Health Management

The Castle Where Future Queens Drop the Royal Act


The rolling inexperienced lawns of a Twelfth-century citadel perched on a windy stretch of the South Wales shoreline hosted not one however two kings of Europe final weekend.

The aim of the go to to St. Donat’s by the royal households of Spain and the Netherlands was the commencement of their daughters from UWC Atlantic College, a highschool housed in a distant citadel as soon as owned by the newspaper tycoon William Randolph Hearst.

Below unusually vibrant blue skies on Saturday, Princess Alexia of the Netherlands, 17, smiled in a white linen trouser swimsuit flanked by her mother and father, Queen Maxima and King Willem-Alexander (a former Atlantic School pupil himself) in {a photograph} posted on Instagram.

Princess Leonor of Asturias, who can also be 17 and the inheritor to the Spanish throne, wore a scarlet crimson button down blazer costume with break up sleeves as she posed for selfies together with her mother and father and youthful sister Princess Sofia, who’s set to start there in September.

The scene was a mirrored image of how Atlantic School, which is a part of the United World Colleges group, has turn into the college of alternative for a lot of younger royals. It more and more attracts college students who might have as soon as gone to better-known locations like Eton School within the shadow of Windsor Citadel or Institut Le Rosey on the sting of Lake Geneva in Switzerland, thought of the most expensive boarding school in the world.

Different current alumni of the college, which educates college students for his or her ultimate two years of highschool, embody Princess Elisabeth, Duchess of Brabant, who’s Belgium’s future queen. She graduated in 2021 and went on to check at Oxford.

The British press has pondered whether or not the British royal household might break with custom and ship its personal younger heirs to a faculty that has lately educated a number of future queens of Europe.

Though UWC might have extra of an up to date environment and curriculum than its extra conventional counterparts, it does seem to subscribe to no less than one very previous — and really royal — conference: the artwork of being tight-lipped. The college didn’t reply to quite a few requests for remark for this text, and appears to principally keep away from talking to reporters.

Tori Cadogan, the schooling editor of the British society journal Tatler, mentioned that the enchantment of Atlantic School has largely to do with an optimistic ideology rooted in “deliberate range” and world peace. The college enrolls loads of kids of royalty and different rich households, however there are additionally a big variety of much less privileged college students.

Tuition is pricey: about $82,000 for the two-year worldwide baccalaureate program.

Many college students obtain monetary support, nevertheless, together with a big cohort who’re victims of conflict or refugees on full scholarships. Their purposes go to the U.W.C. nationwide committee, which then assigns the scholars to United World School campuses all over the world, maybe in Thailand, Costa Rica, Norway or the US.

Final week, the Dutch royal household introduced that Princess Ariane of the Netherlands, the third and youngest daughter of King Willem-Alexander and Queen Máxima, would attend the United World School Adriatic close to Trieste, Italy.

Atlantic School opened in 1962 — the peak of the Chilly Conflict — and the concept to make a various pupil physique a precedence got here from Kurt Hahn (who based Gordonstoun, King Charles’s alma mater). He determined a brand new type of educating, which emphasizes accountability, internationalism and democracy, was wanted to keep away from one other world conflict.

A statement on the school’s website says the mission of the college is “to carry collectively younger folks from all over the world to assist create an environment for peaceable coexistence between cultures and nations.”

What, then, does a teenage princess do together with her days at Atlantic? Based on the “A Day in the Life” section of the college web site, lessons run from 8 a.m. to only after 1 p.m., with afternoons left open for neighborhood service at native hospitals and colleges, in addition to actions like kayaking, archery, planting within the greenhouse or engaged on the college farm, and even serving on the college’s personal lifeboat service. (Based on the BBC, the broadly used Rigid Inflatable Lifeboat was invented by students at the school within the early Sixties.)

Cellphone reception is claimed to be ghastly (prone to the delight of lecturers and fogeys). “E.D.W.s” (extreme shows of wealth) are banned, which suggests no costly watches or designer gear.

Louise Callaghan, a former pupil who’s the Center East correspondent for the Sunday Times, wrote a column in 2018 about her time on the faculty. She mentioned it pressured many college students to “get very used to being round, and getting together with, people who find themselves nothing such as you.”

These included, she wrote, “refugees from West Africa, Brits from throughout the social spectrum, California hippies, non secular Malaysians.” Studying how one can work together with such a various group, she mentioned, “is a helpful life talent — one, I think about, you don’t acquire at a traditional non-public faculty.”

She additionally had a extra lighthearted tackle her time there. Atlantic School, she wrote, was slightly like “a hippie Hogwarts.”

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