Why Do So Many Royals Send Their Kids to “Hippie Hogwarts”?

This week, a brand new crop of scholars arrived at United World School of the Atlantic, a small boarding faculty in a Twelfth-century fortress on the coast of Wales. However in contrast to most years, the group of scholars arriving in Glamorgan from world wide contains two members of European royalty, Princess Alexia of the Netherlands, and Princess Leonor of Asturias, the inheritor presumptive to the Spanish throne. Each youngsters had been photographed saying goodbye to their families earlier than touring on Monday. Alexia was carrying a plaid cape within the snapshot her dad and mom posted to social media, whereas Spain’s complete royal household was seen escorting Leonor to the airport with a small suitcase.

The college has been dubbed a kind of “hippie Hogwarts” by the press, referring to its historical ambiance and considerably eclectic course choices, akin to Tai Chi, sustainability research, and management. The nickname appears up to now again to 2018, when one other princess, Elisabeth of Belgium, enrolled on the faculty. Louise Callaghan, an alumna who went on to function a overseas correspondent for The Sunday Instances, seemingly coined it in an essay explaining the varsity’s attraction. “It’s a bit like a hippie Hogwarts: filled with oddballs who suppose they’re combating the forces of darkness. There are additionally ghosts. Girl Stradling haunts the historical past tower, and the scent of lavender and a lilac mist precedes her apparition,” she wrote. “The ethos is, broadly, that folks from all around the world can get alongside in case you shove them collectively in a fortress. That a lot we proved, some very passionately.”

So for the subsequent two years, Leonor and Alexia will take a well-rounded and rigorous set of coursework, in the end fulfilling the necessities for an Worldwide Baccalaureate diploma. However in accordance with The Telegraph, courses often finish at round 1 p.m., giving the scholars a chance to spend their afternoons kayaking, doing archery, caving, tending to crops within the greenhouse, and instructing sports activities to native schoolchildren with the undulating hills of the Vale of Glamorgan as a backdrop. The scholars sleep 4 to a room in modest dormitories with pitched roofs, some newly constructed and others with uncovered stone partitions from the fortress itself.

On the one hand, it makes good sense that the royal households of Europe, themselves relics of the previous, would wish to ship their youngsters to a faculty that appears so fancifully odd. Nonetheless, each Leonor and Elisabeth are on observe to change into the monarchs of their international locations—wouldn’t they be first in line for essentially the most elite academic establishments on the planet?

Nevertheless it seems that the varsity, which is a part of a consortium of 18 sixth-form faculties in several international locations, is part of a bigger ideological program to advertise cooperation world wide and has royal roots. It’s also well-known for its efforts to recruit proficient college students from harmful conditions world wide—two of Malala Yousafzai’s mates from the time she was attacked by the Taliban later enrolled—and thru fundraising, offers lots of its college students with scholarships. It’s not the one place these princesses may have gone to get a basic English boarding faculty expertise, nevertheless it is likely to be the one one that may ask them to consider internationalism and the category divide, whereas additionally having some enjoyable within the woods.

Queen Elizabeth at present serves because the UWC’s president, alongside former Queen Noor of Jordan, however the Windsor clan’s affect on the varsity goes again to the very starting. The college was based in 1962 by a bunch of lecturers and diplomats led by the educator Kurt Hahn who wished to plan an academic program that may put together college students for a college alongside group service tasks and peace promotion. Hahn, a German Jew, was the headmaster at Salem—younger Prince Philip’s first boarding faculty—when he was exiled from his house nation after talking out in opposition to the Nazi regime. Ultimately, with the assistance of the British authorities and some high-placed mates, he arrived in Scotland and began the Gordonstoun College, the place Philip grew to become one of many first pupils. He liked his time on the faculty, and later despatched Prince Charles, who didn’t get pleasure from it, as soon as reportedly evaluating it to a prisoner-of-war camp.

Hahn was an advocate of outdoor-based studying, and the ambiance on the faculty, which as soon as reportedly didn’t have any central heating, may often be brutal. However Hahn was admired for his emphasis on character-based training, and ultimately helped to discovered the Outward Certain and the Duke of Edinburgh Award alongside Philip.

In keeping with Alec Peterson, one of many school’s earliest administrators, the thought for Atlantic School happened when Hahn attended a NATO educator’s summit in 1957 and mentioned his concepts for utilizing training to attain peace throughout the Chilly Warfare. In his e book, Colleges Throughout Frontiers: The Story of the Worldwide Baccalaureate and the United World Faculties, Peterson notes that the founders of this system understood that governments throughout Europe had been staffed by individuals who went to the identical elite colleges and tended to kind an “outdated boys’ community.” With Atlantic, the purpose was to refashion this into one thing extra world and inclusive by fundraising extensively for scholarships, specializing in a values-based curriculum, and by 1970, inviting women to attend as college students. The college discovered its house in St. Donat’s Citadel, an empty mansion on the seaside that was as soon as owned by William Randolph Hearst.

Now, the Worldwide Baccalaureate curriculum is a well-established phenomenon present in private and non-private colleges world wide, however within the early years of Atlantic, there was no strategy to set up school readiness in a means that may fulfill a number of international locations without delay. Understanding that they might not be capable of entice college students from world wide with out making certain their entry into their house college programs, wherever these is likely to be, they determined to start out a corporation to design and promote a world curriculum, which grew to become the IB. With Hahn’s assist, they enlisted Philip’s uncle, Lord Mountbatten, to fundraise and journey the world to debate Atlantic’s curriculum and methods it may change into standardized world wide. As extra colleges started to hitch the Atlantic’s community, it grew to become referred to as United World Faculties, and Mountbatten served as its first president.

https://www.vanityfair.com/fashion/2021/09/uwc-atlantic-hippie-hogwarts-princess-leonor | Why Do So Many Royals Ship Their Youngsters to “Hippie Hogwarts”?


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