High praise indeed was bestowed on young singers at Warwick School when they were visited by the future King on Monday.
His Royal Highness the Prince of Wales told the school’s choir, which performed to organ music for him at the school’s chapel, that their singing was “truly exceptional”.
Prince Charles spent an hour with pupils, teachers and staff at the school in Myton Road on Monday as part of a visit to Warwick, which - along with the school - is celebrating its 1,100th anniversary this year. He also spent time at Warwick Castle.
At the school, the Prince was greeted by headteacher Gus Lock and dignitaries, including Warwick mayor Cllr Moira Ann-Grainger and Warwick and Leamington MP Chris White, and members of the school’s Combined Cadet Force. He went on to sign the school’s visitor book - which had been signed by his grandmother, the Queen Mother, when she visited the school in 1958.
As well as listening to the choir, His Royal Highness spoke to some of the school’s longest-serving staff members, observed pupils working on a stem cell research project during a physics lesson and unveiled a plaque to commemorate his visit.
Addressing the whole school, who had gathered on the sports field to see him and gave him ‘three cheers’, Prince Charles said: “What a great pleasure it is to join you all and what a special year it is for the school.
“I am still trying to work out if it really is 1,100 years old, but I have been reliably informed that this is the case!
“My grandmother came here in 1958 when I was ten years old, so it is a pleasure for me to see it for myself.
“On this occasion, I wanted to wish the whole school every possible success in the future, in the hope that by coming here I have not caused much disruption in terms of your academic studies.
“I do hope you have great successes. Nothing could give me greater pleasure than to unveil this plaque. Many happy returns on your anniversary.”
He then mingled with the pupils and posed for pictures with them, before making his way to the castle.
Speaking afterwards, head boy Edward Evans, who had guided the Prince around the school during the afternoon, said: “I thought he was charming and engaged and had a personal comment for everyone. Any initial nerves I had were quickly removed by the fact that he was so personable.”
Headteacher Gus Lock said: “His Royal Highness was absolutely brilliant with our students. He was asking them lots of very focused academic questions and he was clearly excited to see them learning.”