Royal Patron

Since its foundation by a Deed of Trust in 1919, NIAB has been honoured to have Royal support which continues following the announcement of HM King Charles III as NIAB Royal Patron in May 2024.

HM King George V and Queen Mary, accompanied by HRH Princess Mary, were the first members of the Royal Family to visit, opening the new NIAB building on Huntingdon Road on 14 October 1921.

King George VI became NIAB’s first Patron, followed by HM Queen Elizabeth II, who first visited the Institute at Huntingdon Road in 1969 on the occasion of its 50th anniversary.

The Queen returned with HRH The Duke of Edinburgh Prince Philip in 1994 for NIAB’s 75th anniversary. The visit included viewing the chrysanthemum work in the glasshouse, seed health testing, variety identification, the potato virus testing work, and plant pathology research, as well as an exhibition of historic photographs from the past 75 years.

In July 2019 NIAB welcomed The Queen again, this time to NIAB Park Farm as part of our centenary celebrations. The Queen viewed exhibits of variety evaluation in ornamentals and cereals, as part of the delivery of Plant Breeders’ Rights legislation, research work on monocot grafting and cowpeas, a showcase of ‘superwheat’ plants in the glasshouse, and a colourful visual display of NIAB’s history. She also spoke with some of NIAB’s longest serving members of staff, each with between 40 and 50 years’ service, before planting a tree which garnered a great deal of media coverage.