The Prince of Wales and Duchess of Cornwall have visited Cambridge to celebrate the Fitzwilliam Museum’s bicentenary and 600th anniversary of the University Library.
Charles and Camilla also attended a rehearsal with the renowned King’s College Choir, whose Christmas Eve service has become a festive staple, broadcast around the globe.
Stopping first at the Fitzwilliam, the royal couple were greeted by local grandees including the University’s Vice Chancellor, Professor Sir Leszeck Borysiewicz.
They also met with pupils from King’s Hedges School and the Soham Village College who were taking part in educational activities organised by the museum.
Representatives of University-led and local outreach, education, and development initiatives were also in attendance at the Fitzwilliam, including members of the Campaign for Female Education which is dedicated to the eradication of poverty in Africa through the education and empowerment of girls and young women.
Charles and Camilla also met recipients of the Gates Cambridge Scholarship, an initiative established by the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation to provide full-cost scholarships to postgraduate students from outside the UK.
They were also shown treasures from the Museum’s collection, including an illuminated medieval manuscript.
Later, whilst Charles met with senior Cambridge University staff, Camilla visited Emmaus, a centre for homeless people in Cambridgeshire. Camilla, who is the charity’s patron, last visited three years ago.
Emmaus offers homeless people a place to work and live, and is celebrating its 25th anniversary this year. Camilla presented the charity with a bag of gifts including Christmas decorations, and joked she’d stay the afternoon on the centre’s comfortable sofa.
The royal couple finally visited the UL, where they were given a demonstration of how the library’s experts digitalise its material and were shown rare items from the UL’s collection, including a copy of Darwin’s On the Origin of Species.
2017 will mark the 50th year since Charles was admitted to Trinity College, where he read anthropology, archeology, and history.