A night out at the theatre for The Duke and Duchess of Cambridge

Tonight The Duke and Duchess of Cambridge attended a special performance of the hit musical “Dear Evan Hansen” at the Noёl Coward Theatre in London’s West End. This was not a date night, however: proceeds from ticket sales and other donations at the event are going to The Royal Foundation, to support the couple’s work. 

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Prince William and Kate arrive at the Noel Coward theatre to see Dear Evan Hansen Kensington Palace)

“Dear Evan Hansen” is a play about a teen, who suffers from severe social anxiety and struggles to make personal connections with his peers. The musical has been credited with helping start important conversations between teens and parents about mental health.

Given much of the Duke and Duchess’s work with their foundation has focused on erasing the stigma surrounding mental health challenges, the show was the perfect choice for the benefit. 

The Cambridges meet staff and those involved in the production at the Noel Coward theatre Kensington Palace)

Speaking to the media upon announcing the event, Jason Knauf, CEO of The Royal Foundation, said: “Under the leadership of The Duke and Duchess of Cambridge, the Royal Foundation has worked to challenge stigma around mental health and to shine a spotlight on the pressures young people face through social media. Dear Evan Hansen brings these issues to life with warmth and humour. We are very grateful to the show for helping us raise funds and awareness with this special performance.”

Producer Stacy Mindich added: “We’re so honoured to partner with The Royal Foundation for this very special performance. The Duke and Duchess have been incredible advocates for mental health and like Dear Evan Hansen, they have made important strides in helping to destigmatise the conversation.

“Shout is an incredible resource for people who are struggling, and we’re so proud to have the organisation as one of our not-for-profit partners in the UK.”

The Duke and Duchess of Cambridge with the Dear Evan Hansen cast (Kensington Palace)

Shout, Britain’s first 24/7 crisis text messaging service, was launched in May 2019 by The Royal Foundation. Prince William said the service provides “instant support,” and noted that “you can have a conversation anywhere and anytime – at school, at home, on the bus, anywhere.” Six months later, over 165,000 conversations had taken place. 

Prince William and Catherine support other mental health initiatives, including the Duke’s Heads Up programme and the Duchess’s Five Big Questions on the Under 5s, which finished just last week.

“Dear Evan Hansen” debuted in 2016 in New York City and won six Tony Awards, including Best Musical. 

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