Vladimir Putin's private meeting with elite British schoolboys

Eton's Trenton Bricken wrote on Facebook that Vladimir Putin "was small in person but not in presence."

Story highlights

  • Russian President Vladimir Putin plays hosts to schoolboys from Eton College
  • School says the students organized private visit to Kremlin on their own

(CNN)It's not every day that you get to drop into the Kremlin and have Russian President Vladimir Putin as your host. But that's exactly what happened to schoolboys from Britain's prestigious Eton College.

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    And their schoolmasters didn't even know about it.
    "This was a private visit by a small group of boys (organized) entirely at their own initiative and independently of the college," the school said of last week's visit.
    And it seems the Russian Embassy in London may have been none the wiser, too.
    "This was a private trip and a private meeting," it said in a statement. "The embassy issued the visas for the 10 Eton students visiting Moscow and St. Petersburg."
    Eton students meet the Russian leader last week  at the Kremlin.
    So what did the boys make of the influential leader? "He was small in person but not in presence," student Trenton Bricken said in a Facebook post with a photo of him shaking hands with Putin.
    Eton isn't unfamiliar with heads of government; the college has produced 19 prime ministers and countless public figures.
    British Foreign Secretary Boris Johnson and former Prime Minister David Cameron both attended the school.