It was back to school for the Duke of Cambridge on Thursday as he returned to St John’s College, Cambridge. Prince William was affiliated to the college while he studied land management in Cambridge in 2014. And his return today was to see a project that combines innovation with a very special part of the city’s history.
The Duke of Cambridge officially opened a new archive centre which is housed in the curiously named School of Pythagoras at St John’s. The centre was built to provide a modern home for all the college’s ancient documents and to bring them all together in one building.
The project has taken shape over the last few years but its home has been around much longer. The School of Pythagoras was built around 1200 and is the oldest secular building in Cambridge.
Prince William arrived at the college on a rather damp afternoon and was given a tour of the archives by the Master of St John’s, Professor Christopher Dobson, and the University of Cambridge’s Pro Vice Chancellor for Institutional and International Relations, Professor Eilis Ferran. Among the archives stored there are documents relating to Lady Margaret Beaufort, mother of Henry VII, and a 14th century version of the Magna Carta.
The Duke of Cambridge also met some of the donors involved in bringing together the funds needed to develop the new archives. Prince William then officially opened the centre by unveiling a plaque.
And of course no royal engagement for the Cambridges would be complete now without at least one gift for the couple’s children and Prince William was given a book for Prince George and Princess Charlotte.
And The Duke of Cambridge had another engagement following his visit to St John’s this afternoon. This evening he is due at the 21st birthday celebrations for a charity of which he is patron. Child Bereavement UK is holding an event in London to mark its special anniversary and raise awareness of its work.
Photo credit: Paul Everest, St John’s College, University of Cambridge.