King Charles’ boarding school family visits revealed in unearthed Scottish guestbook

A further glimpse into the Monarch’s childhood

King Charles at The Braemar Gathering 2023
(Image credit: Getty Images)

Editor’s note: A correction has been made to the previous version of the following article and headline.

An insight into King Charles' boarding school life at Gordonstoun has been revealed in an unearthed guest book.

King Charles' family visits while he was in boarding school have been revealed in an unearthed guestbook, viewed by the Telegraph’s William Cash, from the place where his parents Prince Philip and the Queen used to stay.

Many families have seen their children return to school within September's back-to-school month or sent their older kids off to university, and with royal children returning to school too, attention has turned to the old school days of the most senior royal, King Charles III.

The monarch, who took the throne last year following the death of Queen Elizabeth II has recently awarded the Champion Shield to Gordonstoun's Pipe Band at Breamer Gathering. And it comes as a Scottish guest book gives a bigger insight into King Charles' boarding school days.

Prince George recently had his first taste of boarding school life and if we rewind 61 years, Charles was having his first day at Gordonstoun Boarding School.

A royal book, War Of The Windsors: The Inside Story Of Charles, Andrew And The Rivalry That Has Defined The Royal Family, claimed childhood bullies 'broke his nose'.

Innes House, a guest house where the late Queen and late Duke of Edinburgh would stay when they visited their son Charles, has an old guestbook and its contents shared by The Telegraph, shed insight into the routine he faced.

Prince Charles and Duke of Edinburgh with House Master Robert Whitby and, on right, Headmaster Robert Chew during a tour of the grounds of Gordonstoun boarding school in Moray, Scotland on 1st May 1962

(Image credit: Getty Images)

The prince lived in Windmill Lodge. "The morning run was only 50-100 yards and was followed by a warm shower, then a cold one," and he started out "sleeping in a basic dormitory" with 13 other boys in a "room with an open window at night".

But it appears there was light at the end of the tunnel as Charles is said to have "ended up with his own room."

"Charles became head of school, was a coastguard and a talented potter and also played an acclaimed role of Macbeth in 1965, with his parents attending the final performance and staying at Innes".

Interior view of beds in a dormitory for boys at Gordonstoun boarding school in Moray, Scotland in January 1962. Prince Philip was once a pupil at the school in the village of Duffas near the town of Elgin and Prince Charles is due to attend classes there in April 1962.

(Image credit: Getty Images)

And while King Charles claims he hardly saw his parents, the guest book recorded that the Queen stayed 10 nights at Innes and 14 nights at Lochnabo, near Elgin over the course of 20 years.

In a letter to his mother, Charles would write, “I hardly get any sleep in the House because I snore and I get hit on the head all the time. It’s absolute hell.” His torment fell on deaf ears, with an unsympathetic Prince Philip penning steely replies, advising his boy to buck up, the royal book War Of The Windsors: The Inside Story Of Charles, Andrew And The Rivalry That Has Defined The Royal Family claimed in this extract.

For more royal news there's Kate Middleton’s necklace is a discreet nod to Prince George, Charlotte and Louis that you might have missed and Kate Middleton has been injured trampolining at home with Prince George, Charlotte, and Louis.

Selina Maycock
Senior Family Writer

Selina is a Senior Family Writer for GoodtoKnow and has more than 16 years years of experience. She specialises in royal family news, including the latest activities of Prince George, Charlotte, Louis, Archie and Lilibet. She also covers the latest government, health and charity advice for families. Selina graduated from the University of Sheffield in 2006 with a degree in Journalism, and gained her NCTJ and NCE qualifications. During her career, she’s also written for Woman, Woman's Own, Woman&Home, and Woman's Weekly as well as Heat magazine, Bang Showbiz - and the Scunthorpe Telegraph. When she's not covering family news, you can find her exploring new countryside walking routes, catching up with friends over good food, or making memories (including award-winning scarecrows!)