Special day celebrated by Worcester school

21 Sep 2011

A visit by the Princess Royal has helped RGS Worcester to celebrate the 450th anniversary since the school was granted its Royal Charter in 1561 by Queen Elizabeth I.

Princess Anne arrived by helicopter on the school’s playing fields, and was greeted by a cacophony of cheers and flag-waving by pupils from the school’s two prep schools, Springfield and The Grange. Met by Headmaster Andy Rattue, she received an extensive tour of the school, together with dignitaries including the Lord Lieutenant of Worcestershire, the High Sheriff of Worcestershire, the Mayor of Worcester and local MP Robin Walker.

Many pupils met the princess at different parts of the tour, including Head Girl Michaela Lucas. “Along with Head Boy Ollie Hamilton, I told her about the merger of The Alice Ottley School with the Royal Grammar School in 2007,” said Michaela. “She was genuinely interested in the school and was knowledgeable about the school’s history. We also discussed the extra-curricular opportunities at RGS and the benefits of being in the centre of Worcester.”

Eight charities supported by RGS, including Save the Children, for whom the school raised £24,000 for the Haiti Appeal, were on hand to meet the Princess. She also viewed work produced in the school’s Design & Technology Department, together with the pupils responsible, including the school’s electric car, which races in a national competition.

Then she viewed a demonstration of skills from the school’s lacrosse and rugby teams, both sports that Princess Anne enjoys. “She told me how she used to play lacrosse,” said team captain Fiona Tait, “and I think she really enjoyed meeting the players and seeing some of their skills. The Mayor even picked up a stick, and told us that he also used to play!”

Throughout the visit the route was lined with pupils from all ages and the excitement and warmth was genuine. The focus was the presentation of a posy by seven year old James Preece of RGS the Grange and 11 year old Eleanor Allsopp from RGS Springfield. The Princess then unveiled a plaque, which commemorated the historical significance of the day, before walking past the school’s entire Combined Cadet Force.

“It’s been an incredible privilege to welcome Princess Anne to the school,” said Headmaster Andy Rattue. “I’m so glad she had the chance to meet not only our pupils, but also friends of the school. RGS is immensely proud of its heritage and to share this occasion with so many people has been truly special.”