Another European princess has chosen this school in Wales with a £67,000 price tag

Rebecca Taylor
·Royal Correspondent
·4 min read
The school has been dubbed a hippy Hogwarts and pupils have lessons in this castle. (UWC)
The school has been dubbed a hippy Hogwarts and pupils have lessons in this castle. (UWC)

A second European princess is set to attend a school in Wales, dubbed a "hippie Hogwarts".

Princess Alexia of the Netherlands is to start school at United World College Atlantic in September. The school is based in a castle in the Vale of Glamorgan..

She'll be there at the same time as Princess Leonor, the heir to the throne of Spain.

Announcing the news, the Netherlands royal house said: "After the summer, Her Royal Highness Princess Alexia of the Netherlands will continue her high school days at the United World College of the Atlantic (UWC Atlantic College) in Llantwit Major in Wales.

"She will go there for her International Baccalaureate. Princess Alexia is now in the fourth year of the Christelijk Gymnasium Sorghvliet in The Hague."

Princess Alexia is second in line to the throne. She is the middle of three girls, and her older sister Catharina-Amalia is heir to the throne.

She has a younger sister, Princess Adriene.

THE HAGUE, NETHERLANDS - JULY 17: Princess Alexia of The Netherlands during the annual summer photocall at their residence Palace Huis ten Bosch on July 17, 2020 in The Hague, Netherlands. (Photo by Patrick van Katwijk/Getty Images)
Princess Alexia of The Netherlands during the annual summer photocall at Palace Huis ten Bosch in July 2020 in The Hague. (Patrick van Katwijk/Getty Images)
Atlantic College.
Middle Eastern Conference
Pic Gareth Iwan Jones
Atlantic College in Wales is a popular destination for European royals. (Gareth Iwan Jones)

Read more: Inside the Welsh 'hippy Hogwarts' where the future Spanish Queen will go to school

Jens Waltermann, executive director of UWC International, said: “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% 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.”

UWC Atlantic was the first of the group of colleges to be established, and there are now several around the world.

The founder of the UWC movement also set up Gordonstaun in Scotland, which Prince Charles attended.

UWC Atlantic was dubbed a hippie Hogwarts by former pupil, now Times journalist Louise Callaghan, who said it was "full of oddballs who think they are fighting the forces of darkness."

She added: "There are also ghosts. Lady Stradling haunts the history tower, and the smell of lavender and a lilac mist precedes her apparition."

As well as going to school with an heir to another European throne, Princess Alexia will be following in other royal footsteps - including her father's.

King Willem-Alexander of The Netherlands also went to UWC Atlantic from 1983 until 1985 and Princess Elisabeth, heir apparent to the Belgian throne, also attended, finishing her studies in May 2020.

Princess Leonor's family explained that they are paying her fees themselves, but Princess Alexia's family did not include that information in their press announcement.

Watch: Royals around the world: Europe's future queens

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Whether or not the applicant can pay their own fees changes how potential pupils apply to UWC.

It costs £67,000 for two years at UWC, though many students attend with partial or total grants to cover their costs.

Like Leonor, Princess Alexia will be placed in one of seven houses, Pentti Kouri, Morgannwg, Powys, Whitaker, Gwynedd, Tice or Sunley, which are named after Welsh kingdoms or a benefactor of the college.

Boys and girls are housed in separate wings and she will share with two to three other girls.

The college doesn't house people with anyone from their own country, so both princesses will meet people from different cultures straight away.

THE HAGUE, NETHERLANDS - 2020/07/17: King Willem-Alexander, Queen Maxima and princesses Amalia, Alexia and Ariane are seen at the garden of Paleis Huis ten Bosch during the traditional photo session.
King Willem-Alexander and his family received the media at the gardens of Paleis Huis ten Bosch for the traditional photo session as the summer holidays of his three daughters begin. (Photo by Robin Utrecht/SOPA Images/LightRocket via Getty Images)
King Willem-Alexander, Queen Maxima and princesses Amalia, Alexia and Ariane in the garden of Paleis Huis ten Bosch before the summer holidays began. (Robin Utrecht/SOPA Images/LightRocket via Getty Images)
The dining hall of the castle is not a common school lunch hall. (UWC)
The dining hall of the castle is not a common school lunch hall. (UWC)

Alexia will study the International Baccalaureate, a programme which sees them tackle six subjects including at least one language. UWC was a founding partner in developing the IB.

At Atlantic, students can choose subjects like Spanish literature, social and cultural anthropology, visual arts and global politics.

Other colleges have a different spread of topics, including marine science, Korean literature and film.

Lessons begin at 8am and finish by 1.10pm, with afternoon and weekends for creative activities and exercise.

Creative activities, which the school often shares on its Instagram page, includes things like a Masterchef challenge and a Bake Off contest.

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