Prince Charles opens Aberystwyth University's new Vet School
Just like VERY old times! Prince Charles enjoys a cup of tea on campus at Aberystwyth University – 52 years after he studied there – as he opens new Veterinary Science School
- Prince Charles studied at Aberystwyth University in 1969, even delivering his investiture speech at the time in Welsh
- Today, the Prince of Wales, 73, was back to open a Veterinary Education Centre
- On jovial form, the royal donned a mask indoors to adhere to university Covid rules but took it off to enjoy a cup of tea as he took an outdoor campus tour
- Heir-to-the-throne got the opportunity to sign the same visitors’ book he wrote in when he enrolled as a student in 1969
The Prince of Wales took a trip down memory lane this afternoon, visiting Aberystwyth University, where he was a student more than 50 years ago.
The royal, 73, looked on jovial form as he donned a mask to officially open the institute’s new Veterinary Education Centre.
Charles arrived just after midday on Friday at the university, which sits on the north Welsh coast, to speak to the first cohort of veterinary students who began their studies in September this year.
Reminiscing about his own time at the university, he quipped: ‘I have a horrifying feeling it’s 52 years since I was here. But I have very special memories of that time.’
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Five decades on, the Prince of Wales looked delighted to be back at Aberystwyth University on Friday as he opened the new Veterinary Education Centre – and enjoyed a cup of tea as he took a tour of the campus
Dem bones! The royal, 73, donned a mask supporting the Turquoise Mountain charity as he adhered to the university’s mask-wearing rules
The heir to the throne got the opportunity to sign the same visitors’ book he wrote in when he enrolled as a student in 1969
The Prince looked a little emotional as he put pen to paper in his former university’s visitor book
The royal wore a snug-looking camel-coloured coat to keep warm in the brisk temperatures, and while indoors he followed the university’s mask-wearing policy, donning a mask with a Turquoise Mountain design, referencing one of the charities he supports.
It’s been a busy few weeks for the Prince, who visited Jordan and Egypt in November before heading to Barbados to mark the Caribbean country becoming independent of the British Commonwealth on November 30th.
Today, travelling solo, the Prince was greeted by the Lord-Lieutenant of Dyfed, Sara Edwards, the University’s chancellor, Lord Thomas of Cwmgiedd, and vice chancellor Professor Elizabeth Treasure, along with other local dignitaries.
He unveiled an official plaque to mark the official opening of the school. The centre on the Penglais campus has been opened jointly with the Royal Veterinary College as Wales’ first and only School of Veterinary Science, and funded by £500,000 in donations from alumni.
Those who attend will spend the first two years at Aberystwyth University followed by three years at the Royal Veterinary College’s Hawkshead Campus in Hertfordshire.
They will also have the opportunity study specific areas of veterinary science through the medium of Welsh.
After touring the centre, the Prince even got the opportunity to sign the same visitors’ book he wrote in when he enrolled as a student in 1969.
The Prince of Wales walks with the Lord-Lieutenant of Dyfed, Sara Edwards, as he arrives to open Aberystwyth University’s new School of Veterinary Science at Aberystwyth University
The 73-year-old heir to the throne whips off a satin cloth from the official opening plaque to announce the facility open
He told students: ‘I have a horrifying feeling it’s 52 years since I was here. But I have very special memories of that time.’
One isn’t horsing around: the Prince listened intently as he chatted to students at the educational facility about their studies
The Prince passes a life-size model of a horse, with the internal organs chalked on the outside
The Prince of Wales passes an animal skeleton as he enjoys a tour of the state-of-the-art facilities
The new Veterinary Education Centre has opened as part of Wales’ first and only School of Veterinary Science and represents more than £2 million of investment in new teaching facilities on the University’s Penglais campus (Pictured: Prince Charles listens in as a skull is examined)
The royal, wearing a sharp grey suit with a blue shirt and red white and green tie, toured the university’s new anatomy and study facilities
Gifts including Bara Brith tea bread, made by 15-year-old Aberystwyth resident Elin Gore, and pots of honey from bees that live on campus, were presented to him.
During his time in Aberystwyth, Charles learned Welsh, even giving his July 1969 investiture speech in the language.
Prior to the unveiling, Charles said: ‘I’m very glad indeed to have this opportunity of coming back to Aberystwyth. I have a horrifying feeling it’s 52 years since I was here. But I have very special memories of that time.
The Prince of Wales inspects a veterinary specimen while touring the facility
As part of his mini tour of the Welsh town, the Prince of Wales will also visit the family-run Hafod Hardware store (Pictured: at the School of Veterinary Science this afternoon)
The Prince looked animated as he learned more about what the students study at the centre, which includes brand new anatomy and study facilities
‘I’m delighted to have a very small part to play in helping to open it (the school) having met some of the students and interrupted their studies most successfully.
‘I do hope they will have great success in the future and the school will flourish.’
Vice chancellor Treasure said: ‘This has been a long time in the planning. Veterinary school this year, and a nursing school next year. Both will be hugely important for Wales.’
The Prince of Wales will also visit the family-run Hafod Hardware store on Friday afternoon to celebrate independent businesses and show support for the local high street.
The shop is known for creating a Christmas advert that went viral in 2019, featuring four-year-old Arthur Jones, who starred as the store manager. The video was watched almost three million times on YouTube.
The hardware store is one of the oldest businesses in Rhayader, dating back to 1895, and is now one of the ‘must-see’ attractions of the town.
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