Naughty, but never nasty: Prince Philip’s old report card revealed
The late Duke showed signs of impatience with fuss even when he was at boarding school.
THE Duke of Edinburgh’s old Scottish boarding school has released his report cards, which reveal “he was naughty, but never nasty”.
The report from Gordonstoun in Moray was written for the Duke’s marriage to the Queen in 1947.
Gordonstoun has educated three generations of the royal family, including Prince Philip, who attended from the age of 13.
The £40,000-per-year school was founded by Dr Kurt Hahn, who fled Nazi Germany and became an inspiring mentor to Philip.
Jewish Dr Hahn was private secretary to Prince Max von Baden, the last Imperial Chancellor of Germany, before the pair founded Schule Schloss Salem boarding school.
Gordonstoun was established in
1934 by Dr Hahn with the ideal of developing better world citizens equipped to contribute to society.
Dr Hahn was asked to write a record of Philip’s school career a few weeks before his engagement to the future Queen in 1947.
It is this record, which covers the period 1934-39 before Philip left for the Royal Naval College at Dartmouth, that the school has released.
It was granted permission by the Palace in the expectation that Philip would live to celebrate his 100th birthday in June.
Dr Hahn noted: “He had grown impatient of what for short may be called royalty nonsense. After matches and theatrical performances, people often asked him for an autograph.
“He found this ridiculous and on one occasion signed himself ‘The Earl of Baldwin’, to the bewilderment of the autograph-hunter.”
Philip found things easy, which could lead to displays of “intolerance and impatience”, Dr Hahn said. “When he was in the middle-school, he got into a fair number of scrapes through recklessness and wildness. He was often naughty, never nasty.”
When he came to Gordonstoun “his marked trait was his undefeatable spirit, he felt deeply both joy and sadness, and the way he looked and the way he moved indicated what he felt”.
Philip had “meticulous attention to detail” and was “never content with mediocre results”.
But while he was cycling to seamanship classes one day he needed all his characteristic charm.
“He was in the habit of cycling regardless of safety rules, and on one occasion he avoided a clash with a baby in a perambulator by inches, thanks to his unusual agility: he appeased the mother by an apology which was irresistible,” noted the report.
Dr Hahn was also the driving force behind the Outward Bound Movement and the Duke of Edinburgh’s Award.
Philip was a member of the “Watchers”, one of the school’s community services – and a precursor to the Gordonstoun’s Coastguard service. He also developed his love of sailing at Gordonstoun, inspiring his life-long love of the sea.
Philip was also an excellent all-round athlete, becoming Captain of cricket and hockey. In his final year he became “Guardian” (head boy) and took part in the “Moray Badge”, the inspiration for The Duke of Edinburgh’s Award.
Prince Philip gave his name to the Duke of Edinburgh’s Award when it was made a national award in 1956 and it has now spread across the world to over 140 countries.
Prince Philip took great pleasure in presenting Gold awards to its recipients throughout his life.
Philip regularly visited the school, most recently for a private visit in 2014 to mark the school’s 80th anniversary, when he insisted on joining students in the queue for lunch, rather than taking a seat and having it brought to him.
Lisa Kerr, principal of Gordonstoun, said: “Students and staff at Gordonstoun remember HRH The Duke of Edinburgh as someone who made students feel at ease in his presence and who shared their love of Gordonstoun.
“He had an immensely strong character, combined with a unique sense of fun, infectious optimism and strong sense of duty.
“We are immensely grateful for his support over the years and his presence and support in the school’s life will be sorely missed.”
When he was in the middle school, he got into a fair number of scrapes through recklessness