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News > School News > St Swithun's Lockdown Puzzle Challenge! - PART 5

St Swithun's Lockdown Puzzle Challenge! - PART 5

Princess Mary is opening the school doors
Princess Mary is opening the school doors

Princess Mary, the Princess Royal is perhaps one of the lesser known members of the Royal family but she’s significant to St. Swithun’s because she opened our rather striking school building on 10th March 1932.

A new biography of Princess Mary, ‘Princess Mary: The First Modern Princess’ by Elisabeth Basford has recently been published and it highlights the amazing work she did on behalf of the royal family, with an impressive resume of ‘firsts’. She was the first female chancellor of a university, the first female honorary General of the British Army and the first daughter of a monarch to train and work as a nurse. It seemed only fitting that for a pioneering school that championed female education we would have a pioneering female monarch open our doors.

As the Headmistress Ethel Finlay said in her address at the opening:

‘There is hardly a profession or occupation or sphere of social work open to women in which we have not representatives, both at home and overseas; at one time we even penetrated the House of Lords and owned the only woman working there in the Lord Chancellor’s Office.’

In our archive we have the visitor’s book that was signed by Princess Mary, a letter from her Lady in Waiting thanking us for the Princess’s visit and a selection of photographs from the event, one of which is the subject of this week’s puzzle. The picture shows Princess Mary being greeted by the Headmistress Ethel Finlay.

In the picture dsiplayed, Princess Mary is opening the school doors with a gilt key presented to her by the architects and inscribed

‘Presented on March 10th 1932 at the opening of the new building of St, Swithun’s School, Winchester. Founded 1884.’

Hope you enjoy!

Best wishes

Elly Crookes


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T: 01962 835734 or 01962 835782

Old Girls' Association
St Swithun's School
Alresford Road
SO21 1HA


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