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Prince George's First Day at Westacre Nursery School

Wednesday, January 6, 2016

Today was a big day for Prince George as he began primary nursery school at Westacre Montessori School. The photos were taken by Kate who had dressed the little prince in a snug jacket and given him a light blue rucksack in which to tote his supplies. She snapped these shots of George as he passed in front of the mural outside his new school. 



Both William and Kate went with George and dropped him off, although neither featured in the photos. Westacre is in a converted church near William and Kate's Anmer mansion in Norfolk. Prince George will be able to interact with other youngsters his age in a group of about fifteen.  


Today's photos are an interesting contrast to Prince William's first day some thirty years ago when he was escorted to Wetherby Primary School in Notting Hill by his parents. Unlike the two simple shots we got of George, Prince William was feted by full media coverage:


George's more subdued and simple start to school is in keeping with William and Kate's plan to give him as normal a childhood as possible. It continues to shelter George from his royal reality and also sends a message to the public that the Cambridges do not want their little boy in the media glare just yet. I appreciate that they released photos, however, which strikes the right balance. George is royalty and the future king, and marking this little milestone is appropriate. This was very well handled by the family.


Now all we have to do is wait for the jacket and rucksack to sell out. :)





110 comments:

  1. What an absolutely adorable child. Thank you William and Kate for allowing us to share in your son's first day of school. It looks like he's very comfortable about the whole thing. I love it!

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    1. Yes! Apparently, there wasn't a single tear. :)

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  2. Jane. Thank you for the quick post. Again it was the best. George has sure gotten big and is just so cute.

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  3. Oh my gosh, what perfect pictures! George is the cutest little boy ever born. The school is beautiful, I LOVE that it's a Montessori school, and Will and Kate's low-key approach to everything just speaks volumes about their character. So excited to see George and Charlotte grow, they are truly beautiful children. (I wonder if Kate will have a third....) xoxo

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    1. I really hope she has a third. I would actually love a fourth. :)

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    2. Hey..just stumbled upon your blog?I like your style of writing.Is this a fan blog for the Duchess of Cambridge?Also,why would you like her to have more children?

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    3. Candice, Jane is a superb blogger, and we all enjoy her blog so much!It is a blog which follows the DoC along with her children, and every appearance is documented with a fashion verdict! It's a wonderful place!!

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    4. If they have more children, then the taxpayers will have even more bills to foot in the future for security, etc. Two is a perfect number and in accord with ZPG.

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  4. He is the most darling little guy. I love his hair! I'm so glad these photos were released and that the Cambridge's get to be normal parents, dropping their son off at preschool. So sweet.

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    1. It is remarkable how well they are balancing royal life and a normal attitude. It is great!

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  5. George is such a confident little boy! I love that they released these.

    I also think that while they appear to be releasing more pictures than we expected, almost all of them are taken by the Duchess. That way it feels more like a normal little boy and his parents, even if the pictures are released to the entire world instead of just her Facebook friends. Such a lovely Wednesday surprise!

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    1. Isn't Kate a great photographer? Her shots are so well-composed and beautifully candid. I look forward to more of her photos over the years. So sweet! :)

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  6. Love these! When are we likely to see Charlotte again! We've missed out seeing her as much as we saw George with the Australian Tour!

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  7. I love that they want to appear "normal". Really? As if a 10 bedroom house, servants, nannys, world travel is normal for most 30 somethings with two children.

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    1. Hmm, I think you are confused about the definition of "normal." No one, least of all the Cambrisges, are trying to suggest they are pretending they don't have money, or help, or royal duties. They are trying to be normal, which means keeping their little boy away from too many snapping cameras so he can feel as much like other little boys as possible. It means dropping him off themselves like everyone else, sans a bank of photogs and fans. It is down to earth and lovely.

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    2. In the video, it seemed to me that William kept trying to hide from the photographers,while Charles kept checking to see if he was on camera. Obviously a PR moment that
      centered on adult needs, not a child's sensitivity. William doesn't have to use his mother's untimely (for William) death as a reason to filter the press from his
      children. His own childhood provides ample motivation.
      I can't understand the rationale behind the remarks that the younger the better for
      media exposure-"Gets them used to it." I think it either makes show-stealing imps of them or instills deep fear and/or resentment.Only time will tell how the sort of media spotlight
      focused on some children of European royals will affect their characters.

