Queen Elizabeth II

Queen Elizabeth II, the UK’s longest-serving monarch, died on 8 September aged 96, after reigning for 70 years. She had been Patron of the RAD since 1953.

Queen Elizabeth II

Queen Elizabeth II, the UK’s longest-serving monarch, died on 8 September aged 96, after reigning for 70 years. She had been Patron of the RAD since 1953.

| features | Issue 5 - Oct 2022

Tim Arthur, Chief Executive of the RAD said: ‘It is with deep sadness that we acknowledge the death of our Patron, Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II. Together, we have celebrated so many milestones for the Royal Academy of Dance and for dance in this country. We have been privileged to have had Her Majesty as our Patron for 69 years and our staff, members, and students – along with the whole nation – feel the loss of a remarkable monarch who lived her life in service to us all.’

The Queen opening the RAD’s headquarters in Battersea Square in 1974. Photo: Donald Southern

Queen Elizabeth II became Patron of the RAD in 1953, succeeding her grandmother, Queen Mary. To mark the coronation, our then president, Dame Adeline Genée, instituted the Queen Elizabeth II Coronation Award, to be presented annually in recognition of outstanding services to the art of ballet. This is still our most prestigious honour, and has been awarded in Her Majesty’s name to some of the most famous names in ballet, including Sir Frederick Ashton, Dame Marie Rambert, Dame Ninette de Valois, Dame Gillian Lynne, Rudolf Nureyev, Sir Matthew Bourne and Carlos Acosta.

Queen Elizabeth II and the Duke of Edinburgh square dancing at a cowboy dress party during the royal tour of Canada in 1951. Photo: Trinity Mirror/Alamy

The RAD welcomed Queen Elizabeth to open its new headquarters in Battersea 1974, and the Fonteyn Centre Studios in 1990. We were honoured to be involved in her 90th birthday celebrations: Dame Darcey Bussell performed at this special event alongside RAD teachers and students.

The Queen’s patronage has been hugely important in supporting the RAD in its mission to advocate for benefits of dance and the arts in communities all around the world.

The Queen presents Sir Peter Wright with the QEII Award in 1990. Photo: Chris Davis
The Queen at RAD in 1990. Photo: Chris Davis


REST OF Issue 5 - Oct 2022


Ambassadors assemble

The RAD has been part of dancing life for both Céline Gittens and Steven McRae, from early steps to becoming principal dancers. Now, as the RAD’s new ambassadors, they share experiences.


Happiness. Inc

What makes a happy organisation? As the RAD asks its members how they feel about the Academy, Ella Satin explores what makes for a happy company or workplace.


Home and away

Teaching is a portable skill, one that can carry you across the world. Jane Albert meets RAD teachers who have made new lives in completely new countries.


Safe spaces

Isaac Ouro-Gnao meets ballerinas and young dancers from Ukraine who have fled the Russian invasion and building new lives.

Art of the matter post

Art at any price

Gerard Charles, the RAD’s Artistic Director, argues that arts education is being undervalued.

Big Picture post

Open city

RAD Japan has collaborated with Toshima International City Of Arts & Culture on a vibrant new photo project.

Inside RAD post

Stepping out

Step Into Dance held its first festival for three years at London’s Cadogan Hall.

Advice Bureau post

Freddie Opoku-Addaie

Say no with the same conviction as yes! Freddie Opoku-Addaie of Dance Umbrella shares his best advice.

Playlist post

Charlotte Darbyshire

The artistic director of Candoco chooses music with special memories for her.

Why Dance Matters post

Kathryn Morgan

American ballerina Kathryn Morgan on ballet, body shaming and the joy of dance.


Permission to dance

K-pop’s high-concept dances have conquered the world from their native Korea. In Seoul’s dance studios, David D Lee meets both tourists and students determined to break into the industry.


Dance on prescription

Can dance help both patients and healthcare professionals? Rosemary Waugh investigates.

RAD Q&A post

Lizeth Leonhardt Avalos

Lizeth Leonhardt Avalos won the RAD Members’ Photo Competition with a picture of her daughter. The Mexican ballet teacher discusses her journey into teaching, the RAD teachers who influenced her and starting a new life in Canada.