Erin Hill
September 07, 2017 04:26 AM

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 into school at the $23,000-per-year Thomas’s Battersea in London.

Princess Kate, who revealed she is pregnant for a third time, was not well enough to see her son off to school.

She is battling acute morning sickness, also known as Hyperemesis Gravidarum, a condition that also afflicted her during her previous two pregnancies. It has forced her to cancel a planned appearance on Monday – along with her trip to school with her firstborn on Thursday. 

Richard Pohle/The Times/PA Wire
Richard Pohle/The Times/PA Wire

“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 spokesperson told PEOPLE in a statement as the family prepared for him to make his journey across the city.

The young future king – who will be known as George Cambridge at school, the palace says – walked hand-in-hand with dad William from their Range Rover. They were met by the Head of Lower School, Helen Haslem, who led them to his reception classroom. 

George headed to class in style, wearing his new school uniform. Thomas’s Battersea’s “summer uniform” consists of a blue button-down shirt, shorts and a navy sweater with the school’s logo.

During an appearance later in the day at a reception for the England under-20 soccer team, William revealed that George’s first day “went well.”

Speaking to the head coach of the soccer team, whom he hosted at Kensington Palace, William said, it was a “good day. It went well. There was one other parent who had more of an issue with their children – so I was quite pleased I wasn’t the one.”

He added, “It was really nice, actually. It’s a nice school.”

Of course, George already has a little school experience under his belt — back in January 2016 he attended his first day of nursery school near the family’s country home in Norfolk. And like proud parents everywhere, they couldn’t help but share adorable photos of the backpack-wearing royal student!

Richard Pohle/The Times/PA Wire
Richard Pohle - WPA Pool/Getty Images
Duchess of Cambridge/PA Wire via Getty

The move to a new school for George has come as the family has relocated to live more in London, following the end of Prince William’s civilian job as an air ambulance pilot. He is now shifting to full-time royal duties and his charities.

FROM PEN: How Princess Kate Is Changing the Royal Parenting Rules

Thomas’s Battersea, which is about four miles south of the family’s Kensington Palace home, is “a big, busy, slightly chaotic school for cosmopolitan parents who want their children to have the best English education money can buy,” the latest The Good Schools Guide says. “That is what they want and, to a large degree, that is what they get.”

There are “plenty of opportunities for pupils to excel but withdrawn types might find it all somewhat overwhelming,” the review adds.

Chris Jackson/Getty

George will be among a wide variety of international families as “19 different foreign languages spoken at home,” notes the guide.

George’s parents have vowed to take him to school whenever they can. But according to the guide, the school owns a “fleet of buses,” some of which bring pupils from Kensington.

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