THE Duke and Duchess of Rothesay had their heads turned by Kelvingrove's exhibits during a visit to mark the 120th anniversary of the art gallery and museum.

Prince Charles and Camilla arrived yesterday morning at the famous West End institution to glorious sunshine and a crowd of well-wishers.

Their royal highnesses were shown the finest exhibits the museum has on show, including the painting Christ of St John of the Cross by Salvador Dali and the Charles Rennie Mackintosh exhibition.

Glasgow Times:

The couple met museum staff and local school children as well as students of the Glasgow School of Art during the visit, which Duncan Dornan, Head of Museums and Collections, said was a "positive" after a difficult year.

He said: "I think that wave of emotion and relief from people is contagious so when we opened the first time the fact people were so thrilled to be back made it feel very different.

Glasgow Times:

"And I think that's had a positive impact on the staff because if you're doing something that clearly means a lot to people then that's quite a big reward.

"We were anticipating visiting a number of locations around the museum and we ended up being very tight for time because their attention was captured by a lot of the collection as we moved round but we did manage to go to the Dali, which is obviously one of our most famous works.

"We have a number of works on display as we move around so they spent a brief time looking at the Rubans, which were recently discovered in our collection and finally attributed to Rubans so we spent a little bit of time looking at that, and the pre-Raphaelites in the upper gallery.

"I think it was a very good, really positive thing after what's been a very difficult 18 months. Staff have had to work very hard to continue to deliver their part of the museum's service among all of the difficulties covid had thrown at us.

"So this was a nice, positive event as we move through to what is hopefully, finally towards the end of all this."

Glasgow Times:

Camilla, who was wearing a Paisley pattern face mask sent to her by a member of the public, spent time with group of 18 Hillhead primary six pupils accompanied by teachers Elizabeth Dunn and Julie McNair.

To keep things fair, children's names were pulled from a hat - and one young man, Joel Adler, was extra lucky to attend.

The 10-year-old said: "Six from each class were chosen to take part and my name wasn't picked the first time. But the boy who wasn't chosen didn't want to come and I got his place.

Glasgow Times:

"We were all really excited to be chosen but it was more lucky for me."

Joel's classmate Genevieve Forbes-Cuthbertson said the Duchess of Rothesay asked what they were learning about in school and what their favourite animals were.

The pair were one of a group who held up a model albatross for the Duchess, who gave it a pat on the head and said to children: "This is absolutely a brilliant place to come and learn."

Glasgow Times:

Genevieve said: "We were also given a tour around parts of the museum and saw extinct animals and endangered animals."

The confident pupils were eager to ask questions in front of the royal guest and show off their knowledge on COP26 and climate change.

Elizabeth said: "They were all desperate to come and super excited for the visit, especially because they have not been out of the school in so long.

"We were so proud of them during the visit and the way they were so confident in asking questions - they asked a few that surprised us."

Glasgow Times:

Kelvingrove Art Gallery and Museum opened in 1901 for the Glasgow International Exhibition and in 1902 became the city's civic art gallery and museum.

It reopened in 2006 after being closed for three years for refurbishment and has since welcomed more than 19 million visitors.

Charles and Camilla were greeted by the Lord-Lieutenant of Glasgow, Philip Braat, and also met members of the COP26 team and members of the Cabinet Office COP26 team.

Prince Charles saw the Charles Rennie Mackintosh section and met students of the Glasgow School of Art, of which he is patron, while Camilla went to see the natural history collection.

The Duchess was also shown a model of what a haggis might look like if it were a real creature.