Following the profoundly sad news of the death of Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II, Girton joins the nation and the collegiate University of Cambridge in a period of mourning.
In these moments of national sadness, we recognise the remarkable contribution the Queen has made globally and locally: the Fellows, staff and students of the College send heartfelt condolences to the members of the Royal Family.
We echo the words of the Vice-Chancellor, Professor Stephen Toope, who says:
"Her Majesty The Queen's reign defined the United Kingdom of the 20th and early 21st centuries. Her Majesty’s devotion to public service and the common good, her dignity, her sense of duty and her strong moral compass, will always be an inspiration."
As Princess Elizabeth, our late Queen would have been 23 when, on 21 October, 1948 her Mother, the then-Queen Consort, became the first woman to receive a degree from Cambridge University, embodying the moment at which Girton’s foundational aim was achieved. Shortly afterwards, the Queen Mother accepted an invitation to become our third Visitor, supporting the Commemoration Fund set up by and for this College in thanksgiving for the admission of women to degrees.
The Queen Mother’s enthusiasm for Girton’s ethos may have brushed off on the Princess, soon to become Queen Elizabeth II, Britain’s longest serving monarch. The Queen’s first visit to Cambridge after her coronation was in October 1955: while maintaining her customary neutrality, she chose to tour Girton and Newnham, the two first Colleges for women in what was, perhaps, a quiet signal of support.