Shakespeare’s Globe and its Sam Wanamaker Playhouse have expressed deep sadness over the passing of their patron HRH Prince Philip, Duke of Edinburgh.
For more than 40 years Prince Philip served as a patron to the Globe Theatre, and in 2013 co-established the Sam Wanamaker Playhouse.
His patronage contributed towards a £7.5 million fitting of the Globe’s wooden playhouse interior, which was part of Sam Wanamaker’s vision for the theatre complex located on Bankside.
Prince Philip’s patronage is considered to have been a vital and cherished means of support as 95% of the theatre’s income is generated from tickets and on-site activities and they were losing nearly £2 million a month during the pandemic.
Globe Theatre chief executive Neil Constable said: “Royal Patronage is an honour and connects us to our Shakespearean history with the theatrical companies of the Elizabethan and Jacobean Courts.
“The Globe is deeply grateful for The Duke of Edinburgh’s integral support for us since our very beginning all those decades ago. He will be much missed.”
Mark Rylance, founding artistic director of the Globe Theatre, said: “His Royal Highness Prince Philip was a devoted champion and friend to Sam Wanamaker in his campaign to rebuild Shakespeare’s Globe Theatre.”
He added: “Shakespeare’s Globe has lost a friend.”
The Globe Theatre, which officially opened in 1997, has brought many ground-breaking productions to the public and education to thousands of children, young people and adults.
The Globe has prided itself on being an independent charity of education, performance and research for more than 23 years, but said the COVID-19 pandemic has put a halt to the work and investment they strive to achieve within culture and the arts.
In the face of pandemic adversity, The Globe theatre complex continued to provide online education and entertainment.