He may be the future king, but Prince George will be treated just like any other student at Thomas’s Battersea in London.
Ben Thomas, former headmaster of Thomas’s Battersea and now the principle across several sister-schools, told reporters of the “exciting” morning for George, 4, and many other pupils.
“Our aim for him, as well as for all of our pupils, is to provide a safe and secure and happy environment where he feels supported by a kind and loving community,” Ben Thomas, former headmaster of Thomas’s Battersea and now the principle across several sister-schools, told reporters. “That’s something we will be trying to achieve for him.
“There won’t be any special treatment at all. In fact, what his parents would like for him, as any parent would like for their child, is they have a wonderful, fulfilling and private childhood in a place which is secure.”
The 4-year-old royal started his first day of class on Thursday, walking nervously into school while clutching the hand of dad Prince William. Mom Princess Kate was unable to be there for his first day as she “remains unwell” with severe morning sickness, the palace announced. The royal mom announced on Monday that she and Prince William are expecting their third child.
William gently encouraged his son to shake hands, which he did perfectly, with the Head of Lower School, Helen Haslem, who led them to his reception classroom. William told her that George had excitedly noticed the other children in their matching school uniforms on the way in. “Oh look, you’ve got your backpack,” Haslam said as she took George’s other hand to walk in.
George will join 20 other children in his class — one of three classes in the reception year. William, who arrived with his son at about 8:50 a.m., left the school about 40 minutes later.
Thomas said that the school’s hope was that “he will be himself.”
“The whole aim of these precious years of early education is to give children that confidence in who they are,” he said. “We are not going to try to mould him into any kind of particular person. I hope he will have confidence to be himself.
“Here at Thomas’s we have three principles, enjoyment, learning and achievement. For lower school children it’s all about the enjoyment. We are going to try to make this a really happy, safe and secure time.”
The little prince, who will be known as George Cambridge at school, started with a half day to ease him into his new routine.
“The moment comes when they get to stay for lunch, which is a really big deal trying to balance their lunch on their trays,” Thomas added. “And then they will be here eventually for full days and then we start to introduce them to the breadth of the curriculum. But the emphasis is on making sure they feel safe, they feel secure and they feel happy. If we get that in place, then they’ll start to explore the world around them.”
A small crowd gathered close to the gates to watch George arrive.
“Today has been very exciting . . . but very quickly I think that will calm down,” Thomas added. “We’ll be looking forward to a time, which I think will come very soon, when he’s just another Thomas’s pupil.”