Education: Rugged School for Charlie

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The subject of the disagreement at Buckingham Palace was: What school should 13-year-old Prince Charles attend? Queen Elizabeth wanted Eton, where Charles would wear a swallowtail coat, and mix mainly with sons of U.K.'s uppermost crust. Father Philip held out for Scotland's rugged Gordonstoun, his own old school, which among other goals aims to "free the sons of the rich and powerful from the enervating sense of privilege." Last week the palace announced the choice: Gordonstoun.

Starting in May, Charles, whose titles include Lord of the Isles and Great Steward of Scotland, will take up a regimen that begins daily at 7 a.m. with a cold shower followed by an empty-stomach sprint around the school grounds. Along with Gordonstoun's 400 other boys, among them the scholarship sons of dockers and fishermen, he will chop wood, build pigsties, sail, climb cliffs. The staple food is boiled potatoes at lunch and supper, and the school insists on "N.E.B.M." (no eating between meals). Average Scholar Charles will probably take the classroom work in stride, for Gordonstoun does not pretend to great academic excellence. Instead, it wants to give a boy "the ability to follow out what he believes to be the right course in the face of discomfort, hardships, dangers, mockery, boredom; skepticism and impulses of the moment"—useful training for anyone, let alone a future King.