HM The Queen's speech on receiving honorary degree from the University of Stirling
University of Stirling, Scotland
(The spoken version shall take precedence)
Ladies and gentlemen,
It is a great honour and a pleasure for me to be here today at the University of Stirling, especially among you, dear graduates.
You have been studying hard to reach your goal – the academic degree you are receiving today. It takes time and focus to pass all your exams. You have all completed an admirable journey, and your efforts have led to this very special day. My warmest congratulations to you and your families!
I know how much it means to obtain cutting-edge knowledge within a field. My own dedication to the dementia cause is rooted in personal experience. When my mother lived her last years with dementia, I realised how important it is to have the support of skilled and experienced carers.
I saw a need to create a higher education programme that specialises in cognitive illness and dementia care for nurses and assistant nurses. That was the reason why I founded Silviahemmet more than 25 years ago, with the aim of providing improved care and quality of life for people living with dementia and their loved ones. Today, Silviahemmet – together with Swedish universities – also offers highly specialised training in dementia care for several other professions such as physicians, physiotherapists, occupational therapists and case workers. Silviahemmet’s philosophy of care, which aims to ensure the highest possible quality of life for both the person with dementia and their family, has now spread to other countries in Europe, Asia and South America.
Knowledge is exactly what Silviahemmet – and this ceremony – is all about. And sharing knowledge seems to be the only way forward to truly achieve lasting change.
The cooperation between Silviahemmet and universities has led to important networking between practitioners and researchers, and to the continuous development of more knowledge in order to improve care.
Every year we organise the Silviahemmet Master Academy Day, where former students can share their experiences and be inspired. This day is very much appreciated, and has led to new personal connections and projects.
Therefore, my advice to all of you is to keep in touch with your university and your fellow graduates! I am sure this will be rewarding in so many ways.
Ladies and gentlemen,
Education, research and inter-professional work is what I believe forms the basis for development. The University of Stirling is a golden example of this. You have not only a wide range of different education and research fields, but also several international collaborations. I am especially grateful for the cooperation you have with us in Sweden when it comes to caring for people with dementia, in order to improve their chances of living not only for longer but also with a higher quality of life.
Education with a purpose was the educational philosophy formulated by your first Chancellor Lord Robbins here at the University of Stirling. This philosophy remains just as relevant today.
This day has provided me, and hopefully everyone here, with hope for the future.
All graduates – the future is now yours to create! I wish you the best of luck.
On behalf of all who have received awards today, I would like to thank the university.
Finally, I would like to express my deeply felt gratitude to the University of Stirling for honouring me with the title Honorary Graduate.