Where? Buckingham Palace, London
What? To mark the 70th birthday of The Prince of Wales this year, the Summer Opening of Buckingham Palace (21 July – 30 September 2018) will feature ‘Prince and Patron’: a special display of over 100 works of art personally selected by His Royal Highness. Having grown up surrounded by the Royal Collection, The Prince of Wales has enjoyed a life-long passion for art and, as Chairman of The Royal Collection Trust and Patron of several arts charities, has promoted artistic appreciation worldwide.
‘Prince and Patron’ will be held within the State Rooms at Buckingham Palace. The exhibition comprises a selection of The Prince’s favourite works of art from the Royal Collection, shown alongside works created by young artists supported by three of His Royal Highness’s charities – The Royal Drawing School, The Prince’s School of Traditional Arts and Turquoise Mountain. These charities were founded by The Prince of Wales to encourage the revival of dying arts and to maintain traditional skills for the benefit of artists and communities across the world.
‘I have always been captivated by the astonishing range of fascinating things in the Royal Collection that have been collected or commissioned by my ancestors over the generations. This is what, for me, makes the Royal Collection so special, representing, as it does, the unique craftsmanship and skill of the people who made them. As a result, I have long believed that it is vital to preserve and maintain such craftsmanship and this led me to set up three charities.’ – The Prince of Wales
Among the works selected by His Royal Highness from the Royal Collection is Johan Joseph Zoffany’s painting The Tribuna of the Uffizi, 1772–77, showing connoisseurs and Grand Tourists admiring the Grand Duke of Tuscany’s collection in the Uffizi, Florence. The artist was commissioned to paint the work by Queen Charlotte, consort of George III. The cloak of Napoleon Bonaparte was chosen by The Prince for the compelling story it tells. Made of felt and embroidered in silk, it was removed from the Emperor’s baggage train in the aftermath of the Battle of Waterloo in 1815 and presented to the future George IV by Field Marshal Blücher, who fought alongside the Duke of Wellington.
A selection of works from His Royal Highness’s personal collection will also feature in the display, including the oil sketch HM The Queen, 1972–73, by Michael Noakes. Purchased by The Prince of Wales in 1973, it usually hangs in the Morning Room of Clarence House.
Prince and Patron is among the sights at the Summer Opening of the State Rooms at Buckingham Palace, 21 July – 30 September 2018. Check out our other favourites featured in 14 of the Best Art Exhibitions in London.