Gordonstoun mourns the loss of Queen Elizabeth II

Thursday 8 September 2022

The entire Gordonstoun community is saddened to learn of the passing of Queen Elizabeth II. Our late Queen had a very close connection to the school through her husband and former student, HRH The Duke of Edinburgh, as well as her three sons who attended the school, including King Charles III, and two of her grandchildren.

The Queen regularly visited the school both formally and informally, taking a close interest in the progress of the princes and watching them on stage or on the sports field.

Principal of Gordonstoun, Lisa Kerr, said:

“Queen Elizabeth II will be fondly remembered. We remember our late Queen sitting alongside Prince Philip in seats reserved with pieces of paper which simply said, ‘Mum’ and ‘Dad’. She visited the school regularly and our students also saw her at the Braemar Gathering, a highland games event which she attended every year. We will always remember her warm support for Gordonstoun and we send our heartfelt condolences to the Royal Family.”

The accession of His Majesty King Charles III makes Gordonstoun the first (senior) school to educate a British monarch. During his school days, the young Prince of Wales loved his time as a member of the Coastguard and was a talented musician and actor. He enjoyed playing the trumpet, cello and sang in the school choir. He also regularly won the lead part in school plays, playing Macbeth and the Pirate King in Pirates of Penzance . He was a school Guardian (head boy) in his final year as well as being a Colour Bearer (prefect) and head of his boarding house.

The young Prince Charles as Macbeth in the school play

Ms Kerr added:

“We are incredibly proud of the way Gordonstoun helped to shape King Charles and he has stated on many occasions that it had a positive influence on him. His Majesty’s life of service, love of the outdoors, enjoyment of the arts and intellectual curiosity were all nurtured at school. It was at Gordonstoun that he discovered a love of archaeology and became an accomplished actor and potter. He also helped the community through his involvement in the Coastguard Service, and His Majesty remains a patron of the Coastguard to this day. Many of our former pupils who were his contemporaries talk of a quiet and talented student who blossomed at school, especially after an exchange trip to Australia. We wish him every success in his reign.”


For further information or to arrange an interview, please contact Eleanor Bradford

  • Email: bradforde@gordonstoun.org.uk
  • Tel: 01343 837763
  • Mobile: 07860 557682


Gordonstoun is a not-for-profit independent boarding school which was established in Moray, Scotland in 1934 by Dr Kurt Hahn, a Jewish exile who fled Nazi Germany. He founded the school with the ideal of developing better world citizens equipped to contribute to society. Dr Kurt Hahn was the driving force behind the Outward Bound Movement and also worked with former pupil Prince Philip to establish The Duke of Edinburgh’s Awards. Gordonstoun has been a pioneer of character education which, as well as academic subjects, includes outdoor activities, sailing and service to the community. Three generations of British Royalty were educated at Gordonstoun including King Charles. Approximately one third of the pupils at the co-educational boarding school receive financial help in order to attend. The school was described as ‘outstanding’ and ‘sector-leading’ in its most recent inspection and was voted the best boarding school in the UK in 2021.