When the Prince-turned-King visited Penrhos College
September 14, 2022

​Looking back and when Prince Charles, now King Charles III, visited Rydal Penrhos for Penrhos College’s centenary celebrations in 1980. 

With the Rydal Penrhos community and everyone across the country mourning the sad passing of Queen Elizabeth II, we are mindful of the support needed for the new Monarch, King Charles III.

King Charles III conducted himself with exceptional dignity and poise this week despite the extremely challenging circumstances. A true inspiration to all.

The new King previously visited Rydal Penrhos as the special guest of honour during landmark celebrations at Penrhos College, which took place in July 1980.

Then his Royal Highness the Prince of Wales, Charles spent time meeting many pupils during an informal walkabout and unveiled a plaque commemorating the centenary of Penrhos College.

Weather conditions were less than ideal for the occasion, but it did not dampen the spirits of anybody in attendance during an event that is still remembered fondly by those who attended.

Upon arriving via helicopter to huge cheers, Prince Charles was presented to local dignitaries, the headmaster, deputy head and junior school head before starting his tour.

On his way through the grounds, Prince Charles chatted with several pupils, including Heather Smith, Alex Wade and Rebecca Lindop. One individual who did not get the chance to talk to the Prince was his fourth cousin Princess Marie of Romania, who was in her fifth year of Penrhos College at the time.

Her father abdicated the Romanian throne in 1947 and had met Prince Charles previously during a visit to Windsor.

Another memorable highlight from the visit was Prince Charles stopping to admire the college’s coastguard shore boat named Hunkydory. A radio transmitter costing £430 was bought for the boat with a grant from the Queen’s Silver Jubilee Fund.

Prince Charles also watched a resuscitation demonstration by fifth formers including Karen Vivian and Nichola Joyce. The girls were demonstrating mouth-to-mouth resuscitation and cardiac massage, which was part of their training administered by Penrhos College staff.

He saw the school’s displays of mountaineering and camping equipment before moving on to look at Young Farmers Corner. Prince Charles took an interest in the college’s pigs, asking Mrs Kay Peacock, the headmaster’s wife several questions about them.

In the chemistry laboratory, he stopped to chat with Jaki Tout and Funke Oyalowo, two 12-year-olds who were distilling ink. He asked Nigerian-born Funke about her family and where she spent the holidays.

After he toured the college, Prince Charles sat down with 65 guests for a meal followed by strawberries and cream. Following this lavish spread, his Royal Highness took in Penrhos College’s new laboratory and unveiled the plaque to commemorate the centenary and round off an incredible visit.