November 1947, it had been only three months since the Dominion of India came on the world map. George VI was still emperor. In England Elizabeth Alexandra Marie The Duke of Edinburgh was married to Philip Mountbatten. She was also the future Queen of Britain. So she was a big personality. This was the reason why the principal of a ‘medical college’ in Kolkata (then Calcutta), 8000 km from Britain, decided that Princess Elizabeth and the Duke should be given honorary degrees of Doctor of Science during their wedding ceremony.
Actually, these honorary degrees were to be given by the Chicago Medical College of Homeopathy located on RG Car Road, Kolkata. It is worth noting here that the medical college also sent the certificate directly to Buckingham Palace. He did not even give any information to the palace about sending the certificate. However, the palace was not at all happy with this incident. More than a month later, Princess Elizabeth's private secretary JR Colville wrote a letter to Captain R Brockman, the private secretary to Governor General Lord Mountmatten, informing him of the matter.
What was said in the letter?
JR Colville writes, 'I am sending along the letters which show this shocking action on the part of the college. The college did not take permission from the Royal Highness in this regard. This document was the first evidence that we got in this case. In his letter, Colville further writes, 'The princess and her husband accept honorary degrees anywhere except in very rare cases. This is the reason why he has now rejected this offer of the college, expressing regret. This letter is still kept safe in the National Archive of India.
Brockville wrote a letter to the Governor of Bengal
At the same time, responding to Colville's letter, the Deputy Private Secretary to the Governor General wrote, 'I think it would have been better if the Governor of West Bengal was allowed to handle this matter.' On 6 February 1948, Brockman wrote a letter to the Governor of Bengal. In this letter, he said, 'I will be very grateful to you, if you convince the President of the Chicago Medical College of Homeopathy that Princess Elizabeth and the Duke of Edinburgh are regretfully rejecting the degree awarded by their college. '
In response to Brockman, S Krishnamurthy, the private secretary of the then Governor of Bengal C Rajagopalachari, wrote, "According to the information received so far, the Chicago Medical College of Homeopathy is an important institution. I have returned the certificate to the principal.
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