The Prince of Wales today carried out engagements in Oxford.
To begin the day, His Royal Highness toured Somerville College, which was established 140 years as a place for women to study during the late Victorian era.
Named in honour of Scottish mathematician and scientist Mary Somerville, the College was created for women at a time when universities refused their entry. His visit also marked 100 years of Oxford degrees for women.
The Prince also met research students from the Oxford India Centre for Sustainable Development. OICSD is a ground-breaking partnership created to advance knowledge on the challenges and opportunities associated with sustainable development in India.
Next, The Prince of Wales visited the Oxford Botanic Garden, which is the oldest in the UK and this year is celebrating its 400th anniversary.
The garden was founded as a physic garden in 1621 for the cultivation of medicinal plants for the University of Oxford’s medical students. In 1834, its name was changed to the Botanic Garden to reflect its changing use to a place of botanical research - and the birthplace of botanical science in the UK.
In the Literary Garden, The Prince planted a tree grown from seed of the original black pine that grew in the Garden from the 1830s-2014 and was much loved by writer JRR Tolkien.
His Royal Highness has been Patron of the Oxford Botanic Garden since 1991.
Finally, during a visit to the Oxford Mini car plant, The Prince celebrated UK manufacturing and innovation in the production of electric vehicles. BMW Group, producers of the Mini car, has committed to reducing CO2 from its production line by 80% by 2030, and by 40% for its cars.
His Royal Highness toured the factory floor, and met staff and apprentices, who use virtual reality technology as part of their training. A quarter of the company’s employees have worked on site for over twenty years and many are from third or even fourth generations of the same family.
During a speech, The Prince said:
The development of technology like electric vehicles, or green hydrogen for that matter for heavy transport, is vital for maintaining the health of our world for future generations, something I am only too aware of today, having recently become a grandfather for the fifth time. Such happy news really does remind one of the necessity of continued innovation in this area – especially around sustainable battery technology – in view of the legacy we bequeath to our grandchildren.