Royal visit to the University of Leicester

The Duke and Duchess of Cambridge will visit the University on Wednesday 28 November.

Their Royal Highnesses The Duke and Duchess of Cambridge will visit the University of Leicester on Wednesday 28 November to celebrate the University’s work in the local community and with Leicester City Football Club.

The Duke and Duchess will be accompanied by the Lord-Lieutenant for Leicestershire Michael Kapur OBE and the University’s President and Vice-Chancellor Professor Paul Boyle CBE, where they will meet with staff and students currently working on community projects created to support and enrich the local community.

Many of the community projects Their Royal Highnesses will hear about have a connection to Leicester City Football Club, where the Royal couple will be spending time before their visit to the University. They will pay their respects following last month’s tragic helicopter crash, which claimed the lives of five people including Chairman Vichai Srivaddhanaprabha.

The University is proud of its close relationship with the football club. Just last year, Mr Srivaddhanaprabha and Leicester City Football Club pledged £1 million to support the University’s efforts to treat and research life-threatening illnesses. This will include the creation of the Leicester City Football Club Professorship in Child Health – the only such post ever to be funded through a football club.

In 2016, Mr Srivaddhanaprabha’s leadership, business success and his key role in the transformation of Leicester City Football Club into Premier League champions was honoured with the award of an honorary degree of Doctor of Laws from the University.

President and Vice-Chancellor Professor Boyle CBE said: “I was honoured to have known Vichai because of his close association with the University. We remain committed to honouring his memory by dedicating ourselves to continue our work he started for the future of Leicester’s children.”

They will then speak to current students and staff about their experiences of university life and living in Leicester. Discussion topics will also include how the University supports student wellbeing.

The royal couple will also find out more about the University’s unique legacy as a living memorial to those who made sacrifices during the First World War.

Established on Armistice Day 1918 by local physician Dr Astley Clarke in celebration of peace, many local people gave money for the founding of the University – called crowdfunding today – before the University opened its doors in 1921.

They will end their visit to the university at Centenary Square, which was officially opened earlier this month by Sir David Attenborough OM and his nephew Michael Attenborough CBE, where they will hear about the University’s plans for its second century. The Attenborough family has a long connection with the University. Sir David’s father, Frederick Attenborough was Principal of the University from 1932 – 1951 and he grew up on the campus alongside his brothers Richard and John.

Professor Boyle added: “We are very honoured to welcome the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge to our campus. It’s fantastic they have taken such an interest in the work that is going on here at the University of Leicester, including finding out more about our unique legacy as the UK’s only university created as a living memorial.”

This is the first visit to the University of Leicester by Their Royal Highnesses. Her Majesty the Queen and His Royal Highness The Duke of Edinburgh previously visited in December 2008 to officially open the David Wilson Library and before that in 1958, the year after the University was granted its degree-awarding powers, to officially open the Percy Gee Students’ Union Building.

In one of her last public engagements, Diana, Princess of Wales visited the University in May 1997 to officially open the Richard Attenborough Centre for Disability and the Arts (now the Attenborough Arts Centre).