University of London

Small Navigation Menu

Primary Menu

You are here:

A Glittering Occasion: Foundation Day 2017

Overall one left the event glowing with joy, a full belly, and a sense of inspiration having been in such distinguished company in such a glowing environment.

Written by Kim Kontos |

Foundation Day 2017
Our Chancellor, HRH The Princess Royal, with the Honorary Graduands

Each of the distinguished Honorary Graduands was introduced by a steady flow of praise and admiration

What an elegant, delightful, glittering occasion! This was definitely the kind of evening attendees will talk about for generations to come.

Already early on, the beautiful flowers decorating the quiet, echoing rooms raised the anticipation of a grand evening. Soon after, the quiet corridors filled with whispering guests all dressed up for the special occasion. Proud family members and friends of the Honorary Graduands gathered in joyful groups of colourful robes and hats. The programme booklets laid carefully on each chair proudly held the name of the person everyone was eager to meet, our Chancellor, HRH The Princess Royal.

Looking around the room at the bright-eyed students and glowing guests waiting patiently for The Chancellor’s procession, one wonders whether they had ever imagined they would be in the presence of royalty. All eyes fell on the entrance door when the brass quartet started to play the processional music, and in walked a stream of gowned men and women, following HRH The Princess Royal into the room.

One may normally declare that the rest of the evening was a blur, but this was only the beginning. What followed was a ceremony full of revering words about the University and Honorary Graduands, and a delightful, animated reception. Opening the ceremony was HRH The Princess Royal eloquently commending the university for the past year’s achievements within the uncertain times. Each of the distinguished Honorary Graduands was introduced by a steady flow of praise and admiration mixed in with the long list of accomplishments and titles. As a diverting interlude to the speeches we were surprised with a musical performance by students of The Royal Central School of Speech and Drama transporting us, however momentarily, into the fictional world of 'Grand Hotel - The Musical'.

The Chancellor's Procession
The Chancellor's Procession and guard of honour.

The closing of the official ceremony was marked by the elegant, swooping exit of The Chancellor’s procession in time to the National Anthem and applause. As our enthusiastic clapping dimmed into bubbling, excited conversations, we walked out of the room and were met with a transformed Senate House. A bar had been erected in the main foyer, waiters were carrying trays heavy-laden with delicious foods and a jazz band up on the balcony were singing warm melodies down to us. No sooner had everyone found a comfortable place to enjoy the lovely treats, than discrete circles of starry-eyed guests started appearing in the room. HRH The Princess Royal tirelessly visited every circle to greet each one of the eagerly waiting guests. The official photographer was frantically snapping pictures so as not to miss anyone’s moment of honour, while others outside the circles continued their happy conversations, almost oblivious of those moments that guests will be telling their children and grandchildren to come.

Overall one left the event glowing with joy, a full belly, and a sense of inspiration having been in such distinguished company in such a glowing environment.

HRH The Princess Royal tirelessly spoke with guests.
HRH The Princess Royal tirelessly spoke with guests.