Prince Charles's Alma Mater 'Shocked and Saddened' Over Former Pupils' Abuse Allegations
Gordonstoun school in Moray, Scotland, says the claims will be "thoroughly investigated"
The private school Prince Charles attended has vowed to help police with any inquiries into sexual abuse allegations surrounding its junior school.
Gordonstoun school in Moray, Scotland, says in a statement that the reported cases of historic abuse “must be unimaginably distressing to the victims and their families,” and supports that they must be “thoroughly investigated.”
On Sunday, the U.K.’s Observer reported claims from pupils who said they were assaulted by former teachers. The alleged assaults took place at Aberlour house, a prep school that traditionally fed pupils into Gordonstoun, in the 1980s and 1990s.
The school was not part of the $50,000-a-year Gordonstoun at the time, but was brought under its umbrella in 2004.
Charles, 66, was at Gordonstoun school beginning in May 1962 for five years. His father, Prince Philip, had been one of the school’s original pupils when it opened in 1934. Other members of the royal family who attended include Charles’s brothers Andrew and Edward and his niece, Zara (Phillips) Tindall.
One of the most distressing cases uncovered by Observer Magazine involves a woman who says she was raped when she was 12 years old while on a camping trip towards the end of her time at Aberlour house. Because of complex legal reasons, her case didn t go to court – something that “surprised and disappointed” the school.
The woman, named as “Kate,” came forward after hearing of a Facebook campaign set up to highlight what 100 pupils called the school’s “historical problems it had with bullying, abuse,” as the newspaper describes the closed social media page.
In a statement, Gordonstoun school said, “In late 2013 we became aware of a number of allegations of unacceptable and potentially criminal behavior dating from the mid-1980s and early 1990s.”
“We were deeply shocked and saddened by these allegations. If any former student of either Gordonstoun or Aberlour House feels they were the victim of abuse we would be very concerned for them and would advise them to go to the police. We will continue to provide the police with our full support in any investigation.”
The statement reiterates its commitment to child protection and providing a “safe and nurturing environment” for its pupils.
A police spokeswoman tells PEOPLE that anyone with an allegation is urged to contact police. “If anyone does wish to make a complaint in relation to abuse we would encourage them to come forward and it will be taken seriously and investigated thoroughly.”