Sunday, 6 November 2011

ROH Patronage

, the Daily Telegraph's Royal Correspondent, reports that the Duchess of Cambridge has been making a number of visits to the Royal Opera House with her father-in-law, the Prince of Wales.

Prince Charles, a lifelong fan of the opera and the ballet, is understood to be encouraging the Duchess of Cambridge's interests in both art forms, with a view to her supporting the Royal Opera House in an official capacity as part of her future role in public life.

Her Royal Highness, 29, is keen to become a patron of the arts, and a move into the opera and ballet world would be welcomed within royal circles.

The Queen is patron of the Royal Ballet, with Prince Charles acting as president, and Lady Sarah Chatto as vice president. The Prince of Wales is also patron of the Royal Opera.

A Royal Opera House source, said: “The Duchess of Cambridge and the Prince of Wales have made several private visits to the Royal Opera House together, before and since the royal wedding in April, to watch several opera and ballet productions." 

The royal visits to Covent Garden reflect the strengthening bond between Prince Charles and his daughter-in-law.

Last month, His Royal Highness called upon his “darling daughter-in-law” to step in for him at the last minute for a charity dinner at Clarence House in her first solo engagement.

As part of her future role as a champion of the arts, the Duchess of Cambridge is also considering supporting a number of national institutions, thought to include The Tate, the National Gallery, the National Portrait Gallery and the V&A.

HRH is expected to become the official patron of several national museums and galleries and may also act as an “ambassador” for institutions that have existing Royal links, such as the Royal Opera House and the V&A where Princess Alexandra is a patron.

The Duchess of Cambridge has a long-held interest in the arts. During her gap year in 2001, she spent three months studying art history at the British Institute in Florence, before enrolling at the University of St Andrew’s where she met Prince William while reading a history of art degree.

She will also undertake a number of private visits to charities over the next few months to decide which she will take on in an official capacity.

An announcement on which institutions and charities she will support is expected in the New Year.

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