Buckingham Palace summer opening to mark Prince of Wales’ 70th birthday with his favourite art

A special display of over 100 works of art, chosen by The Prince of Wales, will go on display at Buckingham Palace, when it opens for the summer in July, the Royal Collection Trust announced today.

The ‘Prince and Patron’ exhibition will run from the 21st July until 30th September 2018, and will mark Prince Charles’ 70th birthday.

To mark Prince Charles’ 70th birthday this year, the Summer Opening of Buckingham Palace will display of over 100 works of art personally selected by His Royal Highness. Royal Collection Trust / (c) Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II 2018.

The Royal Collection Trust said of the Prince: “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 the creation and understanding of art worldwide.”

The exhibition will be shown in the state rooms of Buckingham Palace, the part of the building that the public are permitted to tour throughout the summer.

A close-up of Zoffany’s painting, The Tribuna of the Uffizi (David Bramhall)

Past exhibits have included ‘A Royal Welcome’, showing off a state banquet in the Ballroom, and a display of The Queen’s outfits over the years.

One of the magnificent pieces chosen is Zoffany’s painting ‘The Tribuna of the Uffizi’, which depicts connoisseurs and Grand Tourists admiring the Grand Duke of Tuscany’s collection in the Uffizi, Florence.

In addition to the paintings of the Royal Collection, the heir to the throne has decided to put some of his own personal pieces on display. These special exhibits include an oil sketch ‘HM The Queen’, 1972–73, by Michael Noakes, which Prince Charles bought shortly after its completion; it usually hangs in the Morning Room of Charles’ official residence, Clarence House.

A selection of works from Prince Charles’ personal collection will also feature in the display, including the oil sketch HM The Queen, 1972-3, by Michael Noakes. Royal Collection Trust / (c) Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II 2018.

One of the most fascinating articles from the Royal Collection chosen by Prince Charles is the cloak of Napoleon Bonaparte. The silk-embroidered cloak was removed from the French Emperor’s baggage train, in the aftermath of the Battle of Waterloo in 1815. It was then gifted to George IV, then Prince Regent, by Field Marshal Blücher, who had fought alongside the Duke of Wellington.

Prince Charles, who features in the opening of the Royal Collection’s audio guide at the palace, has recorded a video message to be shown to the palace visitors for this special exhibition. In it, he said: “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.

The cloak of Napoleon Bonaparte was chosen by The Prince of Wales to feature in the summer opening this year, entitled ‘Prince and Patron’: Royal Collection Trust / (c) Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II 2018.

“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 display will not only feature the Prince’s favourite pieces from the Royal Collection, but will also include new paintings by a variety of young artists from three of Charles’ charities: The Royal Drawing School, The Prince’s Foundation School of Traditional Arts, and Turquoise Mountain. Prince Charles founded each “to encourage the revival of dying arts and to maintain traditional skills for the benefit of artists and communities across the world.”

The Royal Drawing School, established in 2000, is an independent educational charity raising the profile of observational drawing through tutoring and practice. In 2004, The Prince’s Foundation School of Traditional Arts was founded, and encourages the practice of traditional arts, including textiles, ceramics, stained glass and mosaics. The school is active in over 20 countries across the world. Meanwhile, Turquoise Mountain – begun in 2006 – has established sustainable urban regeneration projects that support the revival of the art industry in Afghanistan, Myanmar and the Middle East.

Patterned tiles by former student of The Prince’s Foundation School of Traditional Arts, Ghulam Hyder Daudpota, were inspired by motifs of Kashikari art, a dying craft that can be traced back to a 12th-century shrine in present-day Pakistan. Royal Collection Trust / (c) Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II 2018.

This geodesic dome, carved from walnut wood by Naseer Yasna (Mansouri), makes use of jali, the technique of creating geometric lattice designs from hundreds of individual pieces of wood. It will feature in the ‘prince and patron’ summer opening. Royal Collection Trust / (c) Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II 2018.

The Prince of Wales, who will turn 70 in November, is an avid collector of art like many of his ancestors; earlier this year, visited the Charles I exhibition at the Royal Academy, where paintings from the collection in the 17th century were reunited for the first time. The Queen also paid a visit last week.

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