Alexia of The Netherlands, 16, leaves for UWC Atlantic College Wales

Dutch princess is off to Hippie Hogwarts! Princess Alexia of The Netherlands, 16, leaves to board at UWC Atlantic College in Wales

  • Princess Alexia of The Netherlands has left to board at UWC Atlantic College
  • The school, dubbed ‘Hippie Hogwarts’ is situated in the Vale of Glamorgan 
  • She will join Spain ‘s future Queen, Princess Leonor, 15, at the school next year  
  • Princess Alexia of The Netherlands is leaving her home country and heading to Wales to study at UWC Atlantic College, the Dutch royal family has announced. 

    Proud parents King Willem-Alexander and Queen Maxima shared a photo of their middle daughter standing with her bags outside the royal palace Paleis Huis ten Bosch, in The Hague, this morning.

    The 16-year-old, whose older sister Catharina-Amalia is heir to the throne, will spend the next two years at the school, studying for her International Baccalaureate diploma. 

    Also attending the school this year is Spain‘s heir to the throne, Princess Leonor, 15. 

    Proud parents King Willem-Alexander and Queen Maxima shared a photo of their middle daughter standing with her bags outside the royal palace Paleis Huis ten Bosch, in The Hague

    Proud parents King Willem-Alexander and Queen Maxima shared a photo of their middle daughter standing with her bags outside the royal palace Paleis Huis ten Bosch, in The Hague 

    Princess Alexia of The Netherlands is leaving her home country and heading to Wales to study at UWC Atlantic College, pictured, the Dutch royal family has announced

    Princess Alexia of The Netherlands is leaving her home country and heading to Wales to study at UWC Atlantic College, pictured, the Dutch royal family has announced

    UWC Atlantic College is situated in the Vale of Glamorgan and costs £67,000 for a two-year course. Activities and subjects on offer include Tai Chi, the theory of knowledge and Tibetan literature, leading to its nickname ‘hippie Hogwarts’. 

    Princess Elisabeth of Belgium, who is heir to the throne, graduated from the school last year. Alexia’s father, King Willem-Alexander, also studied there.

    Alexia, the second of Maxima and Willem-Alexander’s three daughters, looked like a typical teenager in an oversized plaid shirt, ripped jeans and white trainers. 

    She wore a black bag over one shoulder and carried a guitar case on the other. 

    The caption, originally written in Dutch, read: ‘Princess Alexia is leaving for the United World College of the Atlantic (UWC Atlantic College) in Llantwit Major in Wales. She will go there for her International Baccalaureate for the next two years. ⁣

    ‘Princess Alexia completed the fourth year of the Sorghvliet Christian Gymnasium in The Hague last school year.’ 

    Alexia (far right) is the second of Maxima and Willem-Alexander's three daughters. Pictured, the couple with daughters Ariane (left) and Amalia (centre), who is heir to the throne

    Alexia (far right) is the second of Maxima and Willem-Alexander’s three daughters. Pictured, the couple with daughters Ariane (left) and Amalia (centre), who is heir to the throne

    Education at the school is played out in a magical place – a 12th century Castle by the sea – with its own seafront, woodland, farmland and valley. 

    Atlantic College is located near the town of Llantwit Major on the South Wales coast, overlooking the Bristol Channel. It has been continuously inhabited since it was first built. 

    The extensive grounds also include the 12th-century St Donat’s Church and the historic terraced gardens, as well as preserved woodland, farmland and Heritage Coastline. 

    St Donat’s Castle is the main building of the College, housing the Tudor Great Hall, the Gothic Dining Hall, the Bradenstoke Hall used for assemblies and performances and an extensive 25,000-book Library.