      Thank-you, Jane, for including that clip. And for making the time for this post.

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    3. I so agree about the old way being all about adult needs, not a child's sensitivity, well put. It's wonderful that William and Kate so gracefully avoid that trap, part of it is that it is just a new age in the world, even in the royal world, with new freedoms from protocol, and part of it is their own wonderful characters. So glad to see this change, for the children's sake.

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    4. Thank-you, Diane. Charles and Diana represented two different generations. It seemed
      Charles was looking back, while Diana was looking ahead. She knew first hand what
      harm the old ways could inflict, but so did Charles. She chose to embrace change.
      Charles chose to resist it until he was forced by public opinion to change his
      actions, if not his thinking.
      By the way, it just struck me about the interesting timing of the Charles interview
      airing so close to George's event. I doubt it was coincidence.
      1:28

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    5. I think what LiLi meant and is honestly something I struggle with when watching William and Kate. I think this is a feeling many have, W & K tend to play the "let us be normal" card when it suits them and "we are royal" when they please. They want all the perks and not too many of the responsibilities.

      Like those on here "thanking" W & K for sharing this picture of George. He is the future king of GB. As such, people have a right to see him grow up. That's the truth. I am not saying hunt him down in the park, but get updates with pictures as he grows? Yes.

      And quite frankly, 4-5 pictures of him a year will not be enough. The public will barely feel they know him. They are keeping him too cloistered from public view.

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    6. I can't say it better than Jane's response above, but "normal" is a relative term, and it also happens to be a term the media tosses around. I think W&K are well aware that their lives are not the Average Joe's version of normal. But they are trying to live their lives as normally as *possible* given their very unique circumstances.

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  8. Lovely photographs and so much better than the little one being faced with a barrage of photographers.
    Just want to give him a cuddle---such a gorgeous little boy.
    Thanks for such a speedy report, Jane

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    1. Yes, so much better... I had never seen the video of William's first day. I feel shocked!

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  9. Sonja from BavariaJanuary 6, 2016 at 12:52 PM

    Awwww that is so cute!
    Thank you, Jane, for brimging this post to us do quickly despite your busy schedule, you are truly great!

    I love that they released photos, the public wants to see milestones in George's life. Some leople will always find a reason to complain, whether it is that there were no royal photographers and paps or that we didn't get a photo of him with his parents, but these people just need to stop being so picky. It would have been too much stress for George if there had been tons od photogs, cameras and stuff - the 1st day of nursery school is already exciting enough, he's only 2.5 yrs old!

    Georgie looks so cute, I love his curly blonde hair! I never saw the big resemblemce when people kept pointing out he was the spitting image of his father, I always thought he took after Kate's side. However, in the photo of him lookimg directly into the camera, I see a lot of William in his face.

    It is great how William and Kate manage to balance royal and private life. I think releasing that 'many' photos of the kids over the last weeks/months is phantastic. I can't get enough of those cuties ;)

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  10. Jane - love the blog! A fun story - my old boss (an ex-paparazzo... ah well) told me about how he covered william's first day at school. apparently before the end of the day, he moved all the traffic cones around so his security pickup car couldn't get in! (nor the paps) what a scamp :)

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    1. Do you think your old boss was teasing you a bit? Can't imagine the heir to the throne being allowed to play in the street on his first day of school --= Unless you meant your boss was the scamp?!?

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  11. This child is so cute. He's going to love nursery school. I'm thrilled they released these pictures. If they do this often, for expected milestones, I will be very happy and won't have any desire to look at paparazzi photos again.

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  12. I really appreciate that they marked the occasion; it is historically significant particularly given how the public has such a crystal clear memory of William's first day of school. I think they struck the perfect balance of letting the public participate and appreciate George, while maintaining privacy. Well done William and Kate.

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  13. Yes, Jane! I agree with your comment hoping that William and Kate have a third, and a fourth. That's real normalcy -- living within your family circle, playing and sharing with your brothers and sisters. So bring on the sisters. Kate has to have girls.
    (She suffers but appears to recover well from her difficult pregnancies! ). --MTJ

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  14. This post says so much! The Cambridges have really got this right. I love that they released the photos and, at the same time, kept it low key and have their own photos of George's first day of school. How lucky we are that Kate loves photography. Oh my goodness little George just gets more adorable by the day! I agree that the jacket and rucksack will sell out as soon as the makers recognize their product and make it public!

