A group of pupils from one of Britain’s most prestigious private schools enjoyed the bizarre honour of a private audience with Russian president Vladimir Putin.
The eleven teenage boys travelled to Moscow to visit the Kremlin, the official residence of Putin, last week, where they shook hands with the Russian leader and sat around a table with him during an hour-long audience.
Eton, a private boarding school located near Windsor in southeast England, told The Telegraph it had played no role in organising the visit. “This was a private visit by a small group of boys organised entirely at their own initiative and independently of the College,” a spokesperson said.
Here is a picture of the boys meeting Putin:
An unnamed source close to the boys told The Sun: “They didn’t tell anyone they were going. I would assume it was so the school didn’t find out because I don’t think they would be happy.
“They went last week, I’m not sure on the details entirely, I don’t know who paid for the flights out there.”
They added: “From what I understand, they were talking to him [Putin] about Eton because he had a keen interest in the college, mainly due to previous politicians in the UK who had attended.” Eton is famous for having educated 19 British Prime Ministers, including recently resigned PM David Cameron.
Here is a group picture the boys took while inside the Kremlin.
Twitter users are comparing it to a famous picture of Cameron and current foreign secretary Boris Johnson while they were students at Eton.
Eton Bullingdon boys ..
The visit means the boys got the chance to meet the Russian leader even before Prime Minister Theresa May, who is set to have her first encounter with Putin at next week’s G20 summit in China.
One of the boys, Marc Woernle, wrote on Facebook: “We had an incredible time, and thank you so much to the people who made this happen, Natalya, Evgeny Markin, and Evgeny Zhadkevich, Nikolai, Bishop Tikhon, our many tour guides, and drivers, and organisers, and everyone who worked behind the scenes to help us.”
He added: “We are incredibly grateful to Bishop Tikhon and President Putin for inviting us, and for the hospitality going above and beyond what we expected.”