Meghan Markle is kicking off the new year with a major new royal responsibility. The Duchess of Sussex is reportedly taking over for the Queen as royal patron of the National Theatre, Carolyn Durand and Kate Mansey report for The Mail on Sunday. This would mark Meghan’s first patronage as a member of the royal family, coming almost eight months after she married Prince Harry in May 2018.
Sources tell The Mail that the Queen gave her granddaughter-in-law the responsibility “as a mark of her growing confidence in the Duchess,” Durand and Mansey report. The Palace is expected to formally announce the news in a few days.
It was previously rumored that Meghan would take over the theater patronage after she had a private meeting with its director, Rufus Norris, in December. It’s a fitting position for the duchess, who built a career as an actress before becoming a royal.
Meghan’s duties as a royal patron will include “strengthening connections between the theatre and American benefactors,” The Mail reports. The former actress has an advantage here, as she grew up in the U.S. The role may also involve working with The American Associates of the National Theatre, a New York-based charity that helps raise funds for the theater’s productions.
Meghan’s sister-in-law, the Duchess of Cambridge, who married into the royal family in 2011, has her fair share of royal patronages. They range from various museums (a nod to the duchess’s love of art) to child care charities. Her first patronage was for The Royal Foundation, which was announced in October 2011, six months after her wedding to Prince William.
Related article: The Year In Kate Middleton: The Duchess’ Best Looks Of 2018
We haven’t seen Meghan out and about since she attended the church service with the royal family on Christmas Day, but royal fans can expect to see her again soon. Kensington Palace announced this morning that the Duke and Duchess of Sussex have their first engagement of the year set for next Monday, January 14.
The couple will visit Birkenhead, which is just outside of Liverpool. They’ll meet with a number of local organizations, including Tomorrow’s Women, a charity that offers workshops, courses, and activities for local adult women, and The Hive, a center for youth with disabilities.
Related article: The Duchess Of Sussex Is The Most Googled Person Of 2018
The Duke and Duchess of Sussex will visit Birkenhead on Monday 14th January.
— Kensington Palace (@KensingtonRoyal) January 7, 2019
This article originally appeared on Harper’s Bazaar US.