A ROYAL visitor will helped a school celebrate its 600th anniversary today.

Her Royal Highness The Countess of Wessex visited The Chorister School as part of its celebrations to mark the milestone.

To see a gallery of photographs click here.

The school opened in 1416 to educate choirboys at Durham Cathedral, with past pupils including former Prime Minister, Tony Blair and actor Rowan Atkinson.

During the visit, Her Royal Highness was greeted by staff and students and taken on a tour of the school.

Ahead of the visit, headmistress, Yvette Day said: “We are delighted to welcome HRH The Countess of Wessex to mark the occasion, this will be the highlight of our year of celebrations and it is with great excitement we look forward to our future."

The school’s younger pupils performed a Maypole dance and PE demonstration, while others gave a musical performance.

Following her tour, Her Royal Highness opened the newly designed and refurbished School Yard and Garden, which includes a specially created labyrinth.

She then unveiled a plaque and cut a specially commissioned cake, designed by Kelly-Ann Smith, as a school-memories timeline.

Acting Dean of Durham, Canon David Kennedy said: “Here at the Cathedral we are all enormously proud of the work of The Chorister School and are delighted that HRH The Countess of Wessex has come to celebrate this special occasion.”

The Chorister School will be holding further celebrations throughout the year and on June 18, a Service of Thanksgiving will be held in Durham Cathedral where Terry Waite will preach.