Advertisement

  1. ITV Report

Prince Charles on grandson George's first day at school

Prince George's first day at school "went well", the Duke of Cambridge has revealed.

Prince William dropped his son off at his new school, Thomas's Battersea, alone on Thursday morning since the Duchess of Cambridge was too ill with morning sickness to accompany the pair.

William and Kate announced on Monday that there were expecting their third child.

The official photo of Prince George on his first day of school released by Kensington Palace. Credit: Kensington Palace

Speaking to ITV News about his grandson's first day at school, Prince Charles joked to Royal Editor Chris Ship that he had not given the youngster any advice ahead of his big day as he "wouldn't take it from me at that age".

The Prince of Wales added that school is "good" for children, jesting that it is "character building".

He continued he "hoped" that George would be happy at his new school, and empathised with the "poor old thing" who appeared anxious as he walked into his new school to join the rest of his reception class.

The 68-year-old conceded that "at that age you don't worry quite so much about going to school as you do when you get a bit older" and the "business of meeting new people."

Prince William made his comment's about his son's first day to England Under-20s' head coach, Paul Simpson, telling him George had had a "good day".

He said: "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."

Prince George appeared nervous as he made his way into his new classroom. Credit: PA

Thomas's Battersea is an independent school in south-west London where annual fees cost from £17,604 and is a 20 minute drive from the family's Kensington Palace home.

The prince, who will be known to his new friends as George Cambridge, spent his first day getting to know teachers, adults and other children as well as completing the important task of finding his classroom peg.

George is in a class of 21 pupils - one of three reception groups that are connected by a folding "carousel" door which is opened to allow group play three times a week.

The school was chosen by the Duke and Duchess so they can give George as normal a life as possible.

It is understood that both George's parents will try and carry out the school run as often as possible.

As with most reception children, Prince George will only stay at school for the mornings to begin with, before building up to full days over a number of weeks.

As well as not being able to attend her son's first day at school, the Duchess cancelled other engagements this week while she is treated at her at Kensington Palace home for Hyperemesis Gravidarum - acute morning sickness which requires hydration and nutrients.

A Kensington Palace spokesperson said: "Unfortunately The Duchess of Cambridge remains unwell, and will not be able to accompany Prince George on his first day of school.

"The Duke of Cambridge will drop off Prince George this morning as planned."

Ben Thomas, principal of Thomas's London Day Schools and former headmaster of Thomas's Battersea for 18 years, said he hoped the future king would learn to "be himself" while at school.

He said: "The whole aim of these precious early years of education is to give children that confidence in who they are.

"So we are not going to try to mould him into any kind of particular person and we wouldn't do that with any of our pupils.

"I hope he will have the confidence to be himself with all his quirks and his idiosyncrasies and characteristics."

He added that George would not be given "any special treatment at all".

The preparatory school is described by the Good Schools Guide as: "A big, busy, slightly chaotic school for cosmopolitan parents who want their children to have the best English education money can buy.

"That is what they want and, to a large degree, that is what they get."