Remembering Prince Philip, The Duke of Edinburgh

9 April 2021

It was with great sadness that we learned of the death of HRH Prince Philip, The Duke of Edinburgh.

Prince Philip has had a long standing connection with the University of Hertfordshire. He first came on campus on 16 December, 1952 when he opened the Hatfield Technical College in an official ceremony. A predecessor to the University, Hatfield Technical College trained highly qualified engineers and technicians to supply a skilled workforce to the de Havilland Aircraft Company and the aerospace industry.

The College’s first Principal Dr W.A.J Chapman said at the time, “A better choice could not have been made. Disregarding the timetable and hints from his distinguished followers, he insisted on seeing everything and conversing with students and staff alike.”

Prince Philip next visited the University in July 1997 when unveiling the bronze statue of Sir Geoffrey de Havilland with a model of his 'Comet' jet airliner that still sits near the entrance to the College Lane campus. A ceremony which also included a visit from actress and cousin of Sir Geoffrey, Olivia de Havilland, and a fly by from 40 de Havilland aircraft.

On 3 November 2003, 51 years after opening the original Hatfield Technical College, Prince Philip returned to formally open the new £120 million de Havilland Campus on what was the site of the de Havilland Aircraft Company.

On 3 November 2016 Prince Philip visited for the fourth time, officially opening the University's new £50million science building located on the College Lane campus. During his visit Prince Philip toured the building and spoke to students and staff and was shown research projects, specialist teaching equipment and watched a demonstration of clinical simulation.

Professor Quintin McKellar, Vice-Chancellor at the University of Hertfordshire, said: 'We were saddened to hear the passing of His Royal Highness, Prince Philip, The Duke of Edinburgh. Prince Philip had a long-standing connection with the University of Hertfordshire, after officially opening Hatfield Technical College in 1952.

His most recent visit to the University was in 2016, where he opened the Science Building on our College Lane campus. As we join the nation in mourning, our thoughts are with Her Majesty The Queen and the Royal Family.'.

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