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High School

King Charles’ visit to Mountbatten School in Romsey in 1986

On December 1, 1986, King Charles III (at that time the Prince of Wales) opened the sports hall at Mountbatten School in Romsey. Following, the King’s accession to the throne on September 8, the local school has shared its royal memories along with former Test Valley Borough Council (TVBC) leader Roy Perry.

The Mountbatten School, in Whitenap Lane, is named after Earl Mountbatten of Burma who established the state secondary school in 1969. Lord Mountbatten, who died in 1979, was Queen Elizabeth II’s second cousin and once described by Charles III as “the grandfather I never had.” And so, the school prides itself on its royal connections.

The school’s CEO, Heather McIlroy said: “Lord Mountbatten of Burma was the founder patron of the school. He designed our uniform based on his coat of arms and obtained permission from the Queen for Mountbatten students to wear the Order of the Garter. Our association with the royal family, therefore, is central to our identity. On occasions such as these, the school looks back with fondness and pride at photos of visits of the Royal Family.”

TVBC leader from 1985-1994, Roy Perry, said: “Mountbatten were keen to have a sports hall as good as Romsey School and asked me if I could help.

“We managed a land swap with HCC that helped produce funding for the hall and with the then Lord Romsey’s help – the then Prince Charles was invited for the official opening.”

Hampshire Chronicle:

READ MORE: Queen’s funeral: Photos show Romsey as it mourns on the day of her funeral

As a member of European Parliament from 1994-2004 Mr Perry met the former Prince of Wales a number of times throughout his career. More recently, Cllr Perry as Hampshire County Council lead at the time, unveiled the preliminary model of Licoricia of Winchester in London at The Art Workers’ Guild in 2019. The final statue was due to be revealed by Charles outside the Arc in Winchester in February 2022.

Hampshire Chronicle:

Cllr Perry said: “He was struck down by Covid but honored his promise and came to Winchester at the earliest opportunity to unveil the statue for a second time and launch the Arc. As leader of Hampshire, I had supported that statue so was presented to His Majesty. It demonstrated he is a man who keeps his promises.

“I believe his commitment to young people as we saw at Mountbatten School and of course with the Prince’s Trust and to inter faith co-operation will be important features of his reign.”

SEE ALSO: Romsey Market Place up for Solent Quality Place People’s Choice Award as led by Partnership for South Hampshire

The school’s current patron is Lady Alexandra who was given away by the then Prince Charles at her wedding at Romsey Abbey in 2016 which the Queen attended. Students from Mountbatten School were invited to help.

Hampshire Chronicle:

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