In spite of being the KING’s High School, we have not been inundated with royal visitors in the past, unlike our ‘brothers’ at Warwick School and ‘little sisters’ at the Prep. In fact, it was almost a hundred years ago, on 14th June 1923, that the school waved from the battlements of Eastgate as a royal visitor drove by. The girls had been instructed to dress in white dresses and panama hats and wave from the Eastgate battlements at the Prince of Wales, later King Edward VIII. They also lined the top of Smith Street; Landor House and the cottages at the time had a covering of ivy. Eastgate was bedecked with bunting. However, the prince was merely visiting Warwick and not calling in at school.
The school was quite royalist in manner in 1923. On Empire Day, 14th March, the school had assembled in the hall on the Smith Street site to listen to messages from the King and Queen (George V and Queen Mary) on a record, and also the Band of the Coldstream Guards playing ‘God Save the King’. (A decade earlier, girls had saluted the flag in the playground on Empire Day, and almost a hundred years later, in January 2019, their twenty first century counterparts waved at a drone from the same playground as they stood to form the numbers of the school’s age: 140). There had been a special holiday on 28th April 1923, not to celebrate the 44th birthday of the school the following day, but to rejoice at the wedding of the Duke of York and Lady Elizabeth Bowes-Lyon, the parents of our present queen, and grandparents of today’s important visitor.
Please find some photographs of the Prince of Wales’s trip around the Smith Street site attached. You may read more about these and other events in King’s High’s history in the book ‘Of Mulberries, Ilex and Acorns’, available to purchase from school. Please email firstname.lastname@example.org for further details.