The Princess Royal visited King Edward’s secondary school in Witley on Thursday, the day of the Queen’s birthday. Theschool is supported by the Royal National Children’s Foundation, (RNCF), which the Princess serves as patron.
The RNCF was founded in 1827 to serve and support vulnerable and disadvantaged children. These pupils face home lives in crisis and the foundation helps them attend boarding or day school. Currently, King Edward’s school has 46 RNCF beneficiaries, the highest in the UK served by the foundation.
Headmaster of King Edward’s, John Attwater, said: “King Edward’s was delighted to host The Princess Royal and give her the opportunity to learn first-hand about the school and meet some of our fantastic pupils, many of whom we support with the RNCF. The school is extremely proud of its longstanding heritage looking after, educating and supporting talented children in need of a boarding school education.
“I hope that Her Royal Highness’ visit today not only allowed her to see our wonderful facilities and resources, but underlined our belief that all children deserve the very best opportunities in their education and our commitment to finding ways of providing those opportunities to everyone, no matter their background or circumstances.”
Whilst there, the Princess Anne heard stories from four pupils of how the RNCF has changed their lives for the better. She also heard a samba drumming demonstration and attended a saxophone and wind instrument workshop.
Chief executive of the RNCF, Geoffrey Dennis, said: “This special event was a wonderful opportunity for our Royal Patron to learn about the transformational work of the Royal National Children’s Foundation at King Edward’s Witley, and to meet pupils who have benefited from the wonderful partnership between the charity and King Edward’s Witley. The children who met and interacted with our patron will never forget this day.”
The Princess Royal said of her visit: “It was a pleasure to hear from beneficiaries of the Royal National Children’s Foundation at King Edward’s. These pupils encapsulate exactly what the RNCF is trying to achieve and I was very impressed by them.”
Mr. Dennis continued: “The event also provided the RNCF with an opportunity to highlight the effectiveness of our work and our need for more support to meet growing demand for our services. The RNCF is funded entirely by voluntary donations, and we rely on the generosity of supporters to continue our work.”