To mark The Queen’s Platinum Jubilee we’ve trawled the Capital City College Group (CCCG) archives to uncover our many connections to Her Majesty at our colleges.
Her Majesty The Queen and HRH The Duke of Edinburgh visited the college’s Centre for Applied Sciences in 2011. During the visit the Queen unveiled two plaques marking the official opening of the college’s Animal Care Centre and an accreditation by the National Skills Academy Process Industries which recognised the college as a Centre of Excellence for Biotechnology. Her Majesty got up close to some of the animals at the care centre and was given a tour of the college’s forensics, optics and sports science provision, which included a mock crime scene being investigated by students.
In 2007, CANDI received theQueen’s Anniversary Prize for Higher and Further Education for creating Pathways to Employment and Higher Education in the Sciences, the only college at the time to have received this accolade twice. The college previously received the award for widening access and progression to higher education in 1994.
Royal seal of approval for WestKing
WestKing was awarded the Queen’s Anniversary Prize for Higher and Further Education for collaboration and innovation in the culinary arts in 2015.
The awards are presented every two years to universities and colleges that have shown excellence in quality and innovation in providing real benefits to the world through education and training.
At the time, then Principal Andy Wilson said: “The award of the prize to Westminster Kingsway College is one of the greatest moments in the college’s long history. It is recognition of many staff, students and employers who have been involved with the college over the years.”
In 2016 a plaque commemorating the award was unveiled at the college’s Victoria Centre.
Queen’s New Year and Birthday Honours
Here are some of our staff and alumni who have been honoured by The Queen over the years:
- Jamie Oliver – The celebrity chef and restauranteur trained at WestKing and made an MBE in 2003 for services to the hospitality industry.
- Trevor Nelson – The DJ and radio presenter on BBC Radio 1Xtra and BBC Radio 2 who attended WestKing, was awarded an MBE in 2002.
- Timothy Spall – The Bafta-nominated actor, known for his many screen roles including five Harry Potter films, attended WestKing and received an OBE in 2000.
- Garth Crooks – The former Tottenham Hotspur striker and BBC football pundit studied at CONEL and was awarded an OBE in 1999.
- Audley Harrison – The British former super-heavyweight boxer and Olympic gold medallist attended CONEL and was awarded an MBE in 2001
- Pablo Lloyd – The CEO of Visionnaires, a programme started within CCCG, to help aspiring entrepreneurs start new businesses, was made an OBE in 2019.
God Save The Queen
Sex Pistols frontman Johnny Lydon, better known by his stage name Johnny Rotten, and bassist Sid Vicious, real name John Ritchie, attended WestKing before finding fame with their anti-royal punk anthem God Save The Queen. Released during the Queen’s silver jubilee in 1977, the song was banned at the time by the BBC and several commercial radio stations.
Actress and former WestKing student Kathy Burke, perhaps best known for her TV appearances on French and Saunders, and Harry Enfield and Chums, appeared briefly in the 1986 biopic Sid and Nancy about Sid Vicious’s turbulent relationship with his girlfriend Nancy Spungen. She has also played a queen on the big screen, portraying Mary Tudor in Elizabeth, starring Cate Blanchett in the title role.
Artist and fashion designer Tony Mott, who also attended WestKing, is also a punk historian famous for his Mott collection, an archive of UK punk rock and political ephemera that includes over 1,000 posters, flyers, and fanzines featuring bands including the Sex Pistols, The Slits and The Damned.
Many congratulations Your Majesty from everyone at CCCG.