University pays tribute to Her Majesty The Queen
8 September 2022
The University of Bristol today pays tribute to Her Majesty The Queen, the longest-reigning monarch in British history, who has sadly passed away.
The Queen visited the University on several occasions. As a mark of respect, and in accordance with royal protocol, the Union flag will fly at half-mast on our Wills Memorial Building.
Accompanied by Prince Philip, Her Majesty first visited the University of Bristol on Friday 8 December 1958, just six years into her long reign, to open the newly built Queen's Building, home to the Faculty of Engineering.
During The Queen's visit she gave a speech, which was reported in The Times, where she spoke about the engineers of the future.
"I hope that those of you who pursue technical studies will not fail also to benefit from the wider intellectual environment in which you find yourselves here," said Her Majesty, "for side by side with technological experts we still need in this country people with extensive interests and well-stocked minds who have the wisdom and judgment to see how best the great advances in the field of scientific discovery can be used for the benefit of mankind."
Ten years later, on Friday 26 April 1968, The Queen visited Langford House to open the new Meat Research Institute and see the work of the University's School of Veterinary Science, now known as Bristol Veterinary School. Local newspapers reported Her Majesty's visit to Langford overran by just over an hour because of her love of horses.
On Friday 2 June 1995, Her Majesty officially opened an extension to the Dental Hospital. The new building, funded by the NHS, provided much needed teaching space and specialist teaching rooms, a lecture theatre, research laboratories and office accommodation for University staff. The Queen and Prince Philip showed particular interest in the advanced computer aids used in the Dental School, as well as the 'phantom head' on which students practise dental techniques.
Her Majesty last visited the University on Friday 25 February 2005, accompanied by Prince Philip, to officially open a new £18.5 million research facility - BLADE (Bristol Laboratory for Advanced Dynamics Engineering).
BLADE, located in the Queen's Building, and part of the University's dynamics and control research activity, conducts research into problems relating to modelling, simulation and control of civil, mechanical and aerospace engineering systems.
During their visit, Her Majesty and Prince Philip toured the earthquake and large structures laboratory, where Her Majesty activated the shaking table to see a three-storey 1/3 scale model steel building being shaken on the earthquake simulator. They also met local secondary school pupils who were taking part in that year's University IDEERS (Introducing and Demonstrating Earthquake Engineering Research in Schools) competition.
Professor Evelyn Welch, Vice-Chancellor and President of the University of Bristol, paid tribute to the late Queen Elizabeth II and said: "The University of Bristol is deeply saddened to hear of the death of Her Majesty The Queen. Throughout her long life, Her Majesty has been an important figurehead for the UK and the Commonwealth during times of enormous social change.
"She has devoted so much of her life to public and voluntary service, from opportunities for young people, to the preservation of wildlife and the environment, and her sense of duty has been remarkable. Our thoughts are with the Royal Family at this very sad time."