Platinum Jubilee: Queen Elizabeth II’s links to Cambridge
This weekend the nation celebrated Queen Elizabeth’s 70 years on the throne, with tea parties, street picnics and of course our very own punts being decorated with Union Jack bunting.
To celebrate we thought it would be nice to look back over her 70 year reign and highlight some of the royal connections Cambridge has to the monarchy.
Queen Elizabeth’s visits to Cambridge
With the City of Cambridge being famed for its educational institutions, its extensive medical facilities, the boat race and of course punting, it is no surprise that the Queen has taken many trips there during her reign of 70th year.
Additionally, she even named her grandson Prince William and his wife Catherine, the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge, after their wedding in 2011. Cambridge is one of the only seven Royal Dukedoms remaining in the United Kingdom, the others being Lancaster, Cornwall, Sussex, York, Gloucester and Kent.
Famously known as a lover of animals, the Queen opened the university (then) new veterinary school on the 20th October 1955. The Queen made several visits that year to the Cambridge vicinity, spending time at the renowned Newmarket Races. In 1958 her colt won the 2,000 Guineas. In 1959, she became the patron of the Newmarket Animal Health Trust, a title she held until its closure in 2020.
In 1962 her Royal Highness opened, the now world renowned, Addenbrookes Hospital. A hospital that has become synonymous with the identity of Cambridge.
Later on, in 1967, Prince Charles became the first British heir apparent to gain a university degree when he came to Cambridge to read Archeology and Anthropology at Trinity College. Allegedly his A-Level results were too low for the usually very high entry requirements the University of Cambridge is famous for. You can actually learn more about this in person on one of our guided chauffeured punting experiences.
Additionally, she was back in Newmarket, in 2006, to unveil a bronze statue of her with a mare and a foal to commemorate her 90th birthday.
Her majesty’s most recent trip was in 2019 when she opened the new Royal Papworth Hospital on the Addenbrooke’s Campus. You can see the pictures on the Royal Family’s website!
The Queen (as far as we are aware) hasn’t been punting whilst on her many visits to Cambridge, however, there is still time!
Treading in royal footsteps
Whether you are interested in the royals of not, Cambridge has an abundance of things to offer. Whether you want to tread the boards of royalty (quite literally, Prince Charles was a member of the Trinity College Drama Society, the Dryden Society). Or you just want a foodies weekend away. Or even a punting tour (with us), Cambridge is the place to be.
For those of you in London, who might not have a private helicopter to bring them to Cambridge, it is still very easy to get here by train. London has direct trains departing from London Liverpool Street, London Bridge and Kings Cross St Pancreas.
Besides, if you would like to come punting with us, on a tour fit for royalty, then book here.
Cambridge’s famous May Balls are just around the corner, a fireworks extravaganza that will for sure be rivaling the ones we saw this weekend in London. You can check out the 2019 May Ball youtube video here.
Meanwhile, we hope you enjoyed your jubilee weekend and look forward to seeing you on the river sometime soon.