Armada Portrait appeal reaches £2.7m

Thanks to the huge generosity of the public, our appeal with Royal Museums Greenwich to save the Armada Portrait of Elizabeth I is shaping up to be one of our most successful appeals of all time.


In our video, above, historian David Starkey makes the case for saving the Armada Portrait of Elizabeth I.

We are pleased to announce that our appeal to help Royal Museums Greenwich acquire the iconic Armada Portrait of Elizabeth I has brought in an extraordinary £1.3m in just one month from over 7,000 donations from the public and a match fund contributed by private donors, as well as grants from charitable trusts. This makes it one of the most successful Art Fund appeals ever, as fast and as popular as our Wedgwood appeal in 2014.

Encouraged by the groundswell of public support, major donors have generously extended the match fund – so every donation is still matched pound for pound, making your contribution doubly valuable.

The Armada appeal was launched on 23 May 2016 with £1.4 million in contributions from Art Fund and Royal Museums Greenwich. The appeal total now stands at £2.7m with further approaches to major funders underway.

If the fundraising campaign is successful, the painting – once owned and possibly commissioned by Sir Francis Drake – will enter public ownership for the first time in its 425-year history. It would hang in the Queen’s House, on the site of the original Greenwich Palace, the birthplace of Elizabeth I herself.

The campaign has received backing from high profile advocates, including historians Sir Roy Strong and David Starkey – watch our film, above, in which Starkey calls on the public to 'help keep this picture in Britain'.

Christina Ryder's Armada cupcake

Christina Ryder's Armada cupcake

Up and down the country people have been doing their bit to help the appeal. Christina Ryder, seven, who attends Wakefield Girls’ High School Junior School, has arranged a cake sale at her school today (30 June), selling cupcakes featuring her own design inspired by the Armada portrait. Christina’s mother, Jennifer Ryder, said 'Christina says it is her dream to go to London and see the portrait, and she’s worried that if it gets sold she’ll never get to see it.'

St Paul’s Girls’ School in London is also holding a bake sale today in aid of the Armada Portrait of Elizabeth I. History teacher Blanche Girouard said, 'We study the portrait when we teach Elizabeth I and the Armada, so the girls are very keen to help save it for the nation!'

Donate now to save this magnificent work of art for the nation. The portrait is currently hanging at the National Maritime Museum in London – plan your visit now.

Venue details

National Maritime Museum Romney Road, Greenwich Greater London SE10 9NF 020 8312 6608

Entry details

50% off with National Art Pass

Daily, 10am 5pm. Closes 6pm during summer holidays. Closed 24 26 Dec

Tags: save-armadaSupporting museums