University near Milton Keynes and Bedford pays tribute to honorary graduate and long-term supporter Prince Philip

Cranfield University was first visited by His Royal Highness in 1952.

By James Lowson
Friday, 9th April 2021, 5:27 pm
Updated Friday, 9th April 2021, 5:30 pm

Cranfield University is the latest institution to pay tribute to the Prince after his death was announced by Buckingham Palace today (April 9).

The Prince's death at the age of 99 was announced by Buckingham Palace who said: "His Royal Highness passed away peacefully this morning at Windsor Castle."

The Duke of Edinburgh was previously the Royal Visitor at Cranfield University and an honorary graduate. His first visit in 1952 is considered a pivotal moment in the institution's history, helping to secure its long term future.

Prince Philip receiving an honorary degree from Cranfield University in 1969

Professor Sir Peter Gregson, Chief Executive at Cranfield University, said: “Personally, and on behalf of all of us at Cranfield University, I wish to extend our deepest sympathies to Her Majesty The Queen and the Royal Family.

“We are honoured to have had the Duke of Edinburgh’s support for our institution over many decades as both the Royal Visitor and an honorary graduate.

“His Royal Highness, The Duke of Edinburgh, had a distinguished military career and was a passionate advocate of engineering and new technology. He has served our nation with huge distinction and his loss will be felt around the world.”

Cranfield was known as the College of Aeronautics back in 1952 and his Royal Highness visited on a number of occasions. He delivered the first annual Handley Page Lecture in association with the Royal Aeronautical Society.

Prince Philip on another visit to Cranfield

When the Cranfield Institute of Technology was established in 1969, he received the Institute’s first honorary degree and became the first official Royal Visitor retaining this role for 20 years, supporting the institution throughout this time. In 1990, he received a further honorary degree from Cranfield Institute of Technology. His last visit to Cranfield was in 2009 when he witnessed the University’s ‘Aviation Innovation’ showcase.