Top cultural institutions thank Queen for ‘unwavering support and patronage’

·5-min read
The Queen during a visit to the Scottish National Portrait Gallery in Edinburgh (Andrew Milligan/PA) (PA Archive)
The Queen during a visit to the Scottish National Portrait Gallery in Edinburgh (Andrew Milligan/PA) (PA Archive)

The National Gallery and the Royal Shakespeare Company are among a number of Britain’s top cultural institutions to have paid tribute to the Queen following her death at the age of 96.

The monarch, who was a patron of a variety of societies and institutions, has been thanked for her service and contribution.

A message posted on the National Gallery’s official Twitter account said: “We join with the royal family and people around the world in mourning the death of Her Majesty The Queen.

“We offer our condolences to the royal family.”

It was also announced that the gallery would be closed on September 10 as a mark of respect.

The executive director and acting artistic director of the Royal Shakespeare Company Catherine Mallyon and Erica Whyman issued a statement remembering the Queen who had been a patron of the company since its inception in 1961.

They said: “We are deeply saddened at the news of the Queen’s death, and our thoughts are with her family, and particularly our president, HRH The Prince of Wales. Her Majesty the Queen has been Patron of the Royal Shakespeare Company since 1961, when the company was created.

“Her Majesty last visited us in Stratford-upon-Avon on March 4 2011 to open formally the transformed Royal Shakespeare Theatre. This was a memorable day in the history of the RSC where she met and talked with members of the company and those involved in the redevelopment and transformation of the theatre.

“It was a great pleasure for us to rehearse with HRH The Prince of Wales in preparation for his poetic tribute to his mother on her 90th birthday in 2016. We were honoured to be part of such a special moment.”

It has also been confirmed that the RSC will be organising a public screening of the monarch’s funeral in the Royal Shakespeare Theatre, the details of which will be confirmed in due course.

The Royal Institute of British Architects (RIBA) also paid tribute to the Queen, thanking her for her “unwavering support and patronage”.

RIBA president Simon Allford said: “On behalf of the Royal Institute of British Architects (RIBA), I send our deepest condolences to the royal family on the passing of Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II.

“I sincerely thank Her Majesty for her unwavering support and patronage of our institute during her 70-year reign, a role she inherited from her father and one occupied by every monarch since Queen Victoria.”

Recalling the Queen’s contribution to the institution, Mr Allford added: “Throughout these turbulent years, Her Majesty’s steady influence and calm, assured presence has been a vital constant for our profession throughout the Commonwealth and beyond.”

“In her 70 years, she personally opened (and reopened) an impressive list of buildings, with foundation stones and plaques recording her presence in almost every continent.”

He concluded: “Our thoughts are with the royal family, the nation and Commonwealth as we collectively mourn Her Majesty’s death and celebrate her remarkable life.”

London’s National Portrait Gallery remembered the Queen as “a figurehead of stability, hope and kindness”.

A statement posted on the gallery’s official Twitter account said: “We are extremely saddened to learn of the death of Her Majesty the Queen. A figurehead of stability, hope and kindness, Queen Elizabeth II was the longest-serving British monarch.

“Our deepest sympathy goes out to the royal family, with the nation sharing in their grief.”

The Tate group – consisting of Tate Britain, Tate Modern, Tate St Ives and Tate Liverpool – also paid tribute to the Queen, with a post on twitter which said: “We are deeply saddened to hear of the loss of Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II.

“Our thoughts are with the royal family at this time.”

Sir Nicholas Serota, chair of Arts Council England, was also among those remembering the Queen.

He said in a statement: “Our nation and people around the world mourn the passing of Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II who embodied the values of duty, dedication, courage and determination.

“As an organisation established by Royal Charter in 1946, we want to express our immeasurable gratitude to Her Majesty the Queen for her support for the arts and culture sector over so many years, which included her patronage of many cultural organisations.

“As we reflect upon the unprecedented service and legacy of Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II, all our thoughts are with the royal family at this difficult time.”