LONDON: Britain’s Prince George started his first day of school on Thursday but palace officials said his pregnant mother Kate was too unwell to attend and he was dropped off by his father Prince William.
Four-year-old George, who is third in line to succeed Queen Elizabeth II after his father and grandfather Prince Charles, is attending Thomas’s Battersea, a private school in a leafy area of south London.
Father and son were met on arrival at the school gates by Helen Haslem, head teacher for the younger children, who then took them to Prince George’s new classroom.
George, whose formal title is Prince George of Cambridge, will be known as George Cambridge to his classmates at the £17,600-a-year (19,200-euro, $23,000) school.
He was dressed in the school uniform of navy blue v-neck pullover, shorts and black shoes.
George turned four on July 22 and will therefore be one of the youngest in his year as British children start their schooling in September after their fourth birthday.
His sister Princess Charlotte, aged two, stayed at home in Kensington Palace.
Prince George’s big day has caused a flurry of media interest in Britain, where every aspect of royal life is heavily scrutinized.
The Daily Telegraph even offered fashion tips for other mothers dropping off their children at the same school, instructing them to “wear nothing too challenging.”
“No one will want to feel as though they are out-dressing a duchess,” the paper said, adding that Kate would fit in well when she joins the school run with her “middle-class off-duty-dressing.”
‘Not much sleep’
Kensington Palace on Monday announced that William and Kate, the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge, were expecting their third child.
Kate has been forced to cancel two public engagements since then because of the same acute morning sickness she has suffered in her previous pregnancies.
William spoke about her illness during a visit to a mental health conference on Tuesday, saying: “There’s not much sleep going on at the moment.”
“We need Catherine to get over this first bit and then we can start celebrating. It’s always a bit anxious to start with, but she’s well,” he said.