She has publicly outed her lovers and won art prizes by displaying used condoms, but Tracey Emin was upstaged yesterday by the Duke of Edinburgh when he visited Margate's Turner Contemporary Gallery with the Queen.
When he viewed a large collage by a group of young schoolchildren, created after they had toured the exhibition for inspiration, the Duke groaned: "I shudder to think what's in the gallery." Inside, a video installation by artist Phil Collins showing children filmed singing karaoke was dismissed by the Duke as "a dirge".
He was accompanying the Queen in a royal endorsement for the seaside resort, Emin's hometown. It is hoped the £17m gallery can help to revitalise the area.
More than 300,000 people have viewed the paintings, photographs, sculptures and installations during the first three months since the seafront exhibition space was opened in April. The Queen and Duke of Edinburgh, who are not known to be fans of modern art, saw works by Warhol, Hockney, Peter Blake and Turner – all part of an exhibition about adolescents titled "Nothing in the World but Youth". Emin sat next to the Duke of Edinburgh over lunch. "I said it was quite a hardcore show and he raised his eyebrows," she said, adding: "I'm much more of a royalist than people would expect me to be, I think they do a good job."
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