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A Royal campus

A campus steeped in royal history

De Montfort University is the first destination for the Queen's Diamond Jubilee Tour. But this is not the first time we've had royalty on campus.

In fact De Montfort University is probably unique among English universities as it sits upon land that was owned for centuries by members of the Royal family.

The Magazine Gateway, where Her Majesty The Queen will enter the campus, was once the ceremonial entrance to the College of the Newarke. The College was founded in 1331 by Henry, third Earl of Lancaster, with the building of Trinity Hospital. Edward III and his grandson Richard II were known to have visited the castle and the College, and would almost certainly have entered through the same Gateway that The Queen will use on the day, as would Henry IV, who as Henry Bolingbroke spent much of his childhood at Leicester Castle.

The Queen Mother opens the Fletcher Building

Moving towards the present day, on 1 November 1966 Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth the Queen Mother visited the Leicester College of Art to officially open the Fletcher Building, then simply known as 'the new tower block'. It was her first trip to Leicester in 20 years, and during the visit she was taken to the top floor of the tower. On seeing the city panorama for the first time, she was heard to exclaim: "Marvellous!" It seems that just like our Royal Visit, a fashion show was held, and the photo below shows some of the latest swinging sixties couture produced by students at the college.

The Queen opens the Queen’s Building

Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II has visited our campus before, on the 9 December 1993 when she officially opened our Queens Building, which at the time was one of the most advanced 'green' buildings in the country. The building was home to the School of Engineering and Manufacture, and now houses our faculty of Technology.

As the photos show, Her Majesty opened the building, met staff and students, and saw demonstrations of some of the faculty's advanced technology which included zero emission vehicles and making energy from crops.

The visit on 8 March will be an amazing event, and a fitting addition to a campus which is steeped in royal history.

Trinity House