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UK Royals' uni degrees and how they did in their school exams

Updated: Jul 1, 2023



It's well-known that the late Queen Elizabeth II never sat an academic exam or went to a university. She was home-schooled by a governess from 9.30 am until 11 am every day as a child and only after the sudden abdication of her uncle King Edward VIII in 1938 received lessons on constitutional history from the vice provost of Eton, Henry Marten, in preparation for her future role as a monarch. Professor Kate Williams, author of Young Elizabeth, said in an interview that, ‘The Queen’s father had disliked school and her mother thought it was more important to have fun.'


We decided to find out which members of the core of the Royal Family followed in the Queen's footsteps and which didn't, how well they did in their school exams and what subjects studied at the university.


Prince William


University of St Andrews


Prince William left Eton College in 2000 with 12 GCSEs and three A-Levels: A in Geography, B in Art and C in Biology. After having a gap year he went to the University of St Andrews to study Art History, eventually switching courses to study Geography, because, in his own words, he 'kept falling asleep in lectures, it was terrible.' He graduated in 2005 with upper second-class honours.


Kate Middleton, Princess of Wales


University of St Andrews


Kate Middleton obtained 11 GCSEs at Marlborough College in Wiltshire before achieving three A-levels in 2000: As in both Maths and Art, and a B in English. Like William, she did a gap year before starting at the University of St Andrews the same year as him, on the same course (before he switched subjects), graduating in 2005 with a 2:1 in History of Art.


Anne, Princess Royal


The only daughter of Queen Elizabeth II and Prince Philip left Benenden School in Kent in 1968 with six GCE O-Levels and three A-Levels in English, History and Politics. She never went to university, undertaking royal engagements at the age of 18.


King Charles


Cambridge University


King Charles graduated from Gordonstoun in Scotland, one of the UK's top independent schools, with five O-Levels (GCSEs) and two A-Levels: a B in History and C in French. He then went on to Cambridge University, graduating with a 2:2 degree in History after studying history, archaeology and anthropology. He was the first British royal to get a university degree.


Prince Edward


Cambridge University


Similarly to his sibling Charles, Prince Edward went to Gordonstoun, graduating with nine O-Levels and three A-levels: a C in English, D in History and D in Politics. Despite such low grades, he was then accepted into Cambridge University, leaving with a 2:2 degree in History.


Prince Harry


Like his brother, Harry went to Eton College and left with 11 GCSEs and two A-Levels: a B in Art and D in Geography. He was a member of the Combined Cadet Force (a youth organisation in the United Kingdom, sponsored by the Ministry of Defence) and then went on to join the Army instead of going to the university.


Princess Beatrice


Goldsmiths, University of London


Despite being diagnosed with dyslexia when she was seven years old, princess did well at the exams. She left St George’s School in Ascot with nine GCSEs and three A-Levels: an A in Drama, and Bs in History and Film Studies. She studied History and History of Ideas at Goldsmiths, University of London and graduated in 2011 with a 2:1, an upper second class degree.


Princess Eugenie


Newcastle University


Princess Eugenie achieved As in Art and English Literature and a B in History of Art after attending Marlborough College in Wiltshire. Then she was accepted into Newcastle University and studied a combined honours BA in English Literature, History of Art and Politics, graduating with a 2:1 degree in 2012.


Want to know more about what it's like to study in the UK and how to get into the best universities in the country? LEO International Online School offers a diverse and intensive two–year A-Level programme designed to prepare students for university entry in the United Kingdom. Learn more about this programme and our other courses here, and don't hesitate to contact us at info@leo-school.uk.

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