Prince Andrew is to promote awareness of the importance of well-designed buildings as patron of the Royal Fine Art Commission Trust
The prince succeeds former foreign secretary and Conservative peer Peter Carrington, who died last year aged 99. He will work alongside Norman Foster who is president of the trust.
The 59-year-old prince, whose formal title is Duke of York, wrote a foreword to the trust’s latest publication, Design Champion, which looks at the history of the Royal Fine Art Commission and its role in encouraging good design before its abolition in 1999.
‘The care shown by the Royal Fine Art Commission had its roots in the work of Prince Albert, my great-great-great-grandfather, who chaired its 19th-century predecessor,’ wrote the prince.
‘His aesthetic sense, insistence on the highest standards and attention to detail inspire me today. I am proud to become patron of the Royal Fine Art Commission Trust in 2019, as we mark the bicentenary of the birth of Prince Albert, at a time when there is a resurgence of interest in the need for beauty in our environment.’
Author and critic Stephen Bayley succeeds developer Peter Palumbo as chairman of the trust.
Bayley said: ‘We are delighted to be working with the Duke of York to spread awareness of how well-designed buildings and places benefit everyone. And the trust is not afraid to discuss beauty.
‘The more so since there is a growing disparity between the levels of beauty in rich and poor areas: because aesthetic deprivation cannot be quantified does not mean it does not exist. We believe that better design is good for the spirit, the culture and the economy. We will do what we can to ensure that is understood, appreciated and acted upon wherever possible.’