We welcome our Patron to Florence

31 March - 3 April 2017

As part of our centenary celebrations we welcomed our Patron, HRH The Prince of Wales, and HRH The Duchess of Cornwall, to The British Institute of Florence where they helped us celebrate our Centenary.

They inaugurated the “Shakespeare in White” exhibition by unveiling a totem of 100 books, one for each year of the life of the Institute, joined an art history class on the floods and examined items from our library and archive collections. The Duchess then read to children (and drew a horse for them) while the Prince joined a session on Italian gestures. They met our guests aged eight to over eighty, from state school heads to museum directors, from volunteers to sponsors. Finally they unveiled a plaque to commemorate the centenary.

Two days later, in the courtyard of the Palazzo Strozzi, the Prince unveiled our very own Henry Moore sculpture, Warrior with Shield, temporarily relocated from Santa Croce, then chatted to colleagues about teaching in state schools and presented long service awards to three colleagues who together have worked for the British Institute of Florence for over 100 years.

It was a very special couple of days for us at the British Institute of Florence.

 

Our Patron His Royal Highness The Prince of Wales and HRH The Duchess of Cornwall take part in an history of art lesson on the floods in Florence and examine books from the Harold Acton Library damaged in the 1966 flood.

 

The Duchess recognises the portraits of her great grandparents, hanging in the Harold Acton Library.

 

The Duchess takes part in a storytime for eight year olds who learn English at the British Institute of Florence

The Duchess takes part in a storytime for eight year olds who learn English at the British Institute of Florence.

 

The Duchess is asked to draw an animal and produces a horse.

 

The Prince is shown some of the books donated by Sir Harold Acton.

 

The Prince joins students from the University of Cambridge for a lesson on Italian gestures.

 

The Prince and the Duchess unveil a totem of 100 books to mark the centenary of the British Institute of Florence.

 

The Prince and the Duchess mingle with guests, including heads of state schools and Library volunteers, at the reception in the Palazzo Lanfredini.

 

The Prince meets the Directors of the Uffizi Gallery, the Palazzo Strozzi and the Museo dell’Opera del Duomo: four different nationalities meet at the British Institute of Florence.

 

The Prince and the Duchess unveil a centenary plaque.

 

The plaque.

 

The Prince unveils the Warrior with Shield by Henry Moore, donated to the British Institute of Florence, temporarily moved to Palazzo Strozzi in the centenary year.

 

The Prince presents long service awards to three members of staff, who together have 100 years of service to the British Institute of Florence.

 

The gala dinner in the Salone dei Cinquecento, at which the Prince was presented with the Renaissance Man of the Year award by the Palazzo Strozzi Foundation.

In this occasion HRH, the Prince of Wales, delivered a speech (which you can find by clicking here) and kindly mentioned our Institute with the following words:

So when, very nearly thirty years ago, I was invited to become Patron of The British Institute of Florence, it didn’t take me very long to say “yes!”.  
Now throughout the hundred years of its existence the British Institute has played an essential role in fostering understanding between the people of the United Kingdom and the people of Italy. In so doing, it has helped to strengthen and deepen the relationship between our two countries.