Gordonstoun School, which has been attended by pupils including Prince Philip, Prince Charles and Prince Andrew, will be the subject of a new television documentary which is set to be aired in the New Year.
The documentary, which will be simply titled ‘Gordonstoun’, will begin filming at the Elgin school at the end of this month and will comprise of six one hour episodes to be shown on Sky1.
The school was founded in 1934 by German educator Kurt Hahn. The Duke of Edinburgh was one of the school’s first pupils, having previously been educated at Salem in Germany. Prince Philip clearly thought that the school’s education would be good enough for his son, hence why Prince Charles was sent to Gordonstoun in 1962, after his five years at Cheam. It is common knowledge though that Charles despised his time at Gordonstoun, famously describing it as ‘Colditz in kilts’.
It wasn’t just Charles who didn’t want to be at the school; his grandmother, Queen Elizabeth, The Queen Mother, also perished the thought that her first grandson would be sent to a boarding school so far away. In a letter to Queen Elizabeth II, the Queen Mother urged her daughter that Charles should be spared the rigours of Gordonstoun and be sent to Eton instead. Though the Queen Mother’s pleas were politely ignored, Charles did do well at the school. In his final year he was made Head Boy and in 1967 he left the institution with six GCE O Levels and two A Levels in History and French, grades B and C respectively.
ITN Productions will be making the six part documentary. ITN’s Emma Read commented on the upcoming show: “We look forward to revealing a new perspective into one of Britain’s most well known schools through the eyes of its pupils and staff in two of the school’s boarding houses. The series will give viewers an insight in to the reality of modern life at this institution, as well as its pupils academic life and achievements”.
Both Prince Andrew and Prince Edward attended the £34,000 a year school in 1973 and 1977 respectively. Prince Andrew left Gordonstoun with six O Levels and three A Levels in English, History and Politics, while his younger brother Edward left with nine O levels three A Levels in English, History and Politics at grades C, D and D respectively. At the time, Gordonstoun was only a school for boys, hence why The Princess Royal never attended. Although, Princess Anne was able to send both of her children, Peter and Zara, to the school when the time came. Peter Phillips, who became Head Boy, graduated with two A Levels, whilst sister Zara left the school with three A Levels in Geography, Biology and Physical Education.
It is certain that Gordonstoun has had its fair share of Royal pupils and one can assume that the new documentary series will showcase the Royal connections with the school in at least one of its episodes. Who knows, we might even get one of the ex pupils sharing their thoughts on their time at Gordonstoun and its motto, ‘Plus est en Vous’, which means ‘There is more in you’.