Camilla unveils foundation stone for new Royal Academy of Dance HQ

The Duchess of Cornwall toured the building in Battersea, south London.

10 March 2022

The Duchess of Cornwall has unveiled the foundation stone at the new headquarters of the Royal Academy of Dance.

The new building in York Road, Battersea, south London, is almost double the size of the old premises, with a footprint of 60,000 square feet.

Camilla toured the building before watching a performance by some of the academy’s dancers.

Royal visit to Royal Academy of Dance
Camilla with ballet dancer Darcey Bussell (Arthur Edwards/The Sun/PA)

She was then presented with the new building’s foundation stone.

Unveiling the stone, the duchess told the attendees how “proud” she was of everything they had achieved.

“I just would like to congratulate everybody who has made this wonder building possible,” she said.

“Having had a very short tour of it, it’s just doing so much for so many young people and old people like myself.”

Camilla has been the Royal Academy’s vice-patron since 2020.

She has a personal connection with the academy’s Silver Swan programme, having taken one of the over-55s ballet classes herself.

“As a silver swan myself I was inspired on my first visit to try it out. I have been doing it ever since.”

Earlier, the duchess arrived at the new premises wearing a navy blue crepe dress by Bruce Oldfield.

She was greeted by Royal Academy chief executive Luke Rittner and the mayor of Wandsworth, Richard Field.

Mr Rittner told the PA news agency: “She was just very complimentary about the building, very complimentary about the performers, and I think that she is very thrilled to be part of the organisation, really.”

Camilla with Cuban-British dance director Carlos Acosta
Camilla with Cuban-British dance director Carlos Acosta (Arthur Edwards/The Sun/PA)

Camilla then watched a Silver Swans class, led by Sarah Platt.

Ms Platt taught the duchess as part of one of the classes.

They were joined remotely by a class in Perth, Australia, taught by Jamelia Gubgub.

The duchess joked: “I am very impressed by you. Being a silver swan myself I reckon I need to put in a lot of practice.”

On her way out of the venue, she met Cuban ballet director Carlos Acosta.

The pair spoke briefly, and smiled and posed for photos, before she left the academy.

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