Published on: 29 June 2022

Christ Church Grammar School old boy Sir William Heseltine (‘46) made a special visit to the School yesterday to speak to a group of students in Year 3 about his time at Christ Church. 

The boys asked about his time at the School, his job with the Queen and what life was like during World War 2.

Sir William, or ‘Bill’ as he is known around Christ Church, attended the School from 1943 to 1946 during which he was a prefect and member of Craigie House. 

Bill has a long and vibrant career in the public sector, working in the Australian Prime Minister’s Department before becoming Prime Minister Menzies’ private secretary from 1955 to 1959. 

In 1965 Sir William joined the Press Office of the Royal Household and served in several roles over 25 years, including Press Secretary, culminating in his appointment as Private Secretary to Queen Elizabeth II. 

Sir William has received numerous honours for his service to the Queen including, Companion of the Order of Australia in 1988, Knight Grand Cross of the Royal Victorian Order in 1989 and Knight Grand Cross of the Order of the Bath in 1990. 

He was appointed to the Privy Council in 1986 and was the first, and so far the only, Australian to have filled the office of Private Secretary to the Queen. 

Christ Church Grammar School Principal Alan Jones said it was great for the boys to hear from Sir William. 

“When our boys leave Christ Church, they go on to do great things, and William is certainly one of those people,” he said 

“Keeping close ties to our former students is an important part of the culture here at Christ Church and connecting our Old Boys’ Association members with current students is very rewarding.” 

Christ Church Grammar School Alumni Coordinator Deborah Hill said Sir William returning to the School to share his wisdom and insight with new generation of boys was extra special. 

“Thank you Sir William for your visit, the boys gained a lot as they listened to you share your life experiences.”