‘Felt very poignant’ Princess Anne pays tribute to Philip during visit with links to Zara

Princess Anne 'is the best of the royal family' says Galloway

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Princess Anne visited Gordonstoun, the Scottish school which educated three generations of Windsors, on Thursday. The Princess Royal had the chance to remember her late father the Duke of Edinburgh on several occasions during the tour of the school. 

The Queen’s only daughter was shown rare archive material about her father’s time at the institute.

She also heard about the Moray Badge, an award established in 1936 as a result of the belief harboured by Gordonstoun’s founder Kurt Hahn that modern society was in an unhealthy state.

Prince Philip, who became a pupil at the Scottish school in 1934, was one of the first five students to qualify for the Senior Silver Moray Badge.

Recipients of the accolade had to prove their swimming and life-saving skills, as well as their ability to throw, run, jump and their stamina. 

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They also had to complete an expedition lasting for at least two days.

The Moray Badge had a huge impact on the prince, who embraced Mr Hahn’s vision and, two decades later, created the Duke of Edinburgh Awards.

The Badge has been revived for 2021 and 2022 as part of the Queen’s Platinum Jubilee and in a bid to support primary and secondary age pupils who have been affected by the Covid lockdown.

While at Gordonstoun, Anne also met some of the students, attended an outdoor lesson and a demonstration from the school’s pupil-led Fire Service and Coastguard units. 

Principal Lisa Kerr, who led the Princess Royal during her tour of the school, also revealed Gordonstoun held a private memorial for Philip.

She said: “The Princess Royal was able to see some of the memorials that Gordonstoun had put in place for her father, who was the school’s 10th pupil.

“Her Royal Highness spent time speaking to two pupils who played an important role in the memorial service at Hopeman Harbour, including the piper who had played and the student who had laid the wreath at sea.”

Ben Shaw, design teacher and head of the Duke of Edinburgh programme at the school told The Northern Scot: “She was asking really interesting stuff and was really interested in what the pupils were doing. 

“Last year there was a real tinge of sadness doing my role, especially with the Duke’s death, but it is a great legacy to carry on.

“It felt a very poignant moment to have a member of the Royal Family coming back here after having them be such an important part of the history here.”

Mr Shaw noted Prince Philip hasn’t been the only member of the Firm close to the princess’ heart to have attended Gordonstoun.

Anne’s three siblings – Prince Charles, Prince Andrew and Prince Edward – attended Gordonstoun, as well as her two children Peter Phillips and Zara Tindall. 

The Princess Royal did not go to the Scottish school as, in her youth, it was a male-only institute.

Mr Shaw continued: “I think for her, as well, with her daughter having been here, seeing that the school is still in good hands and making positive progress is probably a really good thing.

“The whole visit must have been nice for her too, I hope.” 

This visit was surely touching for Princess Anne as it comes almost one year after the death of her father Prince Philip.

The Duke passed away on April 9 at Windsor Castle.

A few days later, the princess shared a personal statement via the Royal Family Instagram account, reading: “You know it’s going to happen but you are never really ready.

“My father has been my teacher, my supporter and my critic, but mostly it is his example of a life well-lived and service freely given that I most wanted to emulate.” 

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