For over a thousand years monarchs had traditionally been taught by private tutors. For instance, Elizabeth I was educated by Cambridge academic Roger Ascham, and HRH Elizabeth II had Sir Henry Marten the Vice-Provost of Eton College as her tutor. The current Queen and her sister Margaret were the last members of the royal family to be educated at home.
Little Princess Charlotte has started her education this January at the famous Willcocks Nursery, where parents usually have to reserve a place as soon as a prospective student is born. It was altogether a different story with Charlotte’s brother Prince George – he attended the Westacre Montessori Nursery School where tuition costs just £33 a day, and 85% of children receive funding. From last September George has been studying at the Thomas’s Battersea school in London.
It was Mrs. Mynor’s Nursery School in Notting Hill Gate and Ludgrove School in Berkshire for princes William and Harry. Their father HRH Prince Charles attended Cheam School, Hampshire, and Hill House, London.
Whilst junior school is the place for children to discover and develop a sense of self, secondary school is where things get serious. The royals have consistently chosen the country’s top schools for their children. Elite doesn’t necessarily mean enjoyable though: Prince Charles claims he had a ‘disastrous’ time at school, the prestigious Gordonstoun in Scotland. Later, in 1970 the prince obtained MA in History from Trinity College, Cambridge, and it was the first time ever when an heir apparent had completed University.
Princes William and Harry both boarded at the Eton College, which has been synonymous with royalty since the late 19th Century. Then Prince William studied Geography at St. Andrews University in Fife, Scotland, where he famously met Kate Middleton. Little brother Harry opted for more of an action man experience and spent ten months training at esteemed military academy Sandhurst.
The Windsor ladies have carved their own educational paths. Princess Anne spent her teenage years enjoying horse riding and the great British outdoors at Benenden School in Kent. Young Diana attended West Heath Girls’ School in Kent where she failed her O levels twice, and dropped out aged 16. Academia might not have been for her, but etiquette certainly was – she finished her education at the Institut Alpin Videmanette in Switzerland.
So, you’ve made the decision, you want to go to private school in the UK. There are few organisations that can help you. The Good School Guide can provide information on many aspects of private schooling. Independent Schools Council brings together seven associations, which represent over 1,200 independent schools in the UK and overseas. Last, but not least MariAl Associates experts will be happy to assist you with your choice.