Morning with Wills, evening with Her Maj - Sir Rod Stewart completes his day with the Royals


Sir Rod Stewart has been rubbing shoulders with royalty again this evening, as he met the Queen at the Royal Academy of Arts.

Her Majesty was presenting awards to five titans of the visual arts and architecture world as she and the Duke of Edinburgh were guests of honour at a ceremony attended by celebrities including Sir Rod, his wife Penny Lancaster, Sir Lenny Henry, Richard E Grant and David Walliams.

Awards were given to architect David Adjaye, Whitechapel Gallery director Iwona Blazwick, artist Cornelia Parker, Royal College of Art and Goldsmiths teacher and artist Chris Fisher, and photographer Martin Parr, whose wife received the recognition on his behalf.

The Queen, Rod Stewart and Penny Lancaster

Each was nominated by an eminent member of the Royal Academy of Arts, one of whom was Grayson Perry.

Sir Rod received his knighthood from the Duke of Cambridge at Buckingham Palace earlier on Tuesday, and said at the evening event that he was an art buff: "I am a big collector of art - I collect pre-Raphaelite and Victorian paintings and some of them have the 'RA' after their names in the corner, so it was interesting for me to come."

He also revealed he hopes to have a private showing at the academy this week, saying: "I'll melt - I love this stuff so much."

Richard E Grant, Penny LLancaster, Lenny Henry, Kathleen Williams, Rod Stewart and David Walliams at the Royal Academy

Penny joked that the Queen had asked Sir Rod about how well the Duke of Cambridge had performed when he knighted the singer.

"She said, 'I hope he did a good job - did he do it properly?' She just wanted to be sure, as she wasn't there, someone was doing it properly. It was incredible," she explained.

Penny admitted that their young son, five-year-old Aiden, had a tear in his eye because he was "so proud of daddy".

The Queen and Grayson Perry at the Royal Academy of Arts

Talking about the impact of this summer's political upheaval on art and culture, Grayson said: "Brexit was about culture, wasn't it? Culture isn't just what people in Islington love, culture is what everybody, whatever their views, what they do - what telly they watch, what clothes they wear, what music they listen to, what football they go to - that's all culture.

"It's not just something that people in posh London do - there's people here that go to football matches and there's people here that watch Strictly Come Dancing and Bake Off, I'm sure there are.

"We've all got a guilty pleasure, so I think that the idea of culture as this harsh, unavailable thing, it's not. It's what everybody does and there's a smooth spectrum of it that goes right through society, whether it be from the trashiest TV to the most difficult foreign language novel or modern contemporary classical music."