“The day I met Princess Anne….”
Students and staff from City, University of London share their experience of meeting HRH The Princess Royal
Chancellor of the University of London, HRH The Princess Royal, visited City, University of London in March 2017 to officially open the new main entrance. The new main entrance complex is part of a multimillion-pound project to transform the estate.
During her visit, HRH The Princess Royal met more than 100 staff and students from City, including representatives from each School.
Students and staff who were part of the meeting party have shared their experiences of this memorable day.
School of Arts and Social Sciences
Naz was chosen to meet HRH The Princess Royal for her involvement in a wide variety of extra-curricular projects. She was joined by members of the Students’ Union and captains and presidents of several societies and sports teams.
During the event, Naz had the chance to speak to HRH The Princess Royal and they discussed her role as the President of the Psychology Society, the newly launched City Psych Journal and student fundraising events. “She showed a real interest in the topics I was talking about. She is a lovely person who really cares about students and their achievements.”
Naz says she feels “honoured and privileged” to have been selected. “This opportunity made me realise that the hard work we, as students, put into our studies and extra-curricular activities are appreciated and supported by the Students’ Union and the University. I will remember this day for the rest of my life. Opportunities like these are very rare - for myself and the others in my group, it was an opportunity of a lifetime.”
The City Law School
Rachel Decruz volunteers for various pro-bono projects alongside her studies for her Bar Professional Training Course. She described the day she met Princess Anne as a “very exciting day.”
“Representatives from The City Law School gathered at noon and we headed to the event together,” she said. “We attended a reception before heading downstairs to meet Princess Anne. I shook her hand and we spoke to her about the law-related volunteer work that we do in The City Law School.”
“It was an honour to be a part of this occasion. My grandmother, who lives in Malaysia, was very happy to hear that I had the opportunity to meet Princess Anne. She was elated to see that I had a picture with her.”
School of Maths, Computer Science and Engineering
Abdallah Damaj studies Mechancial Engineering and is part of the City Racing Team. City’s Racing Team work together to design, build and race a single-seat racing car, which they then enter into the Class 1 Formula Student competition run by the Institution of Mechanical Engineers.
“As Princess Anne is interested in racing cars and formula cars, this project was selected as one we should show to her,” Abdallah said. “Princess Anne liked the car a lot and asked several questions about the teamwork, the Silverstone competition and how the car has been developed over the years.”
Abdallah said he felt lucky to have been picked for a prestigious University occasion. “This was a once in a lifetime, unique opportunity and a truly unforgettable day.”
Jackie Dawes, Course Operations Manager
Cass Business School
Jackie Dawes is the Course Operations Manager for the Cass Undergraduate Programme and has worked at the University for around three years.Jackie met the Princess at the event to talk about Cass, however she had met her once before, many years previously.
“I was five years old when I first met Princess Anne,” Jackie said. “I was due to perform in the opening night of a charity dance show that Princess Anne would be attending in support of a local hospice. I had been selected to present a bouquet of flowers to her on the night, but unfortunately during the dress rehearsal I fell into the orchestra pit and broke my arm.”
Jackie hoped she might be able to make it along to watch the show, but was unable to leave the hospital. “I remember feeling really upset that I couldn’t perform or meet the Princess,” Jackie said. To her surprise, the Princess had heard what had happened and decided to visit the hospital after the show to meet Jackie.
“I was absolutely delighted when the Princess kindly visited the hospital, and passed the bouquet on to me,” she said.
The second time Jackie met the Princess, she was leading a group of Cass Business School students.
They were delighted by how interested HRH was in their studies and their contributions to Cass societies. She was so warm and friendly and chatted to the students for quite a while, even making a joke about whether or not she uses social media (she doesn’t). It was a pleasure to meet her again.