King Charles Accepts Same Role Prince Philip Once Held at ‘Tough’ School Explored in ‘The Crown’

King Charles III

King Charles III has accepted a new role at Gordonstoun, the boarding school in Moray, Scotland, that he attended as a teenager.

The 75-year-old monarch is now a patron of the Gordonstoun Association, the same role that his father, Prince Philip, once held. When the school announced the news on Friday, May 24, it noted that the patronage is the king’s “first official link with the school” since concluding his studies there in 1967.

The late Duke of Edinburgh was among the first students who attended Gordonstoun following its founding in 1934. Philip went on to enroll his oldest son, who was a student there for five years.

“As our most prominent former student, His Majesty exemplifies so many of the qualities we seek to instil in our students, notably a lifelong commitment to service,” Gordonstoun Principal Lisa Kerr said in a statement shared with the BBC.

The association’s chairwoman, Heather Woodward, also told the British media outlet that the king’s “duty to service is an example of how the ethos and values of the school teaches students to think about others rather than themselves."

In its announcement, Gordonstoun said Charles “has spoken positively about his time” at the school. However, letters that Charles wrote during his student days suggested he did not enjoy his Gordonstoun experience, according to the BBC.

The Crown, a Netflix drama series that provided a fictionalized depiction of the monarchy starting with Charles’ grandfather, King George VI, explored Charles’ time at Gordonstoun during its second season. The show suggested that Charles had once described the school as “a prison sentence” and “absolute hell.”

Related: How Accurate Is 'The Crown?' A Fact-Check of the Series Compared to the Real Royal Family

However, Charles spoke positively about the school in a speech he delivered at the House of Lords in June 1975, according to the BBC.

“I am always astonished by the amount of rot talked about Gordonstoun and the careless use of ancient clichés used to describe it,” Charles, who was then known as the Prince of Wales, said in his speech. “It was only tough in the sense that it demanded more of you as an individual than most other schools did—mentally or physically.”

Charles went on to say that the school “taught me a great deal about myself and my own abilities and disabilities,” as well as “to accept challenges and take the initiative.”

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