Just recently, The Painted Hall, part of the Old Royal Naval College in Greenwich celebrated the conclusion to £8.5 million renovations, partly funded by the National Lottery, by holding a gala dinner hosted by The Greenwich Foundation at which HRH The Princess Royal was guest of honour.

The event also marked the venue’s return to the events industry after two years’ restoration of Thornhill’s 20-year masterpiece, comprising over 40,000 square foot of art and often called Britain’s Sistine Chapel.

Welcomed by a Beating Retreat Performance in the grounds of Old Royal Naval College by The Royal Marines band and Corps of Drums, CTCRM, Lympstone. HRH The Princess Royal was present to take the salute attended by Admiral of the Fleet, Sir Ben Bathurst and representing the First Sea Lord, Vice Admiral Jeremy Kyd.

Elizabeth Wood, sales and marketing manager of The Painted Hall said “we’re thrilled at how the venue now looks, it is a beautiful space and whilst it is steeped in history, we can hold truly contemporary events. It is highly flexible.”

Guests were treated to a spring themed dinner by caterers CH&CO with production by Full Circle, flowers by Samantha Davis and entertainment by The Old Royal Naval College Trinity Laban Chapel Choir. Rotherhithe and Deptford Sea Cadets formed the guard of honour.

During the evening, there was entertainment by the Royal Marines Jazz band and Art Historian and TV presenter, Mr. Andrew Graham Dixon, gave a speech. Her Royal Highness also spoke with enthusiasm about the historic connections of the Royal family with the site.

Tony Hales CBE, Chair of the Greenwich Foundation for the Old Royal Naval College, said: “We are delighted that Her Royal Highness was present to help us celebrate and preside over the spectacular proceeding of the night. She epitomises the historic connection between the Royal family, the Royal Navy and this magnificent site by the River Thames – a history spanning over five centuries.”

The Painted Hall at the Old Royal Naval College, Greenwich reopened after a two-year conservation project funded by the National Heritage Lottery Fund amongst other donors, which has brought its magnificent painted interior vividly back to life. The Painted Hall can now be booked for other gala dinners and evening events for up to 400 guests and is open to the public daily.