Because he he was the kind of man to send his kids to ‘Colditz in kilts?’


Is that choice of words a tell-tale sign that the both the Duke and his boy knew that he was far from the lovable rogue being portrayed ad nauseam this weekend?

I won’t get into the details here, but the Duke’s fondness for the very Germanic style at Gordonstoun suggests a hard form of parenthood most of us would be shocked by.

Perhaps he didn’t know then about the full horror of the place but we do now:

So, readers, I leave it you to tell us your not-so-fond memories of the ‘People’s Duke.’

18 thoughts on “Because he he was the kind of man to send his kids to ‘Colditz in kilts?’

  1. Going to a ‘tough’ school like Gordonstoun is not a bad thing. It allows young people to cope on their own and toughen up. This makes them better able to cope with adult life. It also genders team working. Usually they give good education from 9am to 7pm 5 days a week. After dinner classes was called ‘prep’. They are not Colditz like establishments.

    They are happy places, I should know. I must emphasise here that my parents were farm workers, not wealthy but they got an education grant from Northumberland Council. That opportunity gave me a better education, I was nearly two years behind when I joined age 13. It also gave me access to kayaking, all sports. All this allowed me to progress in life once I left school with an ability to look after myself.


    1. Andy , I went to a big standard Scottish Secondary School where I was introduced to fencing , rowing , kayaking fly fishing and mountaineering . I was pressed /threatened with being sent to Gordonstone by ambitious and snobby grandparents . I steadfastly refused , believing that it was some kind of fee paying approved school or borstal. I was too young to understand that it was in reality a charitable institution for the promotion of elitist values and entitlement . Strange that you choose to sing the praises of an academy for stoics in kilts on a blog that talks up Scotland .

      Liked by 3 people

    2. Bullying and abuse are not life enhancing by most peoples standards, quite the opposite in fact. Most schools are rife for bullying, it’s hardly challenged, and it wrecks the lives of the victims and has a knock on effect on the family. Private schools at least some, have a reputation of bullying and abuse. I know someone who attended Gordonstoun who said there was abuse and bullying. Not everyone is able to protect themselves. Every school should have an anti bullying policy and act on it, sadly they do not and some children suffer terribly, it’s daily torture for them. Not acceptable, adults allow it to go on, it’s a disgrace.

      Liked by 2 people

    3. Must have been a big grant, Northumberland had cash to slush around then, hmm…usually kids have to pass a test to be accepted at some private school, but I think certainly in Scotland, placements for poor kids have been scrapped? Also not sure if those establisments are still awarded charitable status in Scotland?
      One of them near us had a huge state of the art science centre built with lottery funding, a charity paying a for the rich to enhance their lives further.

      Liked by 1 person

    4. How do you know that you got “a better education” Andy? What are you comparing your education with?

      I went to High School in 1975, a well funded, well resourced, modern comprehensive. Up-to-date everything and no sharing of textbooks. We weren’t supposed to be streamed (it was the era of competition is bad and participation prizes for all), but streamed we were. Plenty of us got our Highers and went straight to equally well funded, well resourced, colleges and universities and effectively got paid to go. Maggie was in by then, we know the rest…

      Provide adequate funding and the “charitable” schools become redundant, as far as the actual educating is concerned.

      P.S. We had kayaking too and for anyone inclined to, but wasn’t overly keen on water, you could still help the kayakers with fabrication; making things with fibreglass and resin went on at my school.

      Liked by 1 person

  2. The intense media coverage of the Duke of Edinburgh following his death is being presented as the most exceptional life of public service. Included are frequent references to the Duke of Edinburgh’s Award: BBC Radio 4 this morning was drawing young people into the media’s attribution of this scheme to the Duke personally.

    I have no direct knowledge of the scheme. However, I am a firm believer in the value of educational and other personal development experiences for young people happening in wilder rural places. But as a sceptic, I wanted to learn more about the origins of the Duke of Edinburgh’s Award which was launched in 1956.

    A search reveals the role of Kurt Hahn, the German educationalist who founded Gordonstoun public school in NE Scotland in the 1930s. (The Duke of course attended Gordonstoun from the age of 13 in 1934 for five years.) Hahn is widely regarded as a key figure in the development of adventure education: he was for example the founder of ‘Outward Bound’.

    One of Hahn’s early innovations at Gordonstoun was the introduction, with a local school, of the ‘Moray Badge’ award scheme. It was awarded when young people met a certain standard in track and field, expeditions and life saving. It was this idea of Kahn’s that came to be developed into the Duke of Edinburgh’s Award scheme.

    From this source ( ) we learn more about Kahn and the Duke of Edinburgh’s Award:

    “.. the development of the Award is a testament to Hahn’s ability as a ‘mover and shaker’. He KEPT ON AT Prince Philip to PUT HIS NAME to the scheme and persuaded John Hunt (the leader of the first successful Everest expedition) to be its first Director.” (my emphasis)

    And: “From this review it can be seen that Kurt Hahn’s contribution lay less in his abilities as an original thinker or educator, but rather in his capacity to set out a vision, to convince people to fund and sponsor that vision – and to pick the right people to develop the work. … Kurt Hahn could be over-powering and rather autocratic.”

