The five Royal Schools were founded by King James I in 1608.
- Royal School, Armagh
- Royal School, Cavan
- Royal School, Dungannon
- Portora Royal School, Enniskillen
- Royal and Prior School, Raphoe
They therefore celebrated the 400th. anniversary of their foundation in 2008. The schools are in fact amongst the longest surviving non – church organisations of any kind in the island of Ireland.
To celebrate this very special year the five schools joined together to form a Company limited by guarantee and registered as a charity known as ‘The 1608 Royal Schools’. The steering group behind the exercises includes Headteachers, Staff, Governors and Past pupils of all five schools. The purpose and logic of the group will be to celebrate the anniversary by the organisation of a number of events and activities. The exercise represents a unique and high profile cross – border opportunity to focus on the history of the five schools which share an initial foundation in time and to enhance the links which already exist between them..
There were a number of activities and events which took place throughout that school year. These included:
- A series of sporting and cultural events to bring together the pupils, staff and parents of all five schools.
- A series of exhibitions and lecture during the first five months of 2008. There were historical lectures in each of the five towns with the lectures planned to coincide with public exhibitions of the history of each school.
- The publication of a book to outline the past and present of all five schools. This was a hard back, in full colour and A4 size. The book is on sale to the public.