Page 4 - Independent Schools Magazine
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Royal Month for Royal Berkshire
Two independent schools in the Royal County of Berkshire were honoured last month (May) to receive visits from the Royal Family to celebrate signi cant anniversaries...
Visit launches year of 130th anniversary celebrations
Her Majesty The Queen and His Royal Highness The Prince Philip, Duke of Edinburgh were joined by huge crowds to celebrate Pangbourne College’s Centenary. The Queen and The Duke of Edinburgh attended a Service of Thanksgiving for the Centenary of The College at the Falkland Islands Memorial Chapel. It
was The Duke of Edinburgh’s
 rst public appearance
following Buckingham Palace’s announcement he was retiring from Royal duties this autumn. The Royal Party arrived at the College by helicopter before
the short car journey to Chapel for the Service attended by representatives of the College community. The Queen, making her  fth visit to the College, wore an ensemble by designer Angela Kelly – a pastel tweed dress and coat in shades of pale pink, mint and gold. The Queen also wore
a matching hat and a diamond brooch.
Upon leaving Chapel, The Queen and The Duke of Edinburgh were then introduced to and, despite chilly weather, warmly chatted with College pupils, parents, long-serving members of staff and College alumni before sitting down for lunch in Devitt House. The Royal Party then enjoyed
a College Parade joined by
large crowds, who were visiting the College for the occasion. Following it, The Queen presented Her Majesty The Queen’s Gold Medal, awarded annually, to
the College Head Boy Frederick Taucher and Head Girl Ellen White, both 18 and Upper Sixth Form students.
The Queen and The Duke of Edinburgh last visited the
College and Falkland Islands
Memorial Chapel in 2007 to attend a Service to mark the 25th anniversary of the liberation of the Falkland Islands. They were also both guests of the then Nautical College in 1967 to mark its 50th birthday.
The Right Reverend Dr Michael Nazir-Ali and former Bishop of Rochester made The Address during the Service in Chapel. After lunch, The Queen was led out to a wonderfully packed and expectant Parade Ground by College Headmaster Mr Thomas Garnier.
The Abbey School, Reading,
welcomed a royal visitor to launch
celebrations of the 130th year
since the School’s foundation.
HRH The Countess of Wessex,
GCVO, joined past and present
pupils and staff for a tour of the
Junior and Senior Schools. HRH
was of cially welcomed to The
Abbey by Deputy Lord Lieutenant
of Berkshire Mrs Felicity Rutland
DL, who is herself a former Head
Girl, parent and Chair of governors
of the School.
During the visit Her Royal Highness
met Year One pupils planting in the
School garden and Year Five pupils
who were working on a project
about  ood-resistant housing.
After being entertained by the Year
Six Chamber Choir, The Countess
was accompanied by Head Girls,
Francesca, Jana and Emma, as
Senior School pupils presented their
work from the Duke of Edinburgh’s
Award, Art, Drama, Textiles,
Microloan and Young Enterprise.
Finally, Her Royal Highness chatted
to alumnae, fellows, staff and
governors who had gathered to
mark the launch of a new Abbey
Head of The Abbey, Rachel Dent,
addressed the gathering, thanking
Her Royal Highness for visiting. Recalling the ethos of The Abbey she said: “This is a School that resonates with the desire to provide an excellent education for young women. Looking back at our 130- year history one of the remarkable things, in our age of rapid progress, is how much has endured. We continue to share the strong values on which the School was founded along with a sustained enthusiasm for art, music and sport and wider learning for life.”
A busy year of events is planned to celebrate the anniversary, including an evening for alumnae at the Houses of Parliament, a Victorian- themed Christmas Fair and the launch of the 1887 Scholarship Fund. The anniversary year will conclude with a special whole School concert at The Hexagon Theatre that will incorporate a specially commissioned choral work conducted by renowned composer Bob Chilcott.
The Abbey School was founded as Reading High School in 1887 by the Church Schools’ Company, and  rst occupied the current Senior School site on Kendrick Road in 1905. It was renamed ‘The Abbey School’ in 1913.
for the Parade of students - a rich College tradition, proudly echoing its naval heritage and the  nale of the Royal visit - a phalanx of press photographers were perched above the crowds of heads in
a memorable scene. College Contingent Commander Colin Hearn called for three loud cheers from students before the Royal Party departed by motorcade.
Pictured: HRH The Countess of Wessex with Abbey head Rachel Dent, senior
school head Jan Cresswell, and junior school head Nicola Dick-Clelland
4 Independent Schools Magazine
Pictured: The Queen exiting Devitt House after lunch with Headmaster Thomas Garnier. The Duke of Edinburgh, in the background, was escorted by Chair of Governors (and Old Pangbournian) Rear Admiral Roger Lane-Nott. Photograph by Gareth Jones.
College welcomes Her Majesty
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