The Duke of York was installed as the new Chancellor of Huddersfield University yesterday, succeeding the 11-year term of actor Sir Patrick Stewart.
The appointment, which is Prince Andrew’s first university chancellorship, came with an honorary doctorate and both were awarded during a ceremony at the university.
He is the latest royal to take a top academic appointment. His younger brother, the Earl of Wessex, attracted controversy in 2013 when he was installed as chancellor at the University of Bath.
His sister, the Princess Royal, has been chancellor of the University of London since 1981, as well as chancellor at the University of Edinburgh.
The Duke’s predecessor at the University of Huddersfield, actor Sir Patrick Stewart, took on the role of Chancellor in 2004. Stewart, who is best known for his portrayal of Star Trek as Captain Jean-Luc Picard, tweeted his congratulations ahead of the ceremony.
The Duke of York referenced Stewart’s sci-fi appearances as he paid tribute to his services to the university. He said: “Patrick, thank you very much indeed for your 11 years. It’s been, from all that I have heard, a most remarkable time for this university. Thank you for what you’ve done.
“And I believe there’s only one way to say, at the end of your 11 years, farewell and welcome, which is simply: live long and prosper.”
Giving the traditional Vulcan salute, with the fingers of his right hand in the shape of a V, as he said the final words to laughter from Stewart, academics and guests.
Prince Andrew, who didn’t attend university himself, has been a familiar face at Huddersfield in recent years. In 2013, he agreed to become Patron of the University and has been a key partner in the university’s drive for entrepreneurship.
Speaking yesterday, the University of Huddersfield’s vice-chancellor, Professor Bob Cryan said: “His Royal Highness has a natural ally in the University of Huddersfield, where entrepreneurialism is an essential component of our education and our philosophy.”
He previously spoke of the Duke’s “real commitment to the development of entrepreneurial and digital skills among young people”.
Two of the university’s students currently work in Andrew’s office as interns. In February, the Prince tweeted a picture of himself with Charlotte Thompson (below). Described by The Duke of York as his “chief of tweet”, she celebrated her 21st birthday in February.
Over the past decade, the Prince has been heavily involved in trying to improve young people’s digital skills as he attempts to shed some of the unsavoury reputation built up over past years.
Professor Cryan defended the Duke earlier this year over what he called “ridiculous” sex allegations made in US court papers.
Prince Andrew’s questionable friends and business partners have been the topic of controversy for many years, not least his association with convicted U.S. sex offender and millionaire, Jeffrey Epstein.
Image Credits: The Duke of York’s Office