The coronation of King Charles III is but a few weeks away and is an event which brings with it many celebrations and traditions. One such tradition is the Loyal Address.
What is the Loyal Address?
On the 9th of March 2023, representatives from 27 extraordinary organisations, referred to as the Privileged Bodies, gathered at Buckingham Palace to present their Loyal Greetings to King Charles III. This is a long-held tradition dating back as far back as the seventeenth century and only takes place to mark significant Royal occasions.
The Privileged Bodies are organisations and institutions with cultural significance that highlight the diversity of our society: they are from the education sector, science, arts, and religious institutions. The University of London is one of those 27 organsiations. We at the School of Advanced Study are extremely proud that out of the twelve delegation members that were selected for this occasion, three were from our school: our Dean Professor Jo Fox, Chair of Digital Humanities Professor Jane Winters, and our SASiety President, Monja. This shows the value and importance of SAS within the federation.
What happens at the Loyal Address?
It is a well-timed and organised event from start to finish. The arrival of the delegations is staggered so that the groups who need to get their robes arrive first. Then the delegations are seated in the Ballroom and enjoyed some classical music before a short briefing commences.
According to Monja, it was the most surreal and extraordinary experience:
“We went through one of the front gates entering Buckingham Palace. There were lots of tourists wondering who we were and taking photos. This was the first time but definitely not last time on that day where I thought ‘wow this is a bit extra’.”
“The inside of the palace is breathtaking: so many beautiful paintings, ornaments, and vases. The tapestry and rugs and everything are just phenomenal. And the staff is so friendly – they were really good at making us feel at ease, because I was definitely nervous I would do something wrong. This is also why the briefing was very good! Even though I’m not British, I would’ve started singing the National Anthem had we not been told that it was just instrumental.”
After the King’s arrival and short welcome, the delegation leaders start to give their short speeches. Our Vice-Chancellor Wendy Thomson presented the Loyal Address to the King for the University of London, pledging our support in his accession to the throne.
You can read the University of London’s Loyal Address to King Charles III here:
May it please Your Majesty:
The University of London wishes to convey the warmest greetings on behalf of its Chancellor, Board of Trustees, Collegiate Council, staff, students and graduates from across the world on the happy occasion of Your Majesty’s Accession.
Since being granted our Royal Charter in 1836, our passion for increasing access to education and mobilising the collective expertise of the federation has been central to our ability to address the global challenges facing the United Kingdom, the Commonwealth and the international community.
Today the University stands as testimony to the benefits of co-operation and trust between its constituent parts. We provide distance and digital education to 45,000 students in 190 countries around the world and are home to the national centre for the arts and humanities. The University is a unique federation of 17 world-class institutions, forming a collective community of more than 240,000 learners and 50,000 staff. The federation works in partnership to deliver world-leading research and education, in everything from Accountancy to Zoology, as well as the major contribution to business, society and cultural activity that our staff and students make in London and in the country as a whole.
Throughout our rich history we have always taken great pride in our longstanding relationship with the Monarchy. The University is particularly appreciative of the time given by our Chancellor for the past 42 years, Her Royal Highness, The Princess Royal. Her Royal Highness has been hugely supportive in the programme of engagements which she undertakes every year. This includes attending the Foundation Day ceremony that marks the anniversary of our Royal Charter, our Graduation ceremonies, and a host of visits across our Federation. Our staff, students and supporters warmly value the interest and support shown by Her Royal Highness.
We offer our sincere good wishes on this special and auspicious occasion, and express the hope that Your Majesty’s reign may be a long and happy one.