Prince George put on a brave face Thursday as he headed off for the first day of a new school year — without his mom.
The future king, 4, clutched his dad Prince William‘s hand as he walked past photographers lined up to catch this small historic moment in British royal life, People reported. Prince George walked the media gauntlet to enter his $23,000-per-year school in London.
His mother, Kate Middleton, couldn’t be there to see her firstborn off because she’s battling acute morning sickness.
Yes, in addition to starting a new school this week, the young prince may also be adjusting to the news — in a 4-year-old’s way — that he’s going to have a new sibling. There’s little sister Princess Charlotte, but the world learned this week that his mom is having another baby — her third.
Probably the immediate impact for George of this new baby is that his mom (or mum?) is likely stuck in bed, dealing with horrific nausea and not able to look after him or take him places.
The Duchess of Cambridge has a condition known as Hyperemesis Gravidarum, which also afflicted her during her previous two pregnancies.
It forced her to cancel a planned appearance on Monday, along with taking George to school on Thursday.
“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,” a royal spokesperson said.
As Prince George emerged from a Range Rover outside Thomas’s Battersea school Thursday morning, he seemed a little worn out by all the attention, or maybe he was just filled with the same jitters as any 4-year-old would feel on their first day of school, Vanity Fair noted.
George — who will be known as George Cambridge at school — walked hand-in-hand with his dad to the entrance. They were met by Helen Haslem, head of the lower school.
There was something else new he’s having to adjust to: a school uniform. Thomas’s “summer uniform” consists of a blue button-down shirt, shorts and a navy sweater with the school’s logo. It looks like the kids also wear loafers — how practical is that?
It will be interesting to see how George adjusts to Thomas’s, which has students from ages 4 to 13. In a schools guide, Thomas’s is described as a “a big, busy, slightly chaotic school for cosmopolitan parents who want their children to have the best English education money can buy,” People reported.
But the first rule of Thomas’s is to “be kind” with emphasis put on teaching students at George’s formative age to be thoughtful and courteous individuals. Meanwhile, there’s a nice perk of the school: a rooftop playground, the Evening Standard reported.
Still, there is another major change that has recently occurred in George’s life: he’s had to move to a new home. Kate, William, George and Charlotte relocated from their country home in Norfolk to Kensington Palace in London, following the end of Williams’ civilian job as an air ambulance pilot. William will shift to full-time royal duties.
Yes, a lot is going on in this young boy’s life. But his parents sound like they want to give him as grounded a start in school and in life as possible. For one thing, Kate and William wanted it made clear that George wasn’t to receive any special treatment at the school, nor do they want his presence to affect any sense of school community.
In an email sent to other parents, the school’s principals said: “The Duke and Duchess have made it clear that they do not wish Prince George’s attendance at Thomas’s to change its aims, values, or ethos in any way. They would like, as far as is possible, for him to enjoy the same education that all of our pupils receive and for them to join the school community as all of our new parents do.”