It was described by the heir to the throne as 'Colditz in kilts',
and has become as well known for its famous alumni as its notoriously strict regime.
Now Gordonstoun, the £32,00-a-year Scottish public school where the Queen's sons and children of Sean Connery and David Bowie were educated, has become embroiled in allegations of historical sex abuse.
Former pupils have spoken of a number of incidents at Aberlour House, the preparatory school that was part of Gordonstoun in Moray in Scotland. These included the alleged rape of a 12-year-old girl and a boy who was molested by his teacher.
|Former pupils of Gordonstoun in Scotland have claimed |
they were raped and abused by teachers
Prince Charles reportedly hated his time at Gordonstoun, frequently being bullied because he was heir to the throne. He was apparently put in a basket and left naked under a cold shower as part of an initiation ceremony at the age of just 13, and often wrote home to explain how he hardly got any sleep because he was often hit in the night.
Writer and novelist William Boyd, who was a pupil at the school at the same time as Prince Charles in the 1960s, likened it to 'penal servitude.'
A teacher at Prince Charlesís old boarding school faces being struck off the teaching register after he escaped jail for child porn offences. Samuel Henley, a former maths teacher at £32,000-a-year Gordonstoun in Moray, was sacked after he was caught with images of naked children.
An investigation by the Observer has uncovered claims of sexual abuse including the rape of a 12-year-old at the school, renowned for its strict discipline.
The woman, known by the name 'Kate', had gone to the school on a scholarship and claims she was attacked by the male teacher during a camping trip.
The woman said the incident took place in 1990 when the teacher in charge of the trip to the Scottish Highlands said they were one tent short and she would have to share with him.
She then found herself being touched then raped by the teacher.
'I didn't know what to do,' she said. 'I didn't do anything. I was terrified. I don't remember much but the pain, on my cervix...He wore a condom.
'What kind of man takes a packet of condoms on a school camping trip?'
|Pupils at Gordonstoun School do physical training on obstacle course in file photo|
There is no suggestion anyone pictured was involved in any abuse cases.
SCOTLAND'S UNIQUE LEGAL PRINCIPLE OF CORROBORATION
The principle of corroboration is a cornerstone of Scottish law, and requires two independent sources for every piece of evidence.
This can be from two witnesses or be supported by forensic or historic evidence.
For rape cases this means that there would need to be two forms of evidence to prove penetration had taken place, there was no consent, and the perpetrator understood there was no intent. This makes historical allegations particularly difficult to prosecute.
It is believed to discourage victims of sexual and domestic assault from coming forward because of the difficulty in proving crimes.
Scotland has one of the lowers rape conviction rates in Europe.
Figures released by the Crown Office of Scotland revealed around 60 per cent of domestic abuse complaints go no further.
Scotland also does not allow pre-recorded evidence to be taken, a measure which can encourage victims to come forward.
If the offences had taken place in England, not only would only one witness be needed but victims would also be able to sue for compensation in the civil courts.
In 2010 Lord Calloway was appointed to do a review of Scots Law and he suggested the principle of corroboration should be abolished. This has been supported by campaigners for victims of domestic violence and rape.
However abolishing the principle has been opposed by the legal establishment over fears it could make investigations less rigorous.
After the incident 'Kate' contemplated suicide as she struggled to tell anyone what had happened to her.
What followed was years of abuse by her peers only for 'Kate' to discover another pupil had also been allegedly abused by the teacher and, she believes, had been in a relationship with him.
In 2013 Kate attempted to bring him to justice by making a formal complaint to police, who investigated and arrested the teacher.
Police Scotland uncovered a number of witnesses - including the other girl who was allegedly regularly abused by the teacher. However the case was dropped when it became clear this girl could not give evidence and Kate's case fell foul of the principle of corroboration.
She was bitterly disappointed and now in her 40s, and with her own children, she is still dealing with the rape.
Another former pupil at Aberlour claimed he was assaulted by Derek Jones, a teacher in charge of English and the school photography club.
The man claimed that in 1990, then in his final year at Aberlour before he was due to go to Gordonstoun, he was talking to Jones about a rugby injury. After Jones offered to give him some 'secret' but extra strong painkillers, the man claims the teacher fondled and then took naked photos of him.
|Prince Phillip 1939|
He remembered trying to struggle against the teacher, while under the effect of the painkillers.
'John', then 12, tried to confront Jones with a friend but the teacher refused to give up his camera film. When he told his parents they went to Gordonstoun officials, who investigated the incident and referred it to Police Scotland.
Jones was sacked and John's parents were encouraged not to prosecute the teacher and received a promise from Gordonstoun that he would never teach anywhere again.
In 2014 John decided to go to the police about the assault only to find that Jones had been able to teach again in Essex and Kenya - despite assurances from Gordonstoun.
|Prince Charles 1963|
Gordonstoun was home to a number of royal pupils, including a young Prince Philip, pictured batting for the school in 1939 (left) and Prince Charles (right), who is seen returning to London from the summer term in 1963
In 2013 former pupils started a private Facebook group discussing things that happened at the school which are not publicised. Discussions included rapes of boys and girls and eventually attracted more than 100 pupils.
A Gordonstoun spokeswoman said the school was 'shocked' and 'saddened' when it first became aware of the allegations, initially finding out through the Facebook group. These were reported to police and the school is firmly committed to making sure children are happy, healthy and safe.
|Pr Andrew 1978|
'We were extremely saddened to learn of the abuse allegedly suffered by the woman identified as “Kate”. We have given the investigating police full and unrestricted access to the limited archive records we hold for Aberlour House. We were surprised and disappointed that her case did not go to court and remain available to assist future investigations.'
|Pr Edward 1982|
During his teaching years at Gordonstoun he had become known for his inappropriate behaviour.
THE SCHOOL WITH A HISTORY OF ROYAL ALUMNI AND STRICT RULES
Gordonstoun was founded in 1934 by Dr Kurt Hahn
Dr Hahn had fled Germany in 1933 and initially started a school with three pupils
The next year pupil numbers increased and he signed a lease with the Gordon-Cumming family for the Gordonstoun estate.
In 1936 Hahn founded Aberloun, the preparatory school for Gordonstoun to cater for children from the age of seven. The two sites merged in 2004.
|Kevin Lomas 1998|
Historically it was known for its cold showers and early morning runs, as well as punishments where pupils were forced to run around their houses. Challenging outdoor activities are still practised.
Today the school sits in 200 acres in Scotland and has primary and secondary facilities
It is one of the last remaining full boarding schools, and houses 600 male and female pupils
Prince Charles was a pupil at the school in the 1960s
Other royal alumni include Prince Edward, who was head boy in 1982, and Zara Phillips
Prince Andrew went to the school in the 1970s and became known for his hockey skills
Prince Philip also went to Gordonstoun in the 1930s
Charlie Chaplin's granddaughter went to the school, along with the sons of Sean Connery and David Bowie
|Prince Andrew is pictured with the Queen and Prince Philip on his arrival|
at Gordonstoun School in Elgin
Last year Gordonstoun maths teacher Samuel Henley admitted having child pornography on his computer. The 32-year-old was sacked from the school after images of naked boys as young as eight engaging in sexual acts were discovered on his computer.
One of the pictures was headlined 'sweet boys kissing' and included images of 10 to 12-year-old boys engaging in sexual activity. There were also videos on the computer of young teenage boys performing sex acts on one another.
None of the children involved are believed to have been students at the 600-pupil Scottish campus.