Princess of Wales’ school marks centenary milestone

The former Catherine Middleton is just one of the pupils to have been educated at Downe House School’s Cold Ash campus during the last 100 years

An all-girls boarding school in Berkshire has marked a centenary on its current site with a founder’s weekend festival.

Downe House School invited pupils, staff, alumnae and 100 members of the local community to celebrate the institution’s century of years at its woodland campus in Cold Ash.

Besides a centenary exhibition, festival goers were treated to a staging of the Lion King, music, sporting events, art displays, campus tour, afternoon tea, and a dance showcase designed to bring key moments from the institution’s history to life.

The school opened in Charles Darwin’s former home in 1907, before moving to its current campus in 1922.

Catherine, Princess of Wales, is among the notable pupils to have since passed through its gates, along with the likes of the columnist Marina Hyde, interior designer Sophie Conran, broadcaster and writer Clare Balding, and actor Miranda Hart.

From the archive: Downe House to open girls’ school in Muscat

“These have certainly been challenging times in our world and remain so,” said the school’s head, Emma McKendrick. “But the way in which our extraordinary young women worked together throughout our founder’s weekend reflected the quality of what they produce, and gives us tremendous confidence about the future of our school, its next 100 years, and the world beyond.”

Downe House’s 100 years at its Cold Ash campus is also being celebrated with the introduction of a new scholarship.

An unspecified number of Centenary Day Bursaries are being introduced for day pupils from the local community wishing to enter the school in 2023 or 2024.

Interested parties can find out more about the scheme at an open event scheduled to take place from 4–6.30pm on 11 October. For further information or to book click here.

Main pic: Pupils, staff, alumnae and 100 members of the local community came together to enjoy the founder’s weekend festival

Part of the weekend’s entertainment was the Moving Memories dance showcase
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