Lest we forget: before Meghan Markle fell in love with Prince Harry, she was in love with acting. After the couple married, Markle followed royal protocol and erased her name from the internet, got rid of her personal business ventures (RIP The Tig), and traded in cameras and craft services for tiaras and royal titles. Or so we thought.
Rumours have spread that Markle might return to her craft after the Queen named her the royal patron of the theatre, and Kensington Palace announced on Twitter that she would be making her first visit as such to the National Theatre on Wednesday to meet with “the talented teams and apprentices working behind the scenes."
The Duchess of Sussex will make her first visit as Patron to the @NationalTheatre on Wednesday 30th January. The visit will explore the organisation's work, and see The Duchess meet some of the talented teams and apprentices working behind the scenes. pic.twitter.com/9u64gj4diw— Kensington Palace (@KensingtonRoyal) January 25, 2019
Assuming some of those talented teams are in fact the actors themselves, it’s hard to imagine Markle wouldn’t get just a little nostalgic for the days when she was in their shoes. Leading royal historian Robert Lacey told People that while the patronage was likely assigned to keep Markle from missing the theatre, it also opens a door for her to participate down the road.
“I can see her getting involved with productions or even directing something,” Lacey said, “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.”
Markle has brought the royal family into the modern era a few times, including speaking on feminist issues at an event honouring the anniversary of women’s suffrage in New Zealand. But it’s not clear if she would take such a large step as returning to the stage without the Queen’s permission, or whether Prince Harry would support her if she did.
While it might be a long shot, it would be a really empowering image for women around the world see a woman in the royal family pursuing a career they’re personally passionate about alongside the full-time job of being, well, royal. A real-life Disney princess who gets her prince and her career aspirations? The Hallmark holiday spin-offs practically write themselves.