London's Victoria & Albert Museum opened its new wing on Thursday (June 29), and who better to celebrate the milestone than the Duchess of Cambridge? Kate, who studied history of art at university, was in high spirits as she opened the museum's new entrance, courtyard and gallery on Exhibition Road. The arty royal was one of the first to preview the museum's new spaces on Thursday, and heard about the design and unique features of the building.
Kate, who looked elegant in a Gucci outfit, visited The Sackler Courtyard – the world's first porcelain tiled public courtyard – where she unveiled a commemorative plaque. The courtyard was paved in 11,000 handmade tiles inspired by the rich tradition of ceramics at the V&A. She then attended a short reception in The Blavatnik Hall to meet guests involved in the project's delivery. Kate was also shown around The Sainsbury Gallery, which is hosting a selection of temporary light and sound installations specifically for the opening
The V&A Exhibition Road Quarter is the museum's largest architectural project undertaken in the last 100 years. Designed by British architect Amanda Levete and her practice AL_A, the project has created new public areas and gallery space for visitors, as well as a new public entrance via Exhibition Road.
Kate has long been passionate about photography and the arts, having graduated from the University of St Andrews in 2005 with a 2:1 in History of Art. It was there that she met her future husband Prince William, who enrolled on the same degree before switching to Geography. Kate's various patronages reflect her love of art, including The National Portrait Gallery and The Art Room, a charity that works with children to increase their self-esteem, self-confidence and independence through art.