January 10, 2018 08:00 AM

When Princess Charlotte started preschool this week, her confidence was clear to all who saw her adorable first-day-of-school photos. And even when she’s not posing for her mom’s camera, that princess sparkle shines through.

“She’s very sweet and very confident — she’s always chatting away,” says a source in this week’s issue of PEOPLE.

The 2-year-old, who turns 3 in May, “is so polite, but also fun and energetic,” says the source, adding, “She has beautiful manners.”

The talkative toddler has another talent, too: She speaks some Spanish. Nanny Maria Turrion Borrallo is from Spain.

The Duchess of Cambridge/KENSINGTON PALACE/HANDOUT/EPA-EFE/Shutterstock

Parents Kate Middleton and Prince William hand-picked Willcocks Nursery School for their daughter. “They chose that nursery because they thought it would be an ideal first step for Charlotte’s education, and they were impressed by the team who work there,” says a royal source.

For more about Princess Charlotte’s step into school, pick up a copy of the latest issue of PEOPLE, on newsstands Friday

While Charlotte’s big brother, 4-year-old Prince George, heads across the city to Thomas’s in Battersea, Charlotte’s $12,000-a-year school is just a stone’s throw from the family’s London home, Kensington Palace. Charlotte is attending every day, royal sources say.

There, she finds a gentle, welcoming environment. “It is friendly and quiet,” says the mother of a former pupils. “They have a lovely time, and all the mothers are really positive about it.”

 

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