This year is the 150th anniversary of the first Royal Charter granted to an actuarial body.
The Faculty of Actuaries in Scotland received its Royal Charter in September 1868. Although it was an older body, the Institute of Actuaries only received its Royal Charter in 1884.
At the time of the merger of the two bodies in 2010, it was the Institute's Charter that continued and was wholly rewritten. The Faculty's charter was formally surrendered, although we retain the actual document.
Some of the recitations in the Charter are fascinating and show how little has actually changed in 150 years - for example, its assertion that 'the responsibility attaching to the profession of an actuary is consequently great, requiring the services of well-educated and trustworthy men, specially trained in actuarial business and calculations, more especially as the subject of their professional study is one with which the general public are most entirely unacquainted, and in which, therefore, they must be wholly dependent upon the skill and integrity of the Actuary employed.' Ignoring the archaic use of 'men', this still stands as a good explanation of what is expected of a professional person.
We will be celebrating the charter at the Volunteer Recognition Reception in October. The original remains in the IFoA Edinburgh office.
Heraldic experts will note that the charter uses the Great Seal of Scotland. The Scottish version is different to that normally seen, which is for the rest of the UK; in it, the Scottish lion rampant takes precedence in the quarterings, while the unicorn supporter is to be found on the left-hand side as you look at it.