queen-patronage

Disappointing news revealed for the Queen and Duchess of Gloucester - report

Birgitte is married to the Queen's cousin, Prince Richard

Danielle Stacey

The Queen holds over 600 royal patronages, but she may be saddened to learn that one of them has been forced to close as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic.

According to The Daily Mail, Princess Helena College, a boarding school in Hertfordshire, will be closing its doors to pupils for good later this year.

The Queen became patron of the 200-year-old school when she ascended the throne in 1952. Its previous royal patron was Queen Victoria.

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Founded by Princess Augusta and Mrs Sophia Williams, it was first known as The Adult Orphan Institution when it opened its doors in 1820.

Queen Victoria and Prince Albert's third daughter, Princess Helena, became the school's President in 1874 and five years later, it changed its name to Princess Helena College for Young Ladies and High School for Girls.

It began welcoming boys from September 2019.

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The Duke and Duchess of Gloucester, pictured in 2019

The Duchess of Gloucester, who is the wife of the Queen's cousin, Prince Richard, is the current president of the college.

Birgitte last visited Princess Helena College in February 2020, shortly before the national lockdown, to attend one of its events to celebrate its 200th anniversary.

The Queen has been carrying out her royal duties remotely from Windsor Castle during lockdown.

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The Queen pictured with Birgitte in 2019

The monarch, 94, carried out her first official in-person event of the year last Thursday.

Her Majesty made one of her most senior royal aides, Vice-Admiral Sir Tony Johnstone-Burt, a Knight Commander of the Royal Victorian Order (RVO).

He was awarded the honour on Thursday afternoon during a private, socially distanced ceremony at Windsor Castle.

Sir Tony is Master of the Household, running a department responsible for everything involved in official and private entertaining across all the royal residences.

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