Shrewsbury School

Remembering the Queen’s visit to Shrewsbury School, October 1952

Monday 7 September 2015

On Wednesday 9th September 2016, Queen Elizabeth II became the longest serving monarch in British history. We are proud that one of her first official engagements during her 63-year reign was a visit to Shrewsbury School, on 24th October 1952.

The occasion coincided with the fourth centenary year of the foundation of the School. The Queen had expressed the desire to see the School on a normal working day.  As can be imagined, it took many hours of debate and discussion to organise 'a normal day' for the visit, which ended up being "a mad scramble as boys appeared and reappeared, as soldiers, as gymnasts, as fives players, as runners, in order to be discovered being 'normal'".

Three Salopians who have vivid memories of the day were invited back to the School this week to tell their stories to ITV journalist Gareth Jones. David Longrigg (Ch 1949-54) was 16 years old at the time; Adrian Struvé had just begun his third year as a master at the School (he would remain here until his retirement in 1986); and Jane Tupper was daughter of A.E. Taylor, who was Housemaster of School House until his sudden death in March 1952, one month after the death of the Queen’s own father. Jane had returned from university to help her mother organise the lunch for the Queen and The Duke of Edinburgh, which was served in School House. She has particularly strong memories of the occasion and was deeply impressed by the Queen’s sense of humour, her evident enjoyment of the day and the interest she took in the people she met.

The interviews was broadcast on ITV Central News at 6pm on Wednesday 9th September, together with extracts from an evocative Pathé newsreel that captures some of the excitement of the Queen’s visit: http://www.britishpathe.com/video/queen-at-shrewsbury

A description of the visit was published in The Salopian Newsletter shortly after the event: The Royal Visit 1952.

To view a few of the many photos that were taken on the day, please see: The Queen's visit to Shrewsbury School, October 1952 - photo gallery

To view the ITV Central News interview, please click here.

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