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Last Updated: Thursday, 11 March, 2004, 18:27 GMT
Duchess's secret life as teacher
The Duchess is known to pupils and parents as Mrs Kent
Pupils at a Hull primary school have just learned that "Mrs Kent" the music teacher is in fact the Duchess of Kent.

The Duchess has secretly been giving music lessons at Wansbeck Primary School, Longhill, east Hull, for the past eight years.

After a visit in 1996, she offered to help boost the school's arts teaching.

Head teacher Ann Davies said: "Her enthusiasm with the children brings out the best in them and thanks to Mrs Kent music is now a strength at the school.

Committed teacher

"She is an inspirational music teacher and the children love working with her.

"They say she never gets cross, she always looks for the positive.

"I believe that because they are so fond of her, they have done well in music."

Ms Davies admitted that the Duchess's offer had initially "come as a complete surprise".

"But she's now just a member of staff - very unassuming and committed to teaching."

Being able to share and pass on your love of music to children is the greatest privilege a teacher can have
The Duchess of Kent

The Duchess mainly teaches music theory and singing during her weekly classes.

She has also used her contacts to arrange sessions with the Halle Orchestra and a visit to London's Westminster Abbey, where the school choir sang with opera singer and fellow Yorkshirewoman Lesley Garrett.

The Duchess, speaking to the Hull Daily Mail, said: "I've studied music all my life, it's my passion.

"My other passion is children. Being able to share and pass on your love of music to children is the greatest privilege a teacher can have."

Asked why she chose Wansbeck, she said: "Because of my connections with Yorkshire.

"It's close to home and home is where the heart is.

"I'm from Yorkshire and it's lovely to be able to teach Yorkshire children."




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