Prince of Wales opens Royal Society’s refurbished building

07 July 2004

His Royal Highness The Prince of Wales today (7 July 2004) officially re-opened the premises of the Royal Society, the UK national academy of science, after major refurbishment.

The re-opening ceremony took take place at the Royal Society on Carlton House Terrace, London. The Prince toured new and old parts of the building and met staff, supporters and funders of the refurbishment project.

The £9.8 million refurbishment of the premises at 6-9 Carlton House Terrace was funded from the Royal Society’s private resources and began in 2001. The Society has leased the Grade 1 listed buildings from Crown Estates since it moved to them from Burlington House in 1967. The refurbishment has created additional accommodation for scientific meetings, conferences, exhibitions and receptions, and has allowed an open and modern working environment to be developed for staff.

The Royal Society has had a number of homes in London, including Somerset House, since it was founded in 1660 and granted Royal Charters in 1662 and 1663 by King Charles II. Her Majesty The Queen is the current patron, and the reigning monarch has always been the patron of the Royal Society since its foundation. His Royal Highness The Prince of Wales was elected a Royal Fellow of the Royal Society in 1978.

Lord May of Oxford, the President of the Royal Society, said: "We are very pleased that His Royal Highness The Prince of Wales agreed formally to re-open our refurbished building. It is particularly fitting that the official ceremony took place this week during our annual Summer Science Exhibition, when we invite the public into our building to see some examples of cutting edge research and to meet the talented scientists and engineers who are carrying it out. The new facilities will help us to carry on providing a physical and spiritual home for British science far into the twenty-first century. We are extremely grateful to all the donors and supporters who have contributed to the refurbishment."

The building was refurbished by the architect firm Burrell, Foley and Fischer. More than 300 Fellows and Foreign Members of the Royal Society made donations to the refurbishment project. Other major donors have included the EP Abraham Cephalosporin Fund, the Clothworkers Foundation, the Goldsmiths’ Company, the Brian Mercer Charitable Trust, the Welton Foundation, the Garfield Weston Foundation, and the Wolfson Foundation.

The Royal Society Summer Science Exhibition runs until Thursday 8 July. Admission is free between 10:00 am and 4:30 pm.