The Duchess of Cambridge and her father-in-law have been enjoying performances at Covent Garden.
The Prince of Wales has been escorting his daughter-in-law Catherine to a series of opera and ballet productions at the Royal Opera House in London. It appears the Prince, a patron of the Royal Opera, is preparing her for a role championing the arts in Great Britain.
The Royal Opera House confirms that the pair has made several private visits to Covent Garden, both before and after the royal wedding in April. Among the offerings they have taken in is the Royal Ballet production of Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland, choreographed by Christopher Wheeldon. The Lewis Carroll adaptation has special significance to the Duchess, who wrote her university dissertation on the author’s photography.
She is said to be considering acting as ambassador to several arts organisations, including The Tate Modern, The Victoria and Albert Museum and The National Portrait Gallery. A foray into opera and ballet would be welcomed in some London music circles. Others, including music critic Norman Lebrecht, have criticised Prince Charles for showing her the ropes, accusing him of grooming her in Diana’s image. “Covent Garden was Princess Diana’s patch,” he writes on his blog Slipped Disc. “She used to go there in private moments of distress… Charles knows that. What is he thinking?”
The Duchess, 29, has expressed particular interest in the visual arts – she spent three months studying art history at the British Institute in Florence before completing her history of art degree at the University of St Andrew’s, where she met Prince William. It is also expected that she will lend her support to lesser-known arts organisations.