Saturday, June 17, 2023

"The Castle Where Future Queens Drop the Royal Act"

First up, from USA Today, June 16: 

"Biden's remark, 'God save the Queen, man', during Connecticut speech, causes confusion"

Like the President, I also had Queens on my mind. From the New York Times, May 22:

At Atlantic College, a school in a 12th-century castle clinging to the windy Welsh coastline, teenage royals take classes on world peace.

The rolling green lawns of a 12th-century castle perched on a windy stretch of the South Wales coastline hosted not one but two kings of Europe last weekend.

The purpose of the visit to St. Donat’s by the royal families of Spain and the Netherlands was the graduation of their daughters from UWC Atlantic College, a high school housed in a remote castle once owned by the newspaper tycoon William Randolph Hearst.

Under unusually bright blue skies on Saturday, Princess Alexia of the Netherlands, 17, smiled in a white linen trouser suit flanked by her parents, Queen Maxima and King Willem-Alexander (a former Atlantic College student himself) in a photograph posted on Instagram.

Princess Leonor of Asturias, who is also 17 and the heir to the Spanish throne, wore a scarlet red button down blazer dress with split sleeves as she posed for selfies with her parents and younger sister Princess Sofia, who is set to start there in September.

The scene was a reflection of how Atlantic College, which is part of the United World Colleges group, has become the school of choice for many young royals. It increasingly draws students who may have once gone to better-known places like Eton College in the shadow of Windsor Castle or Institut Le Rosey on the edge of Lake Geneva in Switzerland, considered the most expensive boarding school in the world.

Other recent alumni of the school, which educates students for their final two years of high school, include Princess Elisabeth, Duchess of Brabant, who is Belgium’s future queen. She graduated in 2021 and went on to study at Oxford.

The British press has pondered whether the British royal family may break with tradition and send its own young heirs to a school that has recently educated several future queens of Europe.

One Enduring Tradition: Discretion
Although UWC may have more of an updated atmosphere and curriculum than its more traditional counterparts, it does appear to subscribe to at least one very old — and very royal — convention: the art of being tight-lipped. The school did not respond to numerous requests for comment for this article, and seems to mostly avoid speaking to reporters....