Farewell to a fantastic 450th anniversary year!

Farewell to a fantastic 450th anniversary year!

Boys from Years 7 & 8 lined up in front of the School to bid a colourful goodbye to Queen Elizabeth’s School’s 450th anniversary year.

With sixth-formers helping to ensure all looked good, and with a drone filming overhead, the junior boys filed on to Stapylton Field in front of Main Building to spell out #QE450. Click here to see the drone footage showing how it was done!

Headmaster Neil Enright said: “It has been a tremendous year, so we wanted to find a way to mark its conclusion which was both fun and which created an impressive spectacle involving a large number of boys. My thanks go to our Head of Technology, Michael Noonan, and his Year 12 Technology class for lining up the participants so accurately.

“More generally, I would like to thank the countless people – boys, staff, alumni, parents, Governors and other friends of the School – who have contributed in so many ways to making our anniversary year such a resounding success. We look back with gratitude on a fantastic 2023, and look forward with great anticipation to all that 2024 will bring.”

The Year 7 & 8 boys wore sports strip in their House colours for the shoot:

  • Broughton in red for the hash tag (#)
  • Harrisons’ in brown for Q
  • Leicester in yellow for E
  • Pearce in purple for 4
  • Stapylton in blue for 5
  • Underne in green for 0.

The anniversary celebrations were heralded close to the end of the 2022 Autumn Term with a royal visit from HRH The Duke of Gloucester.

Major events during the year itself began with the launch of a new authoritative history of the School, Queen Elizabeth’s School: 1573–2023, written by former Headmaster Dr John Marincowitz (1999–2011).

On 24th March, 450 years to the day since Queen Elizabeth I signed the Royal Charter to establish QE, the whole School gathered for a thanksgiving service in Westminster Abbey.

Founder’s Day on the third Saturday in June was heavily anniversary-themed, with events including the planting of a time capsule intended for exhumation on the School’s 500th anniversary in 2073.

The Old Elizabethans Annual Reunion Dinner this year had a special emphasis on the anniversary, including the opportunity for alumni to see items from the QE Collections archive.

The Chamber Choir were recorded performing And Be it Known, the anniversary anthem commissioned by the School from international composer Howard Goodall for the service in Westminster Abbey, where it was premiered. The recording was used as the soundtrack for a special anniversary video.

The traditional Service of Nine Lessons and Carols in Chipping Barnet parish church, which included the first-ever congregational rendering of And Be It Known.

And those are just some of the highlights: throughout the year, the anniversary was celebrated through a series of special events and activities, including: the 56th Annual Elizabethan Union Dinner Debate; competitions; festivals in areas as diverse as the Sciences, Economics & rugby; and the planting of trees in Heartwood Forest, as well as hundreds of bulbs around the QE site.