest says:

    It’s so funny to read people say meghan wasnt that good of an actress ( which is fine). Then say something like shes only good at being a duchess because she was an actress. She acts in everything she does. Well if she using a her acting skills to be a duchess then she was a pretty good actress.

  23. tw says:

    my god she looks gorgeous in that top photo

  24. Summer says:

    Why not! People need to get over themselves. If she wants to act, let her act. God I miss the theater, there’s isn’t one where I live.

  25. E says:

    I think the more pertinent question is, has she ever stopped acting?

    • CHATNUH says:

      Perhaps you might wish to broaden your perspective a bit and ask an even more pertinent question. E.g: is the former waitykaty (who has admirably morphed into queen-consort-in-waiting (more waiting!) and mother-of-the-future-king/queen/king and, in fact, any other member of the Royal Family not “acting” in their role when theyre in the public eye?

      Or are you too jaundiced to perceive that?

      In fact, FYI: ANYONE with a public persona, is de facto “acting” when in public.

      • entine says:

        My brother was an activity/games organizer at a popular resort for a few years while studying. He was kind of good looking and nice, so a lot of people tried to befriend him or get closer to him. Only once I heard him complain was that it was difficult to be “on” all the time, that people ALWAYS expected a smile and whatever they expected from them. (the whole team of artistic and sports organizer lived in the resort, like at a cruise), the could be found since they lived in the premises.
        People might think it would be fun, but doing that every single day and dealing with all kinds of people must be exhausting, even if that’s the life they chose.
        And to top that off, they can’t complain in this case because they are living off the people they deal with. If they are good actors, then it is a plus.

      • Rosie says:

        Chatnuh & Entine. Yes they all have to adopt a public persona and play the part. I think Meghan finds it a lot easier to be ‘on’ and she seems to be a naturally high energy person. Kate really struggles in this respect and I’m not 100% sure it’s pure laziness, there might be an element of anxiety there. Pippa would have probably found the role easier. With the number of engagements the Queen and Princess Anne do they have a more steady, lower key kind of approach which is easier to maintain over the years.

  26. aquarius64 says:

    I think Meghan will stay at duchessing. She was a not major threat to A listers but she did get a steady pay check for seven years for that’s a blessing. I would how the Hollywood A list sees her now? Meghan was considered beneath them back in the day. How would they deal with her now that she is HRH?

    • OriginalLala says:

      It’s not like she earned the HRH title, she just happened to marry a guy who also just happened to be born royal…nothing really impressive or accomplished about it frankly. But I’m totally anti-monarchy and wish Canada stopped being a Commonwealth nation so I’m biased.

      • BeanieBean says:

        Well, exactly. Nobody ‘earns’ an HRH. And I don’t think Hollywood A-listers (mostly Americans) are affected one way or another by a person being an HRH.

  27. Mina says:

    Has she even acted in theatre before? It’s a very different animal from doing TV. I doubt she’d submit herself to potentially bad reviews from extremely critical experts.

    • Lanne says:

      Home girl wouldn’t know a THING about bad reviews from extremely critical “experts,” now would she? 😉

    • Royalblue says:

      Her degree from northwestern university was in theatre and international relations.

      • Mina says:

        You can have a degree in theater without acting in professional theater. I read a lot of theater reviews from England and they are often nasty. I’m not suggesting Meghan isn’t a good actress (I couldn’t tell really just by her Suits role), but I’m sure some critics would love the chance to over scrutinize her. Seems like a big risk and I don’t think she’d want to subject herself to that.

    • Mae says:

      I think you should probably rephrase your question. Has Meghan ever acted in theatre before? Well unless they hand out a Theatre degree in Northwestern by just sitting in class and studying theory, then I would guess that she had to act in some university production to get her degree. So yes she has acted in theatre before. If you are asking if she has ever acted in theatre in a professional capacity, like in Broadway or something, my guess would be no.

      • RoyalBlue says:

        I agree with you Mae. Of course she would have been in many university theater productions which are actually of a very high standard. So she is aware of what goes on in production, costuming, makeup, acting etc.

        However I don’t believe she desires to act anymore and she can lend support in other aspects of the industry.

  28. AnotherDirtyMartini says:

    Maybe I’m high, but these pics are even more flattering than yesterday’s pics. She looks gorgeous. I love that color on her – both the dress’ and the makeup.

  29. AnotherDirtyMartini says:

    Just got a good look at the shoes. I love them! I’d never be able to walk in them, but they’re very in-style & sexy.

  30. Sol says:

    I really like her but I’m kinda sick of her “bump-touching”. Stop it already, we KNOW you are pregnant.

    • Lanne says:

      And if the kid is kicking or positioned uncomfortably, she should think about the public’s opinion instead of her own comfort, right? And if YOU didn’t bump touch when pregnant, then surely you can speak for the experiences of all pregnant women right? I’m so sick of body policing!

      • CairinaCat says:

        I held onto my bump because it threw my center of gravity off so bad I’d stagger around if I didn’t do something to center myself

    • Meganbot2000 says:

      Okay but at that one fashion event everyone slammed her after the photos of her cradling the bump, then when the video came out it clearly showed that the baby kicked her (you can physically see her wince) and she instinctively cradled the bump for like two seconds to stop the kicking, and the press had all printed photos of that two-second moment.

  31. GM says:

    I doubt she will return to acting in the near future or probably ever. From the clips I have seen of her acting she is competent but not one of the greats. It seemed regardless of meeting Harry she was previously planning to expand her career in other directions. So its possible but unlikely.

  32. Very over it says:

    Fake pillow pregnancy, tacky, merchandising, gross woman