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The Queen's fondness for the theatre – explored

The Queen was a major theatre fan

© RSC, photo by Stewart Hemley

The Queen was a regular theatre fan – in fact a whole segment of her Platinum Jubilee was dedicated to famous musicals from across the West End and Broadway.

She was formerly the patron of the National Theatre (a role now taken on by the Duchess of Cornwall), overseeing decades of the venue's growth and productions, while also acting as patron of the Royal Shakespeare Company.

In 1999 she embarked on a one-off tour of London theatres, visiting the Young Vic, the Almeida, the National Theatre and finally to watch Oklahoma! at the Lyceum Theatre, led by a then little-known musical star Hugh Jackman.

More recently, the monarch also made a secret trip to the theatre – which you can find out more about here. According to some insiders, these incognito appearances were a common occurrence.

The Queen was also a major lover of musical numbers, with her cousin Elizabeth Anson saying in an interview that Showboat, Oklahoma! and Annie Get Your Gun are her favourites.