    There are three things this post really shows as we watch the video of Williams first day at school.

    First is how incredibly huge the pack of photographers was that followed every move made by Diana and William. (Charles on his own didn't garner that amount of photographers.)

    Second - It shows how, from such an early age, William was aware of the intrusiveness of the press and why he is still a little gun shy. (BTW, that little swagger as he walked was too cute!)

    Third - It really shows the contrast in parenting styles between Diana and Charles. Charles walks ahead of William instead of taking his hand as Diana did. Charles didn't shake the hand of the owner of the school and Diana did. Charles had his hands behind his back at all times as Diana interacted with William and was always reassuring him. Charles looked as if he would rather be anywhere else. Thankfully, William and Kate are a team and equally involved in their children's lives. Charles didn't become a more warm father until after Diana's death.

    Again, the Cambridges have really got this balance right. As much as some people are never satisfied with what or how much is released, this really seems to be what is best for George and for the public. Well done!! And thanks, Jane, for getting this up so soon! Good luck with your new semester!

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    1. I agree with your observations, Robin. Very much so.

      This video of William's first day may be shocking for some people to see given the number of photographers, but it *was* a step forward back then. An heir to the throne was going to a nursery school, and one chosen by his mother who had worked in one prior to her marriage. The press portion of the day was a matter of conforming to Firm's way of doing things. Baby steps... :)

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    2. Really good insight from both of you!

      ~ A

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    3. Absolutely, royalfan! It was a milestone that a member of the royal family, an heir at that, was going to a school and not being educated privately within palace walls. The Firm knew how to exploit that - even if they didn't always agree with Diana's choices.

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    4. Charles went to school, though. So did his siblings.....

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  15. I begin to appreciate W&Ks decision to live in the boondocks, far away from the London press and most paparazzi. Seems to me that George is reaping the benefits already; he actually got to begin nursery school without running the press gauntlet; instead, Mummy took a couple of quick pics--just as I and countless others did on same occasion--without the obnoxious snappers, and without the disruption Williams heralded appearance must have caused the school he attended.

    George really is a cutie; his looks enhanced by his adorable personality. Bet he will love the Montessori experience!

    JC

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    1. JC, I do agree and I will just add that by keeping it sane for George, W&K did the very same for the other children and parents arriving on the first day of school.
      How nice if the public would give them a bit of credit.

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    2. Call me crazy, royalfan, but aren't we part of the public? More seriously, we aren't part of the public which, for instance, posts on the Daily Mail--yes, I read their articles, yes I like the fact that the paper is quick to publish, and yes I generally--but not always--enjoy the proliferation of photos, but the thought of posting there personally just turns my stomach.

      I find it passing strange that the BRF seems to find it necessary to announce, in advance, just what their youngest and most important members are getting up to. So much easier on everyone not to. There was even an announcement, before the fact, regarding Georges attendance at nursery school, altho the announcement clearly stated the he would begin toward the end of January, not the beginning, which makes the announcers look like manipulative liars. Better to simply shut up and announce something immediately AFTER it has occurred, IMO. This bad habit the royals have of announcing in advance--when dealing with minors--will impact badly on the kids; we don't have to know which boarding school a minor will attend until its a fait accompli, what they plan to do on their gap year, or which university they will be attending. William must have felt like a damned fool, not to mention conspicuous, upon his arrival at St. Andrews, when he was forced, by circumstance, to do a walkabout. (I can imagine the negative fallout--not all students were royalists, after all.) But, and I really think this was the point, this, and the other examples I have mentioned, created great photo ops for Charles, the *caring father*, at a time when his popularity was at an all-time low.

      I reiterate: why make any advance announcement regarding minors?

      JC

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    3. To be fair, it said "before the end of january" as in BEFORE january ends, not at the end of january

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    4. JC good point about the advanced announcements of young royals. Maybe that is pressure W&K have from other offices and/or the Queen. Perhaps we'll see this evolve over time?

      While I give kudos to them from how they handled today, I did notice the timing didn't line up, which I agree seems manipulative and lying. They could have said "January" or "early in the new year". The only devil's advocate position I can think of here was a necessity to throw off others from their true plans, but not the public. Perhaps it was more directed at the press and paparazzi that may have started camping out mid-Jan? And maybe the negative to this strategy was creating mistrust with the general well-wishing public?

