Memorial University will bestow its highest honour upon the Princess Royal, an especially hardworking member of the Royal Family and the colonel-in-chief of the Royal Newfoundland Regiment, during her upcoming visit to Newfoundland and Labrador in April 2010.
The daughter of the Queen and the Duke of Edinburgh will receive an honorary doctorate of laws degree in a special convocation to take place on Friday, April 23, 2010, at the St. John’s campus.
The Princess Royal will be visiting the province to present new colours to the 1st battalion of the Royal Newfoundland Regiment (RNR) and to participate in a variety of other activities being co-ordinated by the regiment.
Honorary degree recipients are chosen by the university’s Senate. The honorary doctorate degree is designed to recognize extraordinary contributions to society or exceptional intellectual or artistic achievement.
“The Princess Royal is well-known for her tireless support for numerous charities and organizations, including the University of London of which she is chancellor,” said Dr. Christopher Loomis, Memorial’s president and vice-chancellor pro tempore. “Most relevant to us here is her role as the colonel in chief of the Royal Newfoundland Regiment.
“In honouring her, Memorial is honouring the extensive contributions that the RNR has made to this country, this province and, in particular, Memorial University. “Memorial was founded and named as a living memorial to the Newfoundlanders who died in the Great War, including those members of the regiment who died during the tragic Battle of Beaumont Hamel in 1916. The regiment has been actively engaged with the university over the years in a variety of ways, including making donations to the university library and participating in annual remembrance ceremonies on our St. John’s campus.
“We are therefore very pleased that the Princess Royal has accepted this honour.”
Memorial has had a long and distinguished association with the Royal Family, including the naming of the university’s main library in honour of Queen Elizabeth II.
Many of the visits to the province undertaken by the members of the Royal Family have included visits to Memorial University.
During a royal visit in 1964 the previous colonel-in-chief of the RNR and holder of the title Princess Royal, Princess Mary, was awarded an honorary degree by Memorial University.
The special convocation, which will take place in the D. F .Cook Recital Hall, located in Memorial’s School of Music, will be webcast live. Further details will be released closer to the date of the event.