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Academic honoured with royal appointment

Posted on 18/05/2011

Francis Robinson, Professor of the History of South Asia at Royal Holloway, University of London, has been appointed Deputy Lieutenant of Surrey. The prestigious delegacy recognises Professor Robinson’s commitment to the local community and to his professional achievements.

He has performed a wide range of charitable and voluntary work as a governor for Jubilee High School in Addlestone and more recently King Edward’s School in Witley, as trustee of the Surrey History Trust, and serving as President of the Royal Asiatic Society.

Acting as a “second in command” to the Lord-Lieutenant of Surrey, Professor Robinson will be responsible for attending local ceremonies and official events, as required by the Lord Lieutenant.  In Surrey a maximum of 57 Deputy Lieutenants may be appointed by the Lord-Lieutenant.

Speaking about his appointment Professor Robinson said: “Traditionally you were the Crown’s eyes and ears in a county. Historically, distinguished members of the armed forces have been appointed. When the Queen comes to the county, the Lord Lieutenant or Deputy Lieutenant will be the first to meet her. This is not something that I ever thought I would receive, but it is an honour and I am extremely grateful.”

Professor Robinson was appointed a Commander of the Order of the British Empire in the Queen's 80th Birthday Honours list in 2006 rewarding his services to Higher Education and his research into the history of Islam. He is a prolific author, with the Atlas of the Islamic World since 1500 and The Cambridge Illustrated History of the Islamic World translated into more than 12 languages.

Professor Paul Layzell, Principal of Royal Holloway, said: “I would like to congratulate Francis on this prestigious appointment.  It is a great honour and  something he should be very proud of.” 


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