Harry and Meghan latest: National Theatre head dismisses claims of fall out with Duchess of Sussex

Rebecca Speare-Cole
Getty Images

The National Theatre's artistic director has dismissed claims the organisation has fallen out with its patron, the Duchess of Sussex.

Rufus Norris said reports that theatre bosses were left fuming after Meghan and Harry announced they were stepping back as "senior royals" were a "complete fiction".

Meghan became the London venue's patron in January 2018, but questions were raised about the future of her role with the Sussexes moving to Canada.

But Mr Norris said the Duchess was still involved with the theatre.

The National Theatre's artistic director Rufus Norris (Getty Images)

He told the Daily Telegraph: "She is still very engaged, the conversations are regular and ongoing, there are ideas we are exploring.

"There has been no indication at all from her that her engagement with us would be anything other than business as usual – she has proven to be a very engaged patron, and we look forward to working with her."

Mr Norris added that Meghan had "star reach" and understood what the organisation was trying to achieve.

The theatre has become known in recent times for its community theatre programmes as much as for hosting performances from Ralph Fiennes and Cate Blanchett.

It will have achieved Mr Norris' five-year targets of 50 per cent of its writers, directors and actors being female as well as 20 per cent of writers and directors and 25 per cent of performers being "people of colour" by next year, the artistic director said.

Mr Norris also said he was looking forward to the Prime Minister Boris Johnson's forthcoming biography of William Shakespeare.

Read more

Harry and Meghan 'look set to be banned from using Sussex Royal brand'