    Notably, the Gordonstoun school website tells us (only) this about the eponymous Award on the occasion of the Duke’s death:

    “In his final year he became ‘Guardian’ (Head Boy) and took part in the ‘Moray Badge’: the inspiration for The Duke of Edinburgh’s Award.

    “Prince Philip GAVE HIS NAME to the Duke of Edinburgh’s Award when IT WAS MADE a national award in 1956 …. Prince Philip took great pleasure in presenting Gold awards to its proud recipients throughout his life.”

    My criticism here is of the media and of the prevailing attitude to the worth of royal persons by so many in the UK. For me there is merit on all matters at all times to ensure a critical assessment of the degree of deserved attribution. This is especially warranted when we are being bombarded as now with praise of a life of exceptional wealth and exceptional privilege!

    Liked by 2 people

  3. OT, kind of

    I see that queer theory is still being misrepresented elsewhere. Which simply gives credence to the voice of stupidity, equating a concern for children’s safeguarding with regressive conspiracy theories.

    The Queer Aesthetics of Childhood
    Asymmetries of Innocence and the Cultural Politics of Child Development

    “In The Queer Aesthetics of Childhood, Hannah Dyer offers a study of how children’s art and art about childhood can forecast new models of social life that redistribute care, belonging, and political value. Dyer suggests that childhood’s cultural expressions offer insight into the persisting residues of colonial history, nation building, homophobia, and related violence. Drawing from queer and feminist theory, psychoanalysis, settler-colonial studies, and cultural studies, this book helps to explain how some theories of childhood can hurt children….”


  4. It has been established that children put in boarding school or care can be psychologically affected all their lives. Lacking in parenting skills. Abused children often do not recover, without specialist care and support.

    Charles was bullied. The way Diana was treated was abominable. They drove her to mental health problems. Meghan and Harry have bolted. Seen the light. Mental health problems. The gold fish bowl. What will happen when the old dear collapses? Beggars belief.

    The mama left her brood with nanny Crawford. Hot footed it off to an extended world tour. Weird does not cover it. Diana called them the killer Wales. Did not like blood hobbies or horses. Except when a Major was galloping.

    The Strathmore countess was determined to gain the crown for her offspring. Along with the ally, the Archbishop of Canterbury, conspired to get rid of Simpson and the Duke. Exiled. The documents are in the archives. Found not long ago.

    The Royals could have had a better childhood. If Mamma had been more around. Might have solved a few obvious problems. To claim the throne later.. They would always have been horsey, Estate country folk. The Middle Eastern friend. Locks up his daughter in solitary confinement. Cruel and coarse. Andrew abuses underage people according to some reports. Gets away with it.

    Some people are obsessed with them. Flowers left at Balmoral. The Express is just full of it. Sells a paper on the exploits of a family of privilege and over consumption. Interfering and lecturing others. Non self aware hypocrites. Catherine goes to Zara and Markies. The Saudi Jewels and donations. Corruption of Westminster. Giving rises all the time. Increased funding. Austerity killing people.

    Rival siblings. The pecking order of the garter. Privy Council. Protestant heads of state. Treaty of Union.. Scotland Yard kept an eye on Labour Republican politicians. In the archives. A man in Braemar breeds black labs. Does business with the Royals. Retired now. Liked the company. They got their lunch and perks.


  5. On radio Scotland . . . He invented cold showers . .. . The health benefits of which are only being realised today. . . . . Ah thats where Wim Hoff got his ideas. . . .

    Apparently the Duke invented . . . The Duke of Edinburgh award scheme . . . .


  6. On the cheap. Gordonstoun fees boarding £14,000 A year No wonder they have cold showers and no heating. They can’t afford the bill.

    Elon and Fettes (non boarding) £30,000 a year. Warmongering murderers.

    Tax free charitable status. ‘Please sir, can l have some more’. Enough is never enough for them. Greedy parasites.

    Scotland has the best education system in the world by far. Ability to learn, not ability to pay. It cloud be even better without Westminster’s imbeciles colloidal interference.


  7. Pay their taxes. No need for a charitable award scheme. Or an elderly man walking round his backie. Tax evasion £30Billion. Eton and Fettes residents.

    Elderly women who endured the war starving on benefits. War debt paid off in 2016.

    Illegal wars costing even more. Killing other people’s mother. The Royals head of the Military. Redundant weaponry and Trident dumped in Scotland without permission. Or a mandate.


  8. When you create a God like group, such as a Monarchy, they absorb the worship as a right. They know the inner circle will shield them from any criticism. They know that the media will hide every flaw in their character. They act for the family business and their main objective is it’s continuation.
    Victoria decided not to pay tax as her wealth was not accumulating fast enough. The current Royal Family pay a token amount but use every tax avoidance tool available.
    This is the 21st. Century and an elite few have obscene wealth while a single mother has to walk 7 miles to a Foodbank to feed her child. All that is required is the luck of birth, not ability, intellect or effort.

    The death fest was used to rinse Andrew clean. This is how the machine works

    Liked by 1 person

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