Princess Royal Formally Opens Mount Pleasant Halls

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 and was a joint venture between Cambridge based property developer and investor Howard Group and Osborne, completing in 2019.

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, Andrew Osborne, Chairman of Osborne, 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.”

Photo credit: Tristan Selden