Pounds 10bn Reasons Wills Picked Art at Edinburgh; PRINCE WANTS TO CARE FOR TREASURES THAT WILL BE HIS LEGACY

By Hughes, Lorna | Sunday Mail (Glasgow, Scotland), January 30, 2000 | Go to article overview
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Pounds 10bn Reasons Wills Picked Art at Edinburgh; PRINCE WANTS TO CARE FOR TREASURES THAT WILL BE HIS LEGACY


Hughes, Lorna, Sunday Mail (Glasgow, Scotland)


PRINCE William wants to study art history to care for a pounds 10billion royal legacy, it has emerged.

The teenager knows he will become responsible for the host of masterpieces in the royal collection when he becomes king.

He is already fascinated by the royal collection and thinks a four-year history of art degree at Edinburgh University would be the perfect preparation for when he comes into his inheritance.

William plans to enter the Army after his degree course, for which he has already been accepted, conditional on obtaining certain grades at A-level.

A close friend of the royals said yesterday: "William has a real fascination about art, which has been sparked by the fact that he realises he is going to, in effect, inherit one of the world's largest private art collections one day.

"Most kids are not interested in art that early but he was. That is why he even chose the history of art as his university course.

"He thought that if he was going to be entrusted with the royal collection, he should know something about the subject."

The royal collection is among the world's largest and most valuable private treasure troves.

It's made up of more than half a million rare artefacts, drawings and paintings, some of which date back to medieval times.

Its worth is estimated at pounds 10billion but some of the pieces have never been on the market before and could never be valued, experts say.

As well as the largest collection of Leonardo Da Vinci drawings in the world, the collection includes around 9000 paintings, including works by old masters such as Raphael and Michaelangelo.

It can also lay claim to two of the world's rarest colony stamps, valued at pounds 1 million each, and has been described as more varied than any gallery in the world.

The works, displayed between Buckingham Palace and Windsor Castle, also include jewellery, antique furniture and exquisite ornaments and sculptures.

A large number of Scottish works feature in the collection, including several Highland landscapes, many of which were collected during Victoria's reign.

Glasgow University art expert Paul Stirton, who has seen many of the exhibits over the years, said the collection was undoubtedly the world's finest.

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