      ~ A

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    5. I see nothing manipulative in it. It is like saying "the baby will be born in April". It is not a lie, it is not misleading, it is just purposely imprecise.It doesn't create undo expectations around a date that may change for a number of reasons (sickness...)

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    6. Regarding advance notice of what the young royals are doing and press releases alerting the public- they probably do this before it leaks! If my child were attending the same nursery school, the staff would probably alert parents that a VIP child was enrolled and to expect some distractions at the school (and maybe extra security personnel or police). Then I as a parent, can make sure my child is ok with the situation. Knowing me, I would probably blab to my best friend about this state of affairs and then wham- it's out there in the public domain via social media. THen a couple of paparazzi would start to hide out starting out in mid-January. Then it gets out of control from there..... I think Kate and William did an outstanding job handling this milestone with out creating undo problems for the rest of the kiddos at the school.

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    7. A bit harsh to accuse them of lying. 2.5 is the usual age to take children in nursery schools and George will not reach that until later in the month. Maybe it was decided he was ready to start---seems such a confident little boy.

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    8. Jean, I did qualify my statement; I didn't say anyone was a liar, I said it makes them look like liars--and like most people in the public eye, perception is everything. I recognize that misleading the press may have been in Georges best interests and if that was W&Ks intent, kudos for putting the best interests of their child ahead of their own. However, I would caution them to find a way which protects Mum and Dad, too, altho that may have to wait until William becomes the Duke of Cornwall.

      I am intrigued by the British school system, and am wondering if you could help me out--or if anyone else could. For example, I have read that kids receive something called a *school leaving certificate* once they finish school, but before they go on to university, etc. Where I come from, we would call this a High School Graduation Certificate, which means that everyone who receives it has graduated. Is this the case with a *leaving certificate*? I mean, sooner or later, everyone leaves school; some graduate and some don't.

      I am also curious about university admission standards in the UK. I realize that this varies amongst universities, but what is the minimum standard a student must have? How many A-levels are required?

      I sure hope someone can fill me in; I have waded thru countless articles re UK education, but have yet to find the answer to these two questions.

      JC

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    9. JC as someone else has already said, the statement said "BEFORE the end of January" not "AT the end of January". Therefore they do not look like liars at all, and did not mislead anyone!
      School leaving certificates are not common in the UK, we do not " graduate" but leave either once finishing GCSEs or A levels no matter how well we do.
      Generally 3 A-levels with at least 1 A grade are required for Uni, but all depends on course and uni itself (popularity, location etc). Some will accept B,B,C or maybe even B,C,C but generally at least 1 A is required. Hope this helps!

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    10. JC, I never considered that, to be honest, but the best answer I have at this time is a question...... how would the public feel if they did NOT know ahead of time? What if these photos of George were released without the subject ever being mentioned?

      While the public may not NEED to know if/when/where a royal child will attend school, it could be interpreted as being disrespectful if they did not share the news. Does this make sense? :)

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    11. KP statement said that he would be starting school BY the end of January meaning that he would start at any given time in January and be attending by the end of January. Not sure how this is misleading if the time is taken to read the statement properly.

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    12. Well, royalfan, as a member of the public I believe I could live without advance notice. I don't follow--never have--Peter, Zara, Beatrice, Eugenie, Louise or her little brother, but I wonder if advance notice was given for their educational milestones, and if so, how many photographers showed up to record the events. And if not, maybe this has contributed--leaving aside the two Yorks--to their seemingly more down-to-earth attitudes.

      My main objection to advance announcements re minors is that it seems to violate the best interests of the child, and doubly so for a child as popular as George. William would know all about this, of course, and would also have been aware of the charade of unity that his parents made on his first day at Eton. God alone knows how he managed to cope with that AND the overwhelming media presence in front of his fellow students. Many people think that Williams aversion to the media was caused by the way his mother died, but I would bet it goes much further back, and with his mothers death, simmering resentment at being paraded around like a prize pony came to a rolling boil.

      I would hope that if my conjecture is correct,he is ready to take on any negative short-term consequences which may come from the media, various courtiers, even his father and grandmother. If he can somehow manage, with a lot of help from Kate, to raise a sane, level-headed, confident future king, devoid of arrogance or an overweening sense of entitlement, then any members of the public who resent being made to wait just a bit for private information of a minor child, or until said child finishes his education, would no doubt forgive him, and recognize his wisdom.

