Yesterday, The Queen and The Duchess of Cambridge undertook a rare joint engagement at King’s College London, which forms part of the University of London.
The Queen and and Kate were at the university to open Bush House, the latest education and learning centre London’s Strand campus. The new facilities encompass a newly-converted suite of lecture theatres and teaching rooms.
As patron of King’s, The Queen has previously visited in 2002 and 2012. King’s is the 4th oldest university in England, preceded only by Oxford, Cambridge and Durham, the latter of which was set up on the order of Oliver Cromwell.
They were met by Lord Geidt, chairman of King’s College who said of Bush House: “Formerly the base of the BBC’s international broadcasting, it is now our launchpad for our international service as the global university we are, providing world-class teaching and cutting-edge research, here in the heart of London.”
Coincidentally, Lord Geidt served as The Queen’s Private Secretary for 10 years until his departure in 2017.
Whilst there, the royal visitors viewed a robotics demonstration, including robotic surgery, and a demonstration showing how sensors made from textiles can measure useful information about the body.
— The Royal Family (@RoyalFamily) March 19, 2019
The Duchess shook a robotic hand and joked: “Very nice to meet you!”
The royal pair also visited a virtual trading floor and met students from the Entrepreneurship Institute. This supports entrepreneurial thinking, skills and experiences amongst King’s students, staff and alumni. As the daughter of two entrepreneurs (Kate’s parents set up Party Pieces in 1987), the future Queen was encouraging of the scheme.
Upon the roof, Her Majesty and the Duchess admired views across London.
Back inside, they met students from the Centre for Robotics Research and The Queen unveiled a plaque to formally open the facility. Elizabeth II and Catherine also signed the visitor’s book.
Professor Ed Byrne AC, President & Principal, King’s College London said: “We are delighted and most grateful to Her Majesty The Queen and HRH The Duchess of Cambridge for opening the new Bush House buildings, here at King’s.
“Today, Bush House provides a creative environment that fosters innovation and collaboration and supports our vision to serve society by delivering world-class inspirational education, innovative research and life-changing impact across the globe. This unites and symbolises our national and international reputation and aspirations with our global history and connections, bringing together our interdisciplinary research and education in one place, as we strive to make the world a better place and serve society.”
The Duchess of Cambridge has accompanied Her Majesty to engagements on two previous occasions, but this was the first time the pair have stepped out on their own, without another member of the Royal Family present.
The Duke of Edinburgh were with them on a trip to Leicester in 2012 as part of The Queen’s Jubilee tour. In the same year, The Queen and Catherine had been joined by The Duchess of Cornwall at an event at Fortnum and Mason’s.