9 June 2021 15:58

The Duchess of Cornwall visits On Point: Royal Academy of Dance at 100 at the V&A with Dame Darcey Bussell

In her first official engagement with the Royal Academy of Dance since becoming Vice-Patron, HRH The Duchess of Cornwall visited the Academy’s centenary display On Point: Royal Academy of Dance at 100 at the V&A in London today.

The Duchess was given a guided tour of this landmark display by curators Eleanor Fitzpatrick (Archives and Records Manager at the RAD) and Jane Pritchard (Curator of Dance, Theatre and Performance at the V&A). Her Royal Highness was joined at the display by RAD President, Dame Darcey Bussell.

The Duchess had the opportunity to see costumes from some of the most famous dancers to grace the stage, such as Dame Darcey and Rudolf Nureyev, as well as an array of artefacts chronicling 100 years of dance history and the RAD’s role in the development of British ballet. The Duchess, who is a keen advocate for dance and recently spoke about how she takes the RAD’s Silver Swans classes, had the opportunity to pose at the ballet barre installed as part of the display with Darcey Bussell.

HRH The Duchess of Cornwall at the barre with Dame Darcey Bussell.

Dame Darcey Bussell commented: “I was honoured to join The Duchess of Cornwall and Angela Rippon on a zoom call last year to announce Her Royal Highness as Vice-Patron of the Royal Academy of Dance. It was therefore very special to be able to join HRH today as we marked her first official engagement for the Academy. It was wonderful to see The Duchess take such an interest in this display marking 100 years of the RAD.”

Speaking of the visit, Luke Rittner CBE, RAD Chief Executive said: “We announced HRH The Duchess of Cornwall’s role as Vice-Patron of the Royal Academy of Dance last year, which was when the Academy officially turned 100. As we continue to mark this milestone, it is very fitting for Her Royal Highness to learn more about our rich history through this display at the V&A. We were absolutely thrilled to be able to give The Duchess this special tour of the display, particularly as we celebrate the reopening of museums and theatres, as well as the return to dance classes across the UK.”

Dame Monica Mason DBE, RAD Vice President also commented: “It was a pleasure to welcome HRH The Duchess of Cornwall to the RAD’s centenary display. I find it hugely inspiring to look back on 100 years of the Royal Academy of Dance, who I first started learning to dance with, and I hope that The Duchess was equally inspired.”

HRH The Duchess of Cornwall visits the RAD’s centenary display at the V&A, London.

The Academy received its Royal Charter from King George V in 1936. The following year, the RAD was awarded its coat of arms by the College of Arms. The Academy is proud to have Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II as its Patron and HRH The Duchess of Cornwall as Vice-Patron.

The Royal Academy of Dance continues to mark its centenary, looking back on 100 years of teaching the world to dance and boldly forward to the next 100 years, including a move to a new, state-of-the-art headquarters which is scheduled to formally open in spring 2022. This new home for dance will enable the RAD to expand on its mission to bring dance to more people in more places, and serve our local community.

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