The young royal will be known as Charlotte Cambridge in school, just as her big brother is known as George Cambridge

By Erin Hill
September 05, 2019 05:08 AM

She may be “more outgoing” than her “reserved” big brother Prince George, but Princess Charlotte was unmistakably shy on her first day of school on Thursday.

Four-year-old Charlotte arrived at her new school, Thomas’s Battersea in London, clutching mom Kate Middleton’s hand. The typically confident and scene-stealing royal noticeably held back as she hid behind her mom during her walk to the school’s entrance with dad Prince William and brother George by her side.

Charlotte nervously played with her ponytail as she was greeted by the head of the lower school, Helen Haslem, who shook hands with both George and Charlotte.

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Charlotte gave a small wave to the cameras as William told Haslem: “First day, very excited.”

Kate, who was still sporting a summer tan, added: “How are you? Did you have a nice summer?”

The royal parents then took Charlotte to her classroom of 21 students to meet her new teacher and settle in. The young royal will be known as Charlotte Cambridge in school, just as her big brother is known as George Cambridge.

Charlotte, who has been at Willcocks Nursery, Kensington, since January 2018, will start by doing half-days.

Kate and William are navigating a path that allows their three children — Prince George, Princess Charlotte and Prince Louis — to grow up as normally as possible while also preparing them for their roles within the royal family.

Princess Charlotte and Kate Middleton
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“George is more reserved, and Charlotte is more outgoing,” an insider tells PEOPLE. “Maybe it’s because he’s the heir and one day he might be King.”

George, 6, and Charlotte, 4, are already displaying personality traits that mimic their dad Prince William and their uncle Prince Harry’s dynamic.

“It’s the same difference between William and Harry,” the insider adds. “Harry is much more laid-back and William is the more serious one because he will be King one day.”

Princess Charlotte
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The children’s varying personalities were on display at their parents’ charity sailing race earlier this month, with Charlotte playfully sticking out her tongue at one point.

Princess Charlotte
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Whether they’re stealing the show at royal weddings or casually kicking around a soccer ball while dad Prince William plays polo, the royal siblings’ relationship is strengthened by their unique upbringing — after all, most kids don’t call Queen Elizabeth “Gan Gan.”

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“They are close in age, and they spend so much time together,” the source adds. “Playdates [with outsiders] can be tricky, so they learn to lean on each other.”

After a fun-filled summer, Charlotte was eager to join her brother at Thomas’s Battersea.

“She can’t wait to be with George at big school,” an insider previously told PEOPLE. “She is so excited about it all.”