Earl of Wessex becomes Patron for Reading Rep Theatre

Another drama-based patronage for Prince Edward

The Earl of Wessex has been announced as the new Patron for Reading Rep Theatre, a theatre and cultural hub in Berkshire.

The announcement came as Prince Edward will help the organisation to celebrate its 10th anniversary, as well as the one-year anniversary since the opening of its state-of-the-art 163 seat theatre and cultural hub, which was built and opened during the pandemic.

The Earl attended the Reading Rep’s Corporate Partnership Scheme Launch last week. The event will be held at the theatre, and will see businesses across Reading and the Thames Valley connect and network with fellow organisations.

The Earl of Wessex has become Patron of Reading Rep Theatre. (Reading Rep Theatre).

Speaking about his new patronage, The Earl of Wessex said: ‘Reading Rep is rapidly becoming an essential part of the arts scene in Reading for three really good reasons. It is creating pathways to the performing arts for young people, regardless of background; it is introducing new audiences to the performing arts through its outreach and access activities; and it is a space providing an alternative venue for creative and production talents to hone their skills.

‘I look forward to helping with reinforcing this theatre’s inspiring work in the local community and to supporting its future endeavours.’

Paul Stacey, Founding Artistic Director of Reading Rep spoke about the announcement of Edward becoming Patron and said: ‘It is a huge privilege to welcome The Earl of Wessex as Reading Rep Theatre’s Royal Patron. His Royal Highness has shown incredible support for arts and culture and his recognition and support of Reading Rep and the work we do both on stage and in the community, is humbling. We are excited to work with HRH in forwarding our shared goals and aspirations for art and culture in Reading.’


The Earl of Wessex has taken a keen interest in the arts and is Patron of a range of organisations that aim to widen opportunities within the sector, particularly for young people.

He has a long history with the arts industry. He left the armed forces after graduation to pursue a career in theatre production. This included working for Andrew Lloyd Webber’s Really Useful Theatre Company.

His Royal Highness developed a keen interest in television production, writing and narrating two films about The Duke of Edinburgh’s Award, which were broadcast in 1987 by the BBC. In 1993, Prince Edward formed his own company, Ardent Productions, which made films including Edward on Edward and Crown and Country.


In 2002, Prince Edward announced that he would step back from the arts industry to focus full-time on supporting The Queen.

HRH is also Patron to a number of organisations in the arts industry, these include City of Birmingham Symphony Orchestra and Chorus, London Mozart Players, Windsor Festival, Haddo House Choral and Operatic Society, Northern Ballet, National Youth Theatre of Great Britain, National Youth Orchestras of Scotland and The Orpheus Centre Trust.

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