UK & World News

  • 7 January 2014, 16:15

Prince William Begins Cambridge Uni Course

Prince William has been welcomed by University of Cambridge officials before he has to knuckle down to 10 weeks of seminars, lectures and meetings.

Wearing a navy blue suit, the Duke of Cambridge travelled on the 9.44am train from King's Cross station in London to begin his studies at a bespoke course that will see academics from across the university tutor the 31-year-old in agricultural management.

The intensive course, organised by the Cambridge Programme for Sustainability Leadership, will see the Duke take the 46-minute commute each day, curtailing royal duties while he undertakes his studies.

The decision to return to university comes at the heart of what Kensington Palace calls a "transitional" year for the Duke.

Designed to help equip Prince William with agricultural know-how ahead of one day inheriting the vast Duchy of Cornwall estate, the course will run until mid-March and will be funded privately by the Royal Family.

During his time there, the Duke will have access to university facilities and he will take a private residence in the town in case seminars begin early or finish late.

But some students at Cambridge have accused the Prince of securing a free pass to the university, which for undergraduate courses requires two A grades and an A* at A-Level.

Prince William's ABC grades at Eton were branded as "mediocre" by some students and graduates.

In one of its articles, university newspaper The Tab wrote: "The Tab must point out that normally students need A*AA at A-level to gain entry to Cambridge University, whilst the Prince only achieved a mediocre ABC."

But others have rallied behind the Prince, welcoming his short attachment to the world's third-oldest surviving university saying: "Has Oxford educated the next two monarchs of our great nation? Hell no."

The University of Cambridge is steeped in royal tradition.

Prince William follows in his father's footsteps, who graduated with a degree in Archaeology and Anthropology in 1970 and the Duke of Edinburgh was chancellor of the university from 1976 to 2011.

George VI was also a Cambridge graduate.

William will not be assessed during the course, nor will he be required to sit exams.

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