Prince Charles, the British heir to the throne, was “just a boy” when he was a student at a remote boarding school in Scotland, going about his daily life and developing a subsequent passion for art and the environment.
At the age of 13, Prince Charles began his education in May 1962 at the beautiful private school Gordonstone on the north coast of Scotland, where his late father Prince Philip also studied.
Lisa Kerr, the current principal of Gordonstone, told Reuters: “For everyone at Gordstone, it is a matter of pride to be the first school to educate a heir to the British throne.” What makes it even stronger for us to know is that many of the qualities that Prince Charles carried forward as emperor were developed here in Gordonstone. “
The previous generation of British royal children were educated by home teachers.
Prince Charles finds aspects of school life difficult, as highlighted in a recent Netflix drama series, The Crown. The students had to run early in the morning and then the cold shower started, and some of the classmates wondered how he had been bullied.
According to the biography, he wrote at home in 1963: “The people in my dormitory are bad. They’ve been throwing slippers all night or hitting me with pillows … if I could come home.”
Asked if Prince Charles was happy, Kerr said: “I think everyone has their ups and downs in their school days and it’s probably not surprising that from a media point of view the fall is more interesting.
“But the funny thing is, Prince Charles himself has said that he’s always been amazed at the amount of rotten talk about Gordonstone … in a lot of speeches, he’s talked about the really positive impact he has had on his life here.”
Describing him as a “studious young man” studying at Cambridge University, Kerr said Prince Charles, who has visited the school since leaving in 1967, would mingle with people from all over the background.
He said he enjoyed music and drama, taking part in several school productions.
At the time, Gordonstone was a boys’ school, and girls from a nearby high school joined their cast. One of those involved recalls the thrill of being on stage with a future king.
“Just getting involved in the Gordonstein production has always been exciting … and then when we discovered that Prince Charles was going to be involved too … it made it even more exciting,” said Alison Shackley, 71, a retired PE teacher.
“We were quite accustomed to him being here. He could be seen in the store. He was involved with other things in the community … we knew he was very musical.”
Mrs. Stockley co-starred with Charles on the show, including “The Pirates of Pennsylvania,” where Prince Charles played the Pirate King.
“He’s carried it very well,” he said. “(He was) just one of the boys … like all of us he joined.”
Since its founding in 1934 by German educator Kurt Hahn, Gordonstone’s students have been involved with the local community and have been members of the Charles Coastguard, where he patrolled along the beautiful Moore coast.
Decades later, 18-year-old student Olivia Dixon is doing the same thing. He boarded the same windmill lodge room where Charles once lived.
“It’s pretty funny that it was her room, it was her dresser that we have a ‘party’ sign on top of it so it’s pretty surreal in a way,” he said.
Prince Charles is not the only famous alumnus of the school. The late actor Shawn Connery and singer David Bowie both sent their sons to Gordonstone.
(Except for the title, this story was not edited by NDTV staff and was published from a syndicated feed.)