In the hours after Prince George stepped out for his first day at school, his proud dad, Prince William, revealed his four-year-old son's time at Thomas’s Battersea in London "went well!" During a Kensington Palace reception on Thursday, Sept. 8, William said, "[It was a] good day. It went well. There was one other parent who had more of an issue with their children so I was quite pleased I wasn't the one. It was really nice actually. It's a nice school."
The 35-year-old royal wasn't the only member of the monarchy to speak out about George's first day. "Poor old thing. He’s been left there to have to get on with it, when the parents go away is always the problem," Prince Charles said of his eldest grandchild, according to Vanity Fair. "It’s good for you in the end, I suppose. It’s character building, I suppose!" He continued, "But I’ll be interested to hear how he got on. At that age, you don’t worry quite so much about going to school as you do when you get a bit older. It’s that business of meeting new people and wondering, you know."
Earlier in the day, George was photographed in his brand-new uniform made up of a navy V-neck sweater, a blue shirt, knee-length shorts, shiny black shoes, and a backpack. George — who appeared a little shy and nervous — was greeted at the gates by his head of the lower school, Helen Haslem, who held onto his hand while dad William joined them. The new pupil was taken into reception and shown his classroom. He might be third in line to the British throne, but the royal will be known simply as George Cambridge to his fellow classmates.
Sadly, Kate Middleton — who announced her third pregnancy this week — was too under the weather with severe morning sickness to see her son off to school. Confirming she wouldn't be in attendance, Kensington Palace explained via Twitter, "Prince George will this morning attend his first day of school at Thomas's Battersea, accompanied by his father, The Duke of Cambridge." A royal insider told the Daily Mail, "The Duchess wanted more than anything to be there. It's a big day for her son. But she has been really very sick this week. But William proved to be the perfect support for his firstborn, dropping him off in the family's Range Rover and walking him right to his classroom.
Royal watchers were quick to point out just how much George reminded them of his father William some 30 years earlier as Princess Diana escorted him on his first day of school at Wetherby Prep. Young George — who turned four in July — has been enrolled in one of three reception classes at the co-educational outpost, and he will join a mixed class of boys and girls at the $23,000 per year school.
Upholding a set of core values — kindness, courtesy, confidence, humility, and learning to be givers, not takers — the elite school holds an impressive record of senior school entrance and scholarship successes. In fact, the Tatler Schools Guide says the "cream of the Battersea crop rises to the likes of Eton and Wycombe Abbey." The school, which is just a stone’s throw from William and Kate's royal residence, currently has 544 day pupils, aged between four and 13.
George will be taught a diverse range of theoretical and practical subjects ranging from ballet, drama, music, art, and technology. With language a key part of the curriculum, George will be learning French before he later moves onto Mandarin. In years four and five, he’ll also have the option to learn Spanish. The prestigious school places large emphasis on the character they wish to build for their pupils. The number one rule is not “no hat, no play," but rather “be kind.”
It is for this reason, that students are discouraged from having best friends, so as to not ostracise others. “We expect pupils at Thomas’s to be kind; to be good friends to those around them, always on the lookout for those in need of a word of encouragement or a listening ear. We expect our pupils not just to tolerate but to celebrate difference, including faith, beliefs, and culture,” reads the school’s core values.
Sending George — and eventually Princess Charlotte, 2, in a few years’ time — to Thomas's marks yet another break away from royal tradition for the Cambridges. In the past, the royal family usually attended single-sex primary schools before moving onto prestigious boarding schools like Eton. Speaking of her son’s upcoming transition, Kate, 35, recently joked that George won’t have “any idea what’s going to hit him” as he commences his education. She’s also revealed she and William plan to partake in the school drop-offs.
(Photo Credit: Getty Images)
In January last year, George started nursery school at Westacre Montessori School near the Cambridge’s country in Sandringham, Anmer Hall. Since then William, who stepped down from his air ambulance job in July, and Kate have relocated to Kensington Palace in London to officially become fulltime royals.
This post was written by Bella Brennan. It originally appeared on our sister site, Now to Love.
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