Copenhagen (AP) – The Danish Crown Prince Frederik (53) and his wife Crown Princess Mary (50) have reacted with open criticism to serious allegations against the school of their son Prince Christian (16).
As parents of a child attending Herlufsholm boarding school, they are deeply shocked to hear about systematic bullying and a culture of abuse and violence at the educational institution, the two said in a statement on Instagram. As parents, they expected the school to create a culture where everyone felt safe and part of the community. Changes are obviously necessary, they explained.
Such a statement by representatives of the royal family is very unusual. Experts consider this to be proof of how seriously the Danish royals take the allegations made in a television documentary. Crown Princess Mary’s foundation campaigns intensively against bullying, among other things.
Prince Christian is a high school student at the boarding school near Næstved, a good 70 kilometers southwest of Copenhagen. His sister Princess Isabella (15) also wants to go to school after the summer holidays.
In a documentary called “Herlufsholms hemmeligheder” (The Secrets of Herlufsholm), broadcaster TV2 describes cases of physical violence, bullying and sexual abuse at the school. In it, several former students describe upsetting experiences they had at the prestigious institution. Older students are said to have attacked the younger ones, especially at night, and regularly beat them up, among other things.
The school management announced that it would initiate an independent investigation. However, the picture of the school that is drawn in the documentation cannot be recognized. Denmark’s Prime Minister Mette Frederiksen called on Facebook on Friday for the school to take responsibility and stop the underlying culture.