The Queen is coming to UEA next Friday

She is visiting an art exhibition


On January 27th, the Queen and the Duke of Edinburgh will visit UEA to experience the Sainsbury Centre’s landmark exhibition on the art and culture of Fiji.

In spite of recent concerns regarding her health, Liz will be travelling to Norwich from her 600 acre holiday house in Sandringham, one her family have owned since 1862. Upon arrival she’ll be greeted by Vice Chancellor David Richardson and Fijian ambassador Jitoko Tikolevu, later linking up with representatives from the Students’ Union.

It will be her third trip to UEA, having visited in 1968 and again in 2o04, when she formally opened the Norwich and Norfolk hospital which is adjacent to campus. There have been a total of eight royal visits to the university, the most recent coming from Prince Charles in 2010.

The exhibition is the most comprehensive to have ever been put together about Fiji – it was opened in October by the country’s president, with Sir David Attenborough in attendance. During her visit, the Queen will see the traditional Fijian double-hulled sailing canoe which was featured in her taxpayer funded 90th birthday celebration last year, along with a ceremonial whale tooth.

There is overwhelming excitement from the university, the Vice Chancellor said: “The Sainsbury Centre is a cultural jewel in the crown for both UEA and the city of Norwich. It is a great personal honour for me to introduce The Queen to this fascinating exhibition.”

However, some students are not quite as excited for the royal visit, with Matthew Debenham, a second year Film and English student, commenting: “The monarchy is an outdated concept that now only holds power over the wallets of tourists. Why should we be excited for someone who is essentially just a face for a farce?”

With her visit likely to be met with equal levels of adoration and disdain from students, staff and the wider public of Norwich, UEA will be in a state of frenzy next Friday.