    The heir to the Spanish throne, 15-year-old Princess Leonor, is also going to study at UWC Atlantic College in Wales, the Spanish royal household announced

    The heir to the Spanish throne, 15-year-old Princess Leonor, is also going to study at UWC Atlantic College in Wales, the Spanish royal household announced

    Princess Elisabeth of Belgium (pictured) enrolled in 2018 but had to cut her time at the college short due to the coronavirus crisis, and continued her studies online from home

    King Willem-Alexander, the King of the Netherlands, studied at the College from 1983 to 1985 and graduated with an International Baccalaureate. Pictured, visiting the GGD Corona Vaccination XL location on February 9, 2021 in Houten, Netherlands

    Princess Raiyah of Jordan, the daughter of King Hussein of Jordan and Queen Noor also attended her institution as a teen before studying Japanese as an undergraduate at The University of Edinburgh. Pictured, visiting the Sodoreihou Kimono College on April 13, 2009 in Tokyo

    Royal alumni include Princess Elisabeth of Belgium (left), who enrolled in 2018 but had to cut her time at the college short due to Covid-19; King Willem-Alexander of The Netherlands (centre) who attended from 1983 to 1985 and Princess Raiyah of Jordan (right)

    Students at the school stay in eight purpose-built boarding houses, which accommodate approximately 48 students each.

    The modern accommodation houses are named after either ancient Welsh kingdoms or benefactors to the college: Pentti Kouri, Morgannwg, Powys, Whitaker, Gwynedd, Tice and Sunley. 

    Unlike a conventional full school day of teaching, lessons at UWC begin at 8am and are finished in time for lunch.

    The two-year Diploma Programme has two parts: the International Baccalaureate Diploma Program (IBDP) curriculum, and a programme of experiential learning that focuses on key aspects of ‘peace, a sustainable future, and student initiative’.

    Core basics at the school include Biology, Chemistry, Economics, English Literature, Geography, History, Mathematics and Physics.

    Lessons take place in modern academic blocks built in the 1960s–80s, converted Medieval estate buildings, and the castle itself (pictured, the school's library)

    Lessons take place in modern academic blocks built in the 1960s–80s, converted Medieval estate buildings, and the castle itself (pictured, the school’s library) 

    Meanwhile there are also a wide selection of optional courses to choose from, including Design Tech, Visual Arts, Film studies, Music and Global Politics among others. 

    The College’s literary options range from English and French Literature to Czech, Russian, Tibetan, Swedish and Urdu Literature as well. 

    Classes take place in modern academic blocks built in the 1960s–80s as well as converted Medieval estate buildings, and the castle itself. 

    Jens Waltermann, Executive Director of UWC International told FEMAIL: ‘We are always delighted when a student chooses to join the UWC global education movement.

    ‘UWC’s mission is to make education a force to unite people, nations and cultures for peace and sustainability. We fulfil this mission by bringing together young people who would otherwise never meet.

    ‘Her Royal Highness Princess Alexia of the Netherlands will join 4,500 other students from 155 countries, and from a diverse range of backgrounds, at one of our 18 schools.

    ‘It doesn’t matter where a student comes from to access a UWC education, with over 75 per cent of all students receiving partial or full scholarships. What matters is their potential to contribute towards building a better and more just future for all.

    ‘Now more than ever we need to educate global citizens who want to engage in discourse, whatever their background or beliefs.’    

    Alongside their academics, pupils are expected to undertake a minimum of two hours of community service, two hours of physical activity and a further two hours of creative activity each week. Sessions take place in the afternoons, evenings and weekends. 

    The school seeks to ‘inspire changemakers’ who want to work for the common good with its lessons. 

    It looks for students who ‘can navigate the complexity of life and (reach) beyond easy answers’, the school’s website said. 

    Pupils are encouraged to be ’empowered’ to take ‘authentic responsibility to make their own decisions and actions’.  

    UWC Atlantic College: Why Euro royals LOVE the school dubbed Wales’s ‘Hippie Hogwarts’

    FAMOUS ROYAL ALUMNI…

    Founded in 1962 by German educationalist Kurt Hahn, he believed his approach to education, for pupils aged 16-19, could lead to a quicker resolution of international conflict, an ethos that is still carried by the establishment which aims to ‘promote mutual understanding’. 

    The United World College Movement includes 18 schools around the world, the website said, and takes students from around 150 countries.  

    The school counts The Queen and Queen Noor of Jordan as its current co-presidents and encourages international cooperation from students of all background.   

