Returning to Oxford after his last visit in 2014 for the official opening of the Dickson Poon China Centre at Hugh’s, HRH Prince William came to open Magdalen’s newly-refurbished Longwall library today.
The Duke of Cambridge also stopped at the Weston Library on Broad Street, finishing his tour in the recently constructed Blavatnik School of Government where he was met by a group of fans as well as some protestors led by Martin Dewhirst.
Longwall library had originally been opened by prince William’s great uncle Edward VIII, and cost the college £10.5 million to renovate, a price which became the source of one of the prince’s many jokes on his way across Oxford.
Prince William greeted a small group of students who had helped raise funds for the library at his various stops, and told one of them he was “allergic to Chemistry” as he commented on student life and recalled his own.
Mostly described as a pleasant, cheerful person by those who met him in Oxford, the Duke of Cambridge’s visit also triggered more hostile reactions, in particular on his arrival at the Blavatnik School of Government behind Somerville college.
While some students had criticised the British Royal family earlier this week, Martin Dewhirst, an Oxford and LSE alumnus who gave lectures on Russian culture at Glasgow, led a group of protestors outside the modern glass building at 11am, holding a sign
which read, “due diligence or undue negligence?”
This protest was aimed at the main donor for the funding of the School of Government, Blavatnik, whose fortune and integrity have been questioned in the past. A picket was simultaneously being held by Ilya Zaslavsky in New York, and Dewhirst warned the staff of the School that “less civilised protests” were on their way.