It was a bright, sunny morning as the Duke and Duchess accompanied Prince George and Princess Charlotte on their first day of school.
The children are attending Thomas’s Battersea school in West London. This is quite an occasion, as Charlotte is making the move from Willcocks Nursery School in Kensington to a ‘big school’ with formal classes.
The young royals were in their navy and red school uniforms.
In a few photos, Charlotte looks she might be feeling just a little shy.
Kate had to be delighted she was able to be part of Charlotte’s big day. You may remember Prince George’s first day at Thomas’s in 2017 when only his father was able to accompany him to school.
The Duchess was unable to take part because she was ill with Hyperemesis Gravidarum while expecting Prince Louis. Below left, another photo from George’s first day in 2017, when he looked a little hesitant about things, and then an image with one of his fierce faces taken this morning.
Here you see the children being greeted by Helen Haslem, head of the Lower School.
The first year is called Reception; it is part of the lower school program and pupils go to classes for half-days. Children ages 4 to 7 are in the lower school for three years: their ‘reception’ year followed by Year One and Year Two. From the school site:
In the Reception year children will play and explore; make choices and learn to have a go and persevere; be creative and solve problems; form good relationships; be safe, secure and happy.
More about this morning from The Telegraph’s story (the initial portion references Kate speaking to Ms. Haslem):
The Duchess… said “Good morning! How are you? Did you have a nice summer?” before encouraging Charlotte to shake hands.
The Duke added: “First day! She’s very excited.”
Prince George has completed his Reception year and Year One, he is now starting Year Two.
With two years at Thomas’s already under his belt, George is certainly an outstanding resource for Charlotte, able to brief her on the ins and outs of things at school. The Telegraph story also notes that once inside the school Kate told Charlotte that George “will help show you the way”. People reports “that the future monarch is “very happy” at his school, where he is known as George Cambridge.” It is expected Princess Charlotte will be called Charlotte Cambridge.
Thomas’s Battersea Headmaster, Simon O’Malley, said in a statement released by Kensington Palace earlier this year: “We are delighted that The Duke and Duchess of Cambridge have decided that Princess Charlotte will join her elder brother, Prince George, at Thomas’s Battersea. We greatly look forward to welcoming her and all of our new pupils to the school in September.”
Thomas’s is clear that “The most important school rule, which applies to every member of the school community, is to ‘Be Kind.’” A look at the school’s coursework from Thomas’s site:
We offer a rich and broad curriculum, with Art, Ballet, Drama, ICT, French, Music and PE all taught by specialist teachers from a child’s first day in school.
Whilst we are proud of our record of senior school entrance and scholarship successes, we place a greater emphasis on a set of core values, which include kindness, courtesy, confidence, humility and learning to be givers, not takers.
The school also emphasizes outdoor education for all children, with sessions that provide an “appreciation of nature and the abundant life lessons that can be learnt by working collaboratively or independently in a known outdoor environment.”
The school’s motto, “Rather Death Than False of Faythe,” is seen below.
Thomas’s Battersea is said to be roughly a 20 to 25-minute drive from Kensington Palace, barring delays like traffic, construction, and other factors. Here you get a rudimentary sense of the school’s location in relationship to KP.
In this video from Kensington Palace, you can see Charlotte working her ponytail.
Princess Charlotte arrives for her first day of school at Thomas’s Battersea, joining her older brother Prince George. ✏️📚🏫 pic.twitter.com/8l63WEjzcw
— Kensington Palace (@KensingtonRoyal) September 5, 2019
Kate carried Charlotte’s backpack and William carried George’s. Charlotte’s was decorated with a pink sequin unicorn.
Here is a 1-minute video of the family arriving this morning.
Now for our look at what Kate wore, starting with her MICHAEL Michael Kors dress. It was first worn to Meghan Markle and Prince Harry’s wedding rehearsal in May 2018.
A closer look at the Carnation Print Midi Dress ($122 is the most recent price we saw for the dress); it is now sold out.
More about the dress from our original post: “It is from the brand’s MICHAEL Michael Kors collection, the lower-priced line targeted at a somewhat younger demo than the primary collection. The midi-length dress is 100% polyester; it fastens up the front with buttons and comes with a coordinating belt. The colors are officially called begonia pink and true navy; the dress is fully lined and machine washable.”
The belt Kate wore today is not the style sold with the dress. I don’t believe it has been IDed yet; hopefully, I will have time to look for it after the posts are done.
The Duchess also accessorized with her navy suede Prada pumps.
Kate’s hair was shorter and lighter.
She wore her Asprey Oak Leaf Small Hoop Earrings ($6450).
The earrings are 18K yellow gold with pavé diamonds. They were first noted at Wimbledon in July 2018.
We’ll leave you with a few more photos. First, a look back at Prince George’s school days, beginning with his first day at Westacre Montessori School in January 2016, his first day at Thomas’s Battersea in September 2017 and then today’s photo at Thomas’s. (There were no 2018 photos.)
And three different views at the young Princess, who looked darling for the first day at her new school.
And a lovely mother-daughter photo from Charlotte’s big day.
One final image, a formal portrait shot of the two children on the steps of Kensington Palace just before they left for school.
There is a full report on what Charlotte and George wore at What Kate’s Kids Wore.
UPDATE Sept 6: For those wondering what Helen Haslem was wearing, it looks like another LK Bennett style, the brand’s Avery Dress.
Many recall that on George’s first day at Thomas’s in 2017 Ms. Haslem also wore an LK Bennett dress. Many thanks to Mackie for sharing this info in a comment!
NOTE: Thank you to Celine for pointing out the error I had in describing what year and what school (Lower, Middle, Upper) that Prince George is in.
- The Telegraph’s story is here; The Mirror’s coverage is here; The Daily Mail’s article from Rebecca English is here; The Evening Standard’s story and gallery may be seen here
- Hello’s piece is here; a PopSugar gallery is here; a Town and Country article is here; The Telegraph’s fashion story by Tamara Abraham is here;