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The Queen and Prince Philip visit Pangbourne College

The Duke of Edinburgh joined her Majesty The Queen today for a visit to Pangbourne College in Berkshire to mark the school’s centenary.

Founded in 1917, Pangbourne College — originally called “The Nautical College, Pangbourne” — has long provided Merchant Naval education to young men before the school became co-educational in 2006. The boarding and day school provides education for 400 pupils between the ages of 11-18 and combines ceremonial traditions with a modern focus helping students develop social and leadership skills for their future lives and careers.

There to celebrate the College’s 100th anniversary, the royal couple were greeted by the Headmaster and Chairman of Governors. They then proceeded to the Falklands Islands Memorial Chapel alongside the Bishop and College Chaplain to attend a service to mark the centenary. The Queen had previously opened the Chapel in 2000 on another visit to Pangbourne.

Following the service, they met with current students and alumni and had the opportunity to chat with College staff at a lunch and reception. The royals then watched a traditional College parade, which reflected the school’s longstanding military connection. During the parade, The Queen presented the College with a new military flag or ‘colour.’

Her Majesty also had the opportunity to present the female and male Chief Cadet Captains of College with The Queen’s Gold Medal. Awarded every year since 1927, the accolade was called the King’s Gold Medal until 1954 when The Queen ascended the throne. Since 2008 it has been awarded to one male and one female student every year.

Amongst the crowds of well-wishers was a face familiar to Prince Philip — 97-year-old Commander Keith Evans, who is both a Pangbourne College alumni and a former comrade of the Duke. The two served together in the late 1940s, and when pressed for memories of Prince Philip in his younger days Mr Evans told the press, “He was a bit randy, but you had better not put that down.”

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