Locations/Oxford and Cambridge Club
The Club was formed in March 1972 by the amalgamation of the United University Club and the Oxford and Cambridge University Club. In its first year, the Club was housed at 1 Suffolk Street and thereafter at 71-77 Pall Mall.
Members, both men and women, are drawn exclusively from the alumni and senior staff of both universities. Distinguished former members include Palmerston, Canning, Melbourne and Macmillan, the Duke of Wellington, William Thackeray and TS Eliot.
The Club house was designed by Sir Robert Smirke, the architect of the British Museum, and was completed in 1838. An important example of the fashionable Greek Revival style, the façade conceals a magnificent yet elegantly understated neoclassical interior.
Unlike a number of other notable buildings on this part of the Crown Estate, the Club survived the war largely undamaged (a parachute mine landed in the kitchen but failed to detonate). Since then extensions and discreet improvements have been made to ensure it continues to meet its members' needs, but always in keeping with the traditional atmosphere and ambiance of this exceptional West End landmark.
At the time of its creation the Club had 2,897 members as well as 563 lady associates. In February 1996, the Club voted by an overwhelming majority to allow women full membership with unhindered access to all areas of the Club house. In March 1997 Queen Margrethe II of Denmark became the first Honorary Lady Member. In June 2017 the Club elected its first female Chairman.
The foundation of the Oxford and Cambridge Club dates from a meeting of members from the two universities held at the British Coffee House, 27 Cockspur Street on 17 May 1830, with Lord Palmerston in the chair. The meeting resolved that a Club consisting of members of both universities should be formed "for the association of individuals educated at those universities and for promoting and continuing a mutual interest and fellowship between them." To the present day, that has been the Club's enduring ethos.
Today membership of the Club means joining a worldwide network of over 4,500 other Oxford and Cambridge University alumni. These range from undergraduates and recent graduates to those who matriculated before World War II, and over 1,600 are from overseas.
Lord Sainsbury and Lord Patten are Honorary Members, as Chancellors of the two universities. So too are the Vice Chancellors and most Heads of House together with HRH the Prince of Wales, HRH The Duke of Edinburgh, HM Queen Margrethe II of Denmark, HM King Harald V of Norway, and His Majesty King Philippe of the Belgians.