Princess Anne has paid her first visit to Gordonstoun school since her late mother’s passing – and helped students pay the perfect tribute.
The Princess Royal officially opened new classrooms today which are named after the monarch who died in 2022.
Three generations of the British royal family attended the boarding school near Elgin, with Prince Philip one of its first pupils.
During a touching moment, Princess Anne revealed a plaque saying ‘The Queen Elizabeth II Rooms’, a tribute which was given approval by King Charles – another former Gordonstoun student.
The Princess Royal – who holds the role of ‘warden’ at the school – also met students and was given a guided tour of the new classrooms which are used daily.
In a short speech after the opening, she said she was “deeply honoured” to unveil the new facility which she said “captured the spirit and tradition” of the school.
Her Royal Highness also said she also hoped that pupils would be “inspired” by her mother’s service to the community, and that her legacy can be carried throughout the school using the new facilities.
Princess Anne also spoke with students about how the new classrooms are improving their learning.
Tara Sinclair, Kirill Korneev and Daisi Cooper all got the opportunity to chat briefly, describing her as “very friendly, interesting and courteous”.
She was also shown demonstrations of how pupils are using AI in the classroom from the school’s robotics club.
While The Princess Royal was offered the chance to take control of the machinery, she politely declined and chose to watch on instead as students wowed her with the latest tech.
Excitable students all dressed in Gordonstoun’s signature tartan bid farewell to the royal as she left, waving flags and cheering.
New Gordonstoun classrooms are the ‘greenest in UK’
Gordonstoun bosses say that the new Queen Elizabeth II rooms are the most ambitious construction programme at the school since World War II.
The spaces come equipped with solar panels, ground source heating and hi-tech carbon dioxide monitoring.
The solar panels generate enough free energy for four months of the year, and the overall bill for the building has been substantially cut.
The building has also been installed with the latest technology, including control systems for removing and adding walls to change the size of the existing rooms, and interactive teaching walls.
Biggest building project at Gordonstoun ‘since second world war’
Gordonstoun Principal Lisa Kerr said: “We are committed to providing our students with the best possible learning environment while being mindful of reducing our carbon footprint.
“The low carbon design is a signpost to how we want to develop the rest of the school estate as part of our bold masterplan leading up to the school’s 100th anniversary.
“Gordonstoun is always looking for ways to innovate and The Queen Elizabeth II Rooms’ is the first step in our biggest building project since WWII.
“The classroom hub is built to the highest environmental standards and provides our students and staff with the latest facilities, technology and equipment.
“HRH The Princess Royal spent time seeing how AI is used in the classroom and our robotics club gave an impressive demonstration, which hopefully bodes well when they compete in the National Championships later in the year.”