Member of the Royal Family visits school near Hitchin

HRH The Duchess of Gloucester meets Year 7 pupils at Princess Helena College

HRH The Duchess of Gloucester meets Year 7 pupils at Princess Helena College - Credit: Archant

A member of the Royal Family visited a school near Hitchin today.

Independent girls’ school Princess Helena College, in the village of Preston welcomed its president, Her Royal Highness The Duchess of Gloucester, to the school this morning to dedicate the foundation stone for a new Performing Arts Centre.

The school has a strong tradition of excellence in performing arts and a number of PHC girls have gone on to careers in music, dance and theatre.

The building of the Performing Arts Centre is part of a significant programme of investment in the facilities of the school to accommodate increasing demand for pupil places and includes sports and boarding facilities, new classrooms and expansion of the art department.

During the visit, Her Royal Highness also unveiled a new Heritage Wall, the research and design for which was led by six pupils from Year 11, Muwi Adoghe, Lucy Bentall, Ebru Caner, Maria Cunningham, Gabie East-Newbury and Phoebe Morison.

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She also planted a rose in the newly refurbished rose garden which was originally designed by the influential British horticulturalist and garden designer Gertrude Jekyll around 1911.

Around 200 roses are being planted, supplied by local business Harkness Roses of Hitchin who supplied the roses when the garden was first created. Parents and friends of PHC have purchased a rose for their daughters, ‘200 roses for 200 daughters’ and each rose has a permanent tag with the name of the rose and the name of the girl for who it is planted.

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Headmistress, Mrs Sue Wallace-Woodroffe said: “We are delighted to once again welcome HRH The Duchess of Gloucester to PHC.

“We’re very proud of our long history of royal patronage and, in particular, the positive support we receive for our plans to invest in first rate facilities for the girls”.

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