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The Cambridges

The Cambridges return to the University of St Andrews 20 years after studying there together


The Duke and Duchess of Cambridge are currently in the middle of a much-anticipated tour of Scotland. Known as the Earl and Countess of Strathearn while in Scotland, the couple met while studying at the University of St. Andrews two decades ago. They returned to St. Andrews to visit with students and to highlight different initiatives. 

Both William and Catherine were students in St Salvator’s Hall, known as Sallies, by students when they met studying History of Art. Although William transferred to Geography, the two graduated from the University in 2005. 

The couple met with History of Art and Geography students on St. Salvatore’s Lawn who are taking part in the “Can Do” scheme. The scheme was established in September 2020, to provide mental health support and help for students who are missing out on traditional university experiences. Can Do works to provide smaller, safe socialising events, in smaller outdoor groups. Their Royal Highnesses helped the students paint socially distanced hearts while discussing the challenges that they have faced throughout the pandemic. 

They then visited the Can Do marquee, which has hosted over 500 socially distanced events this past year, including Ballroom dancing and wellness events.

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They then met with students from the School of Divinity, and different inter-faith student groups to discuss how the university promotes and supports inter-faith discussions. They met with the University Chaplain and the St. Andrews Coexistence Initiative, a student-led group, to discuss inter-faith activities on campus, and how they have come together to provide support during the pandemic. 

Sustainability has been a big focus during their Scotland tour. The University has set a goal of becoming carbon neutral by 2035, and has made several plans to meet it. Student members of the University’s Environmental Sustainability Board have come up with the idea of the St. Andrew’s Forest, a new site for research and education. It is planned to be a multiple site forest across the world, providing safe habitats for wildlife, and green space for wellness and mental health well-being. 

While the tour has given royal watchers several exciting engagements, everyone has been watching the couple for their return to St. Andrews. 

About author

Historian and blogger at AnHistorianAboutTown.com