Today The Queen paid a visit to one of her many patronages, the Royal Academy of Arts, to celebrate the 250th anniversary of the academy’s creation, and open a new area for exhibits.
Since 1768, the current Sovereign has been known as the academy’s ‘Patron, Protector and Supporter’. The Royal Academy of Arts was founded in 1768 by King George III, and is celebrating its 250th anniversary this year.
Today’s visit by The Queen was in part to mark this special anniversary; the royal guest was also there to officially open the academy’s Burlington Gardens building. The 250th anniversary is being commemorated with this new, transformative development, which has been designed by Sir David Chipperfield. The new project will include 70% more space than the original Burlington House and will allow the Academy to expand its event and exhibition offerings.
The Queen, who is patron of the Royal Academy of Arts, was wearing vibrant orange as she arrived at the academy’s home of Burlington House, just a short drive away from Buckingham Palace; she often favours bright colours on her engagements to ensure that the crowd can catch a glimpse of her amongst other officials and photographers.
During her visit, The Queen was able to meet some of the people who have been involved in the development project to learn about the benefits it will offer the academy, as well as some of George III’s paperwork, including the ‘Instrument of Foundation’ which he signed on 10th December 1768; this officially created the academy.
The Monarch also had a chance to view art from the collection of Charles I, which is the Academy’s current exhibition. Many of the pieces on display have been lent to the Academy by the Royal Collection Trust, a body which was established by The Queen in 1993 to manage the extensive art collection (known as the Royal Collection) and royal residences, so a number of them must have been familiar to her!
Elizabeth II holds these items in trust for the nation, and does not own them personally.
Her Majesty was also given the honour of unveiling the first painting to go on display in the new Burlington Gardens building. The painting is a self-portrait by Sir Joshua Reynolds, who was the first President of the Royal Academy of Arts. Reynolds, an English artist who specialised in portraits, was knighted by George III for his work, and was President of the Royal Academy until his death in 1792.
The Queen was also presented with a posy before departing the academy.
— The Royal Family (@RoyalFamily) 20 March 2018