The Queen’s Platinum Jubilee: Explore what museums and galleries have in store

Published 1 June 2022

From royal photography to picnics and nature trails, here are some of the exhibitions and events taking place at museums and galleries around the Jubilee weekend.

This year marks 70 years of the reign of Her Majesty The Queen, culminating in a bank holiday weekend of Platinum Jubilee celebrations across 2-5 June.

Here's a look at how museums and galleries are marking the occasion and investigating royal history, from exhibitions to events.

Jubilee displays

At the V&A, you can see a display of shortlisted entries from the Platinum Jubilee emblem design competition, alongside Edward Roberts' winning design and a selection of previous designs (1-15 June).

And at Sir John Soane's Museum, you can see a collection of memorabilia commemorating corononations and jubilees (25 May-26 June). All the items on display have been borrowed from museum staff, visitors and the museum's local community.

Exhibitions: The Queen and Royal Family on camera

Through photography, these exhibitions explore the different sides of royal life, from the Queen in times of conflict to modern-day royals on camera.

The royal family’s relationship to the camera comes under the microscope at Kensington Palace. Featuring work by photographers such as David Bailey and Cecil Beaton, the exhibition Life Through a Royal Lens (until 30 Oct) spotlights royals on camera from the 19th century to the present day.

At IWM London, Crown and Conflict: Portraits of a Queen in Wartime (from 27 May) features a number of poignant photographs documenting the Queen’s role during times of war, while at IWM North in Salford, you can explore the Queen’s long history with the military through projections from their extensive photography archive (1-30 June).

And on 13 June, the V&A is hosting a talk with photographer Chris Jackson – Jackson will be discussing his time photographing the royal family and being behind-the-scenes at some of the key moments in their history.

Exhibitions about royal history

Other exhibitions are dedicated to particular periods in royal history.

The Tudors: Passion, Power and Politics (until 29 Aug) at the Walker Art Gallery in Liverpool chronicles the infamous Tudor dynasty through 100 intriguing objects, shining a new light on the era. The exhibition also focuses on underrepresented aspects of the period.

And at the National Gallery online, you can marvel at a virtual exhibition featuring iconic works of art depicting female monarchs around the world (from 2 June).

There are also several works on loan from the Queen in the National Gallery’s current Raphael exhibition.

Events to look out for

If you’re looking for fun, community-spirited events to attend over the Jubilee weekend, there’s plenty on offer.

Chawton House are providing Jubilee-themed picnic boxes which you can enjoy in the gorgeous Hampshire countryside between 2-4 June, while popular Devon performers the Blue Jewel Ceilidh Band will put on a special performance at the Royal Albert Memorial Museum and Art Gallery in Exeter on 2 June.

And, Holkham Hall in Norfolk are hosting a range of activities between 28 May and 5 June – enjoy nature trails, rope races and a wildlife safari.

These are just a selection of events on offer at museums, galleries and historic houses across the UK. Many will be hosting picnics, garden parties and family-friendly events in their grounds over the Platinum Jubilee bank holiday weekend.

Explore museums' own events listings on our website here.

Explore a full breakdown of community-based events around the country here.

Her Majesty The Queen is Art Fund's patron.

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