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A classmate of King Charles recalls that the new monarch was “beaten and beaten up” by bullies at boarding school.
Johnny Stonborough, who attended Gordonstoun School in Elgin, Scotland with His Majesty, revealed that Charles was “bullied very much” while studying at the famous hard school.
Speaking to Susana Reid and Ben Shephard on Good Morning Britain on Monday, he said: ‘It was pretty loud. He was bullied a lot and was very isolated.
A teenage Prince Charles pictured arriving at Gordonstoun School in Scotland for his first term in 1962; he has often talked about his accident during his time at the boarding school
Johnny Stonborough, who went to Gordonstoun with King Charles, recalled that the monarch was ‘beaten and beaten up’ by bullies at school on Good Morning Britain on Monday.
“Even at that point, we felt quite sorry for him, but the problem was that even trying to befriend him meant being bullied for being one of the king’s friends. It was a pretty harsh environment.’
He added: “I wasn’t in the same house as him, but I was in the same class as him for a few years.
‘You would see it on the rugby field; there were some people who said they’d do ‘Prince Charles’ and they’d hit him in the scrum, pull his ears and hit him.”
“He wasn’t the only boy to be bullied, but he was bullied very badly for a while.”
Johnny said King Charles would be beaten up in the scrum on the rugby field and his classmates pulled his ears and beat him
Johnny went on to say that Charles was also quite “smart” at school and had a “sense of humor.”
Charles was immersed in the then famously harsh culture of Gordonstoun in the summer of 1962, after leaving his prep school, Cheam, in Hampshire.
He once referred to his time at Gordonstoun as a ‘prison sentence’, as he was cold-shouldered by fellow pupils at his home, Windmill Lodge, for warning the caretaker that any hostile behavior towards the heir to the throne would result in immediate eviction.
As a result, one housemate recalls, he was immediately arrested “maliciously, cruelly and without delay.”
Speaking to Susana Reid and Ben Shephard, he said it was “pretty harsh” and Charles was heavily bullied and “very isolated.”
Prince of Wales with his father the Duke of Edinburgh (left) and the late Captain Iain Tennant, former Chairman of the Gordonstoun Board of Governors, as they arrived in Gordonstoun for the Prince’s first day at public school in Glasgow, Scotland
‘Imprisonment’, Charles later described it, as well as ‘Colditz with kilts’.
While William Boyd, the best-selling novelist and screenwriter and a Gordonstoun contemporary of Charles, called it “like forced labour,” adding, “I happen to know from his own mouth that Prince Charles utterly abhorred it.”
Charles wrote home to the Queen: ‘I hardly sleep in the house because I snore and get hit on the head all the time. It’s absolute hell.’
And after two years at the school, Charles was under as much pressure as the day he joined. “The people in my dorm are filthy,” he wrote home. ‘They throw slippers or hit me with pillows all night… Last night was hell, literally hell. I wish I could come home.’
Another insider said: ‘Charles was relentlessly mocked over his ears, which were larger than average and slightly bulged. He had no defense at his disposal except a stubborn refusal to complain to the perpetrators or to his caretaker.’
Prince Charles wrote home to Queen saying he hardly sleeps in the house because he snores and gets hit on the head all the time
Charles previously said in an interview that he didn’t like school, but that was only because he’s “happy at home than anywhere else.”
The Duke of Edinburgh had had a happy time at the school in the 1930s, and he wrote to his son invigorating letters of exhortation urging him to be strong and resourceful.
“He was bullied,” recalls Ross Benson, the late Daily Mail correspondent who was also a contemporary. “He was crushingly lonely there most of his time. The miracle is that he survived with his sanity intact.’
Charles previously said in an interview, “I didn’t enjoy school as much as I would have, but that was only because I’m happier at home than anywhere else.
“But Gordonstoun developed my willpower and self-control, helped me to discipline myself. We went for ‘adventure’. We had our own fire brigade, we had our own sea rescue, mountain rescue, surf rescuers, coast guard, etc.”
When he had his own children, Charles chose not to make them suffer in the same way and instead sent them to Eton.