The patron of the National Portrait Gallery, Princess Kate recently donated her own portrait, posed with children, and even curated Hold Still, a show of photographs documenting the UK’s coronavirus lockdown.
It was noted on Tuesday that she joined Paul McCartney and artist Tracey Emin to celebrate the reopening of the museum after a three-year renovation that cost 41 million British pounds.
McCartney has his own exhibition of photographs going on display at the museum next week, and he and Kate talked about their shared love of art alongside his wife, Nancy Shevell, and marveled at the recent renovations.
According to the Daily Mail, the pair discussed McCartney’s process for narrowing down the photos to appear in the show, titled Eyes of the Storm, which features images of the Beatles from 1963 to 1964. “Were there pieces that were very important to you personally?” Kate asked.
“For me, the pictures of John and George particularly, just because they are not here,” McCartney replied. He also joked to Kate that all of the pictures depict times “when you weren’t even born.”
Emin, a Goldsmiths Prize winning multimedia artist, was tapped to design new doors for the gallery and on Tuesday, she walked through them with Kate. The doors feature 45 images of women, first drawn by hand in Emin’s studio and then cast in bronze.
“When I arrived, I was anxious,” Emin later told the BBC. “There was all these other things that were on my mind, and I totally forgot about the doors! So when I came up, I gasped—it was a big surprise and that lifted my energy.”
Kate wore a white dress from Self-Portrait, paired with a Chanel clutch and shoes from Aquazzura, but she wasn’t afraid to draw with a few children when she arrived at the museum’s new Mildred and Simon Palley Learning Centre, which has doubled the space available for children’s educational activities. Along with a three-year-old named Rania, Kate took part in a children’s activity based on the books of Beatrix Potter.