HRH The Princess Royal officially opens John Martin Building

HRH The Princess Royal officially opens John Martin Building

Published on 23 September 2020

We were delighted to welcome HRH The Princess Royal, to officially open the John Martin Building in our Junior School, marking 88 years to the day that her Great Uncle, HRH Prince George, opened buildings at Colinton Road.

With the musical accompaniment of our Pipe Band, The Princess Royal was greeted by the Lord Provost  Frank Ross (Class of 1976), and led through a walkway lined with our smiling Junior School pupils waving flags. 

After being introduced to The Master of the Royal Company of Merchants of the City of Edinburgh, Peter Hillier, our Principal, Melvyn Roffe, and Head of Junior School, George Salmond, Her Royal Highness, a Past Master of The Royal Company of Merchants, began her tour of the John Martin Building.

The Princess Royal toured the new building, observing the learning taking place in our modern, bright classrooms and meeting pupils in our new Junior School library. 

Her Royal Highness also stopped to appreciate the building’s state of the art music and performance hub, taking in the sounds of the ongoing music lessons.

After signing the visitors’ book, The Princess Royal made a short speech, to mark the opening of the new building.

HRH The Princess Royal then unveiled a plaque, before being presented with a small gift and a posy of flowers from our Junior School pupils. The Princess Royal received a book containing illustrations by our pupils of the 54 Articles (rights) in the United Nations Convention on the Rights of the Child (UNCRC), to signify our status as Gold accredited Rights Respecting School 

Our Principal, Melvyn Roffe, said: “It was an honour to welcome Her Royal Highness back to Watson’s and we are grateful for her continued interest in our school.

“It was particularly fitting that she was able to visit us to open our newest building on the anniversary of the opening of our original buildings on this site by her Great Uncle, HRH Prince George, exactly 88 years ago.

HRH Prince George opening buildings at Colinton Road in 1932

“So much has changed in that time but the school’s commitment to providing the best possible education for children and young people remains undiminished.”

Former pupil, John Martin (Class of 1948) left a generous legacy to George Watson’s College which made a significant contribution towards the extension of the Junior School building, named in his memory. This has allowed our school to realise its ambitions for developing and improving facilities for our Junior School pupils. 

The Princess’s visit will no doubt be a day to remember for our pupils and staff. We were proud to officially mark the opening of our wonderful new facility and to honour the generosity of the building’s namesake. 

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