Last night I watched a parade of robed chancellors, and listened to the achievements of researchers, and marvelled. Many at the event went on today to receive Queen’s Anniversary Prizes for Higher & Further Education at Buckingham Palace. So much original work across such a wide range of topics is being conducted across the UK, with results that affect all of our lives.
We were at a banquet at Guildhall in the City of London. There was only one person, apart from the Queen, named in the speeches in more that one context: Richard III. The study of his remains featured in the citations for both the School of Archaeology & Ancient History at Leicester University, and the Centre for Anatomy & Human Identification at Dundee University. It was good to see Caroline Wilkinson, who created the reconstruction of Richard’s face, and Richard III Society Chairman Phil Stone, a guest of Dundee. Richard Buckley, Turi King, Kevin Schürer and Deirdre O’Sullivan represented the Leicester team researching Richard’s remains and Leicester Greyfriars; I was one of their guests. Good wine, good food, excellent company and a marvellous building (15th century in its origins, though much altered and repaired, with remains of the city’s Roman amphitheatre beneath), with operatic interludes and a fizz of intellectual prowess – a memorable occasion!
Apparently at the ceremony today the Queen asked if it was really true that Richard III was found under a car park. So now she knows.