The Princess of Wales brought back a Beulah London design for today’s reopening of the Young V&A Museum.
Above and below, you see the Princess being welcomed by Tristram Hunt, director of the Victoria and Albert. The Young V&A opens to the public on Saturday.
She has been the V&A royal patron since March 2018.
The Young V&A, previously called the V&A Museum of Childhood, is reopening after an extensive renovation—more from this Guardian piece by Oliver Wainwright.
After a three-year, £13m makeover, the cobwebs have been well and truly blown away, the gloomy building injected with dazzling new energy and a mischievous sense of fun – now fittingly rebranded as Young V&A.
Every single surface and corner has been meticulously thought through, every junction embraced an opportunity to spark a little more delight. It is a tour de force of care, exhibiting a level of attention to detail rarely found in the built environment. What if buildings for grownups could be this joyful and inspiring too?
The Princess points to an exhibit with Kermit the Frog in this photo.
Students from Globe Primary School were on hand to participate in a tour of the new space.
Globe students have been involved in the redesign since its beginning. Below, you see students sharing ideas with Gill Lambert (2nd L), an architect from AOC Architecture, back in June 2019.
And from a museum blog post:
Co-designed with children and young people, Young V&A is a free, national museum designed to showcase the power of creativity in children’s lives as they build new skills and develop the creative confidence needed to thrive in our fast-changing world.
Young V&A will be a ‘doing’ museum – a joyful, buzzing, and optimistic place underpinned by the power of design and creativity.
More about today’s engagement from India McTaggart’s story for the Telegraph.
The Princess of Wales revealed that her three children “tell me stories all the time” as she opened the new Young V&A museum.
While interacting with the schoolchildren in the various galleries, she viewed their inventions and listened to their stories.
She advised one group on how to assemble pieces to build a submarine from blocks and tubes before trying it out herself, miming putting on a seatbelt and asking: “Do I strap myself in?”
I’m not sure who had more fun, the Princess or the children. The Mirror has more in this article from Russell Myers.
Different groups clamoured for her attention and the Princess took a great interest, asking: ‘What is your invention?’, ‘What is that bit for?’ and ‘What do you want to be when you’re older?’
In the ‘Imagine’ area of the museum, Kate met with another group of schoolchildren who were excited to tell her the stories they had written based on objects in the museum. She applauded at the end of each story and said to one child ‘the end, very good, I’d like to see that’, and then told the children her own stories about her three children.
She said: ‘They tell me stories all the time. George was brushing his teeth and suddenly his tooth fell out.’
The museum director shared his thoughts on the Princess’s visit; we return to the Telegraph’s piece.
Mr Hunt, who toured the Princess around, said: “Not only as a parent she’s interested in this space and as an art historian, but also this centre’s focus on early years development, that’s another area of interest for her.
“She was very good, listening to all the stories from the children, chapter after chapter, she was encouraging for their storytelling and wanted to know what objects they were drawing on for their stories.
Before the Princess left, students wanted to give her a hug.
The school posted this message on Twitter.
As she was departing, students gave the Princess “Little Bags of Wonders” for the Wales children.
Why is she saying, “Shhh”? The Daily Mail has the answer in this piece.
This is the moment the Princess of Wales playfully told a group of inquisitive primary school children her age while reopening the Young V&A museum in London.
‘I’m 41, shh don’t tell anyone,’ Kate quietly revealed to the youngsters, who had moments earlier welcomed the delighted royal with a showering of hugs.
The bags include notebooks, toys, and other goodies.
Globe Primary School posted photos from today’s event on its Twitter account.
— Globe Primary School (@GlobeSchool) June 28, 2023
And Kensington Palace posted a quick video on social media about the museum.
❓ How would you describe the new @young_vam?
It was a pleasure to see how this special museum has been revamped with the help of local school children, parents and teachers this morning, ahead of its opening this Saturday. pic.twitter.com/QvmJhpiZCc
— The Prince and Princess of Wales (@KensingtonRoyal) June 28, 2023
Now for our look at what Kate wore for today’s engagement.
Manufactured in London, the dress is 100% wool (I’m sure it’s a tropical-weight fabric), showcasing a fit and flare design. It has a loop and button front closure, stand collar, self-belt, concealed side zipper, puffed short sleeves, and a keyhole opening at the sleeve hem.
As some readers know, the Ahana is a popular design with royal women. Below, Crown Princess Mette-Marit of Norway is seen at the French Open last June, while Princess Beatrice and Sophie Winkleman (an accomplished actress and wife of Lord Frederick Windsor) are seen as they arrived for a reception following Queen Elizabeth II’s platinum jubilee service of thanksgiving. Ms. Winkleman is seen in a yellow version of the dress just this past Saturday at Royal Ascot. Crown Princess Mary of Denmark has also worn the dress.
More about the design from this Vogue Australia story.
For a designer, receiving one royal seal of approval is magic enough—but several? That’s an occurrence so rare it seems providential. Sartorial etiquette, of course, means that members of different royal families end up dressing in similar ways; their preference for longer hems, feminine fit-and-flares and sharp tailoring creates inevitable (if unintentional) wardrobe parallels. The recurrence of a specific design, however, is far less common.
But no design to date has made as many reappearances as the ‘Ahana’ dress by Beulah London. Cap-sleeved, with a set-in belt and button-front bodice, the summer dress is a ’50s-inspired dream; in other words, you could pinpoint it as a regal staple from a mile away.
Here you see the Princess in the dress in 2021. (The post originally said the dress was worn in 2019, which is incorrect.)
My husband’s theory is that the Princess has chosen Wimbledon repeats this week as a reminder about the upcoming Championships, which start on Monday.
Here is one more photo from today.
The Royal Family Channel has almost two minutes of coverage in this video.
Here is the Evening Standard’s coverage.
And London Live’s coverage.
The Princess of Wales was in Bethnal Green reopening the Young V&A Museum after a £13 million renovation which took three years. As part of the redesign, the museum worked closely with local schoolchildren, parents and teachers to design the display areas and galleries. pic.twitter.com/KD5wHwxBZC
— London Live (@LondonLive) June 28, 2023