Jubilee art exhibition kicks off with royal visit

Those staying in hotel accommodation in London this weekend should get themselves down to Valentine Mansion in Redbridge this weekend for a special art exhibition celebrating the Queen's Diamond Jubilee.

From today (March 29th) until Sunday April 1st, the stately home in the east of London will host the London Pride Festival of Art and Design – a special event exploring six decades of art and design in the capital.

Some of the country's top museums and galleries are contributing pieces to the exhibition, including works from modern British artists on loan from the Tate, a number of modern design icons from the Design Museum and architectural models and displays from the Royal College of Art.

And to mark the exhibition's opening day, the Queen herself paid a visit to Valentine Mansion as part of her Jubilee tour of London.

Her Majesty and her husband the Duke of Edinburgh were greeted by huge cheers from members of the public as they made their way along the path to the 17th century home.

Once inside, they viewed paintings by artists including Lucian Freud, Francis Bacon and David Hockney which feature in the exhibition.

Conservative leader of Redbridge Council Keith Prince said the sovereign's visit was a "great privilege and honour".

"Redbridge is one of the most diverse boroughs in the country and I believe one of the greatest legacies the Queen will leave will be the Commonwealth," he told the BBC.

Meanwhile, the London Pride Festival of Art and Design will see a number of other activities and events taking place at Valentine Mansion over the weekend to keep all members of the family entertained.

These include an artisan crafts fair, a display of classic British cars, music from local bands and the opportunity to visit the new dry garden – the first major piece of planting at Valentine Mansion since the 1870s.

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