      I have never bought into the theory that it is better for royal children to be introduced to press or photo scrums or royal duties, in general. Plenty of time for that nonsense once they are fully grown. Of course, the danger of this approach is that a sane, level-headed, confident individual might decide to opt out, which is why, I suspect, this approach has never been allowed within the BRF.

      JC

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    13. Hannah, thank you for replying to my questions, re education. I would be interested in hearing how UK citizens feel about what appears to be an entrenched two-tiered educational system, that is, the divide created by having both a private and state-run system. ( Not that I think all private schools excel or that all comprehensives are second-rate.)

      JC

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    14. JC, I'm not too sure what the feeling is to be honest. Not too many private schools in my part of the UK! Generally it's the very rich who attend private schools and there isn't a problem about that, it's more when Education Ministers and those in the government send their children to private schools that their is some feeling. As in "state school obviously isn't good enough for them,even though they continually promote it". The public see it as Sort of hypocritical.
      There is the private sector where there are students of all abilities, but then the state sector is split up into comprehensive/secondary schools and Grammar schools. Grammar schools are for the more academically minded students, although are beginning to be phased out in quite a few areas, and it is grammar schools who have a 6th form (for A levels). Secondary and Comprehensives generally stop at GCSE level and if students wish to complete A-levels they musf attend a separate Sixth form college!
      Hope this helps!

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    15. JC, I think you answered your own question. The other royal children and their parents are not future monarchs so their milestones are not of as much public interest. Those in the UK and the commonwealth who are royalists feel that the family belongs to them and is there to serve them. To a great extent that is true. Otherwise, what would be the point?

      Those of us who watched William grow up around the incredibly insane amount of photographers who followed his mother know his dislike of the press was not caused by the way she died. He saw how, during her life, the media scrutinized the way she dressed, sat, talked, and acted. They stuck their noses into a family that was crumbling at its core and splashed it on headlines throughout the world. The way she died just cemented the whole thing for he and Harry. I think he has done a marvelous job of coming out of that time with himself in tact. I think Kate is a HUGE reason he is able to cope with it. I think, together, they have come up with a good balance for pleasing the public (those who want to be pleased), and pleasing the Queen, which is actually something they must do. I will never fault William for the occasional scowl toward a camera because he has put on a smile for thousands of them - including when, as a young boy, he and Harry had to use the "stiff upper lip" to visit the memorial outside KP for their mother. Cameras in their faces while acknowledging the tributes paid to their beloved mother less than a week after her tragic death. On the other hand, he & Harry, and George & Charlotte need some early exposure so that, when called upon to represent the family, they are not so completely overwhelmed they cannot cope. Bravo to William and Kate for finding a balance. May they ever be able to keep it!

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    16. "Those who want to be pleased..." I think you said a mouthful with that, Robin.
      There are people unable or unwilling to understand or show empathy and there are
      those whose agenda includes finding fault, no matter how deep they have to dig
      or how skewed their presentation of the facts.

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    17. JC, I too do not follow the other royals and I did not intend to imply that the public "needs" to know. But, as Robin stated, George is a future monarch; it's a very different scenario. If they did not announce milestone moments and release photos, it COULD be interpreted as a "the pheasants don't need to know" attitude.

      And, Robin, I do agree about finding a balance. Very much so. For certain personality types, it could be traumatizing to NOT be exposed to it from an early age and, thereby, make it the norm.

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    18. Okaaaay. Now you know what happens when my brain is fried on a Friday night. Peasants...NOT pheasants.

      And on that note, I will zip it. Well, maybe! :)

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    19. I like the fried Friday night royalfan. I hope you have a very pheasant weekend.

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    20. Well, no: students can study 'A' Levels at many Comprehensive schools in the UK. Grammar schools are not being phased out in all areas. Regarding undergraduate studies: the ' conditional offer' a university makes to a potential student is sometimes dependent on their interview. Some years ago, students could enrol for a degree course with just 2 'A' Levels at low grades, e.g. 2 'A' Levels at grade 'D'. I am unsure if that is still the case, it might well be.

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    21. Some children from state schools receive 'scholarships' to attend private schools. (or their fees might be partly funded). It's not only the 'very rich' who send their children to private schools, some parents make a financial sacrifice and manage the fees, the amount of which varies from school to school. Middle-class parents also send their children to private schools.

