The Duchess of Cornwall Visits Royal Academy of Arts

The Duchess of Cornwall, patron of the National Literary Trust, during her visit to North Swindon Library, where she learned about the Trust's Swindon Hub and met children involved in the Lost Words project, 2019.


Wednesday 26th May 2021 

The Duchess of Cornwall, Patron, Royal Academy Friends, will visit the Royal Academy of Arts to celebrate the gallery’s reopening following the relaxation of coronavirus restrictions. Her Royal Highness will visit two exhibitions, one by painter David Hockney and another by RA Schools graduate Michael Armitage. The Royal Academy of Arts, Burlington House, Piccadilly, London W1J 0BD. 

The Duchess of Cornwall will be greeted on arrival by Sir Ken Olisa, Lord Lieutenant of London. Rebecca Salter, President of the RA and Axel Rüger, Secretary and Chief Executive of the RA will then escort Her Royal Highness to the Main Gallery to view David Hockney: The Arrival of Spring, Normandy, 2020. The Duchess will then meet members of the Friends Board and staff before moving upstairs to view Michael Armitage: Paradise Edict. Before departing, Her Royal Highness will meet members of the ticketing, visitor welcome and security team who have been instrumental in the gallery’s safe reopening post lockdown. 

The Royal Academy of Arts 

The Royal Academy of Arts was founded by King George III in 1768. It has a unique position in being an independent, privately funded institution led by eminent artists and architects whose purpose is to be a clear, strong voice for art and artists. Its public programme promotes the creation, enjoyment and appreciation of the visual arts through exhibitions, education and debate. 

The Royal Academy of Arts reopened its doors on Tuesday 18 May after many months of closure due to the pandemic. Like so many other arts organisations, the RA has been hit hard by the pandemic. However, unlike most of its peers, the RA does not receive revenue funding from the government. As an independent charity, the RA is reliant upon the support of RA Friends, donors, sponsors, patrons and visitors. 

Friends of the RA 

The Friends of the RA is the Royal Academy’s membership programme, founded on 1 January 1977 by Royal Academician and President of the RA, Sir Hugh Casson, with HRH The Duke of Edinburgh becoming its first Patron. HRH The Duchess of Cornwall was appointed as Patron in May 2016. The Friends of the RA are governed by a Board of Directors and the current Chairman is Clive Humby. 

David Hockney: The Arrival of Spring, Normandy, 2020 

Main Galleries (Galleries 2, 3, Central Hall and Lecture Room) 

23 May – 1 August 2021 

The Gabrielle Jungels-Winkler Galleries 

11 August – 26 September 2021 

The Royal Academy of Arts presents David Hockney: The Arrival of Spring, Normandy, 2020 comprising a new body of work created by David Hockney RA during a period of intense activity at his home in Normandy, charting the unfolding and progression of spring. The period in which these works were made coincided with the beginning of the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic, when Hockney, along with the rest of Europe and much of the world, was in a state of lockdown. Faced with an unprecedented and disconcerting period, Hockney’s focus on the emergence of spring instead celebrates the natural world and urges people, as he does himself in one of his frequently used phrases, to ‘love life’. This is the first time the works have been exhibited, opening exactly a year after the works were made. 

Michael Armitage: Paradise Edict 

The Jillian and Arthur M. Sackler Wing of Galleries 

22 May – 19 September 2021 

The Royal Academy of Arts presents Michael Armitage: Paradise Edict. Born in Kenya in 1984, Michael Armitage graduated from the RA Schools in 2010 and now works between Nairobi and London. In his paintings, Armitage reflects on his experiences in Kenya and on current events, while drawing on contemporary East African art and European art history. Bridging artistic traditions, he looks towards the work of Jak Katarikawe, Meek Gichugu and Chelenge van Rampelberg as well as Titian, Francisco de Goya and Paul Gauguin. In his rich and multi-layered narrative paintings, Armitage questions social norms, religious ideology, politics and cultural clichés. The exhibition includes 15 of the artist’s recent large-scale works, alongside a selection of around 35 works by East African artists chosen by Armitage. 

Exhibition organised by Haus der Kunst, Munich, in collaboration with the Royal Academy of Arts, London. 

Previous articleThe Prince of Wales and Duchess of Cornwall In Coventry
Next articleThe Prince of Wales Makes A Virtual Visit to Nigeria