Her Majesty was generous in loaning works of art from The Royal Collection for Tate exhibitions, including Isaac Oliver's Princess Elizabeth, later Queen of Bohemia, Rodolf Swobaba's Muhammad Hussain 1886, Anthony Van Dyck's Lords George and Francis Villiers 1635 and William Hogarth's David Garrick with his Wife Eva Maria Veigel c. 1757-1764. We are truly grateful for this recognition and support of our programmes.
Tate was fortunate enough to host Her Majesty on official visits on a number of occasions, and many long-serving staff and volunteers have wonderful memories of these occasions. The first was in 1979, when Her Majesty opened the North East Quadrant extension at Tate Britain. Opening celebrations included a spectacular fireworks display over the river Thames, designed by the artist John Piper.
In 1987, Her Majesty opened the new Clore Gallery at Tate Britain, after the foundation stone was laid by Queen Elizabeth the Queen Mother in 1982. The Clore Gallery was built to house work from a bequest to Tate of a significant number of works by Turner, including 300 oil paintings and many thousands of sketches and watercolours.
In 2000, Her Majesty opened the brand new Tate Modern – one of the most significant moments in Tate’s history, opening up contemporary art to London, and altering the global artistic landscape for good.
Tate was extremely honoured that Her Majesty was present at such a momentous occasion for the institution.
In 2013, Her Majesty visited Tate St. Ives as part of a visit to Cornwall she made with HRH Prince Philip, where she was given a tour of the building.
Her majesty inspired a number of artworks, some of which we hold in the Tate collection. Perhaps one of the most iconic is Andy Warhol’s Reigning Queens, a series of sixteen prints made up of four images of the four female monarchs who were ruling in the world in 1985.
Tate has one print from the series, that of The Queen Elizabeth II, in its collection. Warhol captures Her Majesty’s poise and glamour, basing the images on a photograph taken for her Silver Jubilee in 1977.
William Roberts' Trooping the Colour, painted in 1958–9, represents the military parade which took place before Her Majesty every June on her Official Birthday. She is seen on the only chestnut horse, with HRH Prince Philip next to her left.
This print, made by Gerhard Richter, was taken from a photograph of Her Majesty in a newspaper or magazine. One of two prints, it was a mark of the artist’s support and respect for the monarch at the time.
The series of images below, taken by documentary photographer Nigel Henderson, show the street parties of London taking place in celebration of The Coronation of Queen Elizabeth in 1953. These photographs beautifully capture the feeling of delight and support at the arrival of this young monarch.
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