Emma Watson casts a spell over Oxford: Harry Potter star delights university students by wearing black gown to matriculation ceremony as she studies creative writing

Emma Watson has been spotted in person at a matriculation ceremony at Oxford University after signing up for a master’s degree in creative writing.The 33-year-old Harry Potter actress attended the city’s Sheldonian Theatre on Saturday for the gathering which marks students’ formal admission to the university.

Fellow students were delighted to see Watson at the event where she was wearing a black gown, white blouse and black ribbon just like the other women there.

Speaking to the Daily Mail’s diary editor Richard Eden, one student joked: ‘It was the first time I had seen her in a gown since the Harry Potter movies.’

Many students were said to have been taking or sharing pictures of the actress – who played Hermione Granger in the films – despite photography officially being banned.

Emma Watson is spotted at the Sheldonian Theatre in Oxford on Saturday for a matriculation ceremony at the city's university after signing up for a master's degree in creative writing

Emma Watson is spotted at the Sheldonian Theatre in Oxford on Saturday for a matriculation ceremony at the city’s university after signing up for a master’s degree in creative writing

Fellow students spot Watson wearing a black gown and white blouse at the event on Saturday


Fellow students spot Watson wearing a black gown and white blouse at the event on Saturday

There was also some surprise that Watson was there in person, given that previous reports had suggested that she would be mainly studying online for the degree.

Watson’s plans to study creative writing were revealed in an interview with the Financial Times in April, in which it was reported that she had begun writing poetry during lockdown as well as essays on love, friendship and relationships.

Further details were then revealed by The Sun last month, which reported that her studies would be part-time and mostly online.

She is set to attend ‘a handful’ of lectures on site, with staff reportedly told that she would be present with a small security team.

It is also understood that she did have protection at Saturday’s event, although they cannot be obviously seen in any photographs or videos.

Speaking last month, a source told The Sun: ‘The course is for older adults and can be done on a part-time basis, which is perfect for Emma’s schedule.

‘She only has to be on site for four or five days a year because she can do the rest of the course online from home.

‘Because she’s a famous actress, she’ll have a security team looking after her whenever she has classes to go to.

‘There have been a few incidents recently and she is taking every precaution necessary to ensure her safety.’

Watson also spent a year attending Worcester College at Oxford as an undergraduate in the 2011/12 academic year.

Students at the matriculation ceremony held at the Sheldonian Theatre in Oxford on Saturday

Students at the matriculation ceremony held at the Sheldonian Theatre in Oxford on Saturday

The gathering on Saturday marks students' formal admission to Oxford University

The gathering on Saturday marks students’ formal admission to Oxford University


Many students were said to have been taking or sharing pictures of Watson during the event

This was during the course of her English literature degree at Brown University in Rhode Island, from where she graduated in 2014.

The Oxford University website states that the creative writing master’s course runs for two years and costs £9,025 a year for UK students and £14,155 a year for those from overseas.

Watson spent much of her childhood in Oxfordshire, living there with her mother Jacqueline from the age of five and attending Dragon School and Headington School in the city.

Last week, the Daily Mail reported that Watson was cosied up to Syrian refugee filmmaker Hassan Akkad – an English teacher in Damascus turned writer and human rights activist – at a lunch in Mayfair.

Watson and Mr Akkad, who arrived in the UK by dinghy in 2015 following an 87-day journey across Europe, enjoyed a date at expensive Italian restaurant Cecconi’s, where starters cost up to £23.

Emma Watson attends The Soho House Awards at Dumbo House in New York on September 7

Emma Watson attends The Soho House Awards at Dumbo House in New York on September 7

Emma Watson starred alongside Rupert Grint and Daniel Radcliffe in the Harry Potter films

Emma Watson starred alongside Rupert Grint and Daniel Radcliffe in the Harry Potter films

One onlooker said: ‘They seemed very cosy.’ However, Mr Akkad told the Mail yesterday: ‘She’s out of my league.’

Watson was seen embracing him during their lunch date, however, and he was later spotted carrying her bamboo water bottle – featuring her initials, ECW – as they left the restaurant and drove off in his Skoda SUV.

The pair have enjoyed a close friendship since 2017, when they met at a summit in Italy where they were both giving talks.

Watson previously dated Californian businessman Leo Robinton for two years. More recently, she dated Sir Philip’s son, Brandon Green, for 18 months, but the pair broke up earlier this year.


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