Friday , July 12 2024

King Charles and Queen Camilla meet Rada president David Harewood and actress Cynthia Erivo as they visit the prestigious London drama school to celebrate its 120th anniversary

King Charles and Queen Camilla met staff, students and alumni at London’s Royal Academy of Dramatic Art today including David Harewood and Cynthia Erivo.

The monarch and his wife were greeted by actor Harewood, who is Rada’s president, and actress Erivo, who is vice-president, as they celebrated its 120th anniversary.

Harewood is known for his roles in TV series Homeland and Supergirl, while Erivo starred in 2019 film Harriet and is playing Elphaba in the upcoming Wicked movie.

The duo accompanied Charles and Camilla during the visit, which also saw them meet students to learn about one of the school’s current productions – watching an extract of a play performed by third-year acting students in the Gielgud Theatre.

Charles, who is patron of Rada, was met upon his arrival at the school on Gower Street by Rada principal Niamh Dowling and Rada Council chairman Marcus Ryder.

King Charles and Queen Camilla sit next to actor David Harewood and actress Cynthia Erivo during their visit to the Royal Academy of Dramatic Art in London today

King Charles and Queen Camilla sit next to actor David Harewood and actress Cynthia Erivo during their visit to the Royal Academy of Dramatic Art in London today 

King Charles is welcomed today by Royal Academy of Dramatic Art principal Niamh Dowling

King Charles is welcomed today by Royal Academy of Dramatic Art principal Niamh Dowling

Camilla visits the Scenic Art Studio at Rada to hear about the set design and build process

Camilla visits the Scenic Art Studio at Rada to hear about the set design and build process

Camilla and Charles sign the visitors' book at the Royal Academy of Dramatic Art today

Camilla and Charles sign the visitors’ book at the Royal Academy of Dramatic Art today

The King and Queen went a tour, including to its Scenic Art Studio where they met technical theatre arts students and heard about the set design and build process.

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In the café space, Charles – who is continuing to undergo cancer treatment – and Camilla spoke to students and alumni about their experiences at Rada. They also signed a visitors’ book.

Rada’s association with the Royal Family goes back more than a century, stemming from the Royal Charter granted in 1920, and including the visit of the future Edward VIII in 1921.

Earlier this month, the King was announced as patron of Rada. 

His mother Queen Elizabeth II had previously held the patronage from 1952 until her death in September 2022.

Speaking at the time of the announcement, Ms Dowling said: ‘Rada is delighted to welcome His Majesty King Charles III as our royal patron.

David Harewood

Cynthia Erivo

David Harewood (left) is known for his role in TV’s Homeland, while Cynthia Erivo (right) is playing Elphaba in the upcoming Wicked movie

Rada's association with the Royal Family goes back more than a century, stemming from the Royal Charter granted in 1920, and including the visit of the future Edward VIII in 1921

Rada’s association with the Royal Family goes back more than a century, stemming from the Royal Charter granted in 1920, and including the visit of the future Edward VIII in 1921

‘His support underscores our commitment to nurturing talent and excellence in the performing arts, as we continue to inspire and empower the next generation of actors and creators.’

The news also coincided with the first anniversary of the Coronation.

It comes as the Army confirmed that the King’s Birthday Parade, also known as Trooping the Colour, will go ahead despite the upcoming General Election.

The celebration, which traditionally involves the royal family gathering on the balcony of Buckingham Palace after a display of pomp and military pageantry, is set to take place on June 15.

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It is unclear whether the Princess of Wales, who is undergoing chemotherapy after a cancer diagnosis, will attend.

The annual Trooping the Colour has marked the official birthday of the British sovereign for more than 260 years.

Queen Elizabeth II laughs as she watches stage fighting at the Royal Academy of Dramatic Art in November 1980 while visiting the school as part of its 75th anniversary celebrations

Queen Elizabeth II laughs as she watches stage fighting at the Royal Academy of Dramatic Art in November 1980 while visiting the school as part of its 75th anniversary celebrations

Queen Elizabeth II attends a performance at Rada in November 1964 for its 60th anniversary

Queen Elizabeth II attends a performance at Rada in November 1964 for its 60th anniversary

The Queen Mother meets Vivien Leigh at an event for Rada's 50th anniversary in May 1954

The Queen Mother meets Vivien Leigh at an event for Rada’s 50th anniversary in May 1954

The British Army has said almost 1,000 soldiers and around 240 horses from the Household Division will perform a ‘khaki rehearsal’ of the parade in London tomorrow. 

The Royal Family has postponed engagements ‘which may appear to divert attention or distract from the election campaign’ after Rishi Sunak last week called a surprise summer General Election for July 4.

But they have continued with garden parties at Buckingham Palace and the King and Queen’s D-Day 80th anniversary appearances in Portsmouth and Normandy in June are expected to go ahead as scheduled.

Also yesterday, Charles was pictured looking happy and relaxed as he met Latvia ‘s President Edgars Rinkevics in a private audience at Buckingham Palace.

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