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Philip lends name to bursary foundation for Gordonstoun

The Duke of Edinburgh said the school should be open to pupils from the ‘widest possible variety of backgrounds’.

Prince Philip has lent his name to a foundation fund for his old school (Joe Giddens/PA)
Prince Philip has lent his name to a foundation fund for his old school (Joe Giddens/PA)

The Duke of Edinburgh has given his name to a foundation that aims to attract pupils from the “widest possible variety of backgrounds” to his old school.

The Prince Philip Gordonstoun Foundation will offer financial support to ensure a diverse range of students can attend the school.

It comes as a rarely seen image was released showing the duke working with boats during his time at Gordonstoun, which has educated three generations of the Royal Family.

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Prince Philip (centre) working on a boat during his time at the school (Gordonstoun/PA)

The school in Moray was founded in 1934 by Dr Kurt Hahn with the aim that the majority of children should have the opportunity to access an education at the school, regardless of their family’s financial circumstances.

In a foreword for the publication to mark the launch of the foundation, the prince wrote: “Ever since its foundation, Gordonstoun has welcomed entrants from a wide variety of backgrounds. I can say from experience that this is a great advantage to the whole school, as well as to all its individual members.

“Needless to say, this diversity cannot be achieved by pure chance. I, therefore, warmly welcome the creation of this foundation which, I hope, will ensure that the school can continue to attract entrants from the widest possible variety of backgrounds and nationalities.”

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Gordonstoun School in Moray (Gordonstoun/PA)

The foundation was launched at a reception hosted by Princess Anne at St James’s Palace on Wednesday, with former students who have benefited from previous bursaries to join Gordonstoun among the guests.

Ian Durant, chairman of Greggs, said: “The scholarship which allowed me to attend Gordonstoun opened my eyes to a future of possibilities, if only I was prepared to pursue them.

“I was inspired to a lifelong love of literature thanks to an inspiring teacher and the school’s first writer in residence, a South African poet.

“Above all, the school gave me the confidence to try, and the resilience to see failure as a step on the journey.”

More than 30% of pupils at Gordonstoun receive some sort of bursarial support, according to the foundation website.

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Gordonstoun principal Lisa Kerr (Gordonstoun/PA)

Lisa Kerr, principal of Gordonstoun, said: “Gordonstoun’s bursaries have helped many hundreds of children who would not otherwise have been able to benefit from attending the school.

“However the demands on our funds are greater than ever and fundraising has not kept pace.

“We hope this new foundation will change the lives of hundreds more young people for many years.”

PA

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