Kate Middleton opens V&A photography centre

The Duchess of Cambridge was back to her best tonight in an edgy Erdem number as she arrived for her first official engagement as royal patron of the V&A.

Kate, who is there to open the museum’s new Photography Centre, showed off her trim figure in the mid-calf fit-and-flare frock which she teamed with a waist belt, small box clutch and vertiginous heels.

The dress boasted a bateau neckline — a style favoured by Kate’s sister-in-law the Duchess of Sussex — frayed sleeves and featured a purple Prince of Wales check pattern.

The Duchess, who returned from maternity leave just last week, will be given a personal tour the opening display at the new photography centre, entitled Collecting Photography: From Daguerreotype to Digital.

The display explores photography from the medium’s invention in the 19th century to the present day and will be of great interest to the Duchess, a keen amateur photographer.

Drawn from the V&A’s collection of over 800,000 photographs, the display showcases contemporary photography alongside seminal prints by pioneers William Henry Fox Talbot, Julia Margaret Cameron and Roger Fenton. 

Kate stunned in a check number, which boasted a bateau neckline. During her tour of the exhibition tonight, Kate, 36, will meet curators who have worked on the project, before unveiling a plaque to mark the official opening of the Centre

Kate stunned in a check number, which boasted a bateau neckline. During her tour of the exhibition tonight, Kate, 36, will meet curators who have worked on the project, before unveiling a plaque to mark the official opening of the Centre

Kate stunned in a check number, which boasted a bateau neckline. During her tour of the exhibition tonight, Kate, 36, will meet curators who have worked on the project, before unveiling a plaque to mark the official opening of the Centre

Kate does Erdem! The Duchess, who returned from maternity leave just last week, will be given a personal tour the opening display at the new photography centre

Kate does Erdem! The Duchess, who returned from maternity leave just last week, will be given a personal tour the opening display at the new photography centre

The show that Kate is visiting tonight is entitled Collecting Photography: From Daguerreotype to Digital

The show that Kate is visiting tonight is entitled Collecting Photography: From Daguerreotype to Digital

 Kate does Erdem! The Duchess, who returned from maternity leave just last week, will be given a personal tour the opening display at the new photography centre, entitled Collecting Photography: From Daguerreotype to Digital

During her tour of the exhibition tonight, Kate, 36, will meet curators who have worked on the project, before unveiling a plaque to mark the official opening of the Centre.

The new photography centre will more than double the space dedicated to photography where prints, negatives, camera equipment, photographic publications and original documents will be displayed together to tell a broader story of international photography. 

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A frequently changing selection of new acquisitions, a ‘Light Wall’ for displaying the most cutting-edge photographic imagery, and a ‘Dark Tent’ projection area complete the new space.

The Duchess was named as the first ever royal patron of the Victoria & Albert in March 2018, just a month before welcoming her third child, Prince Louis, on April 23.

At the time, Kensington Palace said the patronage would further the Duchess’s interest in the visual arts, photography and design. 

The Duchess of Cambridge, who is visiting the V&A museum's new Photography Centre tonight, showed off her trim figure in the mid-calf fit-and-flare frock which she teamed with a waist belt, small box clutch and vertiginous heels

The Duchess of Cambridge, who is visiting the V&A museum's new Photography Centre tonight, showed off her trim figure in the mid-calf fit-and-flare frock which she teamed with a waist belt, small box clutch and vertiginous heels

The Duchess of Cambridge, who is visiting the V&A museum’s new Photography Centre tonight, showed off her trim figure in the mid-calf fit-and-flare frock which she teamed with a waist belt, small box clutch and vertiginous heels

The dress boasted a bateau neckline - a style favoured by Kate's sister-in-law the Duchess of Sussex - frayed sleeves and featured a purple Prince of Wales check pattern

The dress boasted a bateau neckline - a style favoured by Kate's sister-in-law the Duchess of Sussex - frayed sleeves and featured a purple Prince of Wales check pattern

She teamed it with velvet shoes

She teamed it with velvet shoes

A nod to her father-in-law? The dress boasted a bateau neckline — a style favoured by Kate’s sister-in-law the Duchess of Sussex — frayed sleeves and featured a purple Prince of Wales check pattern

The Duchess in Erdem at the V&A tonight. The display explores photography from the medium's invention in the 19th century to the present day and will be of great interest to the Duchess, a keen amateur photographer

