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Our History

PHC through the years

Start

PHC, previously The Adult Orphan Institution (AOI), opened at 32 Mornington Place (Hampstead Road) with 16 pupils. It was founded by Princess Augusta and Mrs Sophia Williams, to educate orphaned girls whose fathers had been in the Services or Church, and had died.

1820

The school moved to 11 St Andrews Place, Regent's Park, designed by John Nash.

1824

Queen Victoria became Patron of PHC

1838

Princess Helena, third daughter of Queen Victoria and Prince Albert, became President of the College.

1874

The AOI became Princess Helena College for Young Ladies and High School for Girls.

1879

Name shortend to Princess Helena College.

1880

Prince Leopold of Albany laid the foundation stone for the new School to be built in Ealing. The stone is now laid within the walls of the present School underneath Arches.

1881

PHC moved to Ealing from Regent's Park, and was officially opened by Princess Helena.

1882

The Royal Charter was granted.

1886

The marble bust of Queen Victoria was acquired.

1887

Lacrosse was introduced (first girls' school in England).

1888

PHC Old Girls' Association (now PHC Alumnae Association) was started.

1897

PHC’s motto adopted, ‘Fortis qui se vincit.’

1902

PHC's 100th birthday.

1920

Princess Helena died aged 77. Princess Helena's daughter, Princess Helena Victoria became President.

1923

PHC moved from Ealing to Temple Dinsley.

1935

The House system was introduced: Gloucester, Windsor and York.

1938

HRH The Duchess of Gloucester succeeded Princess Helena Victoria as President.

1947

HM The Queen became Patron.

1952

The Dower House was refurbished and visited by HRH Duchess of Gloucester on June 1st and the Princess Alice Hall was built.

1992

PHC celebrated its 175th anniversary with a service at Westminster Abbey.

1995

HRH Princess Alice, Duchess of Gloucester died and was succeeded as President by her daughter in law, the present Duchess of Gloucester

2000

New Science Centre and Art Centre opened by HRH the Duchess of Gloucester.

2003

The Orchard replanted.

2014

PHC representatives celebrated the Queen's Diamond Jubilee at the Patron's Lunch on The Mall.

2015

Plans developed for a new Performing Arts Centre.

2016

Visit of HRH The Duchess of Gloucester to dedicate the foundation stone for the new PA Centre, plant a rose in the replanted Rose Garden and to open the Heritage Wall.

2017

PHC announces it will welcome boys from September 2019 - a new co-educational era begins.

2018
The Future
United Learning