The Geelong Grammar School community has been saddened by the passing of Queen Elizabeth II.

“I acknowledge the passing of Queen Elizabeth II and extend our School community’s deepest sympathies to her immediate family and all those across the world who have been strengthened by her leadership,” Principal, Rebecca Cody, said. “May Queen Elizabeth’s example of stewardship, service and sacrifice remain an inspiration.”

The accession of His Majesty King Charles III makes GGS the only Australian school to educate a British monarch. His Majesty arrived at our remote Timbertop campus at the beginning of February 1966 for a one Term student exchange and stayed for an additional Term, until the end of July 1966, returning to the United Kingdom for his final year of school, before continuing to Trinity College Cambridge.

King Charles III and Princess Anne visiting Timbertop in 1970

He participated in all aspects of Timbertop life and was called ‘Charles’ by his peers. His Majesty’s academic work was coordinated by our Corio campus, and he completed weekly assignments and essays in English, French and history, frequently visiting Corio and staying in Cuthbertson House. In the May school holidays, he joined an annual school excursion to Papua New Guinea to visit the Dogura Martyrs Memorial School in Popondetta. On his last night before leaving GGS, he read a paper on King Charles I to the Historical Society at Corio at the invitation of his history tutor, Michael Collins Persse. His Majesty has described his time at GGS as “the best part of my education – the part I enjoyed most, and I have very happy memories of it.”

“I was honoured to attend the Ceremony for the Proclamation of His Majesty King Charles III at Government House Victoria on behalf of the Geelong Grammar School community,” Rebecca said. “We are incredibly proud of the way his GGS experience helped to shape the growth and development of King Charles during a very formative period of his life. His Majesty has spoken on many occasions of the positive influence of Timbertop and his affection for our School. His deep interest in the natural world and advocacy for the environment were nurtured at Timbertop, his life of service influenced by a school excursion to Papua New Guinea, and his intellectual curiosity stimulated in English, French and history lessons at Corio. Many of our former students who were his contemporaries remember fondly his decency, persistence and resilience. We wish His Majesty King Charles III great health, joy and success in his reign.”