A number of great universities from across Britain were recognised in a reception at Buckingham Palace yesterday, hosted by Prince Charles and Camilla, also attended by Princess Anne and The Duke of Kent.
The Prince of Wales and Duchess of Cornwall invited chancellors of 21 universities to the palace, to reward their innovation and contribution to society, by presenting The Queen’s Anniversary Prizes for Higher and Further Education.
It is the award’s aim to celebrate the work and achievement of 21 UK universities and colleges in any subject area, ‘providing it demonstrates innovation and delivers benefit in the economy, society and for people’. The prize is given bi-annually.
The Princess Royal and Duke of Kent are chancellors of the University of London and the University of Surrey respectively, and were attending in this official capacity, and not as members of the Royal Family.
The silver medallions were handed out in the palace’s huge ballroom, where honours – such as MBEs and Knighthoods – are usually awarded. Charles and Camilla shook hands with the chancellors receiving the award on behalf of their institution.
Each silver gilt medallion is given alongside a decorated and inscribed certificate granting the award, signed by The Queen.
A reception followed in the Picture Gallery, where the Prince and Duchess circulated to hear about the work being done at these universities.
Prince Charles and Princess Anne heard about Harper Adams University and their work, honoured for its innovations in agricultural engineering in the pursuit of UK and global food security.
Over at the Liverpool University group, the future King was informed of their contributions to drug design and safety, including HIV, leukaemia and epilepsy medications.
The Duchess of Cornwall, meanwhile, learnt about education and training in costume design serving UK creative industries from Arts University Bournemouth.
Prince Edward, Duke of Kent and his cohort, were recognised for work in the field of research and teaching in food and nutrition.
The award is supported by the Royal Anniversary Trust, which seeks to advance education for public benefit, and was set up in 1990, with the hope of carrying out a programme of events in 1992, marking The Queen’s 40 years on the throne.