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Royal visit commemorates Darwin's birthday

The Duke and Duchess of Sussex visited the Museum to watch a performance of The Wider Earth.

Their Royal Highnesses watched the drama about a young Charles Darwin at a gala evening, hosted by TV presenter Julia Bradbury.

It commemorated Darwin's 210th birthday and was held in support of The Queen's Commonwealth Trust, of which The Duke of Sussex is President, a new charity that champions, funds and connects young leaders solving problems in education, health, the environment and sport.

The Duke and Duchess of Sussex arrive at the Natural History Museum's Darwin Centre entrance

The Duke and Duchess of Sussex arrive at the Natural History Museum's Darwin Centre entrance


It also supported the production's official charitable partner The Queen's Commonwealth Canopy, a network of initiatives that conserves indigenous forests across the globe.

Museum Director Sir Michael Dixon says, 'We are delighted to welcome The Duke and Duchess of Sussex into the Museum. 

The Duke and Duchess of Sussex collect their theatre tickets before the show

Their Royal Highnesses collect their theatre tickets


'As a charity ourselves, the Museum acts to inspire the next generation to protect the natural world. Over 150 years since Darwin began working with the Museum's collection, it remains home to many of the specimens collected on his expeditions.

'Today, our 350 scientists continue to use the collection, and Darwin's scientific legacy, as we seek solutions to the major issues facing the planet today.'

The Duke and Duchess of Sussex meet Andrea Hart, Library Special Collections Manager

The Duke and Duchess of Sussex meet Andrea Hart, Library Special Collections Manager


The Wider Earth

The Wider Earth is an award-winning drama staged inside one of the Museum's galleries. It follows the journey of a 22-year-old Darwin on HMS Beagle's voyage between England, South America, Tahiti and Australia.

The production features a cast of seven, as well as 30 handmade puppets and cinematic animations. It runs until 24 February and is a partnership project between Trish Wadley Productions, Dead Puppet Society, Glass Half Full Productions in association with Queensland Theatre and the Natural History Museum.

Julia Bradbury, a passionate advocate for the conservation of the natural world, says, 'This theatrical celebration of discovery is a testament to the beauty of nature, and a reminder of our duty to protect the landscapes and wildlife that Charles Darwin loved so much.'