7 times the Royal Family visited 7 times the Royal Family visited

To help mark the momentous occasion of the Queen re-visiting the University of East Anglia (UEA) in the 65th year of her reign we look back at the seven other occasions the Royal Family have visited UEA in Norwich.

1. Princess Margaret's 1968 visit


UEA’s first royal visit was from Princess Margaret who came in 1968 and saw the newly built Ziggurats, the chemistry labs and some French language teaching. She also made an unscheduled stop at the University Village to see the accommodation.

2. The Queen's 1968 visit




The Queen’s first visit to UEA took place in 1968, by which time the Ziggurats, the teaching wall, the Square and the library were all up. The Queen was escorted round the campus by founding Vice-Chancellor Professor Frank Thistlethwaite.

3. The Prince of Wales' 1988 visit




Prince Charles’ visit formed part of the University’s 25th anniversary celebrations. He visited the new Climatic Research Unit and attracted a lot of enthusiastic support from students.

4. Princess Diana's 1990 visit to the Sainsbury Research Unit in the Sainsbury Centre


In 1990, as Patron of the Royal Anthropological Institute, Diana, Princess of Wales, visited the newly established Sainsbury Research Unit for the Arts of Africa, Oceania & the Americas, which is based in The Sainsbury Centre. She explored the anthropology collections housed in Norman Foster's iconic building, which first opened its doors in 1978. By 1990, the Centre had established a reputation for its landmark collection of exceptional world art, much of which had been donated by the Sir Robert and Lady Sainsbury.

5. The Queen's visit to open the Queen's Building in 1994




In 1994 the Queen opened the Queen’s Building. It is part of the School of Health Sciences and includes a 120 seat lecture theatre, gymnasium, anatomy rooms, seminar and classrooms, offices and common rooms. The building won the regional RIBA award. 

6. The Princess Royal opens UEA's Sportspark in 2001



Princess Anne opened UEA's Sportspark, a joint initiative between the university and the local community, on 6 February 2001. It is one of the biggest indoor sports centres in Britain and regularly hosts international sporting events.

7. The Prince of Wales' visit in 2010 to the School of Environmental Sciences



The Prince, who became patron of the school in 1992, met some of the world's leading environmental researchers to receive presentations about their latest findings and developments, before meeting with students and staff from the school at a reception. Among those who presented their work to the Prince were Prof Phil Jones, of the Climatic Research Unit, who talked about the unit's data and the analysis of the global temperature record.

And in 2017 - The Queen and Duke of Edinburgh visit the Sainsbury Centre

On Friday 27 January The Queen will visit the 'Fiji: Art & Life in the Pacific' Exhibition at the Sainsbury Centre at UEA.


The Exhibition includes a newly commissioned traditional Fijian sailing canoe, which took part in The Queen's 90th Birthday Celebration at Windsor Castle in May 2016. The Queen will also see the whale tooth, or tabua, which was presented to Her Majesty on her first visit to Fiji in 1953 (see video below, courtesy of Archives New Zealand, The Department of Internal Affairs - Te Tari Taiwhenua).


She will also meet UEA's Vice-Chancellor, the Fiji High Commissioner to the United Kingdom, the exhibition's curators and representatives from the Sainsbury Centre, as well as Fijian students studying at UEA.


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