Royalty in Charleston: Simons Medal Honors HRH Prince Charles

History of the Simons Medal

Randolph Hall, College of Charleston You may be asking yourself what exactly is the Simons Medal anyway? Good thing we’re here to let y’all know all about this great annual ceremony that takes place at the College! Below is a brief description of the award ceremony from the School of the Arts at the College of Charleston.

“The Albert Simons Medal of Excellence was established in honor of the twentieth anniversary of the College’s School of the Arts. Albert Simons pioneered the teaching of art at the College in 1924, with a longstanding course in art history. Years later, a general department of fine arts was established and grew to become the School of the Arts, which is on the cusp of its twenty-fifth anniversary and currently offers studies in seven major areas. The Simons Medal honors individuals who have excelled in one or more of the areas in which Simons excelled, including civic design, architectural design, historic preservation and urban planning. Prior Simons Medal recipients include Mayor Joseph P. Riley, John D. Milner, Andres Duany, Elizabeth Plater-Zyberk, and Allan Greenberg.”

Simons Medal Awarded to Prince Charles

Simons Medal, College of Charleston

Last week I had the pleasure of attending the Simons Medal Award presentation at the Sottile Theatre. This year the College has decided to honor His Royal Highness Prince Charles for his excellent urban planning and preservation work throughout London. Some of his most recognized work throughout the U.K. includes the planning of the New Urbanist town of Poundbury, and the preservation of Dumfries house in Scotland. It was an impressive presentation and interesting to see many of the ideals of preservation/urban planning in Charleston reiterated through Prince Charles’ ideas for the U.K. Ideas such as creating a sense of place, celebrating history, and most importantly implementing effective and aesthetically pleasing design throughout cities and towns were just some of the highlights of the presentation.

Simons Medal, College of Charleston

While he wasn’t there in person to accept the award, he did send along an acceptance letter, and Dr. Richard John, associate professor at the University of Miami School of Architecture and former Director of the Prince of Wales’ Institute of Architecture was there to accept on HRH Prince Charles’ behalf. John delivered the keynote address entitled “The Contribution of HRH The Prince of Wales to Traditional Architecture, Community Planning and Historic Preservation.” In addition to all of his work throughout the U.K., Prince Charles also established the Prince’s Foundation for Building Community, an organization that encompasses education, engagement, and empowerment for the built environment. Overall, a very enjoyable and educational evening; we love having the College as our neighbors so we get to experience these great opportunities. We also love the emphasis CofC places on Preservation and the love for our city. For more great events that the College is hosting check their event calendar here.



  1. Kimber says

    I’ve seen several programs highlighting Prince Charles’ interest in preservation and urban planning and was always delighted to hear his thoughts…his passion is clear! I doubt many people know about his involvement in these efforts; kudos to CofC for recognizing his important role.

    On a side note–it’s too bad HRH could not make it here himself to accept this honor. I remember standing on King Street as a girl watching his parade when he visited–sometime in the 70s–and from what I remember, he enjoyed Charleston very much!

    Thanks for sharing!

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