9 May 2023
The grey skies and rain on Friday did nothing to dampen spirits as a whole host of activities and events marking the Coronation, His Royal Highness King Charles III, took place across Berkhamsted Schools Group. These celebrations follow those that marked the late Queen’s Platinum Jubilee last year and brought back memories of Berkhamsted’s long-running association with the Royal Family.
At the Pre-Prep, Year 1 and 2 were treated to a special Coronation-themed dance workshop with Hayley from Lemon Jelly. The children imagined what a Coronation party would look like and who would be there, before recreating it through dance, waving scarves, flags and bunting. The result was an excellent collaborative dance that showed the pupils’ willingness to work together and to try something new. Afterwards, dressed in their finest red, white and blue outfits, the whole of the Pre-Prep enjoyed a picnic lunch before helping to create a fantastic Coronation art display in the afternoon.
Prep students were also in their colourful best, as they gathered together for a Coronation Assembly in the morning and for a special Coronation photo in the afternoon, as shown on the photos below.
At Heatherton, pupils took part in Heatherton’s take on ‘The Big Help Out’, an aspect of the Coronation weekend events which really spoke to the school’s core value of Serving Others. Pupils took part in activities that supported the local community, and which included litter picking, delivering Coronation cards to local care homes, and working with Amersham in Bloom to plant wildflower seeds at Hervines Park. This was in addition to a visit from the Mayor of Amersham and town clerks on Wednesday 3rd May, who helped to plant a special Coronation tree and wildflower seeds.
Meanwhile, the Girls, Boys and Sixth enjoyed a delicious Coronation-themed lunch courtesy of Chartwells, with pupils and staff eating at Kings campus enjoying musical accompaniment from Sixth pupils.
The Boys School ran a Coronation Cake competition. The judging panel had a difficult task on their hands but eventually Bees House emerged as worthy winners with a magnificent gold and purple crown cake.
At the Girls School, pupils combined to create a fantastic Coronation Crown mural which will hang on the walls of the Nash Harris to mark the occasion.
These events are the latest in a long association with the Royal Family, which has enjoyed the patronage of kings and queens as far back as Henry VIII. Her Late Majesty Elizabeth II visited the school in her role as patron in 2016 – His Royal Highness King Charles III’s coronation is taking place exactly seven years to the day after his mother’s visit.
Meanwhile, Berkhamsted School has also seen a number of other Royal visits and meetings over the years. Most recently, twenty-seven Berkhamsted pupils went to Ashridge House to speak to Prince Edward, the Duke of Edinburgh, about their recent experiences taking part in the Duke of Edinburgh programme. You can read about that event here.
Going further back in time, the then Prince of Wales – and later King Edward VIII – visited in June 1935 to open the Gym at the Boys School. The South Wing at the Girls School and the Newcroft block in the Boys School were both opened by Queen Elizabeth the Queen Mother, who visited in June 1958. Additionally, the Knox Johnston Sports Centre was opened by the Duke of Edinburgh in 2004. The school has been extremely fortunate to receive these royal visits, which have created long-lasting and powerful memories for all those who were present.