The Queen and the University

The Queen served as the College Visitor of Christ Church, Oriel College, University College and St Antony’s College. In this largely ceremonial role, The Queen acted as impartial overseer of these institutions.

Queen Elizabeth

As part of her duties The Queen has visited the University on a number of occasions over the years. Highlights include:

  • 1948 – Awarded a Degree by Diploma (as Princess Elizabeth).

  • 1960 – First reigning monarch to pay an official visit to the city of Oxford (rather than University). Laid the foundation stone of St Catherine’s College. Visited Christ Church, the Sheldonian, Trinity College, Lady Margaret Hall, St Anne’s College.

  • 1969 – Laid the foundation stone for Wolfson College. Visited Somerville College, Christ Church and Oriel College. Became the first reigning monarch to visit the Oxford Union.  

  • 1976 – Visited Jesus College, Radcliffe Science Library and New College.

  • 1983 – Visited Oriel College and Rhodes House for the 80th anniversary of the Rhodes Scholarship.  

  • 1992 – Visited Christ Church to mark the 450th anniversary of Oxford Diocese.  

  • 1999 – Visited the Bodleian; visited University College to celebrate its 750th anniversary.

  • 2004 – Opened the new Chemistry Research Laboratory.

  • 2008 – Attended the 550th anniversary celebrations at Magdalen College.

  • 2009 – Opened the redeveloped Ashmolean and the 500th anniversary celebrations at Brasenose College.  

  • 2013 – Visited Oriel College and distributed Maundy Money at Christ Church (Charles I was the last monarch to conduct the ceremony here in Oxford).