Who we are

The Royal Anniversary Trust promotes and champions the outstanding work of universities and colleges across the four nations of the United Kingdom. Through programmes including the prestigious Queen’s Anniversary Prizes, part of the national Honours system, and the Royal Challenges which convene the brightest academic minds to work on research projects addressing current critical issues, the Trust recognises and celebrates excellence, innovation and the positive social impact of tertiary education in the UK and around the world.


The Royal Anniversary Trust was established in 1990 as a charity registered in England (charity no. 1,000,000). Its original purpose was to lead a national programme of celebration to mark the 40th anniversary of Queen Elizabeth II’s accession in 1992 and express appreciation for her four decades of service as Head of State. Following these events, the creation of the Queen’s Anniversary Prizes for Higher and Further Education was announced in Parliament in 1993 with Queen Elizabeth II’s consent and with all-party support. Her late Majesty was a passionate believer in the power of education to help realise human potential and solve the world’s many problems. The Trust is proud to honour her lifelong commitment to education through its ongoing work.

Read more about the Platinum Jubilee Challenge in 2022 and the Coronation Challenge in 2024.


A Board of Trustees, drawn from academia, public and business life, sets the direction and manages implementation of the scheme:

Sir Damon Buffini – Chair

Sir Martin Donnelly KCB CMG

Dame Lin Homer DCB

Sir Frank McLoughlin CBE

Heidi Mottram CBE

Professor Dame Shirley Pearce DBE


Nichola Tasker (pictured above) is CEO of The Royal Anniversary Trust, the charity that manages The Queen’s Anniversary Prizes.


The Royal Anniversary Trust is grateful for the support of our primary sponsor, Amazon Web Services (AWS).


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