Kate Middleton stepped out solo on Wednesday for a visit to one of her favorite museums. The Duchess of Cambridge, who studied art history in college, headed to the V&A, which is not far from her Kensington Palace home.
She made the visit as royal patron to mark the reopening of the gallery and many other museums that had been shut down due to the coronavirus pandemic.
Kate, 39, viewed Raphael Court, home to the magnificent Raphael Cartoons, which underwent a nine-month refurbishment to mark the 500th anniversary of the artist’s death. She heard about the renovations and how the center’s new interpretive approach, which features an on-site digital experience, will transform the way visitors experience The Raphael Cartoons. The Cartoons have been lent to the V&A from the Royal Collection by Queen Elizabeth.
Kate, who likes to bring her children to museums around London, was then taken to the museum’s landmark 2021 exhibition, Alice: Curiouser and Curiouser, which opens this weekend.
The show features more than 300 objects from film, performance, fashion, art, music and photography, capturing the origins, adaptations and reinventions of Alice in Wonderland over 158 years. The V&A is the first museum to fully explore the cultural impact of the book and its ongoing inspiration for leading creatives, from Salvador Dalí and Yayoi Kusama to The Beatles and Vivienne Westwood.
Sporting a black face mask and a red pleated Alessandra Rich midi dress, Princess Kate also took the opportunity to chat with a group of museum staffers who spoke about their experiences of working during a particularly challenging time for the museum sector.
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Wednesday’s visit was a key sign that some normality is returning to the tourism sector. Across much of the U.K., galleries and museums and indoor hospitality and businesses were able to reopen to customers on Monday.
Sports venues are also beginning to allow spectators back with up to 10,000 fans in soccer stadiums across Britain from earlier this week.
Established in 1852, the V&A is the world’s leading museum of art, design and performance and its collections span over 5,000 years of human creativity in virtually every medium and from around the world.
Earlier this week, it emerged that Kate made a poignant call to a woman whose grandparents died of COVID-19. Hayley Evans had taken a photograph of grandparents Pat and Ron Wood holding hands as they lay side-by-side in the hospital. The picture was used in Kate’s Hold Still book that captured how the U.K. coped during the pandemic.
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