The Princess of Wales opens the Young V&A

Published 28 June 2023

The Princess of Wales, Patron of the V&A, officially opened the Young V&A (formerly known as the V&A Museum of Childhood), ahead of its opening to the public on Saturday 1st July 2023.

The Princess of Wales visits the young V&A

The museum is dedicated to children and young people aged 0-14 and following a three-year transformation, will be a world leading museum of design and creativity.

Local schoolchildren, parents and teachers played a critical role in the project, participating in co-design and co-production workshops in which they worked with the architects and Young V&A team to reconceive how the building could be used, designed key architectural features, contributed ideas for the displays and exhibition programme and participated in making new commissions for the galleries.

The Princess of Wales at the Young V&A

Young V&A houses three new galleries called Play, Imagine, and Design. Each has been conceived for specific age groups, from babies to teens, with nearly 2000 objects from the V&A’s collections presented in new and playful ways, designed to inspire children’s own creativity.

At the museum, The Princess of Wales was given a tour of the building by schoolchildren who were part of the project. Her Royal Highness first visited the Play Gallery, a sensory landscape for toddlers inspired by the way infants experience the world. Whilst in the gallery, The Princess met children and heard about how the gallery is dedicated to the development of language, motor skills, and constructive play, before visiting The Arcade, a space designed for teenagers which explores the history and process of video and boardgame design.

Following this, Her Royal Highness visited the Design Gallery, a space which showcases how innovative objects are designed and how design has the power to make a positive impact on the world. With a working studio that houses Young V&A’s Designer in Residence and a Studio space, the gallery will also provide workshops and sessions for young people to escape and create, as well as inspire the designers of tomorrow.

The Princess of Wales visits the young V&A

In the Imagine Gallery, The Princess engaged with children about the different activities they have been taking part in at the museum. The gallery includes a variety of spaces to inspire creative expression through performance, storytelling, imagination, and community. At the heart of the gallery is The Stage, a new dedicated performance space featuring objects from the V&A’s renowned Theatre and Performance Collection, where children can also enjoy dressing up and performing their own shows.

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