Queen Elizabeth will visit the Royal College of Physicians of London next week to mark the College’s 500th anniversary.
During her visit, The Queen will view the College’s original Charter document, which dates back to 1518, and its portrait of Henry VIII. There will also be an exhibit marking the historical innovations made with medicine in the College’s 500 years.
Afterwards, The Queen will meet members of the College staff as well as medical professionals before she unveils a plaque to mark her visit and a commemorative Charter for the anniversary.
The Royal College of Physicians officially celebrates its 500th anniversary on 23 September and has a year’s worth of events planned to mark this milestone.
The anniversary, per the College’s website, is a chance to “underline our central role in improving patient care and to re-pledge our purpose…celebrate the medical profession, ensure we continue to improve physician training and education standards…and look to the future, including the opening of RCP North”
Henry VIII gave the College of Physicians its Royal Charter in 1518, although no one knows when the “Royal” designation began to be used. General consensus appears to be that its usage picked up steam in the 17th century.
Before the College’s formation, medical practices weren’t regulated and “professionals” usually weren’t formally trained in any manner before they began practising.
The Queen has been involved with the Royal College of Physicians in the past. Her Majesty laid the foundation stone at the Regent Park location in 1964.
Other events to mark the Royal College of Physicians’ 500th anniversary include conferences on innovation in medicine, a lecture series that traces the history of medicine over 500 years (the first lecture is based on the 1500s, entitled “Magic, Medicine, and the Early College”), life drawing classes, public lectures, and events for new members.