HRH The Princess Royal's visit to Warwick Independent Schools Foundation
We were honoured to host HRH The Princess Royal, when the Princess visited Warwick to celebrate the work of local charities and organisations, and mark an important milestone in education – the completion of Project One Campus. It was a memorable day for all our pupils, young and old.
Richard Nicholson, Principal of Warwick Independent Schools Foundation, commented: ‘This marks such an important moment in our history, bringing the Foundation family of schools together on one site.’
Her Royal Highness was welcomed by children from local primary schools, as ten Brethren from the Lord Leycester Hospital formed a Guard of Honour. Accompanied by the Lord Lieutenant, High Sheriff, and Chair of Warwickshire County Council, the Princess met with local charities and organisations at Warwick Hall, including Helping Hands, Kissing It Better, Young People First, Armonico Consort, and Warwick – A Singing Town.
Richard Nicholson introduced the Princess to Warwick - A Singing Town, a project to bring singing permanently into the lives of young people in Warwick, and promote the health and social benefits of singing. Jeremy Dibb, who leads the programme, explained how singing techniques are being used to support patients suffering with long-term breathing issues from long Covid. He was supported by the Classic FM Presenter, Catherine Bott, a Patron of the project, and a former pupil of King’s High.
The whole school turned out to welcome the Princess Royal. Cadets from King’s High and Warwick School’s Combined Cadet Force formed a Guard of Honour as our pupils waited patiently for a sight of the Princess. Head Master, Dr Burley formally welcomed the Princess to King’s High. Our pupils escorted her around the new school buildings. Jemima, Laura, Emily, Lucy, Gemma, Lucy, Ruby, Ailie and Catherine showed the Princess the stunning new facilities for Design and Technology, Art, Food Technology, and Sport. Drama students, Evanthe, Thalia, and Alex demonstrated how the Drama studios’ design makes it accessible for all pupils to operate the machinery.
Cat Price, Head of Drama, said: ‘It was really lovely that Her Royal Highness took the time to speak to each individual student and ask them a personal question. I think the students really appreciated that.’ Our pupils said: ‘The Princess was lovely, very down to earth, and seemed very interested in everything.’
King’s High’s Head Girl team, Pirasha, Jemma, and Jenny, introduced the Princess to fellow pupils, and showed her the floor-to-ceiling ‘Changemaker Gallery’ of portraits our pupils created, to celebrate inspirational women. The Princess was able to view her own image in the mirror at the heart of the display. The Princess also met pupils from Warwick School, and some of our very youngest Foundation pupils from Warwick Prep Nursery.
The Princess Royal unveiled a plaque outside the shared Sixth Form Centre. Thanking her, Richard Nicholson said: ‘From our youngest pupils in Nursery to our oldest students in the Sixth Form, you have generously allowed us to demonstrate ‘Project One Campus’ in action, more eloquently than any words could. Project One Campus is a philosophy, which our co-location allows us to live to the full: extraordinary places of learning, extraordinary pupils and staff, cherishing and celebrating the uniqueness of our individual schools yet with generosity of spirit, working together, growing together, sharing the best of each other - truly the Best of Both Worlds - all here together on this glorious site.’
At the end of the Royal visit, Olivia from Warwick Prep School and Teddy from Warwick Junior School stepped forward to present the Princess with a posy.