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Cathy Ashton

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Edge Hill Honorary Doctor Baroness Cathy Ashton joins the Order of the Garter

June 23, 2023

Edge Hill University has extended its congratulations to Honorary Doctor Baroness Catherine Ashton on her selection by the King for the Order of the Garter during a ceremony at Windsor Castle.

Baroness Ashton is one of just 24 companions of the oldest order of chivalry, dating back over 200 years to Edwards III’s reign.

Members of the Royal Family attended Windsor Castle for the service and thousands of members of the public gathered inside the castle grounds to see the procession arrive at St George’s Chapel marking the official installation of Baroness Ashton and its other new member to the service, Chris Patten.

A former minister in the House of Lords and Vice President of the European Commission, Baroness Ashton will be returning to Edge Hill on 1 November for a public lecture discussing her memoirs in her new book And the What? Inside stories of 21st Century Diplomacy. Bookings will open shortly but you can register your interest for the event by emailing

On the evening she will discuss her impressive career highlights including her role in patiently brokering the first-ever talks between the leaders of Serbia and Kosovo, reopening diplomatic channels in Egypt following the Arab Spring, securing the details that formed the subsequent agreement to freeze Iran’s nuclear programme, and working with US Secretary of State John Kerry to coordinate successive rounds of economic sanctions against Russia after its annexation of Crimea.

Baroness Cathy Ashton at graduation 2016.

Baroness Ashton was made an Edge Hill Honorary Doctor in 2016 in recognition of the powerful influence her international political roles have had in encouraging peace and stability around the world and at that time shared her advice to students: “Use what you’ve learnt so that people don’t get left behind. You will know people who you were at school with who were just as smart as you, but for one reason or another didn’t get this opportunity. Your job is to try and make sure the children you work with get as many opportunities as possible.”

Vice-Chancellor Dr John Cater said: “I’m delighted to see Cathy recognised with this accolade, her career has been nothing short of awe inspiring and her influence on global events will be felt for generations to come. She is the perfect inspiration for our students and everyone is excited to have her back on campus in November.”

The University awards Honorary Doctorates to celebrate individuals who have roots in or connections to, the region and made significant contributions to society that resonate with the University’s values, teaching and research.

Visit the Edge Hill University website to learn more about its honorary doctors.

June 23, 2023


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