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HRHde Gruchy;Diary

FEW teaching unions can boast royal patronage, so well done the Secondary Heads Association for getting the Princess Royal to open its Brighton conference.

She is of course renowned for her good works involving children, and her, um, wide-ranging talk covered plenty of education-related topics with customary wit, self-deprecation and a wicked sense of timing.

SHA president Judith Mullen admitted the invitation had been a long shot. Fortunately the Metropole, which hosted the conference, was well-prepared. As the regal one's arrival drew near, it rolled out the red carpet in front of the hotel ... just in time for NASUWT general secretary Nigel de Gruchy to stroll in.

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