Princess of Wales to reopen National Portrait Gallery

The refurbishment marks the biggest redevelopment project that the building has seen since 1896.

The Princess of Wales will reopen the National Portrait Gallery in London next week following a three-year refurbishment.

The transformation of the gallery, where Kate is patron, marks the biggest redevelopment project that the building has seen since 1896.

Refurbished galleries, including more than 50 new acquisitions, and the restoration of the Grade I listed building will reopen to members of the public from next Thursday.

Victorian Giants: The Birth of Art Photography
The then Duchess of Cambridge at the National Portrait Gallery (Ben Stansall/PA)

At the reopening next Tuesday, Kate will meet with project architect Jamie Fobert and artist Tracey Emin, who was commissioned to create an artwork for the gallery’s new doors, incorporating 45 carved brass panels, representing “every woman, throughout time”.

Kate will visit The Mildred and Simon Palley Learning Centre, which has formed a part of the gallery’s redevelopment and has more than doubled its provision for learners.

She will hear about the gallery’s new Under 5s programme, before joining nursery children taking part in a multi-sensory workshop focused on the world of Beatrix Potter.

Launching in September, the Under 5s programme, which has been developed in partnership with the London Borough of Westminster family hubs and local state nurseries, will welcome families from the local community to the gallery and encourage creative learning, play and exploration.

Kate will have the opportunity to see some of the gallery’s new acquisitions, including Joshua Reynolds’ Portrait of Mai (Omai).

Royal visit to the National Portrait Gallery
The then Duchess of Cambridge during a previous visit to the National Portrait Gallery (Ian Gavan/PA)

The artwork was jointly acquired by the gallery and Getty this year following a fundraising campaign.

Kate will also view Yevonde: Life and Colour, a new exhibition which explores the life and career of Yevonde, the pioneering London photographer who spearheaded the use of colour photography in the 1930s.

Featuring portraits and still-life works produced by Yevonde over a 60-year career, the exhibition also includes the archive of her work, which the gallery acquired in 2021, and has been supported by The CHANEL Culture Fund.

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