Royal seal of approval for school building

Royal visit to st. mary's school, melrose. Princess Michael of Kent unveils a commemorative plaque.
Royal visit to st. mary's school, melrose. Princess Michael of Kent unveils a commemorative plaque.

FOR staff and pupils at St Mary’s in Melrose, the royal feelgood factor extended beyond recent nuptials.

And Princess Michael of Kent proved every bit as popular as the young newlyweds when she visited the independent preparatory school last week to officially open the new state-of-the-art Hamilton Building.

Royal visit to st. mary's school, melrose. Computer aided animation is explained to The Princes

Royal visit to st. mary's school, melrose. Computer aided animation is explained to The Princes

The princess was scheduled to stay for 90 minutes, but actually spent nearly three hours at the Abbey Park site.

“She was in fine, radiant form and I think she must have spoken to all 150 pupils individually,” said St Mary’s photographer Douglas Hardie. “She seemed to have time for everyone.”

The new building, for the upper three year groups, aged 11-13, is named after John Hamilton, who founded the school in 1895.

Accompanied by head teacher and former St Mary alumnus Liam Harvey and his wife Marnie, the princess toured the new classrooms, offices, meeting and studies rooms, all equipped with the latest technology, before unveiling a plaque and declaring the building open.

The project has been funded in full by a donation from a charitable trust committed to supporting the work of the school.