Duchess of Cornwall visits Newmarket Academy

The Duchess was in the town to unveil a statue of King Charles II at the Rowley Mile Racecourse, but beforehand she visited the academy.

“It surpassed my highest expectations really,” said headteacher Nick Froy a few minutes after the Duchess had departed for the racecourse.

“It’s a rare moment as a headteacher or principal that you feel truly proud of your school, that you can welcome such an important visitor and the school be so amazing.”

The Duchess of Cornwall was there to primarily hear about the academy’s Godolphin Beacon Project – a five-year partnership aiming to boost employment opportunities for young people in the town.

Rain was lashing down as the Duchess walked from the car to reception under an umbrella, but she got involved in the action straight away with a literacy project involving seven local primary schools.

A number of students from each school were asked to read out a line explaining the value of reading, with the Duchess picking the best – although she 

said: “It’s very difficult to choose a winner.”

The winning line was read by Poppy Van Der Klugt, aged 11, from Ditton Lodge Primary School: “Reading is important because it lets your imagination flow and prepares you for future life.”

“It was fun and I was very surprised that I was picked to be the winner,” said Poppy, who had come up with the line with her classmates Jessica Macro-Rolls and Thomas Bacon.

Asking the children what books they enjoyed, the Duchess shared an appreciation of David Walliams.

Later, she held a hamster at the academy’s animal studies centre that was also named Camilla, watched students using the building’s working forge and also iced cupcakes with students, including 13-year-old Amy Liming, from Year 8.

“It was really good,” said Amy afterwards. “She was saying that she’s not very good at icing, but did it with Jamie Oliver recently. 

When she said that I was like 

‘wow’.”