Prince Charles: Expert on royal's 'revolutionary' education
Prince Charles’ “unusual [early] education” was responsible for setting him out on a “very different path in life” to his mother the Queen. Unlike heirs in the past, the Prince of Wales was the first child in the Royal Family to attend school rather than have a private tutor. True Royalty’s documentary Royal Secrets: Born to be King discussed why the monarch and her husband, Prince Philip, made this decision to turn away from royal tradition.
Narrator Glynis Barber said: “Charles’ education was revolutionary for the Royal Family.
“Until he came along, royal children were educated at home away from prying eyes and fellow pupils.
“But the Queen and Prince Philip wanted Charles to be a very different kind of king.
“So they sent him to public school.”
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She continued: “From the start, Charles was expected to engage with his future subjects, and they with him.
“This was especially the case when it came to sport.
“His Royal Highness soon found that his classmates were not afraid to take him on.”
Historian Kate Thornton also gave insight into a young Charles when she spoke on The Royal Beat.
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She told viewers: “He had such an unusual education in comparison to his mother and also to Queen Victoria.
“We know both of them found it very difficult not to be educated among peers, or their subjects.
“This may well have set him out on a very different path in life.”
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In 1956, Charles started classes at Hill House school in West London.
He then followed in his father’s steps to attend two of Philip’s former schools, Cheam Preparatory from 1958 and Gordonstoun in the north-east of Scotland from 1962.
The Prince of Wales famously loathed Gordonstoun, branding it “Colditz in kilts”.
However, later in life, he admitted that it had taught him to “accept challenges and take the initiative”.
Despite admitting to having learned from his experience in Scotland, both of Charles’ sons, Prince William and Prince Harry, were educated closer to home and attended Eton.
The Prince of Wales also became the first heir apparent to earn a university degree when he graduated from Cambridge with a 2:2 BA in 1970.
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