‘George won’t know what’s hit him’ says Kate of primary school at NPG charity portrait gala

Last night, The Duchess of Cambridge attended the 2017 Portrait Gala at the National Portrait Gallery, in order to raise money for the Coming Home project. Here, she met and spoke with parents of children who also attend Thomas’s Battersea, the primary school she and Prince William have chosen for their son, Prince George. 

Catherine, Duchess of Cambridge, arrives at the 2017 Portrait Gala at the National Portrait Gallery. (Stephen Lock / i-Images)

Catherine was greeted by Dr Nicholas Cullinan, the gallery’s director, upon arrival, then led to a champagne reception.

The gala was to help raise funds for the gallery’s Coming Home project, which will return portraits of people to their home towns or places that are special to them, for a loan period of three years. This includes putting Sir Walter Raleigh back in Dorset, the Bronte sisters returning to Yorkshire, and David Beckham to Essex.

The Duchess was given an hour long tour of the gallery, of which she has been a patron since 2012; Kate studied History of Art at university and is a keen photographer herself.

She was shown around an exhibition by Howard Hodgkin, called Absent Friends. This collection includes the piece work he painted, before he passed away earlier this month.

Artist Gillian Wearing showed the Royal guest her own exhibition, Behind the Mask, Another Mask, which also includes work by Claude Cahun.

A range of artwork has been created for the project; 10 masks have been made, including one from Dame Vivienne Westwood and another by Philip Treacy, and 100 postcard-sized works of art for a mystery portrait postcard sale, which Kate called ‘amazing’, were also commissioned.

Speaking with artists, trustees and donors, the Duchess also met parents whose children attend Thomas’s school in Battersea. She told them: “I’m not sure George has any idea what’s going to hit him.”

One guest – architect Richard Found and his wife Jane Suitor, an art consultant and collector – told Catherine that it was a “great school”. “We’re parents there as well. She just said, ‘I may see you at the school gates'”, Mr Found told the press.

A label she wears herself, Catherine met designer Erdem, and Alexa Chung, who is chair of the 2017 gala committee.

The mother-of-two, wearing a green lace dress, told Chung’s father that she had begun ‘collecting’ her children’s artwork.

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