Darcey bussell with royal ballet school students in the studio

Darcey Bussell films at White Lodge for Royal Road Trip

Our alumna Dame Darcey Bussell has recently fronted a new four-part series for More4 in celebration of Queen Elizabeth II’s Platinum Jubilee. In the programme, she travels to several locations across the UK that are significant to the Queen and her history. She also discovers many of Her Majesty’s favourite activities and passions such as hiking the Scottish Highlands and horse racing at Ascot.

Returning to White Lodge

One of the locations Darcey visited in the series was White Lodge, home to our students in Years 7 to 11. Darcey boarded at White Lodge from the age of 13, so it was wonderful for her to be able to return to her old home to discover more about the Queen’s connection to the site. Darcey was surprised to learn that the Queen also lived at this iconic site for the first year of her life, and White Lodge is listed as her parents’ residence on the Queen’s official birth certificate.

Uncovering the history

Our Head of Special Collections Anna Meadmore accompanied Darcey on her visit, taking her through the history of different parts of the building. Anna took Darcey to see some of the photographs on the wall in the Salon which show members of the Royal Family at White Lodge throughout the years. Many of these photographs are still part of the Royal Collections.

Working with our students

Darcey also went to watch a class in the Stock Bussell Studio, which was named in her honour. While there, she discussed with our students how they feel about living and training in such an iconic building. She then put some of them through their paces and gave her advice on some barre exercises. There are several pictures of Darcey performing hanging in the studio and she spoke to our students about her experience playing the different roles featured in the images.

Darcey Bussell’s Royal Road Trip will air its first episode on More4 on Tuesday 19 July at 21.00.