Where Jimi Wanjigi's kids go to school

Jimi Wanjigi. [Courtesy]

It was founded by Paul-Émile Carnal in the 18thcentury. It is one of the oldest boarding schools in Switzerland. Le Rosey is the world's most expensive boarding school. Yearly fees range from a minimum of 12.5 million to Sh 15 million depending on the class.

To sustain an international atmosphere at Le Rosey, there exists a quota where no more than 10% of the students may come from a single country. The student body, ages 7 through 18, is composed of pupils from approximately 58 different countries, with 60% of the students being European.

The student teacher ratio is 5:1 with the average class size being fewer than 10 students, and the average teacher's length of stay at Le Rosey is over ten years.

Le Rosey is reportedly the only boarding school in the world to change campuses seasonally. In spring and autumn, classes are held at the Château du Rosey campus in the village of Rolle in the Canton of Vaud, located between Geneva and Lausanne in southwestern Switzerland.

For the winter months of January through March, the entire student body moves to a group of chalets in the ski resort town of Gstaad in the Canton of Berne. The school began to go to Gstaad in the German-speaking Canton of Berne for the winter months to escape the dense fog that settles in on Lake Geneva. The school is just 100 m from the shores of Lake Geneva.

Prior to the introduction of the 10% quota, wherein no more than 10% of the student body may come from one country, different nationalities made up the majority of students at Le Rosey. In the 1950s and 1960s, the majority of students were Americans, Italians, and Greeks, in the 1970s came the Arabs and Iranians, in the 1980s came the Japanese and Koreans, and in the 1990s came the Russians. During the 1990s, the children of Russian oligarchs, who made up a third of the student body, gained notoriety for "terrorizing" other students, resulting in the withdrawal of at least one non-Russian student.

Over 20 different languages have been taught at Le Rosey in the past five years.

Le Rosey has educated generations of dynastic families, including Hohenzollerns, Rothschilds, Metternichs, Borgheses, Hohenlohes, and Radziwi??s. Le Rosey has educated several monarchs, including Aga Khan IV, King Albert II of Belgium, King Baudouin I of Belgium, King Fuad II of Egypt, King Ntare V of Burundi, Shah Mohammad Reza Pahlavi of Persia, and Prince Rainier III of Monaco. HRH Princess Eeuphelma Choden Wangchuck of Bhutan, HRH Prince Ugyen Jigme Wangchuck of Bhutan, and the future Grand Duke of Luxembourg, Prince Guillaume, were also educated at the school.

 Le Rosey is the world's most expensive boarding school. [Courtesy]

The school has also famously educated royalty from around the world, particularly the deposed royal family members of the Muhammad Ali Dynasty of Egypt, Alexander, Crown Prince of Yugoslavia, the House of Glücksburg of Greece, and the House of Savoy of Italy.

Along with more recent royal alumni such as Tatiana Santa Domingo, married to the nephew of the Prince of Monaco, and Alexandra De Scheel, daughter of Princess Reuss, whose great grandparents include King Willheim of the Netherlands, Tsar Paul I, Anna Romanov, Empress of Russia, Queen Victoria, and Catherine the Great.

The winter term is spent in Gstaad, with lessons finishing by lunchtime so the children can hit the slopes for the afternoon. In spring, they head to the school’s Château du Rosey campus nestled on the site of a Gothic, 14th-century château in the village of Rolle on the shores of Lake Geneva. 

The privately-owned institution is astonishingly well-equipped, with a shooting range, 1,000-seat concert hall and an equestrian centre boasting 30 horses. Few other schools have their own 38-foot yacht on Lake Geneva, let alone a spa for stressed-out pupils to unwind in at the end of the long school day.