    It has also seen a growing list of international royals sitting on the benches of St Donat’s Castle over the years. 

    King Willem-Alexander, the King of the Netherlands, studied at the College from 1983 to 1985 and graduated with an International Baccalaureate before undertaking his military service and moving on to study History at Leiden University from 1987 onwards. 

    Princess Elisabeth of Belgium, 19, the daughter of King Philippe and Queen Mathilde, enrolled in 2018 but had to cut her time at the college short due to the Covid-19 pandemic, and continued her studies online from home. 

    Meanwhile Princess Raiyah of Jordan, the daughter of King Hussein of Jordan and Queen Noor also attended her institution as a teen before studying Japanese as an undergraduate at The University of Edinburgh. 

    …BUT NO ROYAL TREATMENT  

    In 2018, The Times reported that pupils were discouraged from showcasing their wealth with expensive gadgets, and were as likely to rub shoulders with ‘refugees from west Africa’ and ‘California hippies.’ 

    Former student Louise Callaghan previously revealed how Princess Elisabeth of Belgium would to be ‘the most normal person there’ and won’t get any ‘special treatment’ despite her royal credentials. 

    The will also need to acclimatise to ‘damp clothes’ courtesy of the famously wet Welsh weather. 

    CASTLE ON A CLIFFTOP LOCATION

    Education at the school is played out in a magical place – a 12th century Castle by the sea – with its own seafront, woodland, farmland and valley. 

    Atlantic College is located near the town of Llantwit Major on the South Wales coast, overlooking the Bristol Channel. The castle has been continuously inhabited since it was first built. 

    The extensive grounds also include the 12th-century St Donat’s Church and the historic terraced gardens, as well as preserved woodland, farmland and Heritage Coastline. 

    St Donat’s Castle is the main building of the College, housing the Tudor Great Hall, the Gothic Dining Hall, the Bradenstoke Hall used for assemblies and performances and an extensive 25,000-book Library.

    Students at the school stay in eight purpose-built boarding houses, which accommodate approximately 48 students each.

    The modern accommodation houses are named after either ancient Welsh kingdoms or benefactors to the college: Pentti Kouri, Morgannwg, Powys, Whitaker, Gwynedd, Tice and Sunley. 

    St Donat's Castle is the main building of the College, housing the Tudor Great Hall, the Gothic Dining Hall, the Bradenstoke Hall used for assemblies and performances and an extensive 25,000-book Library

     St Donat’s Castle is the main building of the College, housing the Tudor Great Hall, the Gothic Dining Hall, the Bradenstoke Hall used for assemblies and performances and an extensive 25,000-book Library

    Male and female pupils are located on separate corridors, with four students from the same year group, each of a different nationality, sharing a room. 

    While staying at the school, the teenagers are under the ‘care of houseparents’ who, according to the website, live in ‘adjacent homes’ and ‘spend a great deal of time interacting and supporting the students.’ 

    Meanwhile staff offices, student common areas, and certain academic departments such as History, Economics and Theory of Knowledge are also located in the main castle.  

    Atlantic College is located near the town of Llantwit Major on the South Wales coast, overlooking the Bristol Channel

    Atlantic College is located near the town of Llantwit Major on the South Wales coast, overlooking the Bristol Channel

    INDEPENDENT LESSONS TO BECOME ‘CHANGEMAKERS’ 

    Unlike a conventional full school day of teaching, lessons at UWC begin at 8am and are finished in time for lunch.

    The two-year Diploma Programme has two parts: the International Baccalaureate Diploma Program (IBDP) curriculum, and a programme of experiential learning that focuses on key aspects of ‘peace, a sustainable future, and student initiative’. 

    Core basics at the school include Biology, Chemistry, Economics, English Literature, Geography, History, Mathematics and Physics. 

    Unlike a conventional full day of schooling, lessons at UWC begin at 8am and are finished in time for lunch

    Unlike a conventional full day of schooling, lessons at UWC begin at 8am and are finished in time for lunch

    Lessons take place in modern academic blocks built in the 1960s–80s, converted Medieval estate buildings, and the castle itself (pictured, the school's library)

    Lessons take place in modern academic blocks built in the 1960s–80s, converted Medieval estate buildings, and the castle itself (pictured, the school’s library) 

    Meanwhile there are also a wide selection of optional courses to choose from, including Design Tech, Visual Arts, Film studies, Music and Global Politics among others. 

