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Queen to celebrate Berkhamsted School’s 475th anniversary

The Queen is set to visit Berkhamsted School in Hertfordshire next week on the occasion of its 475th anniversary. Her Majesty is Patron of the school.

Upon her arrival, The Queen will inspect a Guard of Honour made up of Berkhamsted’s Combined Cadet Force. Like the school, the Cadet Force is also celebrating a milestone anniversary – 125 years since it was founded.

The Queen will also view displays featuring the various aspects of school life. A group of students will put on a performance of an excerpt from their upcoming production of Disney’s ‘The Lion King Jr.’ in honour of their royal guest.

Her Majesty will later visit the parish Church of St Peter’s to view the restoration of the Coat of Arms of Elizabeth I that are housed in the building. She will watch choral performances by St Peter’s Church Choir, which is comprised of students from seven local schools, and the School’s Chamber Choir at the Church. She will also unveil a new board that celebrates her Diamond Jubilee in 2012.

Finally, The Queen will attend a reception, where she will meet the heads of local schools and charities, as well as other members of the local community. Before leaving, she will unveil a plaque to commemorate her visit.

Berkhamsted School is a day and boarding school that was founded in 1541 by John Incent, the Dean of St Paul’s. When it was founded, the school had just 144 pupils, a number which has now grown to over 1,800 children. Though originally a boys’ school, Berkhamsted now accepts both boys and girls between the ages of 3 and 19. The school had retained certain parts of the infrastructure have survived over the last five centuries, including the notional School Hall, which was completed in 1544.

When Her Majesty visits next Friday, it will be the first visit from a reigning monarch in the school’s history, although Berkhamsted has previously been visited by both future and former Kings and Queens. In June 1935, just a few short months before he ascended the throne as King Edward VIII, the Prince of Wales officially opened the Gym at Castle Campus. In 1958, The Queen Mother paid a visit to open Newcroft, the Science block, and the new South Wing for the girls’ school. The Queen’s own husband, the Duke of Edinburgh, was the last royal to visit Berkhamsted in 2004, when he opened the Knox-Johnston Sports Centre at Kings Campus.

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