The Herald

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.

- Mike Merritt reports

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

 ??  ?? Prince Philip developed his love of sailing while a pupil at Gordonstou­n. The Duke’s passion for the sea continued throughout his life
Prince Philip developed his love of sailing while a pupil at Gordonstou­n. The Duke’s passion for the sea continued throughout his life
 ??  ?? Philip, second from left, taking part in an historical pageant in 1933
Philip, second from left, taking part in an historical pageant in 1933
 ??  ?? Prince Philip, centre, doing boat maintenanc­e at Hopeman Harbour
Prince Philip, centre, doing boat maintenanc­e at Hopeman Harbour
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