Kate Middleton, also known as the Duchess of Cambridge, is admired for her love of the fine arts. She has a substantial collection of artwork in her home and has attended many art shows in her life.
Recently, Middleton visited a Dutch museum where she reveled in the beauty of the art on display. This was her first solo trip to a foreign nation: a significant milestone for a royal emissary of the UK.
Some of the greatest artworks are scattered throughout museums across the world. Visitors can learn about art history and styles from talented auctioneers who are trained in their craft and seek the masterpieces wherever they are, even aboard cruise ships.
Kate studied art history at the University of St. Andrews, so visiting art museums when abroad naturally appeals to her. During this trip, she visited the Mauritshuis Museum in the Netherlands that was hosting a temporary exhibition of Old Master works, many of which even the average person would recognize. The collection was on loan from the British Royal Collection.
The most exciting painting for Kate was “The Music Lesson,” a painting by Johannes Vermeer, which was one of the paintings on loan. It was reported that she spent considerable time before this celebrated piece, taking in the muted colors and intriguing shapes.
The duchess also spent time perusing the museum’s permanent collection, which includes such renowned artworks as “Girl with a Pearl Earring,” Vermeer’s most renowned piece, and “The Goldfinch” by Carel Fabritius.
Fittingly, Kate wore a pair of pearl earrings that complemented her pale blue suit, and photos were captured of her lingering in front of “Girl with a Pearl Earring.” The similarity was not lost on anyone who saw them.
The Museum’s director Emilie Gordenker commented on this very detail: “She didn’t mention the earrings she was wearing, but she was interested in the painting.”
“She asked if it had become a lot more popular since the film came out, and I said it definitely had. The Duchess seemed to particularly enjoy seeing ‘The Goldfinch,’ by Carel Fabritius, but she asked a lot of questions about the presentation of the paintings, because although she is familiar with a lot of the Queen’s paintings she has never seen them in this setting before, which gives them a different context.”
The duchess has been privy to many experiences and privileges, both during her schooling and her new status as royalty, but this is likely the first time she has seen many of these artworks in their actual form. It’s difficult for most art lovers to get to experience all the works their hearts desire, even for a duchess.
Part of the reason Kate doesn’t attend art openings very often was exemplified by the hundreds of people who lined the streets to the museum entrance as
she arrived. Crowd control is an ongoing challenge for the popular monarch. Though she stops to chat with schoolchildren and waves as she goes by, it’s a security hazard for her to linger too long in a single place.
Following the memorable visit, the duchess took some time from her busy schedule to visit an art class for local primary-school children that was being held in a side room at the museum. She chatted with the students and admitted to wishing she could have stayed longer.
After the museum visit, Kate sat down for a private lunch with her host, Dutch King Willem-Alexander at his official residence, Villa Eikenhorst, where they discussed such topics as addiction, mental health, and the family. She stayed with the king at his mansion just outside The Hague during her trip.
Before heading home, the duchess made a final stop in Rotterdam, where she checked on a community project run by residents of a local neighborhood. The residents were hosting the event to teach youth about special skills such as 3D printing, metal work, computer repairs, and the like.
Kate’s appearance at the project completed a successful tour of the Netherlands.