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Duke of York and Princess Beatrice visit British school in UAE

Prince Andrew and his daughter, Princess Beatrice, unveiled two commemorative plaques at the British School Al Khubairat (BSAK) in Abu Dhabi on Monday.

Their Royal Highnesses were joined by the Minister for Culture, Youth and Community Development, Sheikh Nahyan bin Mubarak and the British Ambassador to the UAE, Philip Parham.

Touring the school complex, the Royal Party met with pupils and staff before being entertained by singers and musicians. The Duke and Princess then unveiled two plaques, the first of which named the Sheikh Khalifa bin Zayed Building in the senior school.

The second plaque commemorated the naming of the Queen Elizabeth II diamond Jubilee Building, marking the 60th anniversary of The Queen’s accession to the throne.

Speaking at the event, Prince Andrew said:

“It is wonderful to see the investment that has been made in the school since I last visited, ensuring its ability to give the best possible education to its pupils.

“School is about having fun, but that fun needs to be accompanied by learning through the challenges presented by teachers. Having facilities such as these will mean they can both confront and meet such challenges. I wish all the pupils of BSAK every success as they embark on an exciting future.”

Representatives of the Abu Dhabi Education Council were also present at the unveiling ceremony, along with the acting Headmistress of the school Elaine Rawlings.

Of the Royal visit, Rawlings says that the school was “thankful for their continued support” and that it was a day that “all our pupils will remember and I am delighted they have had this opportunity.”

Sheikh Nayan spoke of the link between the UK and UAE, saying:

“This is a wonderful day for Prince Andrew and our other distinguished guests from Great Britain to visit Abu Dhabi and the United Arab Emirates. Great Britain and the UAE have worked together in practically every field of endeavour, but none as critical as education. This school in Al Khubairat in particular symbolises our relationship and our shared vision.

“May this school continue to prosper, not only as a major centre of learning for the young people of Abu Dhabi, but also as a model for excellent education in the region and the world.”

The visit to the school comes a few days after The Duke ended a four-day visit to Saudi Arabia to discuss entrepreneurship and educational opportunities for young people and women. The Duke’s nephew, Prince Harry, also spent time in Abu Dhabi over the weekend after his two visit to Oman and the UAE.

Prince Harry took the time to watch the Abu Dhabi Grand Prix, which saw British Formula One racing driver Lewis Hamilton take the World Champion title for the second time. Prince Harry was the first person to congratulate Hamilton after his victory on Sunday.

Featured Image Credit: The Duke of York’s Office


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