350th anniversary convocation celebrated in Royal style

23 June 2010

Her Majesty The Queen, His Royal Highness The Duke of Edinburgh, The Princess Royal and The Duke of Kent joined around 700 Fellows of the Society and over 1000 other guests at the 350th anniversary convocation.  The event was held at the Royal Festival Hall in London.

Speaking after his admission to the Society, Prince William said:

“To be standing here as the Royal Society’s most junior Fellow, on the 350th Anniversary of the founding of this, the World’s most illustrious scientific body is, quite simply, the most extraordinary honour for me.  I have to say that, if I look at the names of some of the great Fellows – Boyle, Newton, Banks, Darwin and our current President, Lord Rees – I realise the incredible history of this society.  

It is not just a great honour,  it is also very exciting, as I am acutely aware of how vital science is to the life of this nation and to the world.  My generation will have to engage with science more fully, perhaps, than any that has preceded it. It will be through science, after all, that the world will meet and overcome the challenges of climate change, food security, water scarcity and pandemic disease.”

Martin Rees, President of the Royal Society also delivered his Anniversary Address.  Following the convocation, the guests had the opportunity to have a first look at the Society’s Summer Science Exhibition which is at the heart of See Further: The Festival of Science + Arts .  The festival opens at Southbank Centre on Friday evening.

Convocation lectures

Sermon given by the Most Reverend & Right Honourable Rowan Williams, Archbishop of Canterbury. The sermon was given at an Evensong attended by Fellows of the Royal Society on the occasion of the 350th Anniversary, St Paul's Cathedral (9 June 2010).

Speech of acceptance by HRH Prince William of Wales, KG and Address by the President, Lord Rees of Ludlow, OM Kt. These were given at the Convocation of the Fellowship of the Royal Society at the Royal Festival Hall (23 June 2010).

The sermons, speeches and addresses were published in the journal Notes & Records of the Royal Society September 20, 2010 volume 64.