Gallery: Royal opening for UCS waterfront centre

LAUGHING and joking with students, the Earl of Wessex today gave one of Britain's newest universities the royal seal of approval.

Richard Cornwell

LAUGHING and joking with students, the Earl of Wessex today gave one of Britain's newest universities the royal seal of approval.

His Royal Highness spent an hour and a half at University Campus Suffolk, where he officially opened its �22 million Waterfront Building by unveiling a plaque outside.

He was clearly impressed with the centre, which was bustling with activity as a convention promoting university education and attended by hundreds of young students was taking place.


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The Earl's helicopter landed at Alexandra Park just before noon and he arrived at UCS by a car a few minutes later, escorted by the Lord Lieutenant of Suffolk, the Lord Tollemache

After being greeted by dignitaries, he was taken on a tour of the Waterfront Building by Prof Bob Anderson, chief executive and pro vice chancellor, with the convention - featuring stands from 100 universities around the country - the first stop.

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The Earl signed the university visitor book, before chatting to officers from UCS and other East Anglian universities, and then to sixth formers visiting the event.

Katie Proctor, organiser of the Suffolk Higher Education Fair, said: “He was very nice and it was a pleasure to meet him.

“He was lovely and chatty and really interested in everything that was going on.”

The Earl, who will one day take his father's title of Duke of Edinburgh, also met a group of Suffolk students on the Duke of Edinburgh Award scheme and spoke to them about their expeditions and community work.

Callum Woodard, 17, of the Sir John Leman High School in Beccles, who has just completed his silver award, said: “He was very chatty and told a few jokes.

“He asked each of us about our expeditions and how challenging they were and about our futures.”

Seventeen-year-olds Alice Renwick, Andrew Yale and Nicola Hetherington, all from Farlingaye High, said they had really enjoyed talking to the Earl.

“I was so nervous but he was really nice and so interested in what we were doing,” said Miss Renwick.

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