iSurprise Royal College

One of the city’s most prestigious schools

Royal beginnings

Royal College is one of the oldest and most prestigious schools of Colombo dating back to the early 19th century. Established in 1835 as a private school with just 20 students is now Sri Lanka’s #1 primary and secondary college with more than eight thousand students drawn from all over the country. Life at the vast historic campus an area of (spanning 37 acres) is steeped in tradition and is hugely competitive, students excel not just in academics, but in arts, music and sports. Royal College lives up to its motto "Disce aut Discede", meaning "Learn or Depart" in Latin.


Royalists, as the school’s past pupils are known, have gone on to become some of the country’s leading personalities, the current Prime Minister of Sri Lanka is a past pupil of Royal College. “At Royal, you’re in it together. You learn to appreciate the little, the big and everything in between” says Ashik Bari, a past Royalist and founder of the Colombo Rugby School. He remembers when he started playing rugby at school at the age of six and from there it all leads up to the Bradby Shield, the longest uninterrupted rugby match in the world played every year between Royal and Trinity College in Kandy. This tradition started in 1920 and it still has a loyal following. For the Bari’s it’s also a family tradition, Ashik’s father and grandmother’s brother played for Royal and even his grandmother still watches it every year unfailingly, together with a capacity crowd of up to 15,000 people.

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