Central School of Speech and Drama celebrates new Royal Title
We are delighted to announce that we have been awarded Royal Title from today (28 November 2012) we will be called The Royal Central School of Speech and Drama.
In one of the final gestures of her Diamond Jubilee year, Her Majesty The Queen has confirmed Royal Title on Central, which recognises both our great history and our reputation as a world class institution for exceptional professional training in theatre and performance studies.
As the only UK institution with such a wide range of training and research in all aspects of theatre, the School has been acknowledged as distinctive in its field as both a high-level conservatoire and a research-active university college. Central remains passionately committed to the engagement with members from all communities and produces graduates who challenge the parameters of the discipline.
Our Principal, Prof. Gavin Henderson, CBE, said:
"2012 has been a landmark year for Central, not only for the large number of students and alumni who used their skills and training to contribute to the London 2012 Olympic and Paralympic Games, but now we have been honoured with a Royal Title in The Queen's Diamond Jubilee year,"
"Central has a powerful history and global standing. That history begins with its founder Elsie Fogerty, who believed not only in training for the theatre but in taking drama and poetry to the children of the London slums. Central will continue to build upon this history and champion community engagement in the arts."
Royal Patron of the School, HRH Princess Alexandra played an instrumental role in recommending Central for Royal Title.
Princess Alexandra said:
"I am so pleased that Her Majesty The Queen has conferred Royal Title upon Central, as this magnificent Diamond Jubilee year comes to a close. The Royal Central School of Speech and Drama holds a very special place in Britain's achievements in the dramatic arts. One thinks of so many great actors who have benefitted from Central's training and preparation, but the School is so much more besides, made manifestly clear in this year's Olympics. It is a School which embraces the widest range of skills needed in the diverse profession of theatrical, film and broadcast arts."
Our School has produced, and continues to produce, high quality industry professionals, leading artists, innovators and educators in the worlds of theatre, film and television.
Renowned actress, Dame Judi Dench CE, DBE, who is both a former President and alumna of Central, said of the announcement:
"My association with Central goes back a very long way. I followed my brother there when it was housed at the Royal Albert Hall, and my daughter followed me after it was relocated to the Embassy Theatre, so we have a strong family connection and joint interest in seeing the school elevated in this year. Central is one of the top drama schools in the country and it stands at the heart of training and research for our great British theatre."
In charting the legacy of Central’s achievements, legendary actor Sir Donald Sinden recognised the history of the Webber Douglas Academy, now merged within Central:
“We are so happy that the work of the Webber Douglas Academy could be embraced by Central and is to be celebrated under the aegis of ‘Royal’ by association.”
We are a member of the University of London and, with Royal Title, now joins other 'Royal' members of the University including The Royal Academy of Music, whose Principal - Professor Jonathan Freeman-Attwood has stated:
“A second Royal drama school – to join the two Royal music conservatoires – can only strengthen the global reputation of arts training in London”.
Tony Hall, Lord Hall of Birkenhead CBE, Chief Executive of the Royal Opera House and newly-appointed Director General of the BBC said:
"Central has earned an excellent reputation for its theatre training programmes and their contribution to the world of drama and theatre deserves to be recognised with the Royal title."