Prince Philip pictured doing the washing up on a boat in previously unseen school photos

Rebecca Taylor
·Royal Correspondent
·3-min read

Watch: The Duke of Edinburgh’s Amazing Sporting Life

New photos showing the Duke of Edinburgh as a schoolboy sailing and doing the washing up on a dinghy have been shared as pupils of his former school prepare to pay tribute to him.

Gordonstoun, the Scottish school where Philip was educated as a teenager, shared two new pictures of the late duke on the day of his funeral, showing him aboard the school's dingy, which they said was used by pupils who had "no particular home to go to".

Philip arrived at boarding school in Scotland having little family around him in the UK, following his exile from Greece as a toddler.

He came to love the school and formed a strong friendship with its founder and headmaster Kurt Hahn, which lasted several decades.

The duke to be as a teenager on a boat which belonged to his school, Gordonstoun. (Major B Varvill R.A.M.C)
The duke to be as a teenager on a boat which belonged to his school, Gordonstoun. (Major B Varvill R.A.M.C)

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In one image, a teenage Prince Philip of Greece and Denmark can be seen confidently sailing in the school's boat, looking up toward one of the sails above him.

In another, he shows he was not afraid to get involved in the less glamorous jobs associated with sailing as he helps wash up on board.

He can be seen smiling at the camera with another shipmate behind him.

The pictures were taken by the great-uncle of a former student, Gordonstoun said.

The young prince washing up on the boat. (Major B Varvill R.A.M.C)
The young prince washing up on the boat. (Major B Varvill R.A.M.C)

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In a statement about the boat, Gordonstoun explained: "‘Diligent’ was a small (14 tons), elderly Cornish trading ketch, which was bought in Plymouth in June 1936 by Michael-Noel Varvill, who was on the school’s staff and was a yachtsman. She was Gordonstoun’s first offshore vessel and was put to work immediately with a cruise to Fair Isle and the Shetlands in July 1936.  

"As such, she was the first of a considerable number of schools’ and charities’ sail training vessels in the UK. She was quite heavily used in term-time and the summer holidays, which benefitted several pupils who had no particular family home to return to."

Pupils at Gordonstoun took part in a voluntary two-mile run on Friday morning, a week after the duke had died, a nod to the mandatory morning runs which were on the curriculum when Philip was at school there.

More than 100 students and staff, running in household groups, undertook the 3.5km route from Gordonstoun House to the nearby Coastguard Watchtower, a building which replaced a wooden hut which Prince Philip helped to build in 1935.

Philip was a 'watcher' during his time at the school, a precursor to the coastguard.

The school said its sailors will plan to pay their own tribute to the duke on Saturday, as the world awaits his funeral at Windsor Castle.

The group will sail the school's 80ft training boat, Ocean Spirit of Moray, and will lay a wreath off the coast of Hopeman Harbour, where Prince Philip first learned to sail.

Pupils at Gordonstoun paid tribute with a voluntary run on Friday morning. (Gordonstoun)
Pupils at Gordonstoun paid tribute with a voluntary run on Friday morning. (Gordonstoun)

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A lone student piper will play on the shore while displaying the Duke of Edinburgh’s Coat of Arms on a banner presented to the Gordonstoun pipe band by the Queen in 2019.

Students will wear their school uniform at 3pm as they observe the national minute's silence outside the main building.

Philip's funeral will be completely hidden from public gaze in Windsor to deter crowds from gathering, in breach of coronavirus regulations.

The procession, from 2.40pm, and the ceremony from 3pm, will be broadcast on BBC, ITV and Yahoo.