Published 12 July 2017

As Patron of the museum, The Duchess attended the unveiling of the new whale skeleton, alongside Sir David Attenborough, and spoke publicly for first time about her interest in marine conservation.

The Duchess of Cambridge opens the new Hintze Hall at The Natural History Museum

The Duchess of Cambridge officially opened the Natural History Musuem's Hintze Hall.

The Duchess was shown around the new hall by Museum Director Sir Michael Dixon and viewed the new 'Bay of Wonders' exhibitions with Sir David Attenborough.

Opening to the public on the 14 July 2017, the new Hintze Hall contains abeautiful star display and a skeleton of Earth's largest known animal, the blue whale – replacing  Dippy, the 21.3m resin cast of a diplodocus dinosaur skeleton, which is now on tour around the UK.

After years of excessive hunting, whales were dangerously close to becoming extinct. In 1966, they became the first animal protected by international law and since then populations have slowly recovered.

The Blue Whale skeleton, which was lovingly prepared by curators and scientists for months,  has been named Hope – to remind visitors of the fragility of the ocean and our shared responsibility to look after it.

'As someone who has been fortunate to experience scuba diving, something I love doing, and seeing the incredible marine life, I have come to care deeply about life under our waters and the conservation of our oceans' – said The Duchess in a speech.

The Duchess is also Patron of of marine charity the 1851 Trust, but this is the first time HRH has spoken publicly about her interest in marine conservation.

You read can the full speech here: http://bit.ly/2sTSrOI