Marlborough College has dubbed it Royal Friday, the day when its students play their direct part in celebrating the wedding of former student Kate Middleton to the handsome heir to the throne.
It is deliberately building upon the remarkable success of last year’s Super Sunday, which raised more than £5,000 for charities through pupil-led initiatives and activities staged within the College.
Super Sunday, which was held in April 2010, was inspired by the memory of St John’s School educated College teacher Rupert Rosedale, 37, who was killed in an avalanche on Ben Nevis last New Year’s Eve.
The College thought it fitting to combine Marlborough’s charity event with the royal wedding, the funds this time being divided between the Kempson-Rosedale Trust, which supports enterprise projects at the College, El Roi, a primary school in Kenya, SKRUM, a charity aiding children in Swaziland, and another, Hope and Homes for Children, whose work is directed to Central and Eastern Europe, as well as parts of Africa.
Headmaster Nicholas Sampson explained: “We see the principle of service as being the link between these two events and, therefore, we are seeking to celebrate the College’s strong interest in, and connection to, the royal wedding through a series of enjoyable but valuable pupil-driven initiatives.
“It should be a great and memorable day”.
Lessons will cease mid morning and pupils will be free to watch the royal wedding on TV among their friends in their individual boarding houses.
Then they will be invited to a special Royal Lunch in the school’s dining hall, ahead of a rich and varied programme of fundraising in the afternoon.
Royal Friday has been led and organised by the College’s Charity Think Tank – a group of eight Upper Sixth students, who work together to co-ordinate and plan the College’s charity events.
The main focus of the day will be a Royal Fete within the College’s famous and picturesque Court, an event that will be opened by the College’s own Brass Quintet playing the national anthem.
There will be stalls in the marquee, live music, Morris dancers, personal caricatures and a penalty shoot-out competition, donated by Swindon Town FC, among other activities.
The events will not be open to members of the public but staff families and members of the wider Marlborough Town community, whom pupils have contact with through the College’s Social Service Programme, are being invited and encouraged to attend.
Around the College campus there will be cricket, croquet, football and volleyball tournaments, a triathlon, a climbing wall challenge and a film competition.
Royal Friday will be rounded off by a special “Illumination” performance in the evening, when pupils will showcase their own musical and dramatic talents on the stage of the Memorial Hall.
Ottilie Macpherson, head of the Charity Think Tank and an upper sixth form student, said: “Royal Friday will be a wonderful celebration and a great opportunity for everyone to get together on behalf of some really important causes.”