On Wednesday 13th April 2016, HRH Prince Andrew, the Duke of York, visited Ashridge House, home to Ashridge Executive Education (part of Hult International Business School) near Berkhamsted.
This was the first royal to visit Ashridge House since 1823, when a very young Queen Victoria visited and planted an oak tree that survives to this day on the South Lawn.
The Duke’s visit had a dual purpose: to see and understand what Ashridge offers from an education perspective, as well as to open our refurbished East Wing andThe Duke of York room within it. The East Wing of the House, sits on the site of what was the White Lodge, which along with the Red Lodge flanked the monastic house as it was during Elizabeth I’s time.
The Duke was welcomed by the Lord-Lieutenant of Hertfordshire, The Countess of Verulam, Ashridge Executive Education’s President, Jason Cassidy and Dr Stephen Hodges, President of Hult International Business School.
The Duke had the opportunity to meet various members of Ashridge and Hult Faculty, some key clients as well as WAVE, finalists in the 2015 Hult Prize. Founded by a Hult alumnus, funded by the Hult family, and run in partnership with former U.S. President Bill Clinton, The Hult Prize is the world’s largest student entrepreneurship competition. Student teams from all over the world compete to win a USD 1 million investment in their start-ups. This was a particular point of interest as it resonates with The Duke’s own Pitch at the Palace which supports entrepreneurs with the amplification and acceleration of their business ideas.
After the lunch the Duke was given a tour of the house and gardens and visited various teaching rooms where he was given the opportunity to get a real favour of what Ashridge do to develop senior leaders’ capabilities across the world – from witnessing a high-pressure live radio interview to chatting to participants during their session on building high performance teams.