Students watch the state funeral of Queen Elizabeth II in their boarding house, Windmill Lodge, at Gordonstoun School (Paul Campbell/PA)
19 September 2022

Staff and pupils at King’s former school come together to mark Queen’s funeral

19 September 2022

Staff and students at the King’s former school have come together to mark the Queen’s state funeral.

Gordonstoun school, in Morayshire, suspended lessons on Monday to allow boarding houses to gather and watch the funeral broadcast.

The houses were silent as the Queen’s coffin made its way to Westminster Abbey, with some staff and students admitting they felt some emotion towards the occasion.

Later in the afternoon, each of the school’s houses took part in a walk to the nearby coastguard watchtower – which the Duke of Edinburgh opened in 1955 – to lay flowers in tribute to the Queen.

Students then gathered in the school chapel for a memorial service.

A lone piper started the service with Amazing Grace, followed by hymns and prayers.

Proceedings came to an end with a rendition of Highland Cathedral by a pipe band.

The Queen had a close connection to Gordonstoun, with her husband, the late Prince Philip, studying there in his youth.

The Queen wasn't just the Queen at Gordonstoun. She was also a Gordonstoun mum and a Gordonstoun grandmother, so it does feel like the passing of a member of the family

Their three sons, Charles, Andrew and Edward followed in his footsteps – an education that Charles said instilled in him self-discipline and a sense of responsibility.

The Princess Royal’s two children, Zara and Peter, were also students at the independent school.

Lisa Kerr, the school’s principal, said it was a “remarkable” day for the Gordonstoun community “in so many ways”.

She told the PA news agency: “Most importantly, it is our opportunity with the rest of the country to pay our respects to a much-loved and respected monarch.

“But of course, the Queen wasn’t just the Queen at Gordonstoun – she was also a Gordonstoun mum and a Gordonstoun grandmother, so it does feel like the passing of a member of the family.”

Children and teachers from Gordonstoun School marked the state funeral of Queen Elizabeth II by walking to the Coastguard watchtower and laying flowers (Paul Campbell/PA) (PA Wire)

Ms Kerr added that the “whole school feels a tremendous sense of pride and honour” to have a former student as the new monarch.

Fatima, a student in year 12, watched the funeral from the house Charles stayed in as a student – an experience she described as “special”.

“I was in his room – the house captain’s room – for the funeral, and I think that made me feel quite in touch with the royal family,” she told PA.

“This is a very historic moment in time, and I feel so lucky to be a part of it.”

Year 13 Valentin said it was “amazing” to see the school come together to watch the broadcast.

He told PA: “It was quite amazing to see the whole house be seated there in immaculate uniform, paying their respects, being quiet for the whole duration of the funeral.”

Ruby, who is in year 10, told PA it was a “shock” to see the Queen’s coffin being carried into Westminster Abbey.

“It was just very emotional and you could see everyone quite cloudy in the eyes,” she added.

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