Dundee royal visit: Crowds gather at the waterfront as William and Kate officially open V&A

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Hundreds of people turned out to greet the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge as they officially opened V&A Dundee.

Known as the Earl and Countess of Strathearn in Scotland, the couple were greeted at the £80 million museum by Dundee Lord Provost Ian Borthwick, V&A Dundee director Philip Long, chairwoman Lesley Knox and V&A director Tristram Hunt when they arrived just before noon.

Inside the museum the duchess was presented with flowers by schoolchildren Sean Edgar, from Our Lady’s Primary, and Debbie Gray from Rosebank Primary.

She told the children, both participants in V&A Dundee’s bonnetmakers project, that she “had never seen a museum like this.”

The couple were then introduced to V&A Dundee architect Kengo Kuma.

The countess, wearing a green coat-dress by Alexander McQueen in a style reminiscent of Black Watch tartan, told the architect “well done” for creating the waterfront museum.

Mr Kuma talked about his inspiration for the museum before they met members of the Young People’s Collective, who helped organise September’s 3D Festival.

The earl and countess then entered the Scottish Design Galleries where Jesse Norman, director of the V&A research institute, presented the Lover’s Lace dress designed by Christopher Kane.

At this point, the duke admitted he was “out of his depth” when talking about fashion.

The duchess, the V&A’s first royal patron, then officially opened the museum.


Unveiling a plaque commemorating the event, she said: “Last February I was delighted to become a patron of the V&A and nearly a year later I’m delighted to be standing in a brand new V&A, one built for the city of Dundee and for Scotland.

“Walking around the museum it is easy to how it as already inspiring the next generation by providing a new space for learning.”

Philip Long, director of V&A Dundee, said: “V&A Dundee is an ambitious new international museum and we are honoured that the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge declared the museum officially open.“The Duke and Duchess were fascinated to see the museum. They enjoyed seeing the Oak Room, but I think especially they enjoyed speaking to all of the people involved.

“I think a highlight must have been coming outside and meeting people who had come from across Dundee and gave them a cheer.”


He added: “With their connections here – where they met close by in St Andrews – it was important for them to come and see this museum, and they really have shown their support.”

Tristram Hunt, director of V&A London, added: “We are truly grateful for the support that our royal patron, the Duchess of Cambridge and the Duke of Cambridge have shown to V&A Dundee, the flagship institution of our growing family of V&A sites.

“This official opening recognises the museum’s transformative impact on Dundee and strengthening the city’s position as a new international cultural destination.”


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