Princess Anne opens Queen Mary’s new �21m ArtsTwo complex

Princess Anne was greeted by a mass of flag-waving when she arrived in London’s East End to open a new �21 million arts and humanities centre.

Waving the Union Jacks were university students and pupils from St Paul’s Way Secondary School as her car arrived at Queen Mary University of London’s Mile End campus on Friday.

Two pupils, St Paul’s Head Girl Farjana Begum and Head Boy Tanvir Rafe, presented flowers as the car pulled up outsider the ArtsTwo Humanities complex.

The Princess Royal, who is Chancellor of the University of London, met five undergraduates who are studying the First World War and helping to redevelop the Imperial War Museum’s galleries, then talked to three students studying ‘Islam and the West’ and its course convenor Dr Thomas Asbridge, who recently presented BBC2’s The Crusades series.

Drama students staged a multi-media performance and film students screened a documentary they had written and produced, before Princess Anne unveiled a plaque in the auditorium.

The Royal party also toured the newly-restored perimeter of the Novo Jewish Cemetery, dating back to 1733, now part of the Mile End campus, where the princess was shown round by Rabbi Dr Abraham Levy, Spiritual Head of London’s Sephardi community.

The ArtsTwo building houses Queen Mary’s School of History with its 70 staff and 650 students. It has a suite of seminar rooms and a 300-seat lecture theatre as well as a purpose-built studio used by drama and film students which is also used for public lectures and performances.