The Duke and Duchess of Cambridge have announced a busy pre Christmas schedule next week which includes a visit to Cambridge University as well as the Natural History Museum, in Kensington, London. The Royal couple will be shown around the magnificent campus as part of a tour which will enlighten them to the running of this prestigious institution.
The Duke and Duchess will also make an appearance on the balcony of the 18th century Guildhall building and perform a meet and greet in the market square. Nicola Hardy, who holds the ancient ceremonial post of senior Esquire Bedell, and someone who has helped organise the royal visit, told the Cambridge News: “Cambridge University has a long association with the Royal Family throughout history. “Although the couple will learn a lot about the university during the day, their own university – St Andrews in Scotland – is a very similar ancient institution. “But this will be a great chance for them to learn about what we do and I can safely say that preparations have been running as smoothly as possible.”Upon arrival at the institution, Kate and William will stand outside the Senate House before receiving an introduction to Cambridge University by university orator Dr Rupert Thompson. The couple will also attend a reception attended joined by 400 invited guests including heads of the university’s 31 colleges.
The duchess will also make a solo appearance as the guest of honour along with Sir David Attenborough, the natural history scholar, for the opening of the National History Museum’s new ‘Treasures gallery’. Kate will be shown 22 of the rarest specimens that have been compiled for display at the world famous museum. From the 200-million-year-old nacreous ammonite that led William Smith to discover that the rocks beneath our feet are layered through time, to the rare first edition of Charles Darwin’s On the Origin of Species, these objects reveal the heart of the Museum’s collections. They are the movers and shakers of natural history itself, like the dinosaur teeth that led to the discovery that giant reptiles once walked on Earth, and the 147-million-year-old Archaeopteryx that helped show that birds evolved from dinosaurs. The 22 objects are displayed in atmospheric lighting on black granite plinths, accompanied by interactive descriptive displays. Ornate stained glass windows adorn the Treasures Cadogan Gallery walls, and embedded in the ceiling is the oak TREE installation created by contemporary artist Tania Kovats to celebrate Charles Darwin’s bicentenary.
Full list of Treasures on show: Alfred Russel Wallace’s insects • Archaeopteryx fossil • Barbary lion skull• The Birds of America book • Blaschka glass models • Charles Darwin’s pigeons • Dodo skeleton • Dwarf elephant tooth • Emperor penguin egg • George Clifford’s herbarium sheet • Great auk • Guy the gorilla • Hans Sloane’s nautilus shell • Iguanodon teeth • Joseph Banks’ herbarium sheet • Moa bone fragment • Moon rock • Neanderthal skull • On the Origin of Species book • Richard Owen painting • William Smith’s ammonites • Wold Cottage meteorite.