A week and a half ago, Princess Anne, Queen Elizabeth’s daughter, came and officially opened the new Centre for Textile Conservation and Technical Art History here at the University of Glasgow. It was pretty cool to get to meet royalty! She came to see the labs and spoke to each one of us students and the staff. Following this there was a reception at the Kelvingrove Art Gallery where speeches were made and the official plaque was revealed. Once the reception was over, all the guests were invited to have a tour of the lab. We students were positioned strategically around the lab where we talked about the sorts of projects we have been doing.
It was… interesting experiencing the whole thing. Having had little to do with modern royalty, I wasn’t exactly sure how to feel about this whole thing. Should I object to an outdated tradition of hereditary power? Should I embrace an ancient royal line and an important part of modern British identity? I’m still not sure, and I Definitely don’t feel strongly about this issue, but I was still nervous to meet her! It was ridiculous how palpably uptight everyone was getting as she approached. She chatted a little with each of us, asking a few questions. She asked me where I was from and about my previous education. She had a very straightforward manner that I could definitely appreciate.
The reception was actually fun. I hadn’t realized until then exactly how many people in conservation we had met over the past five months. Between guest lecturers and visits to conservation labs, I could spot quite a few faces among the crowd. The canapés were ridiculously awkward to eat. There was this one with wasabi and salmon that was on a slice of cucumber. Not only was this thing about four bites, there were no serviettes! Cucumbers are wet people, serviettes are a necessity! The canapés were really tasty though, and so was the champagne!
We’ve been getting photography instruction from the photography unit in the University (which has been awesome btw!), and we subsequently cajoled the photographer into taking some group shots of us. All the pictures were taken by the university photographers and are copyrighted by the University of Glasgow.