Europe South Asia Asia Pacific Americas Middle East Africa BBC Homepage World Service Education
BBC Homepagelow graphics version | feedback | help
BBC News Online
 You are in: Education
Front Page 
World 
UK 
UK Politics 
Business 
Sci/Tech 
Health 
Education 
Correspondents 
How the Education Systems Work 
Sport 
Entertainment 
Talking Point 
In Depth 
AudioVideo 


The BBC's Royal Correspondent Jennie Bond
"The choice of school hasn't yet ruffled feathers here"
 real 28k

Thursday, 3 February, 2000, 16:04 GMT
Princesses head for Swiss school

chesieres-villars The princesses will be able to enjoy winter sports at their new school


The Duke and Duchess of York are to remove their daughters from the UK's education system and send them to an exclusive school in Switzerland.

Princess Beatrice, 11, has passed the entrance exam to Aiglon College, a co-educational school in Chesières-Villars, a small village in the Alps. She will start there in September.

Princess Eugenie, nine, is expected to join her sister at the school next year.


We feel that the opportunities offered by Aiglon, and the teaching and community philosophy are exceptional, to say nothing of the languages that are available to them there.
Duke of York


The education at the college, founded 50 years ago, is based on the English curriculum, but its 300 pupils, aged between nine and 18, come from 50 different countries.

Prince Andrew, who was at school with the college's headmaster, has said that both he and the Duchess believe the college's teaching and philosophy are exceptional.

It was his decision to send the girls there, but his ex-wife is said to have been happy to go along with it. The Queen has also approved the decision.

'Exhaustive research'

The Duke revealed the news on the internet, in an interview for the Buckingham Palace Royal Insight magazine, marking his 40th birthday later this month.

He said: "We have done exhaustive research into which school to send them to.

"In the end we feel that the opportunities offered by Aiglon, and the teaching and community philosophy are exceptional, to say nothing of the languages that are available to them there.

family The girls' welfare is their parents' top priority


"Aiglon is one of the strongest member schools of the Round Square, the grouping of schools around the world which subscribe to the Kurt Hahn education philosophy.

"I was educated at the alma mater of that organisation, Gordonstoun, and I am a patron of Round Square."

The college's mission statement, displayed on its website, says: "Aiglon strives to excel, offering an unusually rounded and challenging education in a secure and friendly international community.

"We aim to equip students with the skills and values necessary to become responsible, positive contributors to the world."


We aim to equip students with the skills and values necessary to become responsible, positive contributors to the world.
Aiglon College mission statement


Boarding fees for junior school pupils, aged between 11 and 13, are 45,430 Swiss Francs a year (£17,187), while day fees are 27,155 Swiss Francs (£10,273).

Unsurprisingly, skiing, as well as camping and climbing trips into the mountains, are, in the college's words, "part of the essential character of Aiglon".

It is expected that Beatrice will board at the school when she first joins, but when both girls are there, the Duchess may base herself in Switzerland during term-time so that they can be day pupils.

British curriculum

Dick Davison, of the Independent Schools Information Service, said: "It's not a Swiss school really, it's a school that happens to be in Switzerland.

"It's a British school, founded and run on British lines, and it has a British curriculum."

The princesses, who currently attend Cowarth Park preparatory school in Surrey, will be the first of the Queen's grandchildren to be educated abroad. However, their family home will remain Sunninghill Park in Berkshire, where their parents still live together under the same roof.

As well as the Duke of York, other Royals, including the Prince of Wales, the Duke of Edinburgh and the Princess Royal's children, Peter and Zara Phillips, have been educated at Gordonstoun according to the philosophy of German educationalist Kurt Hahn.

Hahn established the school, on the Moray Firth, after fleeing Nazi Germany.

Search BBC News Online

Advanced search options
Launch console
BBC RADIO NEWS
BBC ONE TV NEWS
WORLD NEWS SUMMARY
PROGRAMMES GUIDE

See also:
15 Oct 99 |  UK
From outcast to US princess: Fergie at 40

Internet links:

The BBC is not responsible for the content of external internet sites
Links to other Education stories are at the foot of the page.


E-mail this story to a friend

Links to more Education stories