A PAIR of identical twins made an extra special memory when they were allowed to graduate on the same day.

Grace and Olivia Grant, 21, each studied separate degrees for three years at Essex University’s Wivenhoe campus.

And while law with politics scholar Grace should have attended her subject’s graduation ceremony on Tuesday, she was allowed to wait until yesterday so she could join sister Olivia at hers.

Grace said: “My brother Harry was the first in the family to go to university, studying law at Essex.

“We chose to go there too, as we wanted to stay together and stay living at home.

“I had just started up my own cleaning business in the area, which I didn’t want to abandon, and Liv had worked her way up to supervisor at Colchester Zoo, so didn’t want to leave her job.

“Essex was the obvious choice.”

The girls, born 11 minutes apart, say they have always been close and have always got on.

However, football fan Grace described Olivia as “a lot more girly”, the one who preferred dancing as they grew up.

One of their shared highlights has been travelling to Asia twice in 2017 and 2018.

The girls crammed in 12 countries for the month-long visits.

They also celebrated their 20th birthdays with a trip to see the Rolling Stones perform in Paris.

Grace added: “We are better than best friends.

“We have always been really close and every day off we have we spend together.

“Liv will always be the best person in my life, we are super close.

“She’s a clone of me in several ways.

She added: “I can enjoy my graduation now.”

Although from Sudbury, the girls attended Benedicts Catholic College in Colchester and then the town’s sixth form college where they sat their A-Levels.

Grace started up her cleaning business aged 17 and managed to secure customers in their home town and the surrounding area.

Being the sole operator and cleaner, it means she has been able to fit that around her studies.

Olivia continues to work at Colchester Zoo.

Grace is now doing a summer internship at Suffolk County Council, but hopes to do a Masters in political science.

Biomedical science student Olivia has been given a scholarship to do a PhD in the subject.

Both will continue their studies at Essex.

The sisters’ brother Harry, 23, previously attended the university and along with their grandmother, who lives nearby, attended the ceremony yesterday afternoon.

Graduations are taking place throughout this week at the university, including for a number of honorary recipients.

This year’s honorary graduands include Olympic gold medallist, gymnast Max Whitlock who will graduate today.

He holds 19 major medals and is the double Olympic, World and Triple European Champion.

Max has set-up a network of regional gymnastics centres for children including one based at the university.

Yesterday, also saw the graduation of Bruce Galleway who has turned around his own experience of having a stroke and aphasia, aged 32, to help and support other people with similar physical and communication difficulties.

Bruce works with academics at the University of Essex to develop teaching programmes in the School of Health and Social Care.

Zimbabwean gender activist and charity Betty Makoni graduated yesterday. Her organisation, Girl Child Network, supports young victims of sex abuse.