Gordonstoun: Boarding School of King Charles III

Ahead of the King's Coronation on Saturday (May 6), we take a look at Gordonstoun, the independent school in Scotland where the then Prince Charles was educated.
Gordonstoun: Boarding School of King Charles III
By Carli Allan
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Located in Moray, Scotland, Gordonstoun is one of the world’s best known public schools, although it is fair to say that this reputation is due in greater part to its educating British royals including King Charles III, formerly known as The Prince of Wales, as well as Prince Philip, Prince Andrew, and Prince Edward.

The school was founded in 1934 by German educator Kurt Hahn, who also founded the Outward Bound movement. This forward-thinking school has always had a strong focus on outdoor education and adventure activities, such as rock climbing and mountaineering. It's also well-known for its unique curriculum, which includes a combination of academic studies, community service, and for inspiring the Duke of Edinburgh’s Awards.


Ahead of the King's Coronation on Saturday (May 6), we take a look at his time spent as a child at Gordonstoun:

  • The then Prince Charles joined the school aged 13. He was flown in a plane piloted by his father Prince Philip, who was one of Gordonstoun's first pupils.
  • While at Gordonstoun, King Charles took part in a many non-academic  activities including sailing, singing in the school choir, playing trumpet and cello, and playing the king in a school production of Macbeth.
  • He was a school Guardian (head boy) in his final year as well as being a Colour Bearer (prefect) and head of his boarding house.
  • He also helped the community through his involvement in the Coastguard Service, and His Majesty remains a patron of the Coastguard to date.
  • According to the school, former pupils who were his contemporaries talk of "a quiet but talented student who blossomed at school, especially after an exchange trip to Australia".
  • He left Gordonstoun in 1967 with five O Levels in English Language, English Literature, History, Latin and French and two A Levels in History and French. He then went on to tudy archaeology and anthropology at Cambridge University.
  • The future King’s brothers Prince Andrew and Prince Edward also attended Gordonstoun. Princess Anne was not eligible as it was an all-boys school until 1972, but she later sent her children Peter Philips and Zara Tindall to the school.
    Read more: Which UK Schools Do Royals Attend?

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