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Queen Elizabeth reveals why Princess Anne never went to university

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Queen Elizabeth revealed that Princess Anne received an honorary degree from the University of Aberdeen, despite never studying at university.


Queen Elizabeth ‘s only daughter, Princess Anne, was handed the degree by her sister-in-law, Camilla.



Duchess of Cornwall – known as the Duchess of Rothesay in Scotland – is the university’s chancellor. The university nominated Anne for the honour in recognition of her charity work. Before presenting Anne with the degree, Camilla said she was not sure if there was “a collective noun for chancellors”. Princess Anne, herself is the Chancellor of the University of Edinburgh.

Camilla, who is married to Anne’s brother Prince Charles, jokingly dismissed any talk of “rivalry” between the two women. She said: “Now, ladies and gentlemen, we shall have no talk of rivalry today.”

Despite her involvement with further education in her capacity as a royal, Anne never studied at university herself.

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According to Queen Elizabeth ‘The Real Princess Anne’, she herself chose to become a full-time royal straight out of school.

She allegedly branded university “a highly overrated pastime”. At the same time, Anne’s older brother Charles was studying anthropology, archaeology and history at Trinity College, Cambridge. He would become the first heir apparent to earn a university degree, achieving a 2:2 grade.

In 1981, Anne was elected by graduates of the University of London as its Chancellor after the retirement of the Queen Mother. Then, in 2011, she was elected Chancellor of the University of Edinburgh, succeeding her father Prince Philip, who stepped down from the role the year before. She is also the Chancellor of the University of the Highlands and Islands and Harper Adams University in Shropshire.

She has previously been awarded a Doctor of Laws (LLD) from the University of Regina and an LLD from the Memorial University of Newfoundland and a Doctor of Science from Cranfield University.

Anne said it was a “real honour” to be recognised by the university. The princess is the patron or president of hundreds of charities and organisations, including Save the Children. During the ceremony, Anne was praised for her public duty.

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It was said: “Princess Royal has made a simply outstanding contribution to public life and sport for more than four decades and much of her work relates to education and charities based in Scotland.”

Camilla, who sat on her chancellor’s throne, conferred the honorary degree to Anne in front of around 400 people in the Elphinstone Hall at King’s College. The Duchess of Rothesay has been the chancellor there since 2013.

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