The traditional ceremony will take place in the university’s Elphinstone Hall before an audience of university alumni, staff, students, civic dignitaries, and chancellors and vice-chancellors from across the Scottish university sector.
The Duchess will become the university’s eleventh and first Royal Chancellor, in a role which dates back to the merger of King’s and Marischal Colleges to create the University of Aberdeen in 1860. She succeeds Lord Wilson of Tillyorn, who stepped down from the Chancellor’s role at the end of December.
A university spokeswoman explained: “The Installation Ceremony is similar to a graduation ceremony, involving academic processions and musical interludes, with key elements of the ceremony delivered in Latin. The ceremony will include the historic Declaration of Fealty and the Chancellor’s Address. The Chancellor’s first task will be to bestow honorary degrees on six outstanding individuals for their academic and personal achievements.”
Professor Sir Ian Diamond, Principal and Vice-Chancellor of the university, said: “The university was founded with Royal patronage, but this is the first time we have been honoured with a Royal Chancellor. This will be a tremendously important and exciting day for the university and I am delighted that we will be sharing it with so many of our alumni, friends and supporters. They will join us in welcoming our new Chancellor to the Aberdeen family, and also in recognising the achievements of great individuals in the fields of education, the arts, science, medicine, law and sporting achievement.”
During the ceremony, the new Chancellor will bestow honorary degrees on Sir Eric Anderson, the former Provost of Eton College; Sir Ronald Harwood, the playwright and President of the Royal Literary Fund; Professor Philip James, former director of the Rowett Research Institute; Dr Audrey Dawson, the distinguished haematologist, Scotland’s Lord Advocate Frank Mulholland; and Neil Fachie, the first Scot on the Paralympics GB Team to gain a gold at London 2012.