Camilla recalls ‘fantastic’ secret night at the theatre on visit to drama school

The Queen was reminded of a “fantastic” secret night at the theatre with her grandchildren when she celebrated the 120th anniversary of a world-famous drama school.

Camilla joined the King for a tour of the Royal Academy of Dramatic Art (Rada) in central London, which has trained leading actors from Sir Anthony Hopkins to Imelda Staunton and Tom Hiddleston.

The visit was the couple’s first major public event since Rishi Sunak called a summer General Election, as the monarchy has postponed any engagements “which may appear to divert attention or distract from the election campaign”.

“It was fantastic” replied Camilla.

The actor said afterwards: “She loved it and she took all her grandkids and they said they had the most incredible night.”

He added: “I left about three months ago and towards the end of my run she came with all her grandkids, we were only told on the day there would be an important royal visit, so we were wondering who it was going to be.”

He joked: “It’s an immersive production and we were wondering if she was going to be in her seat or standing up.

“It’s the longest thing and most exhausting thing I’ve ever been part of – but a great time.”

Rada was founded in 1904 by actor-manager Sir Herbert Beerbohm Tree in rooms above His Majesty’s Theatre in London’s West End, and today provides vocational training for actors, stage managers, designers and technical stagecraft specialists.

David Harewood, Rada’s president who appeared in hit TV series Homeland, joined the King as did the institution’s vice-president, actress and singer Cynthia Erivo, who will be appearing in the film version of the musical Wicked alongside Ariana Grande.

Royal visit to Royal Academy of Dramatic Art
Charles and Camilla meet David Harewood and Cynthia Erivo (Jordan Pettitt/PA)

The royal couple watched a scene from House Of Ife by Beru Tessema, a play about a family dealing with the death of the eldest son, and met the cast afterwards.

They later toured Rada’s workshops where sets and backdrops are designed, built and painted by the students.

The King meets students at Rada
The King meets students at Rada (Jordan Pettitt/PA)

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