His Royal Highness The Duke of Gloucester was formally installed as the University of Worcester’s Founding Chancellor at a special ceremony at Worcester Cathedral 10 April 2008. As part of the ceremony His Royal Highness processed from the Guildhall to the Cathedral in his official robes along with a colourful procession of University of Worcester staff in their academic gowns. In his role as Chancellor, His Royal Highness will preside over Degree Congregations and officiate at other major events.
The Queen’s cousin officially opened the University of Worcester in 2006 following the Privy Council’s decision to award the former University College full University status.
In 1963, Prince Richard began a course in Architecture at Magdalene College, Cambridge. He graduated in 1966, having completed three years of his five-year architectural course and joined the then Offices Development Group of the Ministry of Public Building and Works for his practical year. He returned to Cambridge in 1967 and in June 1969 he passed both parts of his Diploma in Architecture and went on to practise as a partner in a firm of London architects.
The Duke is deeply interested in conservation and education, and became Chancellor of the University at a most exciting time. Recent developments include a £120m second campus on the site of the former Worcester Royal Infirmary and a new Allergy Testing Centre at the National Pollen and Aerobiology Unit, based at the University. The University has also worked with Worcestershire County Council to develop The Hive, a £60m Joint University and Public Library and History Centre on a site adjacent to the City Campus, creating a new learning and cultural quarter for the City of Worcester.
Speaking on his acceptance of the role of Chancellor, His Royal Highness, said: “It gave me very great pleasure to officially open the University of Worcester, and to see how it had developed from a former teacher training college to a thriving modern University. It is an exciting time for the University of Worcester given its current developments and continuing innovations. I hope that during my association with the University of Worcester, I will see many further positive developments.”
The University’s Vice Chancellor, Professor David Green, said: “We are honoured and delighted that His Royal Highness The Duke of Gloucester has agreed to be the University’s founding Chancellor. His Royal Highness’s great interest in higher education and social and culture developments represent a close fit with the values and ambitions of the University. We look forward to his involvement and assistance in helping the University to make a full contribution to the City and the Region’s exciting future.”
The Duke also carries out a large number of official engagements each year, throughout the United Kingdom and abroad. He retains a keen interest in architecture and conservation; he was elected a corporate member of the Royal Institute of British Architects in 1972 and he is President of the Society of Architect Artists.