Calendar An icon of a desk calendar. Cancel An icon of a circle with a diagonal line across. Caret An icon of a block arrow pointing to the right. Email An icon of a paper envelope. Facebook An icon of the Facebook "f" mark. Google An icon of the Google "G" mark. Linked In An icon of the Linked In "in" mark. Logout An icon representing logout. Profile An icon that resembles human head and shoulders. Telephone An icon of a traditional telephone receiver. Tick An icon of a tick mark. Is Public An icon of a human eye and eyelashes. Is Not Public An icon of a human eye and eyelashes with a diagonal line through it. Pause Icon A two-lined pause icon for stopping interactions. Quote Mark A opening quote mark. Quote Mark A closing quote mark. Arrow An icon of an arrow. Folder An icon of a paper folder. Breaking An icon of an exclamation mark on a circular background. Camera An icon of a digital camera. Caret An icon of a caret arrow. Clock An icon of a clock face. Close An icon of the an X shape. Close Icon An icon used to represent where to interact to collapse or dismiss a component Comment An icon of a speech bubble. Comments An icon of a speech bubble, denoting user comments. Ellipsis An icon of 3 horizontal dots. Envelope An icon of a paper envelope. Facebook An icon of a facebook f logo. Camera An icon of a digital camera. Home An icon of a house. Instagram An icon of the Instagram logo. LinkedIn An icon of the LinkedIn logo. Magnifying Glass An icon of a magnifying glass. Search Icon A magnifying glass icon that is used to represent the function of searching. Menu An icon of 3 horizontal lines. Hamburger Menu Icon An icon used to represent a collapsed menu. Next An icon of an arrow pointing to the right. Notice An explanation mark centred inside a circle. Previous An icon of an arrow pointing to the left. Rating An icon of a star. Tag An icon of a tag. Twitter An icon of the Twitter logo. Video Camera An icon of a video camera shape. Speech Bubble Icon A icon displaying a speech bubble WhatsApp An icon of the WhatsApp logo. Information An icon of an information logo. Plus A mathematical 'plus' symbol. Duration An icon indicating Time. Success Tick An icon of a green tick. Success Tick Timeout An icon of a greyed out success tick. Loading Spinner An icon of a loading spinner.

Prince Philip: School life in north-east at Gordonstoun laid foundations of Duke of Edinburgh Awards scheme

Prince Philip’s connection to the north-east stretches back before he met the Queen and laid the foundations to arguably his biggest legacy – the Duke of Edinburgh Awards.

As a boy, he went to school at Gordonstoun near Elgin, which instilled in him his strong character, sense of duty and his life-long passion for the open waves.

Prince Philip doing boat maintenance at Hopeman Harbour while a Gordonstoun pupil.
Prince Philip doing boat maintenance at Hopeman Harbour while a Gordonstoun pupil.

During his five-year spell there he received the Moray Badge, which rewarded physical achievements, volunteering and expeditions.

The accolade would later inspire Philip to establish the Duke of Edinburgh Awards with Gordonstoun’s founder Kurt Hahn, which has now spread to 140 countries across the world and shaped the lives and careers of millions.

Prince Philip learning to sail at Hopeman Harbour.

Outdoor pursuits were ‘additional classrooms’

The prince himself described the Gordonstoun’s proximity to the Moray Firth and Cairngorms as being the equivalent of having “additional classrooms”, there to “open the eyes of young people to the wider world beyond school and home”.

And Gordonstoun’s current principal, Lisa Kerr, believes the opportunity went on to benefit countless others across the country and world.

He said: “Prince Philip was enormously shaped by Gordonstoun in many ways, but he also went on to shape Gordonstoun too.

Prince Philip: ‘A born athlete’ was in his element at Gordonstoun

“He was an enormously successful athlete as captain of the cricket team, he played hockey and developed his love of sailing, which is prestigious Navy career can be traced back to.

“He actually sailed one of our boats to Norway, which our pupils still do to this day.

“Gordonstoun really instilled a sense of service in him, and I think we saw that element of the school in his later life.

Prince Philip, pictured second from left, takes part in a historical pageant at Gordonstoun.

“When Kurt Hahn came to him about expanding the Moray Badge through his patronage into the Duke of Edinburgh Award it was really to reach more children.

“That all-round nature while developing people of tremendous character can be seen in the award and really does shine through to this day at Gordonstoun.

“Through the Duke of Edinburgh Award millions of children around the world have now got a little taste of Prince Philip’s time at Gordonstoun.”

Prince Philip legacy continues at Gordonstoun

Prince Philip joined Gordonstoun as a 13-year-old in 1934 in the year the school was founded and was the oldest surviving pupil.

During his time in the north-east he developed his love of sailing with trips from Hopeman’s harbour.

However, he excelled in all areas and in his final year became guardian, or head boy, while previously being a watcher, a precursor to Gordonstoun’s own Coastguard service.

Prince Philip at the opening of Gordonstoun’s new Coastguard tower in 1955.

He continued to be a passionate supporter of the school during his royal duties and most recently visited in 2014 to celebrate its 80th anniversary – when he insisted on joining the lunch queue with pupils instead of having his meal brought to him.

Later three of his children, Prince Charles, Prince Andrew and Prince Edward, would also attend Gordonstoun as well as two of his grandchildren.

Today his daughter, Princess Anne, continues to be the school’s warden.

‘Unique sense of fun and infectious optimism’

Most recently he gave his name to the Prince Philip Gordonstoun Foundation, which is an endowment fund opening access to the school’s education to children of all backgrounds, just two years ago.

Ms Kerr said: “Students and staff remember the Duke of Edinburgh as someone who made students feel at ease in his presence and who shared their love of Gordonstoun.

Prince Philip during a private visit to Gordonstoun in2014 to mark the 80th anniversary of the school.

“He had an immensely strong character, combined with a unique sense of fun, infectious optimism and strong sense of duty.

“More than anything, he understood and was hugely supportive of Gordonstoun’s educational ethos, of not only fulfilling academic potential but also of developing life skills through experiences outside the classroom.

“We are immensely grateful for his support over the years and his presence and support in the school’s life will be sorely missed.”

Already a subscriber? Sign in

[[title]]

[[text]]