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Queen Consort Tours the University’s New Science Teaching Hub

Camilla says that being in Aberdeen feels like coming home, in her first visit as Queen Consort

By Fergus Doogan

Photo by: University of Aberdeen

Queen Camilla was shown around the University’s new Science Teaching Hub recently, in her role as Chancellor of the University. The University’s newest building, which opened in June of last year, caters to disciplines including chemistry, geoscience, medicine and biology.

Her Majesty was accompanied throughout the facility’s state-of-the-art labs and teaching spaces, meeting with staff and students. She also spoke with a number of pupils from neighbouring Sunnybank Primary School, who were learning about fossils as part of the University’s outreach efforts.

Her Majesty told those assembled that ‘Coming to this university, and to this city, has always felt a bit like coming home to me. Firstly, because my father’s family came from this part of Scotland,’ a reference to her four-times great grandfather, William Shand, 2nd Laird of Craigellie, who was born in Banff circa 1740.

She went on to add that she and the King ‘are lucky enough to spend precious time each year in Aberdeenshire’, spending each summer at their Balmoral Estate. ‘And finally, because ten years ago, I received the great honour of being installed as chancellor of this very special university.’

This was both Her Majesty’s first visit to the University since becoming Queen Consort, and her first official engagement since the publication of her stepson, the Duke of Sussex’s book ‘Spare’, in which he refers to the Queen Consort as ‘dangerous’ and a ‘villain’.

Queen Camilla, who is the University of Aberdeen’s first female Chancellor in its 528-year history, will enter her tenth year in the role this June. The Chancellor of the University is elected, for life, by the University’s General Council, composed of Aberdeen’s graduates and most academic staff, and is a largely ceremonial position.

While Her Majesty described her achievements in the role as ‘modest’, she did note her success (which she suggested may owe more to luck than to skill) in ensuring the University has remained free from invasion by ‘raven wolves’; a task which, she told an amused group, is an ancient obligation of the Chancellor.

Her Majesty told those assembled that she was sure the University had a great future ahead of it and that, ‘as your very proud Chancellor, I will be cheering you on every step of the way.’


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