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HRH The Duchess of Gloucester Visits PHC Hitchin ahead of 200th Anniversary

Princess Helena College pupils perform for An Evening of Dance, beginning a year of anniversary celebrations.

HRH The Duchess of Gloucester Visits PHC Hitchin ahead of 200th Anniversary

Pupils and staff at Princess Helena College welcomed the school’s president, Her Royal Highness The Duchess of Gloucester, to An Evening of Dance this month as part of the school’s 200th anniversary celebrations.

Upon arrival, The Duchess of Gloucester was greeted by The Lord-Lieutenant of Hertfordshire and Mrs Sarah Davis, Head of Princess Helena College. Representing United Learning, Chair of Trustees Richard Greenhalgh and Head of Independent Schools Dr Ian Young were also in attendance. 
As part of the evening, guests enjoyed dance performances which ranged from ballet to K-Pop, contemporary to tap and were a wonderful showcase of pupils’ talents. Before the show and during the interval, the Duchess also met with pupils and staff to hear the latest news from the school and also of the work that had gone into making the event a success. 

Mrs Sarah Davis, Head of Princess Helena College, spoke of how proud she felt of the school:
“Our Evening of Dance has been highly anticipated, and the standard, skill and complexity of all the dances were quite outstanding. I was extremely proud of all the students and the staff’s hard work to produce such an amazing event.  
“I was therefore delighted to welcome The Duchess of Gloucester back to Princess Helena College.  We have a long history of royal patronage and were honoured that the Duchess could join us as we begin to celebrate our 200th anniversary.”

The evening included GCSE and A Level dance works, with many of the pieces choreographed by the students themselves in preparation for their forthcoming practical examination. The show was closed by students from across the school performing a dance that had been inspired by the school crest and the rich history of Princess Helena College.

Head of Dance at Princess Helena College, Elizabeth Newland said:
“We were extremely honoured to have The Duchess of Gloucester attend, and felt privileged that we could show her a wonderful and inspiring evening of dance. Each performance was full of passion and emotion, mesmerising everyone.” 

Year 12 student Megan said of the evening:
“A lot of time and effort was spent on the performance from both the staff and students. On the night there were nerves, as we were performing in front of a lot of people including royalty. However, this pushed us to make it the best performance to show what we can do. It was a really proud moment for me.”

The Duchess has been president of Princess Helena College since 2000 and has visited the school on a number of occasions. As part of the anniversary celebrations, Princess Helena College has launched the Bicentennial Scholarship which recognises students, internally and externally, that have achieved a high level of attainment in the entrance, internal or GCSE examinations. Further events will be held throughout the year to mark this momentous anniversary, including a Community Fun Day on Saturday 27 June. 

Richard Greenhalgh, Chairman of United Learning, said:
“As we begin to mark the school’s bicentenary, it was a great pleasure and honour to welcome The Duchess of Gloucester back to Princess Helena College. The strength of performances was testament to the time, energy and effort that had gone into the evening and was a credit to pupils and staff alike. It was particularly pleasing to see so many parents, staff and friends of the school joining together in celebration of PHC’s thriving arts curriculum.”


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