THE queen of Sweden has been recognised for her outstanding services to dementia at a University of Stirling graduation ceremony.

Queen Silvia received her honorary degree at a ceremony today, June 28, alongside 2,251 graduates from the faculties of social and natural sciences as well as Stirling Management School.

She has long held a passion for caring for those with dementia and indeed, initiated the Silviahemmet Foundation to promote research and education in 1996.

Currently, the foundation is supporting a major research project led by University of Stirling experts to develop housing innovations that can better support people living with cognitive conditions, including dementia. 

Addressing graduates on the day, she said: “My own dedication to the dementia cause is rooted in personal experience.

“When my mother lived her last years with dementia, I realised how important it is to have the support of skilled and experienced carers.

“That was the reason why I founded Silviahemmet more than 25 years ago, with the aim of providing improved care and quality of life for people living with dementia and their loved ones.”

Following the ceremony, the queen was joining Professor Judith Phillips, deputy principal (research), for a visit to Maggie's Forth Valley.

The university, in partnership with Silviahemmet, is looking at how Maggie’s cancer support model can be applied to those living with dementia and their families.

Also on the same day, former CEO of Mars Grant Reid received his honorary degree for his exceptional contribution to business, sustainable practices and social justice.

Hailing from Kincardine, Mr Reid graduated in management economics from the university in 1982.

Now living in the USA, he has served as CEO of Mars Inc for more than eight years and is credited with having an instrumental role in transforming and diversifying the business, as well as improving its sustainability as a committed climate actionist.

He now chairs the Sustainable Markets Initiative Agribusiness Taskforce which is driving substantial action on how to scale regenerative agriculture.

Mr Reid said: “Since studying at the University of Stirling as an undergraduate, I’ve long held a close affinity with this great institution.

“That’s why I’m so proud to be commended with an honorary doctorate recognising the positive impact I’ve had in business; particularly the more than 30 years I committed to helping Mars grow, with over eight years as its CEO.  

“Little did I know at the time, but my experience studying at the University of Stirling played a pivotal role in my future.

“The quality of the teaching; specifically, the need for students to be rigorous, curious and communicate with clarity; helped me achieve the success I’ve enjoyed in my career and life.

“Those same three traits continue to support me today as I use my experience to demonstrate that business can be a force for good in creating value in a more sustainable way.

“I wish all other Stirling graduates receiving their degrees today success in their future endeavours while following their passions, and really look forward to seeing what this generation of graduates will achieve.”