On 12 February 2016 HRH The Princess Royal attended a Service at Paisley Abbey to mark the 700th Anniversary of the Birth of King Robert II, the first Stewart Monarch, in the Abbey. During the Service a dramatic presentation on the events surrounding the birth of the King in 1316 was performed by youth theatre PACE. Following the Service, escorted by The Reverend Alan Birss, Minister at Paisley Abbey, Her Royal Highness viewed the Tomb of King Robert III and plaques commemorating where King Robert II’s Father, Walter Stewart, and High Stewards of Scotland are buried in the Abbey.
The Princess Royal also met a number of those attending and involved with the Service, including the Abbey’s Director of Music, Abbey Officials, and representatives of the Society of Friends of Paisley Abbey. Community representatives, the Vice Lord-Lieutenant of Renfrewshire and local Deputy Lieutenants were amongst others presented to her. Having unveiled a commemorative plaque and received flowers presented by young chorister Miss Amy Spearing and Mr Finlay McIntosh of the Abbey Sunday School, on leaving the Abbey, Her Royal Highness walked through a Guard of Honour of Scouts and Explorer Scouts from the Paisley Abbey Scout Group and uniformed representatives of St Andrew’s Ambulance Association.
University of the West of Scotland
Later that day, Her Royal Highness also officially opened the University of the West of Scotland’s (UWS’s) flexible new learning space, the ‘Atrium’ at the University’s Paisley Campus, its new, technology-rich and flexible learning area. During an extensive tour of the Campus, escorted by the Lord-Lieutenant and Professor Craig Mahoney, UWS Principal and Vice-Chancellor, Her Royal Highness viewed a range of new developments forming part of the University’s ongoing Campus redevelopment programme. Professor Mahoney said he was absolutely delighted and hugely honoured that HRH The Princess Royal officially opened the new Atrium.
Areas visited included the University’s Library and Learning Resource Centre; the Interactive Learning Studio; an open plan Research, Enterprise and Engagement Zone accessible to students, academics and commercial partners; and the Studio of Professor Alexander Stoddart, HM Sculptor in Ordinary in Scotland, based at the Paisley Campus.
Amongst those presented to Her Royal Highness were the University’s Chancellor The Rt Hon Dame Elish Angiolini DBE, Dr Waiyin Hatton, Chair of the University’s Court, Mr Jack Douglas, President of the UWS Student Association and Mrs Susan Mitchell, Chief Operating Officer who outlined developments at the Campus. The Princess Royal also met many senior academic staff and students, including some participating in a seminar on innovative approaches to enhancing the employability of higher education students, four student apprentices in Professor Stoddart’s Studio, and Mrs Donna McMillan, Director of Corporate Support, who presented a number of her colleagues to Her Royal Highness.
At the end of the visit, The Princess Royal unveiled a plaque to mark the formal opening of the Atrium and received a bronze sculpture of Coila by Professor Alexander Stoddart.