Prince Charles opens Aberystwyth University's new Vet School

The Prince of Wales took a trip down memory lane this afternoon, visiting Aberystwyth University, where he was a student more than 50 years ago. 

The royal, 73, looked on jovial form as he donned a mask to officially open the institute’s new Veterinary Education Centre.

Charles arrived just after midday on Friday at the university, which sits on the north Welsh coast, to speak to the first cohort of veterinary students who began their studies in September this year.

Reminiscing about his own time at the university, he quipped: ‘I have a horrifying feeling it’s 52 years since I was here.But I have very special memories of that time.’

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Five decades on, the Prince of Wales looked delighted to be back at Aberystwyth University on Friday as he opened the new Veterinary Education Centre - and enjoyed a cup of tea as he took a tour of the campus

Five decades on, the Prince of Wales looked delighted to be back at Aberystwyth University on Friday as he opened the new Veterinary Education Centre – and enjoyed a cup of tea as he took a tour of the campus

Dem bones! The royal, 73, donned a mask supporting the Turquoise Mountain charity as he adhered to the university's mask-wearing rules

Dem bones!The royal, 73, donned a mask supporting the Turquoise Mountain charity as he adhered to the university’s mask-wearing rules 

The heir to the throne got the opportunity to sign the same visitors' book he wrote in when he enrolled as a student in 1969

The heir to the throne got the opportunity to sign the same visitors’ book he wrote in when he enrolled as a student in 1969

The royal shook hands with a member of staff at Hafod Hardware store in East St, Rhayader, Wales, to celebrate independent businesses and show support for the local high street

The royal shook hands with a member of staff at Hafod Hardware store in East St, Rhayader, Wales, to celebrate independent businesses and show support for the local high street

Royally good cheer! The Prince looked in great spirits as he shared a joke with members of the public on his way to visit a hardware store

Royally good cheer!The Prince looked in great spirits as he shared a joke with members of the public on his way to visit a hardware store 

The royal wore a snug-looking camel-coloured coat to keep warm in the brisk temperatures, and while indoors he followed the university’s mask-wearing policy, donning a mask with a Turquoise Mountain design, referencing one of the charities he supports.  

It’s been a busy few weeks for the Prince, who visited Jordan and Egypt in November before heading to Barbados to mark the Caribbean country becoming independent of the British Commonwealth on November 30th. 

Today, travelling solo, the Prince was greeted by the Lord-Lieutenant of Dyfed, Sara Edwards, the University’s chancellor, Lord Thomas of Cwmgiedd, and vice chancellor Professor Elizabeth Treasure, along with other local dignitaries. 

He unveiled an official plaque to mark the official opening of the school. The centre on the Penglais campus has been opened jointly with the Royal Veterinary College as Wales’ first and only School of Veterinary Science, and funded by £500,000 in donations from alumni.

Those who attend will spend the first two years at Aberystwyth University followed by three years at the Royal Veterinary College’s Hawkshead Campus in Hertfordshire.

They will also have the opportunity study specific areas of veterinary science through the medium of Welsh.

After touring the centre, the Prince even got the opportunity to sign the same visitors’ book he wrote in when he enrolled as a student in 1969.

The Prince of Wales walks with the Lord-Lieutenant of Dyfed, Sara Edwards, as he arrives to open Aberystwyth University's new School of Veterinary Science at Aberystwyth University

The Prince of Wales walks with the Lord-Lieutenant of Dyfed, Sara Edwards, as he arrives to open Aberystwyth University’s new School of Veterinary Science at Aberystwyth University

The 73-year-old heir to the throne whips off a satin cloth from the official opening plaque to announce the facility open

The 73-year-old heir to the throne whips off a satin cloth from the official opening plaque to announce the facility open

He told students: 'I have a horrifying feeling it's 52 years since I was here. But I have very special memories of that time.'

He told students: ‘I have a horrifying feeling it’s 52 years since I was here.But I have very special memories of that time.’

