Thank you very much, Iwona, for your kind words of introduction, and particularly for the tour this morning, which I very much enjoyed. I really must join everyone else in congratulating the Whitechapel Gallery for, once again, creating something quite exceptional.
I am particularly delighted to be here today to open the new Gallery, as it is nearly a quarter of a century since my great-grandmother, Queen Elizabeth The Queen Mother, opened the last expansion of the Gallery in 1985. She was devoted to this place and this morning I have learned why.
I believe that one of the reasons that it meant so much to her is that almost more than any other artistic venue of comparable size it brings together everyone: people from far a field, members of the local community and, so critically, children of all ages, who are given a unique chance to experience the wonders of art at first hand.
Quite simply, this exciting Gallery further underscores London and Britain as an epicentre of the world art scene.