The V&A has announced that Her Royal Highness The Duchess of Cambridge has agreed to become Royal Patron to the Museum. The patronage reflects Her Royal Highness’s continued personal interest in the visual arts, photography and design.
The V&A has enjoyed a proud history of Royal support – Tristram Hunt V&A Director
While the V&A has been intrinsically linked to the Royal Family since its founding in 1852, the Duchess is the museum’s first Royal Patron. The Duchess’ acceptance of the role of Royal Patron follows her previous support for the Museum in June 2017, when she joined V&A staff and architect Amanda Levete CBE, for the official unveiling of Exhibition Road Quarter – the V&A’s most significant development project for over 100 years.
The Duchess received a degree in art history from St. Andrews. She previously visited the V&A in June of 2017 to open a new entrance and courtyard of the museum. She said I was “quite stunned by the all-porcelain courtyard, the first of its kind in the world.”
Tristram Hunt, Director of the V&A, said: From its foundation by Prince Albert and Queen Victoria, the V&A has enjoyed a proud history of Royal support. We are delighted that HRH The Duchess of Cambridge has agreed to serve as Royal Patron of the Museum. The Duchess’s interest in photography, textiles and the visual arts, alongside her support for the role of art in supporting mental health and nurturing young people’s creative talent, fits naturally with the collections and civic purpose of the V&A. The Trustees, staff and members of the V&A look forward to working with Her Royal Highness across our museums in South Kensington, Bethnal Green and Dundee.
Kensington Palace shared the news on its Twitter account, yesterday, in a post which read, “The Duchess of Cambridge is to become the first Royal Patron of the Victoria and Albert Museum. Furthering Her Royal Highness’s interest in the visual arts, photography and design, she formally takes up the @V_and_A Patronage from today.”
The Duchess Of Cambridge is alrerady a patron at the National Portrait Gallery. She recently selected Victorian photographs for an exhibition at the NPG, as part of a Patron’s trail. The exhibition is the first to examine the relationship between the four groundbreaking artists, Lewis Carroll, Julia Margaret Cameron, Oscar Rejlander and Clementina Hawarden. As Patron of the National Portrait Gallery since 2012 and an enthusiastic, amateur photographer, The Duchess has written a foreword to the exhibition catalogue in which she discusses her interest in nineteenth-century photography, the subject of her undergraduate thesis while an art history student at the University of St Andrews. She also explains that photographs of children, which feature predominantly within the exhibition, are of particular interest to her. This is the first exhibition at the Gallery to include a Patron’s trail in which The Duchess selected a number of portraits, which is displayed with additional information labels that were written by Her Royal Highness.