Rolling out the red carpet

2012 will go down in history as a year of celebration for the United Kingdom as we witness two once in a lifetime occasions – the 60th anniversary of Queen Elizabeth II’s accession to the throne which we celebrated this past long weekend, and we look forward to hosting the greatest sporting event as the Olympics come to London next month.

As the first redbrick university to be awarded a Royal Charter in 1900, the University of Birmingham has a longstanding association with the Royal Family with King Edward VII officially opening the Aston Webb building in 1909 and Queen Elizabeth, the Queen Mother, laying the first foundation for the medical school in thirty years later.

It was Queen Elizabeth II who celebrated our centenary with us and one alumna remembers the day she was joined on campus by the Queen to celebrate our centenary:

‘It was a great experience to be studying at the University of Birmingham during the Royal Charter centenary celebrations in 2000. I remember daffodils and tulips popping up in Chancellor’s Court ahead of the ‘big day’, everyone was excited about the Queen’s visit and even the sun put in an appearance.

‘The buzz that her visit generated on campus was infectious and of course the very memorable ‘Club 100’ night that followed was definitely a night to remember, although I’m not sure I remember seeing the Queen there,’ remembers Bryoney Johnson (BA English and American Studies, 2001).

Queen Elizabeth II has visited campus on numerous occasions during her diamond reign and will be returning to the region next month as part of her Jubilee tour. The following image gallery remembers the times the Queen and her family members have visited Birmingham.




Opening ceremony with King Edward VII (1909)



 Prince of Wales at the Hospital Laying ceremony, Medical School (1934)



George VI and Queen Elizabeth visiting the University of Birmingham (1939)



 Queen Elizabeth II visiting the University of Birmingham (1963)



Queen Elizabeth II visiting the Barber Institute of Fine Art (1963)



Queen Elizabeth II outside the Main Library (1975)



Queen Elizabeth II visiting the University of Birmingham (1975)



Queen Elizabeth II visiting the University for our centenary celebrations (2000)