Mary Beard is made a Dame - and offers to teach Prince William's children Latin

Much Wenlock | News | Published:

Revered Shropshire historian Professor Mary Beard has been made a dame – and used the opportunity to offer to tutor to Prince William’s three children.

Mary Beard is made a Dame by Prince William

The broadcaster, from Church Preen, near Much Wenlock, said she would do “anything” to ensure George and Louis and Charlotte learned Latin.

Speaking after receiving the honour from William, Dame Mary said: “I hope he was listening. Of course he was very polite and said: ‘I’ll have to get you to teach them’, and I said: ‘Anything!’”

Mary Beard after being made a Dame Commander of the British Empire

She joked: “I didn’t quite say: ‘You get the little squits to learn Latin...’ but I did say you get them to learn because it is very important.

“It’s important to learn where we’ve been and where we’ve come from, and for people to have access to some of the most extraordinary and influential literature in world culture.


“That kind of direct connection with something so influential written so long ago is, I think, terribly important.

“Of course, because it was a very happy and joyous occasion in which we were being friends, he left me with the strong impression that his children would be learning Latin.


“But he was bound to. It would be rude for him - and I’m sure he wouldn’t - to say: ‘Well we looked at that and we really think it’s a waste of time’.

“Gratified as I was to feel his general warmth over this, I think I’d be foolish to think I single-handedly convinced him to teach them Latin.”

Dame Mary was at the palace five years on from receiving her OBE for services to classical scholarship.


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