Queen Elizabeth II has conferred a very special and extremely rare honour on 12 people to mark the occasion of Her Majesty’s Diamond Jubilee. Receiving the title of Regius Professor is a rare honour, designed to reflect an exceptionally high standard of teaching and research at an institution. Only two Regius Professorships have been created in the last century.
These Regius Professorships are “royal” professorships at the ancient universities of the United Kingdom and Ireland, including Oxford, Cambridge, St Andrews, Glasgow, Aberdeen,Edinburgh and Dublin. Each of the chairs was created by a monarch, and each appointment, though since 1923 no longer at Dublin, is approved by the Crown. Glasgow currently has the highest number of extant Regius chairs, at thirteen.
The new Regius Professorships were announced back in late 2012 and details were released a few days ago. The Universities receiving a ‘Regius Professor’ are:
- University of Dundee – Life Sciences
- University of Essex – Political Science
- Imperial College, London – Engineering
- King’s College London – Psychiatry
- London School of Economics and Political Science – Economics
- University of Manchester – Physics
- The Open University – Open Education
- University of Reading – Meteorology and Climate Science
- Royal Holloway, University of London – Music
- University of Southampton – Computer Science
- University of Surrey – Electronic Engineering
- University of Warwick – Mathematics
The Queen agreed to bestow the awards after taking advice from Ministers, who, in this special case, were in turn advised by a panel of eminent academics, led by Sir Graeme Davies, former Vice-Chancellor of the University of London.