Kate Middleton is back at one of her favorite places!
The Princess of Wales, 41, stepped out at the National Portrait Gallery in London Tuesday following its extensive three-year refurbishment. The gallery is one of her longest-running associations, as she became its royal patron in the first year of her royal life.
Princess Kate was greeted by award-winning artist Tracey Emin at the opening, who was commissioned to create an artwork for the gallery’s new doors, incorporating 45 carved brass panels, representing “every woman, throughout time.”
Kate, who studied art history at the University of St. Andrews alongside her husband Prince William, has called herself an “enthusiastic amateur photographer” in the past.
During the visit, she was taken to the gallery’s learning center, which has more than doubled its provision for learners and learned about a new initiative for children aged under 5 that will welcome families from the local community to encourage creative learning, play and exploration.
The royal mom-of-three later joined a group of kindergarten-aged children who were taking part in a multi-sensory workshop based around the imaginary world of Peter Rabbit writer, Beatrix Potter. As seen in video shared to Twitter by Rebecca English of the Daily Mail, she also met Paul McCartney and his wife, Nancy! While it’s unclear what they chatted about, the Beatles rocker made the ladies laugh in the quick clip.
Kate’s own 40th birthday portraits — which were temporarily shown in various venues around the U.K. during the renovation — will be permanently hung on the Gallery’s walls.
The redevelopment project is the biggest the historic building on the edge of Trafalgar Square has undergone since 1896, and there are more than 50 new acquisitions including Joshua Reynolds’ Portrait of Mai (Omai).
The artwork is widely regarded as the finest portrait produced by one of Britain’s greatest-ever artists, according to a release from Kate’s office. It was jointly acquired by the Gallery and Getty earlier this year following a historic fundraising campaign.