William and Kate return to St Andrews for appeal launch

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Kate Middleton and Prince William
Image caption,
Kate Middleton and Prince William are to return to the university where they met

Prince William and his wife-to-be Kate Middleton will return to the Scottish university where they met to perform an official engagement.

The pair attended St Andrews University between 2001 and 2005 where they both studied art history together, although the prince later switched to geography.

Prince William and Miss Middleton will launch the Fife university's 600th anniversary appeal on 25 February.

The future heir to the throne will also become a patron of the appeal.

The university's anniversary celebrations will run between 2011 and 2013.

They will mark the formal charter granted by Bishop Henry Wardlaw in February 1411 and the achievement of full university status conferred by Pope Benedict XIII by Papal Bull in 1413.

During their visit later this month, Prince William and Miss Middleton will attend a reception and view the surviving Papal Bull.

They will then go to the historic St Salvator's Quadrangle, where they will meet students and staff and unveil a plaque to mark the launch of the 600th anniversary.

The couple got engaged while on holiday in Kenya in October. Prince William proposed with his mother Diana's diamond and sapphire engagement ring.

They will be married at Westminster Abbey on Friday 29 April, which has been declared a public holiday.

St Andrews principal and vice-chancellor, Professor Louise Richardson, said she was delighted the prince had agreed to be patron of the appeal.

She added: "Anniversaries are a time for reflection, celebration, and for action. St Andrews has much to celebrate and so much still to achieve.

"We are Scotland's first university, among Europe's most research-intensive institutions and one of the world's top 20 arts and humanities universities.

"Our anniversary offers a wonderful opportunity to join with our alumni and friends to ensure we have the resources to continue a tradition of academic excellence.

"We hope that Prince William and Miss Middleton are the first among many who will reconnect with St Andrews and join in the celebrations."

St Andrews graduates include Scottish First Minister Alex Salmond, Nobel Laureate Sir James Black and James Wilson, one of the fathers of the American Revolution.

It has 1,000 Honorary graduates, including Bob Dylan, Benjamin Franklin, The Dalai Lama, Severiano Ballesteros and Jack Nicklaus.

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