The Princess Royal has always been a great friend to the University as well as a frequent visitor – she commented that it was nice for her to see me at the Palace for a change.
The investiture event is rooted in the country’s traditions and yet I was struck by how diverse the range of individuals and their achievements were. Rather than looking back to this country’s past the focus felt firmly on celebrating its future.
This underlined to me both the importance of valuing the diversity of people’s contributions and the important role we, as a University, have in the country’s future. It was very fitting to see someone who champions innovation and entrepreneurship, Sir Jonathan Ive of Apple, knighted in the same ceremony.
On a personal note it was a very joyous occasion. We were treated wonderfully by everyone and it really did run like clockwork. It’s now only just struck me for the first time that I am a Dame.
But these awards are not for individuals, they are for a community’s achievements and I am deeply grateful to everyone who has helped develop the University into such a dynamic centre for research, teaching and learning. This award feels like the highest level of accolade for the progress we have all made, thank you.