    The College’s literary options range from English and French Literature to Czech, Russian, Tibetan, Swedish and Urdu Literature as well. 

    Classes take place in modern academic blocks built in the 1960s–80s as well as converted Medieval estate buildings, and the castle itself. 

    Alongside their academics, pupils are expected to undertake a minimum of two hours of community service, two hours of physical activity and a further two hours of creative activity each week. Sessions take place in the afternoons, evenings and weekends. 

    The school seeks to ‘inspire changemakers’ who want to work for the common good with its lessons. 

    It looks for students who ‘can navigate the complexity of life and (reach) beyond easy answers’, the school’s website said. 

    Pupils are encouraged to be ’empowered’ to take ‘authentic responsibility to make their own decisions and actions’.  

    According to the schools website, pupils are encouraged to be 'empowered' to take 'authentic responsibility to make their own decisions and actions'

    According to the schools website, pupils are encouraged to be ’empowered’ to take ‘authentic responsibility to make their own decisions and actions’

    EXTRA-CURRICULAR TO DEVELOP ‘LIFELONG SERVICE IN COMMUNITY’

    According to the website, the Programme also focuses on a ‘lifelong commitment to service in the community, to collaborative work and social engagement’.

    It describes developing ‘in young people a sense of personal initiative and the skills of leadership.’

    Students are ‘placed into positions of trust, authentic responsibility and decision making’ and required to ‘demonstrate a commitment to making a positive difference in the world’.

    The College has a strong tradition of boat design and boat building with members of the 'seafront service' required to keep the boathouse clean and tidy

    The College has a strong tradition of boat design and boat building with members of the ‘seafront service’ required to keep the boathouse clean and tidy 

    The co-curricular program includes four faculties – Environmental, Global, Social Justice, Outdoor – which allow students to take part in activities and projects within the community. 

    The College has a strong tradition of boat design and boat building. The Atlantic College Lifeboat Station stood within its grounds as an active lifeboat station until it was decommissioned by the RNLI in 2013. 

    In 2014 the college helped design a new boat in conjunction with companies in Japan, to help in the aftermath of a tsunami.

    Sports on offer include calisthenics, a form of fitness which utilises gravity and bodyweight leverage to challenge your fitness level (pictured, students trying out calisthenics)

    Sports on offer include calisthenics, a form of fitness which utilises gravity and bodyweight leverage to challenge your fitness level (pictured, students trying out calisthenics) 

    Pupils at the school are discouraged from showcasing their wealth while studying and are as likely to rub shoulders with 'refugees from west Africa' and 'California hippies', according to reports in 2018

    Pupils at the school are discouraged from showcasing their wealth while studying and are as likely to rub shoulders with ‘refugees from west Africa’ and ‘California hippies’, according to reports in 2018 

    Members of the school’s ‘seafront service’ are required to keep the boathouse clean and tidy.

    Among their options for extra-curricular activities, pupils can take a dip in the castle’s outdoor pool  or take up a Tai Chi lesson.  

    Sports on offer include calisthenics, a form of fitness which utilises gravity and bodyweight leverage to challenge your fitness level, and ultimate frisbee, which takes place on the castle’s jousting field. 

    EMBRACING NATURE ON THE FARM 

    Alongside their intense studies within the castle and their community work, students are encouraged to get involved at the college’s private farm. 

    A recent Instagram post revealed the schools greenhouses were ‘full of kale, chard, beetroot, onions, mange trout, garlic and salad’.

    Meanwhile the school also has several animals for students to help care for, including two six-year-old donkeys, Ava and Hugo.

    Alongside their intense studies within the castle and their community work, students are encouraged to get involved at the college's private farm (pictured, the college's two donkeys)

    Alongside their intense studies within the castle and their community work, students are encouraged to get involved at the college’s private farm (pictured, the college’s two donkeys) 

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