The Queen’s Galleries, two astoundingly well-stocked art collections in London and Edinburgh, are about to get renamed according to the Royal Collection Trust. But, what are they going to be called? Have a think, and take a wild guess.
Yep, it’s no surprise that given these valuable portfolios now technically belong to King Charles III, they’ll now be known as (drum roll, please) … The King’s Galleries. Shocker.
The new name will come into effect next year. According to the trust, the galleries’ contents make up one of the last great still-intact European royal collections. And though the name of them implies that they belong to King Charles, that isn’t technically the case.
The artwork is actually ‘held in trust by the sovereign for his successors and the nation and is not owned by the King as a private individual,’ according to the Independent.
So, what actually is in these collections, which technically belong to us, the nation?
The King’s Gallery in London is located in Buckingham Palace, and was built on the site of Queen Victoria’s private chapel, which was destroyed in 1940 during an air raid. The Queen and Prince Phillip had it redeveloped in 1962 to house the royal collection, and it’s since been expanded.
The London assortment includes the wedding dress worn by Princess Charlotte of Wales (George IV’s daughter) in 1816. It’s the oldest surviving British royal wedding dress.
Edinburgh’s outpost, on the other hand, is home to a shitload of paintings. The Holyroodhouse gallery was built between 1999 and 2002, in the shell of the old Holyrood Free Church and Duchess of Gordon’s school, and until April next year, there’s over 100 artworks of the Tudor court on display.
Both galleries were opened by the late Queen in 2002, and together have welcomed five million visitors over the last 21 years. Whether old wedding dresses and Tudor portraits are your shtick or not, that stat is pretty impressive.
Fancy browsing an exhibition which is a little more twenty-first century? The capital has you covered. There’s a tonne of exciting art displays open across London right now – have a look at our top picks for the best exhibitions, or a read about the most promising young artists creating across the capital.
Stay in the loop: sign up for our free Time Out London newsletter for the best of the city, straight to your inbox.