The Princess Royal Opens St Edmund’s College Mount Pleasant Halls Accommodation


The award-winning Mount Pleasant Halls accommodation on Huntingdon Road was opened by HRH The Princess Royal on Thursday. In the first major event hosted by St Edmund’s College since March 2020, HRH was also formally admitted as an Honorary Fellow, and met staff, students and Fellows from St Edmund’s diverse and international community.

HRH The Princess Royal visited St Edmund’s College on Thursday, 20 May 2021, accompanied by the Lord-Lieutenant of Cambridgeshire, Mrs Julie Spence. The visit saw the formal opening of the award-winning Mount Pleasant Halls, by Her Royal Highness.

The Mount Pleasant Halls development offers 272 en-suite rooms and studios. Located within the College’s leafy 10-acre Mount Pleasant site, the Halls have become an award-winning contribution to the development of the Castle Hill area.

The Master of St Edmund’s, Catherine Arnold, said:

“It is an honour to have welcomed The Princess Royal to St Edmund’s as an Honorary Fellow, and for Her Royal Highness formally to have opened Mount Pleasant Halls.

Mount Pleasant Halls represents the importance St Edmund’s attaches to providing our growing number of students from across the UK and the world with a modern and welcoming home in Cambridge. It also represents our partnership with local businesses and our role in the wider Cambridge community.”

The opening was attended by the High Sheriff, Mrs Caroline Bewes, and representatives of local businesses who had been central to the development and delivery of the ambitious project. Among those present were Mr Nicholas Bewes, Chief Executive of Howard Group, Mr Andrew Osborne, Chairman of Osborne Group, and the project architect Mr Kevin Myers, Director of R H Partnership.

Earlier in the visit, Her Royal Highness was formally admitted as an Honorary Fellow of St Edmund’s College. The late Duke of Edinburgh had also been an Honorary Fellow of St Edmund’s since 2002 and visited on several occasions.

A simple ceremony took place in the College Chapel. St Edmund’s is the only full college in Cambridge and Oxford to have a Roman Catholic Dean and Chapel. Present at the ceremony were benefactors to the College, including funders of scholarships for students from underrepresented backgrounds, and the College’s Von Hügel Institute for Critical Catholic Inquiry.

After the ceremony, the Dean of St Edmund’s, Fr Ed Hone, said:

“Students from all backgrounds want to be part of a dynamic and growing community that values individuals, embraces diversity of identity, belief and perspective, and does so in a supportive and inclusive space.”

The day started with Her Royal Highness meeting a range of students, Fellows and members of the College representing its academic, social, and welfare interests. The Princess Royal also met staff and students who had played a crucial role in navigating the College through the COVID crisis.