The Prince of Wales
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The Prince arrives at Hill House School
The Duke of Edinburgh accompanies The Prince to Gordonstoun on his first dayThe Prince learns Welsh at the University College of Wales in AberystwythThe Prince of Wales at university


The Prince of Wales at Cambridge University


On 10th May 1955, Buckingham Palace announced that The Prince would go to school, rather than have a private tutor as had previous Heirs to The Throne.

The Prince, who had received private tuition in the Palace nursery for 18 months from his governess Catherine Peebles, attended Hill House School in West London full time from 28th January 1957.

On 14th August 1957, Buckingham Palace announced that The Prince would attend Cheam, the preparatory school at Headley, near Newbury, Berks, which had been attended by his father from 1930 to 1933. The Prince began his first term on 23rd September 1957.

The school days began at 7.15am with the rising bell, prayers were at 7.45, breakfast was at 8 and lessons began at 9. After a 6pm high tea, bedtime for the younger boys was 6.45pm.

During five years at Cheam, The Prince played cricket for the First Eleven, joined in school games of football and rugby, and took part in amateur dramatics. He was appointed head boy in his final year. The Prince had started his time at Cheam as the eight-year-old Duke of Cornwall. He left on 1st April 1962 as the 13-year-old Prince of Wales.

Buckingham Palace announced on 23rd January 1962, that The Prince of Wales would attend Gordonstoun, the public school on the shores of the Moray Firth in Scotland. The Prince's father, The Duke of Edinburgh, had been among the first pupils when the school was opened in 1934 by Dr Kurt Hahn.

Dr Hahn had developed a regime founded on belief in an egalitarian society, with firm principles of human conduct: the strong must be courteous to the weak, and service to others is more important than self-service.

On 1st May 1962, The Prince was taken to Gordonstoun by The Duke of Edinburgh, who piloted a Heron of the Queen's Flight from Heathrow to RAF Lossiemouth before the final drive to the school.

From February to July 1966, The Prince of Wales spent two terms at Timbertop, a remote annexe of Geelong Church of England Grammar School in Melbourne, Australia.

While attending Timbertop, The Prince joined in a school trip to Papua New Guinea, led by his history tutor Michael Persse. After seeing examples of the folk art of the Papuan people, The Prince expressed concern in an essay that traditions there were being allowed to wither, a theme he took up later in his life.

When The Prince returned to Gordonstoun for his final year, he was made school guardian, or Head Boy and, after years of communal living, was given his own study bedroom.

In March 1967 he played the Pirate King in a school production of Gilbert and Sullivan's Pirates of Penzance.

The Prince, the first Heir to The Throne to sit public examinations, took his GCE O Levels at the age of 16, passing English language, English literature, Latin, French and history - and later mathematics.

He took his A Levels in July 1967, getting a B in history and a C in French, also gaining a distinction in an optional special paper in history.

The Prince went on to university, rather than straight into the Armed Forces, and in Autumn 1967 he arrived at Trinity College, Cambridge.

The Prince’s grandfather, King George VI, had studied history, economics and civics for a year at the same college, from October 1919.

The Prince chose to take a first year course in archaeology and physical and social anthropology and arrived at Trinity College on 8th October 1967.

In March and April 1968, The Prince of Wales spent time studying archaeological sites in France and taking part in excavations in Jersey.

On 8th April 1968, it was announced that The Prince had decided to change from archaeology and anthropology to history from the next academic year starting in October.

In his first examination at Cambridge, the results of which were published on 14th June 1968, The Prince was awarded a 2:1 in the first part of the archaeology and anthropology exams.

In April 1969, The Prince of Wales left Cambridge to spend a term at the University College of Wales in Aberystwyth, where he studied Welsh and the history of the Principality.

The Prince left the University College of Wales in June 1969, a week before his Investiture as Prince of Wales by The Queen at Caernarfon on 1st July.

As part of the social side of university life The Prince joined Trinity's drama group, the Dryden Society, in November 1968 and appeared in two of the society's annual revues. In the 1970 revue, Quiet Flows the Don, The Prince played a sports commentator, an antiques expert and a weather forecaster and in another played the part of a church padre in the society's production of Joe Orton's black comedy Erpingham Camp.

On 10th March 1970, The Prince flew from Heathrow Airport to visit New Zealand, Australia and Japan, returning on 15th April in time for the start of his final term at Trinity. Other royal duties during The Prince's final year at Cambridge included attending the State Opening of Parliament, being formally introduced into the House of Lords and attending his first Privy Council.

On 12th May 1970, The Prince of Wales raised in public some of his concerns about the environment and conservation which were to remain central to his thinking over the coming decades. In his debut at a Cambridge Union debate, he spoke to the motion that "This house believes that technological advance threatens the individuality of man and is becoming his master".

The Prince made it clear that he was not formally for or against the motion. "I am in a slightly difficult position," he said. He expressed concern at the extent to which people had become creatures of technology, and of the pollution which could be the result, and suggested there was sometimes a need for the purpose of new developments to be questioned.

On 23rd June 1970 The Prince of Wales - the first heir to the throne ever to take a degree - was awarded a 2:2.

On 2nd August 1975 His Royal Highness, piloting a Royal Air Force helicopter, returned to Cambridge to receive his MA.