Students and staff express their delight at meeting The Duke and Duchess of Cambridge

Students and staff from the University of Leicester had the special honour of meeting Their Royal Highnesses on Wednesday 28 November

On Wednesday 28 November, Their Royal Highnesses The Duke and Duchess of Cambridge met selected students from the University of Leicester including Centenary Scholars and a small group of students to chat about their studies, experiences and future aspirations.

University of Leicester Students’ Union President, Amy Moran led a discussion with current students selected for their significant civic contributions, community leadership and volunteering programmes. 

First-year Medical student, Harry Dudson said: "It was a real privilege to have been able to sit at the table with the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge and share my journey into Medical School. Receiving kind words of encouragement from His Royal Highness was undoubtedly the highlight of their visit for me."

Current Presessional Programme student at the English Language Teaching Unit, Anju Baroi said: "They are a splendid couple, very friendly, very understandable and very knowledgeable. I was very proud to represent the Leicester University of Sanctuary to them. I was also very surprised to see how friendly they were."

Recipients of the University’s Centenary Scholarship – a £1,000 scholarship in honour of the University’s centenary – discussed the impact of the support and their experiences at the University so far.

First-year year Criminology student and Centenary Scholar, Natasha Krywald said: "I was really excited to meet the Duke and Duchess, but didn't expect to feel such pride for our country. Walking past crowds beside them was an unforgettable experience and one I will treasure forever. Today I felt truly British! It was so incredible to meet them and chat to them – they were so kind and just down to earth people."

First-year Medical student and Centenary scholar Syed Ali said: Syed Ali: "Meeting the Duke and Duchess today was a very humbling experience. To speak with them and to listen to them was very inspiring and heartwarming. A wonderful way to power us throughout our studies at the University of Leicester and the rest of our lives." 

Their Royal Highnesses also heard about three educational programmes that have been conducted in partnership with Leicester City Football Club

The Duke met Co-Directors, staff and student trainers of Heartwize, a unique resuscitation training programme which is working nationally to train schoolchildren, community groups and sports fans – including Leicester City – with essential lifesaving skills.

Dr William Toff, Associate Professor in Cardiology at the University and Co-Director of Heartwize said: "We were delighted to have the privilege of demonstrating the Heartwize Resuscitation Training Programme to HRH Prince William, Duke of Cambridge. He seemed extremely interested in the programme and clearly knew a great deal about the problem of out-of-hospital cardiac arrest and the importance of early defibrillation from his military training and his work as a pilot for the East Anglian Air Ambulance. By coincidence he had undergone his own revalidation training in CPR a day or two before the visit."

Dr Doug Skehan, Consultant Cardiologist and Heartwize Co-Director said: "With previous work in the Air Ambulance Service, it was no surprise that the Duke of Cambridge had good experience in CPR and told us of his refresher course just the day before. With his understanding of detail and the importance of the public health issue of poor survival from cardiac arrest, the Duke of Cambridge praised the Heartwize programme which we demonstrated to train all school pupils in CPR and how to use a defibrillator.”

Fifth-year Medical student Lorna Sandison said: "As a trainer for Heartwize and final-year medical student, I really savoured the opportunity to showcase the Heartwize programme to the Duke of Cambridge. Given his background with the air ambulance service, his Royal Highness had an excellent appreciation of the importance of early CPR and defibrillation. He was clearly enthusiastic about our goal to teach this fundamental skill to all secondary school children in Leicestershire and beyond."

School pupil Vivek Parekh from The Roundhill Academy said: "From a 15 year old’s perspective, it was an amazing experience meeting the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge. I thoroughly enjoyed my experience, especially when I demonstrated CPR in front of Prince William."

The Duchess found out more about the proposed Leicester City Football Club Professorship in Child Health and met the Gokani family who spoke about their experiences of child healthcare in the city.

Kalpana Gokani said: "It was a privilege to meet the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge. They were fantastic with our boys and really wanted to listen to their journey from within the hospital."

The royal couple then met staff and students involved in the Leicester City Science Stars programme, which uses the appeal of the Premier League and professional football clubs to inspire children to learn, be active and engage with science.

Third-year Physics student Michael McKee said: "I had an incredible experience today. The Duke and Duchess seemed very engaged and loved seeing science in action."

The Duke and Duchess of Cambridge ended their visit to the University by chatting to students, staff and the general public gathered in the crowd on Centenary Square, on what was a memorable and exciting day for everyone.

See more about the Royal Visit.