Prince Charles has been made a patron of The Old Vic theatre.

Prince Charles

Prince Charles

The 68-year-old royal is thrilled to have been asked to keep up the tradition of the royal family's involvement in the historic venue which dates back to 1818.

The theatre, which is now an established education provider, was originally called the Royal Coburg until 1833 when Queen Victoria paid a visit at the age of 14.

Of his new title, the Prince of Wales said: "As The Old Vic celebrates this remarkable milestone, I can only congratulate its staff and supporters on all that has been achieved so far and I wish this great national institution every possible success for the next 200 hundred years."

The executive director of the theatre, Kate Varah commented: "The Old Vic is more than a theatre. A commitment to educating the next generation has been part of its DNA for 199 years - for 40 years oft hem a college was run backstage.

"As we approach our bicentenary in 2018, with the prince as our patron, this happy collaboration with The Prince's Trust allows us to demonstrate the wide benefits that theatre -- this theatre -- brings. Creativity, confidence, perseverance, problem solving, are all skills we impart young people that take part in our employability programmes."

Dame Martina Milburn, chief executive of The Prince's Trust added: "This partnership will give even more young people the opportunity to create a brighter future. We hope The Old Vic's bicentenary year is an amazing celebration of British culture."

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