How Princess Diana Changed Education for the Royal Family

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How Princess Diana Changed Education for the Royal Family

But the British royal family’s
education over the years has changed with the times and it’s all down
to Princess Diana, who wanted to give sons Prince
William and Prince Harry an ordinary upbringing.

William became the first
future monarch to be entirely educated in the public school system, starting at
Mrs. Mynors’ nursery in Notting Hill in September 1985, before going to Wetherby
Prep School two years later. Following this, William attended Ludgrove
independent boarding school in Wokingham and then he was admitted to Eton
College in 1995 after passing the entrance exam.

In contrast, his
grandmother the Queen and her sister Princess Margaret were
home-schooled in Buckingham Palace by their governess Marion Crawford and
private tutors, as was tradition. Their lessons at the palace concentrated on
history, language, literature and music. When her father George VI became king
in 1936, the then Princess Elizabeth received private tuition in constitutional
history from Eton College’s Vice-Provost, Henry Marten, as she prepared for her
future role as monarch.

Charles, Diana and William on Harry's first day at Mrs. Mynors' nursery in 1987

Charles, Diana and William on Harry’s first day at Mrs. Mynors’ nursery in 1987

Similarly, her eldest child
and heir to the throne Prince Charles was taught by his governess
Catherine Peebles at Buckingham Palace between the ages of five and eight,
before he attended Hill House school in west London. He then followed in his
father Prince Philip’s footsteps at Cheam Preparatory School in Berkshire and
then Gordonstoun in Scotland.

While there have been
conflicting reports over whether Charles enjoyed his time at boarding school,
in an interview with the Observer Magazine in 1974, the Prince said: “I am
glad I went to Gordonstoun. It wasn’t the toughness of the place – that’s all
much exaggerated by report – it was the general character of the education
there – Kurt Hahn’s principles; an education which tried to balance the
physical and mental with the emphasis on self-reliance to develop a rounded
human being. I didn’t enjoy school as much as I might have, but that was
only because I’m happier at home than anywhere else.”

Charles’ siblings Princess
Anne, Prince Andrew and Prince Edward were also taught by a governess within
the palace walls, who would have been responsible for their early education. At
the age of 13, Anne was sent to Benenden School, an independent boarding school
for girls in Kent, where she later left with six O-Levels and two A-Levels in
1968. After their initial home-schooling, Andrew and younger brother Edward
both attended Heatherdown, a prep school for boys in Ascot, before going to
Gordonstoun.

Diana takes William and Harry to schoolDiana was a regular on the school run with William and Harry

Diana was a regular on the school run with William and Harry

But when it came to Prince
William and Harry, Diana insisted on giving her children an education that was
as normal as possible, outside palace walls. During her childhood, she was
initially home-schooled by her governess, Gertrude Allen but later began her
formal education at Silfield Private School, followed by Riddlesworth Hall, an all-girls boarding school near Thetford, when she was nine. In 1973, she joined
West Heath Girls’ School in Sevenoaks, Kent, but failed her O-Levels twice. She
did however show a particular talent for music, dancing and domestic science.

Before meeting Prince Charles,
Diana was an assistant at the Young England Kindergarten school in Pimlico, a
nursery, which used the Montessori method. It was therefore no surprise that
she wanted her sons to be schooled in the same way – a teaching method that
balances work and plays and encourages children to develop at their own rate.

Diana’s former press secretary
Patrick Jephson also told ABC News that Diana did her best to keep
her boys grounded in other ways. “She made sure that they experienced
things like going to the cinema, queuing up to buy a McDonalds, going to
amusement parks, those sorts of things that were experiences that they could
share with their friends,” he said.

The Duke and Duchess of
Cambridge have followed suit with Prince George, as he began his education
at Westacre Montessori nursery school in Norfolk in January 2016, when the
Cambridges lived at Anmer Hall. He was enrolled at the co-educational Thomas’s
Battersea in September 2017, which teaches pupils aged four to 13. It’s too
early to say whether nine-year-old George, who has enrolled at Lambrook School,
will also follow in his father and uncle Prince Harry’s footsteps and go to
Eton for his secondary school education.

 

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A young person with a passion for success and excellence to develop a professional career that encourages empowerment in the overall development of a person which is achieved through hard work. A Journalist with facts and a difference; standing by the truth all the time with interests in Science & Technology, Health, Celebrities' Lifestyle, Crimes, Education and Career Improvement.

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