Gordonstoun’s royal connections were underlined by a special visit from a former pupil as part of the Moray school’s 80th anniversary celebrations on Monday.
The Duke of Edinburgh called in to meet and chat with pupils at the school – the royal visitor returning to the place where he was registered as the 10th pupil in September 1934.
Moray’s Lord Lieutenant Grenville Johnston greeting Prince Philip and introduced him to school officers before he went on to meet with pupils.
“He was super nice and approachable,” Isobel Armstrong, a year 13 student at the school said, adding: “He asked where I was from and what house I was in – I did not think he would know the Isle of Arran.
“It was interesting to see what he was like because you see him on television all the time, but to say he was an ex-Gordonstounian is amazing.”
After being forced to leave Germany for speaking out against Adolf Hitler in public, German educator Kurt Hahn arrived in Scotland in 1934 and created the new independent school.
Prince Phillip had been a pupil at Mr Hahn’s school in Salem and so became one of the first pupils at Mr Hahn’s new school in Duffus. In the 1960’s Prince Charles followed his father in becoming a Gordonstoun pupil, as did Prince’s Edward and Andrew.
As the school was originally boys-only Princess Anne did not attend, although both her children were pupils.
Today Gordonstoun has around 500 full boarding pupils as well as 100 day pupils.
During his visit Prince Philip was given a demonstration on how the school had changed over its 80 years with Year 12 pupil Annabel Devey commenting: “I think quite a lot has changed since he was here and we can show him what has changed and what has improved.”
British Pathe video showing the visit of Prince Philip in 1962 when he escorted his son to Gordonstoun.