Icons of England
  • Introduction
  • The Icons
  • Nominations
  • News
  • Learn & Play
  • Your Comments

Me and My Icons

3 of 34 nominations


The Royal Opera House

The Royal Opera House

“I've nominated the Royal Opera House as an icon because it’s been a home to me and is very inspiring. It also gives so many people such pleasure,” says prima ballerina, Darcey Bussell.

No wonder the home of the Royal Ballet, the Royal Opera House in London's Covent Garden, occupies such an important part in Darcey’s heart. Formerly the Royal Ballet’s Principal Ballerina, and now its Principal Guest Artist, she’s enjoyed a glorious career in this inspirational building.

She first appeared on stage at the Royal Opera House in 1986 when she was still a student at the Royal Ballet Upper School. Three years later, at just 20 years old, she was on stage at Covent Garden again, this time as its youngest-ever Principal Ballerina in Sir Kenneth Macmillan’s Prince Of The Pagodas. She’s never looked back. In an interview for Times Online in 2004, she said: “I’ve danced at most of the opera houses in the world, but Covent Garden is the best.”.

Royal Opera House image © Peter Mackertich

The Royal Opera House

Darcey Bussell, OBE


Darcey Bussell’s fame has spread beyond the world of ballet. She’s written her autobiography, she was awarded an OBE in 1995, her portrait is in the National Portrait Gallery, she’s penned a book, Pilates For Life, and she’s modelled clothes for Bruce Oldfield. She’s married to the banker, Angus Forbes, and has two children, Phoebe and Zoe.

Image of Darcey Bussell © John Swanell