Prince to open Museum's new Darwin Centre

01 September 2009

On Monday 14 September, His Royal Highness Prince William of Wales will be the guest of honour at the grand opening of the Natural History Museum’s new Darwin Centre.

He will be joined by the UK's best-loved natural history presenter, Sir David Attenborough.

It will be Prince William’s first official opening at a museum, and he will view the work carried out by scientists striving to understand and protect the planet.

Prince William will also meet young patients from The Royal Marsden Hospital who are learning about biodiversity and the natural environment. 

The visit will reflect Prince William’s interest in climate change and the preservation of the natural world.

Darwin Centre

The new Darwin Centre is a state-of-the-art scientific research and collection storage facility, and an awe-inspiring new public space inviting visitors to explore the natural world in an exciting and innovative way.

Prince William will be one of the first to see some of the Museum’s scientists in action, working in high-tech laboratories, preparing real specimens and working among the 3.3km of cabinets that hold the millions of plants and insects.

From Tuesday 15 September, the visiting public will have an uninhibited snapshot into these once concealed spaces at the Museum as they travel through the new Cocoon experience, and share the excitement of exploring, studying and preserving the world around us.

Attenborough Studio

In a tribute to excellence in science communication, the Darwin Centre’s high-tech Attenborough Studio will showcase natural history film footage, new media and face-to-face encounters with Museum scientists.

Dr Michael Dixon, Director of the Natural History Museum, comments, ‘With so many issues facing the planet at this time, we are thrilled that Prince William will join Sir David in helping us celebrate the opening of the Darwin Centre.'

'We hope that Prince William will be the first of many visitors who will leave with a real sense of awe and wonder at nature, a better understanding of why the work of the Natural History Museum is so relevant, now more than ever, and be inspired to share in our collective responsibility over the future of the planet.’

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Further information

  • FAQ's about visiting the Darwin Centre on 14 September
  • Find out about visiting the Darwin Centre when it opens
  • Discover the science at the Darwin Centre