Duchess of Cambridge becomes first Royal Patron of V&A Museum

The Duchess of Cambridge
The Duchess of Cambridge

The Duchess of Cambridge has become the first royal patron of the Victoria and Albert Museum.

Kate, who is on maternity leave expecting her third child, formally began the role on Monday.

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

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.

Kate is the first royal patron in the museum's 166-year history.

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.

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.

"We are delighted that Her Royal Highness The Duchess of Cambridge has agreed to serve as Royal Patron of the museum.

"The Duchess's personal interest in photography, textiles and the visual arts, alongside her support for the role of art in supporting mental health and nurturing young people's creative talent, fits naturally with the collections and civic purpose of the V&A.

"The trustees, staff and members of the V&A look forward to working with Her Royal Highness across our museums in South Kensington, Bethnal Green and Dundee."

The Duchess is due to give birth to her third child - a sibling for Prince George and Princess Charlotte - in April.