There have just been 12 new 'regius' chairs created in the UK, to mark the Queen's 90th birthday. So far as I can see, this hasn't meant more money for the university concerned, certainly not a nice nest egg of royal endowment. It is simply the honour of calling a chair a "royal" one. So why bother with it? Because, whatever you think of this bit of royalism, it is striking that all these chairs are in the sciences. There is not a single one in the humanities or social sciences. What message does that send out to those of us not working in hard or soft science?
Now, one always ought to hesitate a bit before calling foul play. This was done by a process of application. So it may be that the applications from the humanities were decidedly inferior. And it may well be fair to even out the distribution of regius chairs between universities and subject areas. The traditional sort of regius chair was a bauble for the oldest universities, and largely (but not entirely) concentrated in traditional humanities areas. I am sure that the government selection committee (including Onora O'Neill, one of the people in the world whose judgement I would trust) worked fairly and diligently.
But to end up with not a single new regius chair in the humanities (but a roster of materials, chemistry, precision medicine et al.) looks like a big official vote of no confidence in what we, in my neck of the woods, are doing. You would have thought they could have found at least one of 'our' group of subjects in some university in the country, worthy of the honour.