After being open for over a year and a half, King’s finally decided to host the official opening of Bush House on Tuesday. The opening was attended by the Queen, the Duchess of Cambridge – and a bunch of King’s entrepreneurs including me representing Project Access.
The royal name of King’s seems to be justified – last week, Meghan was here to for discussions on International Women’s Day. Recently, Harry joined discussions on mental health among veterans. And this Tuesday, the Queen and the Duchess of Cambridge (Kate) joined for the official opening of King’s new marvel building: Bush House.
I was lucky to be selected as one of ten fellow King’s Entrepreneurs through my work with Project Access, a charity-startup fighting inequalities in admissions to top-universities through our global tech-enabled mentoring program, based in the King’s20 Accelerator. King’s decided to launch a truckload of great initiatives around entrepreneurship a few weeks back – and the fact that it was the entrepreneurs being put in the spotlight when the Queen herself visited is a great testament to the focus on entrepreneurship at King’s right now.
Don’t say anything before she addresses you!
Meeting the Queen is a wonderfully complex experience: prior to the visit we attended briefings, did another test-run right before she came and were advised to read through the two-page memo on everything from how to say “Your Majesty” the first time and from then on simply “Ma’am – pronounced like “jam” (Yep, the memo literally said that).
When I received the invitation for the event, my attitude was pretty much ‘whatever, she’s just a person’ and had all these clever things that I would say planned out. But when you then stand there and are the next person she’s going to talk to, it hits you: sweaty hands, heart pounding and all the etiquette-things suddenly buried somewhere at the back of your head.
I think I managed not to break any rules and we had a great 2-minute exchange about the state of inequalities in admissions to top UK universities, how a global initiative like Project Access can have an impact – and how my dad thinks that I should spend more time studying for that £27,000 degree I’ve paid for.
You can read more about some of the other cool entrepreneurs who joined the royal visit here and if you’d like to know more about our work in Project Access, you can tune in to LaunchPod, a new King’s Podcast following a bunch of entrepreneurs and their ventures including me and Project Access.
Emil Bender Lassen is the CEO of Project Access International and a final year undergraduate in Politics, Philosophy and Economics at King’s College London.
Photo credits: Emil Bender Lassen