The Duchess in Erdem at the V&A tonight. The display explores photography from the medium's invention in the 19th century to the present day and will be of great interest to the Duchess, a keen amateur photographer

The Duchess in Erdem at the V&A tonight. The display explores photography from the medium’s invention in the 19th century to the present day and will be of great interest to the Duchess, a keen amateur photographer

Kate chatted animatedly ahead of her private tour of the exhibition

Kate chatted animatedly ahead of her private tour of the exhibition

Drawn from the V&A's collection of over 800,000 photographs, the display showcases contemporary photography alongside seminal prints by pioneers William Henry Fox Talbot, Julia Margaret Cameron and Roger Fenton

Drawn from the V&A's collection of over 800,000 photographs, the display showcases contemporary photography alongside seminal prints by pioneers William Henry Fox Talbot, Julia Margaret Cameron and Roger Fenton

Kate chatted animatedly ahead of her private tour of the exhibition. Drawn from the V&A’s collection of over 800,000 photographs, the display showcases contemporary photography alongside seminal prints by pioneers William Henry Fox Talbot, Julia Margaret Cameron and Roger Fenton

Kate, who did a degree in the history of art, is already patron of the National Portrait Gallery and the Natural History Museum.

The V&A, which is a short distance from the Duchess’s Kensington Palace home in west London, is the world’s leading museum of art and design. 

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It was founded in 1852 and named after the Duke of Cambridge’s great-great-great-great-grandparents Queen Victoria and Prince Albert.

Kate visited the V&A in June 2017 to officially open its new entrance, courtyard and exhibition gallery on Exhibition Road.

The Duchess was all smiles as she arrived at the museum, just a stone's throw from her Kensington Palace home. The new centre will more than double the space dedicated to photography where prints, negatives, camera equipment, photographic publications and original documents will be displayed together to tell a broader story of international photography

The Duchess was all smiles as she arrived at the museum, just a stone's throw from her Kensington Palace home. The new centre will more than double the space dedicated to photography where prints, negatives, camera equipment, photographic publications and original documents will be displayed together to tell a broader story of international photography

The Duchess was all smiles as she arrived at the museum, just a stone’s throw from her Kensington Palace home. The new centre will more than double the space dedicated to photography where prints, negatives, camera equipment, photographic publications and original documents will be displayed together to tell a broader story of international photography

Kate was at the museum to learn about its new photography centre where a frequently changing selection of new acquisitions, a 'Light Wall' for displaying the most cutting-edge photographic imagery, and a 'Dark Tent' projection area complete the new space

Kate was at the museum to learn about its new photography centre where a frequently changing selection of new acquisitions, a 'Light Wall' for displaying the most cutting-edge photographic imagery, and a 'Dark Tent' projection area complete the new space

She was all smiles as she arrived at the museum tonight

She was all smiles as she arrived at the museum tonight

 Kate was at the museum to learn about its new photography centre where a frequently changing selection of new acquisitions, a ‘Light Wall’ for displaying the most cutting-edge photographic imagery, and a ‘Dark Tent’ projection area complete the new space

Passion project: The Duchess, pictured arriving in south Kensington tonight, was named as the first ever royal patron of the Victoria & Albert in March 2018, just a month before welcoming her third child, Prince Louis, on April 23

Passion project: The Duchess, pictured arriving in south Kensington tonight, was named as the first ever royal patron of the Victoria & Albert in March 2018, just a month before welcoming her third child, Prince Louis, on April 23

Passion project: The Duchess, pictured arriving in south Kensington tonight, was named as the first ever royal patron of the Victoria & Albert in March 2018, just a month before welcoming her third child, Prince Louis, on April 23

Tristram Hunt, director of the museum and former shadow education secretary, said he was looking forward to working with the Duchess.

‘From its foundation by Prince Albert and Queen Victoria, the V&A has enjoyed a proud history of royal support,’ Mr Hunt said. 

After her engagement in London tonight, she is set to travel to Windsor with her family for the wedding of William’s cousin, Princess Eugenie, on Friday.

The proud couple will watch three-year-old Princess Charlotte take a starring role as a flower girl, while George, five, has been chosen as a page boy for the nuptials at St. George’s Chapel, Windsor Castle.


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