University honours Princess Royal at graduation ceremony

Her Royal Highness The Duchess of Rothesay will confer an honorary degree on Her Royal Highness The Princess Royal at a prestigious graduation ceremony taking place today at the University of Aberdeen.

The Duchess of Rothesay is Chancellor of the University, and will preside over the ceremony, which will also recognise a world-leading clinical trials scientist, as well as a charity which encourages young people into sport, the arts and culture, while helping to tackle anti-social behaviour.

Professor Janet Darbyshire CBE will receive her honorary degree in recognition of and for the significant impacts she has made in clinical sciences for over 40 years. Previously Director of the Medical Research Council Clinical Trials Unit, Professor Darbyshire’s study of diseases such as HIV and tuberculosis, has led to improvements in prevention and treatment across the world.

A special Principal’s Award for Outstanding Service to the Community will also be presented to the Denis Law Legacy Trust – which provides through their Streetsport initiative, free outreach projects to children and young people in the local area and has made huge strides in reducing youth crime and anti-social behaviour. Aberdeen-born former footballer Denis Law CBE will be among Trust representatives in attendance.

The Princess Royal – who started undertaking public engagements at the age of 18 – was nominated by the University for an honorary degree in recognition of her extensive charity work.  Save the Children was the first major charity Her Royal Highness was associated with, and after 46 years as President, today remains its Patron. The Princess Royal is involved with another 300 charities, organisations and military regiments in the UK and overseas, and devotes a large part of Her Royal Highness’ working life to engagements and visits.

Professor George Boyne, Principal and Vice-Chancellor of the University of Aberdeen, said:

“The University of Aberdeen’s foundational purpose dedicates this institution to acting ‘in the service of others’. Honorary degrees and special awards are our way of acknowledging people who have made exceptional contributions to the service of others, and I am delighted we are recognising The Princess Royal, Professor Janet Darbyshire and the Denis Law Legacy Trust in this way.”