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Meghan has until Easter to prove she can continue as Royal Patron of National Theatre, says producer

The Duchess of Sussex should have only until Easter to prove her mettle as Royal Patron of the National Theatre, according to a top West End producer.

Meghan Markle, 38, was gifted the honour last January by the Queen, who had been the National's patron for 45 years. 

But in the light of 'Megxit', which has seen Meghan and her husband Prince Harry step away from royal duties and relocate to Canada, questions remain over her suitability for the job.

The Duchess of Sussex should have only until Easter to prove her mettle as Royal Patron of the National Theatre, according to a top West End producer

Now impresario Nica Burns, who co-owns The Nimax Group, which comprises six London West End theatres including The Palace, the Apollo and the Vaudeville, has said that the Duchess should not hold the position indefinitely.

Nica Burns, who co-owns The Nimax Group, which comprises six London West End theatres including The Palace, the Apollo and the Vaudeville, has said that the Duchess should not hold the position indefinitely.

'I think we should give Meghan until Easter to say what she thinks is possible with her patronage,' Ms Burns told me at a fundraising gala for the King's Head's 50th anniversary.

'We have to give her a chance, forget who she is and give her some space.

'If she is not going to be doing any work with the National, then she should step down. But as she is a role model, we would rather she didn't.'

Earlier this week, it was announced that the Duke and Duchess of Sussex's official departure from The Firm would begin on March 31.

However, the artistic director of the National Theatre, Rufus Norris, revealed this week that Megxit would not prevent the Duchess from continuing as Royal Patron and all would be 'business as usual'.

But Ms Burns — whose commercial successes include Chicago The Musical and Harry Potter And The Cursed Child — suggests that if and when Meghan's U.S. commitments begin to take over, she should do the decent thing and step down.

Adds Ms Burns: 'If her life is going to take her somewhere else, it will be hard for her to raise awareness and money for the National Theatre.

'If her new life means she is going back to work, maybe in film, or she'll have another child, I think the right decision would be for her to say: 'I have a new life and I can't continue.' '

In the light of 'Megxit', which has seen Meghan and her husband Prince Harry step away from royal duties and relocate to Canada, questions remain over her suitability for the job