The Queen attended a special Centenary Ceremony this afternoon which saw the main entrance packed with staff, students, alumni and industry supporters. The ceremony marked one hundred years since the formation of Imperial College and the end of Imperial's association with the University of London, with the granting of a new Royal Charter as an independent university.
Upon their arrival the Queen and The Duke of Edinburgh were greeted by honorary graduates and VIPs, before making their way to officially open the Institute of Biomedical Engineering.
Upon their return the Rector and The Queen addressed the assembled guests in the main entrance, before the first Imperial College degrees were awarded. The recipients of the degrees were:
- Professor Winston Wong - an Imperial alumnus and Chairman and CEO of GRACE THW Group, China. He founded the Imperial spin-out company Future Waves Ltd and now supports research in the IBE.
- Mrs Lily Safra - a great supporter of the arts and the socially disadvantaged, supporting a wide variety of causes herself and through the Philanthropic Foundation.
- Dame Vivien Duffield - a highly successful philanthropist and Chairman of the Clore Duffield Foundation, which has pledged over £10m in the last decade to museum and gallery education.
- Her Highness Sheikha Mozah bint Nasser al Missned - actively engaged in education and social reforms in Qatar, spearheading national and international development projects.
- HRH Prince Philip, Duke of Edinburgh - a supporter of countless charities and initiatives for the support and development of young people.
Following the conferment of degrees upon the honorary graduates The Queen unveiled a statue of Queen Victoria before signing the Imperial College Visitors Book. The statue had previously been in a poor state inside the Queen's Tower, but has now been restored and placed in the main entrance.
The most important part of the day is, of course, that Imperial is now a university in its own right.