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King Charles III

Breaking new ground

King Charles studied Archaeology and Anthropology, and then History, as an undergraduate at Trinity College from 1967 to 1970.

This portrait was commissioned from Derek Hill in 1971. It hangs in the Master’s Lodge.

Prince Charles by Derek Hill © Trinity College Cambridge

Queen Elizabeth II

A royal visit

The late Queen Elizabeth, accompanied by the then Master, Sir Michael Atiyah, on a visit to Trinity to open the new accommodation at Burrell’s Field in 1996.

Queen Elizabeth II visits Trinity © Trinity College Cambridge

Queen Elizabeth, the Queen Mother

A royal visit

Queen Elizabeth the Queen Mother (grandmother of King Charles III) opened Angel Court in June 1960.

Queen Elizabeth the Queen Mother with Master, Lord Adrian © Trinity College Cambridge

George VI

Grandfather of Prince Charles

As Prince Albert, the future King and father of Queen Elizabeth II, spent three terms at Trinity College during 1919-1920 studying history, economics and ‘civics’ (or ‘statecraft’), before his increasing royal duties required him to return to court.

His brother Henry attended Trinity at the same time.

King George VI by Gerald Festus Kelly © Trinity College Cambridge

Edward VII

Albert Edward, Prince of Wales

Having previously attended Oxford, Albert Edward, Prince of Wales, eldest son of Queen Victoria, matriculated from Trinity in 1861. His chief tutor was Biblical scholar J B Lightfoot. The Prince lived at Madingley Hall. He acceded to the throne as King Edward VII in 1901.

His son, Prince Albert Victor, also studied at Trinity in 1883, but predeceased his father.

Albert Edward, Prince of Wales © Trinity College Cambridge

Queen Victoria and Prince Albert

A royal visit

The Queen with her consort Prince Albert visited Cambridge on 25 and 26 October 1843. It was the first visit of a reigning British monarch since 1728 and the couple stayed over night at Trinity in a newly furnished State Bedroom in the Master’s Lodge.

Two thousand people processed into Hall to hear ‘loyal adresses’ to the couple who later attended a service at King’s College Chapel. On their return they visited the College Chapel and Prince Albert went to the Library to see literary manuscripts and for a candlelit tour. The couple dined in Hall.

At Senate House the following day Prince Albert received a honorary doctorate of law from the Vice-Chancellor and Master of Trinity, Dr William Whewell. The Queen and Prince were later taken to the Geological Museum where they were greeted Trinity Fellow Professor Adam Sedgwick.

Prince Albert by William Charles Ross, 1841 © Trinity College Cambridge

Prince William Frederick, Duke of Gloucester and Edinburgh

William Frederick, 2nd Duke of Gloucester

William Frederick, 2nd Duke of Gloucester, attended Trinity 1787-1790, obtaining an MA in 1790 and an LLD in 1796. He was great grandson of George II and nephew and son-in-law of George III.

He was elected Chancellor of the University of Cambridge in 1811.

William Frederick, 2nd Duke of Gloucester by George Romney, 1790 © Trinity College Cambridge

George II

‘Splendid entertainment’

On a visit to Cambridge in 1728, George II was hosted in Hall at Trinity College. Fellow James Bentham described a ‘splendid entertainment’ including a banquet of 800 dishes and music by drummers and trumpeters. The King sat on a special ‘throne’.

Hall © Graham CopeKoga
Hall © Graham CopeKoga

James I

A royal visit

Statues on Great Gate facing Great Court commemorate James I, his wife Anne of Denmark, and their son Prince Charles (later Charles I), as well as two royal visits in 1615.

Detail of inside of Great Gate © Graham CopeKoga

Elizabeth I

Queen’s Gate is completed

Construction work to expand the College’s buildings continued under the eighth Master Thomas Nevile. This included Queen’s Gate, named after Elizabeth and featuring her likeness, which was completed in 1597.

This portrait painted around 1597 hangs in the Master’s Lodge.

Elizabeth I by Marcus Gheeraerts the younger © Trinity College Cambridge


Building the Chapel

Mary Tudor added to her father Henry VIII’s initial endowment, with former monastic properties in the North of England, Westmorland and Yorkshire.

She issued a royal commission in 1554 calling for construction of the Chapel. Her sister Elizabeth issued a second royal commission in 1560. Both Queens are commemorated in windows in the Chapel.

Chapel Window depicting Founders and Benefactors of the University and College © Trinity College Cambridge

Queen Katherine Parr

A Queen’s influence?

Katherine Parr, the sixth wife of Henry VIII, was popularly believed to have played a key role in the protection of the universities of Cambridge and Oxford, and the foundation of Trinity College.

Recent research suggests that her influence has been over estimated.

Katherine Parr by Julian Barrow (1939-2013) painted 1982 © Trinity College Cambridge

Henry VIII

Trinity College is founded

Trinity College was founded by King Henry VIII in 1546, combining Michaelhouse and King’s Hall.

Henry’s statute is on Great Gate.

© Trinity College Cambridge

Edward III

Early foundations

Michaelhouse, in existence since 1324, and King’s Hall, established by Edward II in 1317 and re-founded by Edward III in 1337, were early scholarly foundations or halls.

Trinity’s flag is the royal standard of Edward III.

The Clock Tower, formerly known as King Edward’s Tower, was originally the gatehouse of King’s Hall.

Edward III by an unknown artist © Trinity College Cambridge
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