Alumni in the UK and around the world have again celebrated one of the most dramatic moments in King’s history. Duel Day, celebrated in 2011 on 24 March, marks the anniversary of a duel which took place in 1829 between the then Prime Minister, the Duke of Wellington, and the Earl of Winchilsea over the founding of the College.
2009 was a special year as we celebrated our 180th anniversary! Our ever growing number of international alumni branches got involved with the celebrations and the different countries all celebrated in their own unique style. Marc Jarzebowski (King's, Theology, 1995) organised a dinner at a restaurant in the shadow of the famous Brandenburg Gate for King’s alumni based in Germany. A more intimate gathering was held for members of our Southern California branch at the home of Deborah Garvin (King’s, Law, 1990).
The Friends of King’s College London Association in Canada are one of our most active branches and they celebrated Duel Day with a luncheon at the Army Officers Mess in Ottawa.
Malaysia and Singapore held a joint Duel Day event in Singapore, which included a formal dinner, with guest speaker, Dr Johannes Widodo presenting on Cosmopolitan South East Asian Coastal Cities. The evening came to a dramatic close with a fencing display between the two branches. Brave alumni could also try their hand at fencing under the close supervision of keen fencer and Singapore Alumni Chairman, Francis Kwong. The 2010 event will take place in Malaysia.
Ben Philip, Matt Hope and Neil Gill (all former members of the KCL rugby club) entered into the Spirit of Duel Day by dressing in King's Colours and raising a toast to the College in this glorious alpine setting.
King's staff in the External Relations Directorate celebrated Duel Day by hosting a lively drinks gathering for around 40 staff at the College. A competitive 'bake off' took place and winners were crowned in the categories of 'Winchilsea's Winning Cake' and 'Wellington's Tastiest Biscuits'. The fast consumption of all the delicious entries was followed by an Olympic fencing duel on a Nintendo Wii!
We are keen to hear your Duel Day events and stories, so please tell the Alumni Office how you celebrated in 2009!
What are you doing in March 2011?
Would you like to celebrate Duel Day? If you would like to host a dinner, invite a group of friends for a drink, or even hold your own re-enactment, the Alumni Office would be happy to help. Special Duel Day invitations are available, along with suggestions for planning an event, and menu ideas. You can celebrate however you would like; our Questions & Answers should help get your ideas flowing! For more information about the Duke of Wellington and Earl of Winchilsea, visit the College's online archives.
Email us to organise your Duel Day. Watch the Duel Day re-enactment from the 175 anniversary.