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King’s first engagement to Cambridge where he was a student in 1967

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It was the month that Disney released Jungle Book on the big screen, when anti-Vietnam war demonstrators besieged the Pentagon and when Guerrilla leader Che Guevara and his men were captured in Bolivia.

October 1967 was also the month the future King Charles III – fresh from completing his A levels – was admitted to Trinity College, Cambridge. His chosen subjects being archaeology, anthropology, and history.

King Charles III at his first official engagement since the Coronation as he opened a new national Centre for Propulsion and Power at the Whittle Laboratory at the University of Cambridge on Tuesday. PHOTO: Bav Media

King Charles III at his first official engagement since the Coronation as he opened a new national Centre for Propulsion and Power at the Whittle Laboratory at the University of Cambridge on Tuesday. PHOTO: Bav Media

He became the first British heir apparent to earn a university degree – and his links with Cambridge were to continue throughout the decades that followed.

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Fittingly it was to Cambridge he returned this week, in one of his roles after the Coronation.

King Charles III at his first official engagement since the Coronation as he opened a new national Centre for Propulsion and Power at the Whittle Laboratory at the University of Cambridge on Tuesday. PHOTO: Bav Media

King Charles III at his first official engagement since the Coronation as he opened a new national Centre for Propulsion and Power at the Whittle Laboratory at the University of Cambridge on Tuesday. PHOTO: Bav Media

“The university and colleges are immensely proud of Cambridge’s longstanding links to the Royal Family – and to His Majesty King Charles III in particular,” says Dr Anthony Freeling, acting vice chancellor.

“Not only was he a student here, but he has since remained a steadfast supporter of the university’s work, especially in the field of sustainability.

King Charles III at his first official engagement since the Coronation as he opened a new national Centre for Propulsion and Power at the Whittle Laboratory at the University of Cambridge on Tuesday. PHOTO: Bav Media

King Charles III at his first official engagement since the Coronation as he opened a new national Centre for Propulsion and Power at the Whittle Laboratory at the University of Cambridge on Tuesday. PHOTO: Bav Media

“His Coronation is a moment of great national and international significance, and a day of celebration in Cambridge.”

King Charles III was in Cambridge to visit the site of the £58m Whittle Laboratory which and to perform the ceremonial breaking of the ground.

King Charles III at his first official engagement since the Coronation as he opened a new national Centre for Propulsion and Power at the Whittle Laboratory at the University of Cambridge on Tuesday. PHOTO: Bav Media

King Charles III at his first official engagement since the Coronation as he opened a new national Centre for Propulsion and Power at the Whittle Laboratory at the University of Cambridge on Tuesday. PHOTO: Bav Media

The laboratory’s aim is to develop technologies to secure net zero aviation.

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During a short speech he spoke of his “enormous admiration” for the laboratory which is intended to have global significance.

King Charles III at his first official engagement since the Coronation as he opened a new national Centre for Propulsion and Power at the Whittle Laboratory at the University of Cambridge on Tuesday. PHOTO: Bav Media

King Charles III at his first official engagement since the Coronation as he opened a new national Centre for Propulsion and Power at the Whittle Laboratory at the University of Cambridge on Tuesday. PHOTO: Bav Media

The King has twice visited the existing laboratory twice before, once in 2020 and again in 2022.

King Charles III at his first official engagement since the Coronation as he opened a new national Centre for Propulsion and Power at the Whittle Laboratory at the University of Cambridge on Tuesday. PHOTO: Bav Media

King Charles III at his first official engagement since the Coronation as he opened a new national Centre for Propulsion and Power at the Whittle Laboratory at the University of Cambridge on Tuesday. PHOTO: Bav Media

He said the laboratory’s work was needed urgently “to save this planet from increasing catastrophe.

“And of course, the aviation sector is critical in all this”.

King Charles III at his first official engagement since the Coronation as he opened a new national Centre for Propulsion and Power at the Whittle Laboratory at the University of Cambridge on Tuesday. PHOTO: Bav Media

King Charles III at his first official engagement since the Coronation as he opened a new national Centre for Propulsion and Power at the Whittle Laboratory at the University of Cambridge on Tuesday. PHOTO: Bav Media

Those in attendance included His Majesty’s Lord-Lieutenant of Cambridgeshire (Mrs. Julie Spence), The Lord-Lieutenant Cadet (Cadet Olivia Corner), the High Sheriff of Cambridgeshire (Dr. Bharatkumar Khetani), the Secretary of State for the Department for Energy Security and Net Zero (The Rt Hon Grant Shapps MP), Minister of State, Department of Science, Innovation and Technology (Mr. George Freeman MP) and the Ambassador from the United Arab Emirates (His Excellency Mr. Mansoor Abulhoul).

King Charles III at his first official engagement since the Coronation as he opened a new national Centre for Propulsion and Power at the Whittle Laboratory at the University of Cambridge on Tuesday. PHOTO: Bav Media

King Charles III at his first official engagement since the Coronation as he opened a new national Centre for Propulsion and Power at the Whittle Laboratory at the University of Cambridge on Tuesday. PHOTO: Bav Media

Also present was the High Commissioner for the Republic of Rwanda (His Excellency Mr. Johnston Busingye), Chair of Cambridgeshire County Council (Councillor Stephen Ferguson), the Mayor of Cambridge (Councillor Mark Ashton), the Acting Vice-Chancellor of the University of Cambridge (Dr. Anthony Freeling) and the Vice-Chancellor Elect of the University of Cambridge (Professor Deborah Prentice).

King Charles III at his first official engagement since the Coronation as he opened a new national Centre for Propulsion and Power at the Whittle Laboratory at the University of Cambridge on Tuesday. PHOTO: Bav Media

King Charles III at his first official engagement since the Coronation as he opened a new national Centre for Propulsion and Power at the Whittle Laboratory at the University of Cambridge on Tuesday. PHOTO: Bav Media

His Majesty, escorted by the Director of the Whittle Laboratory (Professor Robert Miller) toured the High-Speed Laboratory to view some of the latest aviation technologies and models for sustainable flight. The King subsequently attended a roundtable and met public, private and academic leaders from the aviation and energy sectors, including the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (M.I.T.), the National Aeronautics and Space Administration (N.A.S.A) and the U.S. Federal Aviation Administration (F.A.A.).

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