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The Queen visits the RCP to celebrate our 500th anniversary

The Royal College of Physicians (RCP) was honoured to welcome Her Majesty the Queen on a visit to its Regents Park headquarters to celebrate our 500th anniversary year.

In a rare public engagement, we welcomed Her Majesty, who unveiled a modern day RCP500 charter that re-pledges the RCP's commitment to its core values – maintaining high standards of medical care for patients, values that have remained constant over 500 years.

During the visit Her Majesty came face-to-face with a portrait of her predecessor King Henry VIII, who agreed to the founding of the college in 1518 when asked by his own personal doctor Thomas Linacre. Her Majesty was also shown the founding Charter and the RCP’s own portrait of Henry VIII, along with other key objects from the RCP’s history.

While at the RCP, the Queen viewed some of the objects from our museum and archives, including a leech box and bleeding bowl from our recently opened special RCP500 exhibition ‘Ceaseless Motion: William Harvey’s Experiments in Circulation.’

Professor Jane Dacre, RCP president: 

We are honoured to be sharing this landmark celebration with the Queen. Her presence shows the importance of the RCP in maintaining the highest possible quality of care for patients.

Dr Ian Bullock, chief executive officer:

It is exciting for us to welcome Her Majesty, which is the beginning of a series of celebratory events and activities in 2018 leading up to our anniversary day on Sunday 23 September. Her Majesty’s visit like many of the events will raise awareness of the daily contribution that the RCP makes in delivering high quality care for all by physicians across the UK and around the world.

Clive Constable, deputy CEO: 

The Royal visit represents not only our 500th anniversary celebrations, but our continued relationship with Her Majesty and her royal predecessors, from King Henry VIII onwards. Our ties with the royal family have featured throughout our journey of growth and enduring excellence in patient centred care.

In 1964 Her Majesty opened our Grade 1 listed building, and in 1986 she returned to open our medical precinct of terraced houses designed by John Nash, refurbished to accommodate RCP departments and other medical organisations. This year, it’s our very special 500th anniversary and we are proud to share this with Her Majesty.