In Pictures: Royals on their first day at school

The Princess of Wales, Prince William and Prince Harry on Harry’s first day at Wetherby School in Notting Hill Credit: Ron Bell/PA

The first day at school is a big milestone for any child, let alone a royal youngster arriving in front of the cameras.

Princess Charlotte looked apprehensive as she held onto her mum's hand as she arrived at Thomas's Battersea on Thursday to start her first day at school.

While her brother, Prince George, appeared nervous when he started at the same school, two years ago.

The Duchess of Cambridge, then pregnant with Prince Louis, missed George’s big day because she was too ill, and was at home suffering from severe morning sickness.

Princess Charlotte starting her first day at school. Credit: PA

Four-year-old George held his dad's hand as he was met by the head of the lower school Helen Haslem.

William later said his son’s first day went well and joked that he was pleased another parent had problems with their child rather than him.

A nervous looking Prince George starts his first day of school. Credit: PA

A few weeks in and William told a fellow parent on a visit to Milton Keynes: “I just dropped George off and he didn’t want to go.”

But future king George, who is going into Year 2, is now said to be happy and settled.

He played a sheep in his first nativity play, and has reportedly been given the nickname PG by his friends.

Kate spoke about doing the daily school run soon after George started.

In a speech at a Place2Be forum on how schools can tackle mental health problems, she said: “As a mother, just getting used to leaving my own child at the school gates, it is clear to me that it takes a whole community to help raise a child.”

George and Charlotte were both pictured on their first day at nursery, with keen photographer Kate capturing the moments.

The young prince went to Westacre Montessori School near the Cambridges’ Norfolk home, Anmer Hall.

Kate captures the moment George begins nursery school. Credit: Duchess of Cambridge/Kensington Palace/PA

He was shown near a large, colourful mural, wearing a winter coat with a small rucksack on his back.

Kate also photographed two-year-old Charlotte when she started at Willcocks Nursery School, near Kensington Palace, in January 2018.

The princess was seen sitting on steps in the grounds of the London palace.

Charlotte sitting on the steps of Kensington Palace before she starts nursery. Credit: Duchess of Cambridge/Kensington Palace/PA

Dressed in a red coat and matching Mary Jane shoes with a bow in her hair, the youngster was ready for winter in a scarf and for her day with a rucksack on her back.

William’s first experience of learning away from home was at Mrs Mynor’s Nursery School in west London which he joined aged three.

From the age of four, he went to Wetherby School, also in west London.

William with his mother the Princess of Wales on his first day at Wetherby School. Credit: PA

He arrived on his first day in 1987 in a smart grey school cap, double-breasted coat, grey shirt and red tie, and waved to onlookers, while accompanied by his mother the Princess Diana.

When his younger brother Prince Harry started at Wetherby in 1989, William was there to guide him – just like George with Charlotte.

Five-year-old Harry was pictured gazing up at seven-year-old William as they posed on the steps in their matching uniform of caps, blazers, shorts and burgundy t-bar shoes.

A young Harry gazes up at his older brother on his first day at Wetherby School. Credit: PA

William then spent five years at Ludgrove School in Berkshire.

The royal youngster became a boarder there in 1990 when he was eight, and shook hands as he was greeted by his headmasters at the photocall marking his arrival.

William is welcomed to Ludgrove Prep School in 1990. Credit: Martin Keene/PA

It was while he was at Ludgrove that was rushed to hospital suffering from a depressed fracture after being hit on the side of the head with a golf club by a friend in 1991.

He needed surgery for a fractured skull, received 24 stitches and now affectionately calls the resulting mark his “Harry Potter scar”.

While at Ludgrove Prep School he needed stitches after being hit on the side of the head with a golf club. Credit: Martin Keene/PA

William went on to board at Eton College, as did Harry, for five years.

His first day began with a photocall with the separated Prince and Princess of Wales joining him in a show of solidarity, with Harry also taking part.

Prince William is joined by his family on his first day at Eton. Credit: Stefan Rousseau/PA

William, 13, smiled broadly as he was greeted by scores of photographers.

A three-tier scaffolding stage was erected opposite Manor House where William was to live as a boarder, to allow the press a one-off view of the new Etonian.

The media captures William’s first day at Eton. Credit: PA

By then William had a reputation for being shy, and would hide behind his fringe when greeted by the cameras.

But he posed for pictures in his traditional black Eton tailcoat, waistcoat and white shirt when his lessons got under way.

Like the others boys, he had a private room where a maid would make his bed, tidy up and take care of his laundry.

William on his way to his first lessons at Eton in 1995. Credit: John Stillwell/PA

The school was to later act as a sanctuary for William when his parents were in the middle of an acrimonious divorce, and provided stability in the difficult years that followed his mother’s death.

Prince William started as a day boy at Hill House School in Knightsbridge in 1956.

The following year, at the age of eight, he went as a boarder to Cheam School at Headley, near Newbury, Berkshire.

Prince Charles, with the Queen and the Duke of Edinburgh, meeting his headmaster on his first day at Cheam School. Credit: PA

He had a difficult time at school as a teenager and he was sent to Gordonstoun School in Moray, Scotland, following in the footsteps of Prince Philip, but was picked on and described his days there as “a prison sentence”.

Charles did admit that the school instilled him with self-discipline and a sense of responsibility.

Charles and Philip at Gordonstoun School in 1962. Credit: PA

He spent part of the school year in 1966 as an exchange student at Geelong Church of England Grammar School in Melbourne, Australia – the first member of the British royal family to attend an overseas Commonwealth school.

Gordonstoun is also where Zara and Peter Phillips, the Duke of York and the Earl of Wessex were taught.

The Queen was educated at home with her sister Princess Margaret.

Princess Elizabeth (left) and Princess Margaret were both home-schooled in Buckingham Palace. Credit: PA

After her father George VI succeeded to the throne in 1936 and she became the heir, she started to study constitutional history and law.

She received tuition from her father, as well as sessions with Henry Marten, the vice-provost of Eton and was instructed in religion by the Archbishop of Canterbury.

The future Queen studied art and music, and is fluent in French after learning the language from a number of French and Belgian governesses.

The Duchess of Cambridge’s prep school was St Andrew’s in Pangbourne, Berkshire, where she returned for a visit in 2012 shortly before announcing she was pregnant with Prince George.

Kate plays hockey during a visit to St Andrew’s School. Credit: Arthur Edwards/The Sun/PA

She joined the public school in 1986 when her family returned to the UK after spending two and a half years in Jordan where she attended a nursery school.

She stayed until she was 13 and was predominantly a day girl but in her later years also boarded for part of the week.

As a 14-year-old, Kate withdrew from independent girls’ school Downe House in Cold Ash, Berkshire, after just two terms when she was reportedly bullied.

She started afresh at Marlborough College, a co-educational boarding school in Wiltshire, where she went on to blossom, captaining the hockey team and doing well in her exams.