Following the Queen and the Duke of Edinburgh’s first visit to St Ives last week, Arwen Fitch, Press and Communications Manager for Tate St Ives fills us in on what was an unforgettable day

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  • Queen and the Duke of Edinburgh visit Tate St Ives Friday 17th May 2013

    The Queen and the Duke of Edinburgh visit Tate St Ives on Friday 17 May 2013 and were met by Directors Mark Osterfield, Martin Clark, Caroline Collier and Tate Trustee Gareth Thomas

    © Tate Photography, Joanna Fernandes

  • Queen and the Duke of Edinburgh visited Tate St Ives Friday 17th May 2013

    The Queen and the Duke of Edinburgh visit Tate St Ives on Friday 17 May 2013, and are greeted by Directors Mark Osterfield, Martin Clark, and  younger members of the Tate St Ives family

    © Tate Photography, Joanna Fernandes

On the morning of Friday 17th May large crowds gathered in St Ives to see the Queen and the Duke of Edinburgh on their very first visit to the town. The sun shone and the sea shimmered with its distinctive (dare I say royal) blue hue as the Royal couple arrived at Tate St. Ives after a visit to the RNLI lifeboat station and seafront.

A children's choir sing for the The Queen and the Duke of Edinburgh during their visit to Tate St Ives on Friday 17th May 2013

A children’s choir sing for the Queen and the Duke of Edinburgh during their visit to Tate St Ives on Friday 17 May 2013

© Tate Photography, Joanna Fernandes

They were met by gallery Directors Mark Osterfield, Martin Clark, Caroline Collier and Tate Trustee Gareth Thomas, and greeted by singing from a choir of children at St Ives Junior School. Some of the youngest members of the Tate St Ives family were on hand too to present the couple with two posies.

Once inside, the Royal party were introduced to staff and the architects of the Phase 2 extension. They then visited the Tate St Ives Summer 2013 exhibition, viewing work by eight artists; Marlow Moss, RH Quaytman, Linder, Barbara Hepworth, Gareth Jones, Nick Relph, Patrick Heron and Allen Ruppersberg. Artists close to the gallery such as Anthony Frost and Luke Frost (the son and grandson of artist Terry Frost who both exhibited in the 2007 show Art Now Cornwall at Tate St. Ives), and members of the wider cultural community of Cornwall also met the Queen on her tour, as well as a really excited group from our Tate Collective who all got to shake her hand and were over the moon with delight!

Queen and the Duke of Edinburgh visited Tate St Ives Friday 17th May 2013

Crowds gather for the arrival of the Queen and the Duke of Edinburgh at Tate St Ives on Friday 17 May 2013 during their visit to Cornwall

© Tate Photography, Joanna Fernandes

The Queen also visited our café where she enjoyed the view over the old town and Porthmeor Beach. There was just such a great atmosphere as everyone enjoyed themselves, plus the sun stayed out so it all made for a jolly morning!