King Charles III becomes patron of Gloucestershire university

The Royal Agricultural University in Cirencester has announced King Charles III as its newest patron, following a review of over 1,000 royal patronages after the passing of Queen Elizabeth II in 2022.

By Chloe Gorman  |  Published
Continuing a tradition that's endured since it was first established, the Royal Agricultural University has announced King Charles III as its newest patron this May 2024.

King Charles III is the newest patron of the Royal Agricultural University in Cirencester.

It announced the news this May 2024, following a review of over 1,000 royal patronages after the death of Queen Elizabeth II in 2022 — she had been a patron of the institution since 1952, with King Charles III now taking up the patronage. 

The university has a strong history of royal connections, having had monarchs as patrons since the Royal Agricultural College was first established in 1845.

The King himself also has a long-standing relationship with the university, becoming president of the Royal Agricultural College in 1982 — when he was the Prince of Wales — and last visited the university in 2015 to speak and present degrees to students at its annual graduation ceremony. 

The RAU's vice-chancellor, Professor Peter McCaffery, said: 'We were thrilled to receive confirmation from Buckingham Palace earlier this week, marking the first anniversary of the King’s coronation, that ‘His Majesty would be delighted to accept the Patronage of the Royal Agricultural University as Patron’.

'His generous acceptance reflects the longevity of our relationship with the royal family, our relevance to the sector we serve, and the personal interest of the King.'

'We have exciting plans ahead of our 180th anniversary, including the completion of our new state-of-the-art Land Laboratory Teaching Centre, the plans for our new Innovation Village, and our partnership agreements in both the UAE and Uzbekistan to support them in meeting their COP28 commitments by establishing centres of excellence for sustainable agriculture.

'We very much look forward to updating His Majesty on our progress with all these developments, and many more, and hope that he may have time to visit us, to see for himself what we are doing, at some point in the future.'

Dame Fiona Reynolds, chair of the RAU's governing council, added: 'We are deeply honoured that His Majesty The King has accepted the patronage of the Royal Agricultural University.

'Our mission, and passion, for sustainable farming, food production and land management owes a great deal to the leadership of His Majesty, who has shown sustained commitment to these issues for many years.

'The world needs solutions to the climate, nature and public health crises and we are committed to helping to find them. It is an enormous privilege to continue our long association with The King and his predecessors through his patronage.'

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