Today is Prince George, Princess Charlotte, and Prince Louis’ first day back at Lambrook School after a summer break that took them to Balmoral (the royal family’s traditional end-of-summer retreat), Anmer Hall, the family’s country home on the Sandringham Estate, and even a rumored Caribbean getaway. As Marie Claire reported recently, there’s likely to be no back-to-school photo of the Wales trio today, as this first day of school doesn’t represent a specific milestone; George is entering year six, Charlotte year four, and Louis year one, and, while every first day of school is special in its own way, there’s nothing particularly monumental about today.
In many ways, so many aspects of George, Charlotte, and Louis’ lives differ from those of their father, Prince William, and uncle, Prince Harry, raised in the 1980s and 1990s with the consistent and constant backdrop of paparazzi at every turn. (Their father, Prince Charles, was, after all, heir to the throne; their mother, Princess Diana, was the most famous woman in the entire world.) Now, photographers and the royal press pack are prohibited from taking pictures, Entertainment Tonight reports, which allows William and Catherine to do the school run uninterrupted and free from the paparazzi. When photos are allowed on milestones, it is a small pool of one still photographer and one television crew that captures the images, which are then disseminated to the entire press pack. In short? A far cry from yesteryear.
There are other ways in which the Wales kids’ school days differ from their father’s, too. William and Harry attended Mrs. Mynors Nursery School, followed by Wetherby School and Ludgrove School (pre-Eton, of course)—and Wetherby School and Ludgrove School were both all-boys institutions. Instead of following tradition and sending George and Louis to the aforementioned schools—and Charlotte somewhere else—William and Catherine chose to find a co-ed school so all three kids could attend together. After a meticulous search, they opted for Lambrook, a school that has been protective of the kids’ privacy, which deeply matters to William and Catherine.
Lambrook, Entertainment Tonight reports, is home to incredible facilities like an indoor pool, a golf course, an art and dance studio, and an orchard with chickens, bees, and pigs, all set on 52 acres. “The school offers field hockey, which is notable as Kate captained her team during her school years,” the outlet reports. “Soccer fields are also present at the school, which is sure to please George, who’s an avid player.” Polo, of course a favorite in royal circles, is also available to play at Lambrook.
“The Prince and Princess of Wales, though, have done everything they can to insulate their children from the pressures of their future so they can enjoy a normal childhood,” a source told the outlet.
That said, George, Charlotte, and Louis “are slowly getting introduced to royal engagements,” they said. Starting with the traditional Christmas morning walk to church at Sandringham last year, we’ve seen the family of five at Easter, the Coronation, Trooping the Colour, and a visit to the Royal International Air Tattoo this summer. And, the source tells Entertainment Tonight, we might have a major Wales family of five milestone to look forward to in the near future: They “could do their first royal tour as a family of five in the next year,” they said.
Not sure our fingers could be more crossed.