One isn't horsing around: the Prince listened intently as he chatted to students at the educational facility about their studies

One isn’t horsing around: the Prince listened intently as he chatted to students at the educational facility about their studies

The Prince passes a life-size model of a horse, with the internal organs chalked on the outside

The Prince passes a life-size model of a horse, with the internal organs chalked on the outside

The Prince of Wales passes an animal skeleton as he enjoys a tour of the state-of-the-art facilities

The Prince of Wales passes an animal skeleton as he enjoys a tour of the state-of-the-art facilities 

The new Veterinary Education Centre has opened as part of Wales' first and only School of Veterinary Science and represents more than £2 million of investment in new teaching facilities on the University's Penglais campus (Pictured: Prince Charles listens in as a skull is examined)

The new Veterinary Education Centre has opened as part of Wales’ first and only School of Veterinary Science and represents more than £2 million of investment in new teaching facilities on the University’s Penglais campus (Pictured: Prince Charles listens in as a skull is examined)

The royal, wearing a sharp grey suit with a blue shirt and red white and green tie, toured the university's new anatomy and study facilities

The royal, wearing a sharp grey suit with a blue shirt and red white and green tie, toured the university’s new anatomy and study facilities

Gifts including Bara Brith tea bread, made by 15-year-old Aberystwyth resident Elin Gore, and pots of honey from bees that live on campus, were presented to him.

During his time in Aberystwyth, Charles learned Welsh, even giving his July 1969 investiture speech in the language.

Prior to the unveiling, Charles said: ‘I’m very glad indeed to have this opportunity of coming back to Aberystwyth.I have a horrifying feeling it’s 52 years since I was here. But I have very special memories of that time.

The Prince of Wales inspects a veterinary specimen while touring the facility

The Prince of Wales inspects a veterinary specimen while touring the facility

As part of his mini tour of the Welsh town, the Prince of Wales will also visit the family-run Hafod Hardware store (Pictured: at the School of Veterinary Science this afternoon)

As part of his mini tour of the Welsh town, the Prince of Wales will also visit the family-run Hafod Hardware store (Pictured: at the School of Veterinary Science this afternoon)

The Prince looked animated as he learned more about what the students study at the centre, which includes brand new anatomy and study facilities

The Prince looked animated as he learned more about what the students study at the centre, which includes brand new anatomy and study facilities

‘I’m delighted to have a very small part to play in helping to open it (the school) having met some of the students and pts terbaik sumatera interrupted their studies most successfully.

‘I do hope they will have great success in the future and the school will flourish.’

Vice chancellor Treasure said: ‘This has been a long time in the planning.Veterinary school this year, and a nursing school next year. Both will be hugely important for Wales.’

The Prince looked a little emotional as he put pen to paper in his former university's visitor book

The Prince looked a little emotional as he put pen to paper in his former university’s visitor book

Charles meets members of the public ahead of his visit to Hafod Hardware store in East St, Rhayader, Wales

Charles meets members of the public ahead of his visit to Hafod Hardware store in East St, Rhayader, Wales

A royal pops to the shops: The Prince kept his mask on in line with guidance as he paid a visit to a local hardware store in Rhayader

A royal pops to the shops: The Prince kept his mask on in line with guidance as he paid a visit to a local hardware store in Rhayader

The Prince seemed impressed by the eco-friendly products on display at the traditional hardware store

The Prince seemed impressed by the eco-friendly products on display at the traditional hardware store

We're wearing face masks but we can still shake hands; the royal offers a friendly greeting to the trader at the long-standing store

We’re wearing face masks but we can still shake hands; the royal offers a friendly greeting to the trader at the long-standing store

A little gift for the Duchess? The Prince of Wales browses some of the store's merchandise

A little gift for the Duchess?The Prince of Wales browses some of the store’s merchandise

Brolly good show! Charles makes his way across a rainy pavement to an awaiting car

Brolly good show!Charles makes his way across a rainy pavement to an awaiting car

The Prince shares a joke with well-wishers who turned out to see the royal at the store in Rhayader

The Prince shares a joke with well-wishers who turned out to see the royal at the store in Rhayader

The streets of the small town were lined with members of the public - in spite of the rainy weather

The streets of the small town were lined with members of the public – in spite of the rainy weather

The Prince also took time to address guests - and enjoy another cup of char - at a reception for PRIME Cymru at the Metropole Hotel and Spa

The Prince also took time to address guests – and enjoy another cup of char – at a reception for PRIME Cymru at the Metropole Hotel and Spa

The Prince spoke words of encouragement about the organisation's volunteer mentoring programme, which is expanding

The Prince spoke words of encouragement about the organisation’s volunteer mentoring programme, which is expanding

The Prince of Wales will also visit the family-run Hafod Hardware store on Friday afternoon to celebrate independent businesses and show support for the local high street.

The shop is known for creating a Christmas advert that went viral in 2019, featuring four-year-old Arthur Jones, who starred as the store manager.The video was watched almost three million times on YouTube.

The hardware store is one of the oldest businesses in Rhayader, dating back to 1895, and is now one of the ‘must-see’ attractions of the town.

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