This morning, Her Majesty The Queen, accompanied by the Prince of Wales, opened The Queen’s Diamond Jubilee Galleries at Westminster Abbey.
The exhibition will display over 300 treasures from Westminster Abbey’s collection, spanning its 1000 years of history. The new galleries are in the medieval Triforium, set more than 16 metres above the Abbey’s floor, which have never been open to the public before.
After a short service, the Dean of Westminster Abbey, the Very Reverend Dr John Hall, took the Queen and the Prince of Wales on a tour of the Abbey’s galleries. During the tour, one of the artefacts shown to the Queen was the funeral effigy head of King Henry VII from 1509.
Afterwards, the Queen and the Prince of Wales met construction workers, supporters and Westminster Abbey staff who are involved in the projects. The Queen then unveiled a plaque to officially open The Queen’s Diamond Jubilee Galleries.
Gardener Alan Titchmarsh later showed the Queen and the Prince of Wales a fountain in the Abbey’s cloister garth to commemorate the tercentenary of the 18th Century landscape gardener Lancelot ‘Capability’ Brown. The fountain was designed by Ptolemy Dean, Westminster Abbey’s Surveyor of the Fabric. It was developed with the assistance of Alan Titchmarsh.
The Queen ended her visit at Westminster Abbey by walking out past the Queen’s Scholars of Westminster School before receiving a posy.
Back in 2016, the Prince of Wales visited Westminster Abbey to see the restoration work in progress of The Queen’s Diamond Jubilee Galleries. While he was there, he unveiled the foundation stone in the Weston Tower.
The Queen’s Diamond Jubilee Galleries tells the story of Westminster Abbey in four themes: Building Westminster Abbey, Worship and Daily Life, Westminster Abbey and the Monarchy, and The Abbey and National Memory. The exhibition will open to the public next week on 11th June.