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How Margaret Thatcher could have saved London’s skyline

If, like Prince Albert, the then Prince Charles had been appointed head of the Royal Fine Art Commission, we might have been spared many architectural outrages

25 May 2024

9:00 AM

25 May 2024

9:00 AM

The Battle for Better Design: The History of the Royal Fine Art Commission Robert Bargery

Unicorn, pp.196, 35

Looking around London on the eve of the millennium, it would have been difficult to think that the UK government had an adviser on architectural design. The 1990s had been a dismal decade. Yet such a body existed in the quaintly named Royal Fine Art Commission, refounded in 1924.

The original Commission had been created as a way of giving Prince Albert, recently married to Queen Victoria, something to do – contriving the decorative scheme for the new Palace of Westminster.

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