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    22. There are a number of UK universities with a high-proportion of students who have been privately educated, e.g. Oxford and Cambridge Universities. (It's more difficult for students who have been state educated to gain a place at these universities) Many students studying medicine have also been privately-educated.

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    23. Anon 1007 Times have changed. Now very few unis will interview apart from Oxbridge as it is too time consuming and costly with most just taking people with Good grades.

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    24. Anon 1011
      Only 7% children in UK are privately educated
      Anon 1016
      39% students at Cambridge are privately educated while 43% at Oxford, so most still coming from state schools.
      28% studying medicine came from private education but studies hace shown this is because of the financial situation and not due to better education in the private sector

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    25. Love it! Thanks for the laugh, Anon 9.25. :)

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    26. I couldn't resist, royalfan.

      Are you enjoying hearing from the UK readers as much as I am?
      We Americans enjoy
      exercising freedom of speech almost to a fault.We ARE talking about a family that
      is British, although we Yanks on this blog have made them sort of honorary US citizens. Or maybe we just enjoy occasional day dreams of tiaras, golden coaches,
      and princesses.I imagine it is all a little more real to FBTB readers in the UK (and others who have QEII on their postage stamps)
      What I'm trying to say (rather badly) is: thank you for sharing your princess.

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    27. In the UK, 18% of children over the age of 16 receive a private education.

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    28. 'Students from private schools retain a significant edge in gaining admissions to Oxford University over state school pupils even when they go on to achieve the same A-level results, new figures reveal on Thursday, as hundreds of thousands of pupils receive their A-level results.

      The figures, supplied to the Guardian from the university under a freedom of information request, show that between 2010 and 2012 applicants from private schools who gained the very highest possible grades – three A* grades or more at A-levels – were 9% more likely to have been offered a place at Oxford than state-educated pupils with the same grades.

      The gap increased to 14% for independent school applicants gaining three A* grades when compared with applicants from non-selective or comprehensive state schools achieving the same grades'.

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    29. 'Public schoolboys are up to 10 per cent more likely to land top jobs than those who have the same grades from the same university but went to state school, research shows.
      Around 20,000 graduates who left university in 2006/7 were tracked by academics for the government’s Social Mobility Commission.
      It found that class had become a bigger predictor of success in the workplace than gender. The private school advantage was even more pronounced for males who had at least one parent in a ‘management’ role at work – who were 10 per cent more likely to get a top job than state school pupils with the same level of university education'.


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    30. 'More than a quarter of medical and dentistry students (28%) come from private schools'.

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    31. There are a range of reasons why a high number of privately educated students enter medicine/dentistry (or become military officers). It is not necessarily due to the 'financial situation'. It's not possible to surmise the reasons/conduct proper research to ascertain the reasons why.

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    32. About a third of all 'A' Levels are sat by private school pupils.

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    33. Various universities/subjects require admission interviews.

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    34. Robin, sorry to reply so late in the game, and if you never read my response....However, I am both a member of the public and a citizen of a commonwealth realm, and I still feel no need to know, in advance, what minor royals are getting up to, altho I would like to know soon thereafter, and candid photos, such as those Kate took on Georges first day at nursery school are most welcome, no doubt a personal character flaw. Nor do I think a distinction should be made between royal children who are minors. They should all be protected, equally, from prying eyes/the press.

      I fully recognize that there are dangers to such an approach. I have, for instance, read--don't know how true it is--that Crown Princess Victoria of Sweden was very sheltered as a child and, as a consequence, when the enormity of her fate hit her, she couldn't cope, and promptly developed an eating disorder., altho just how she managed to block out her future until she was in her late teens escapes me. Perhaps there was much more to it; for example, she apparently suffers from two minor? neurological disorders: dyslexia, and another one whose label I have forgotten but which boils down to an inability to remember and recognize faces. The latter could be quite an impediment as a Queen, if true.

      There is also, as I mentioned earlier, the possibility that a royal child who has been raised to think independently, and hence, in the knowledge that he has a choice, could choose to opt out of the royal way of life.


      There is a third possibility too. Said child might choose to remain in the royal system, in order to clean it up and thereby shore it up.

      But to remove choice, to steamroller over a child's personality before it has had an opportunity to properly develop, is bad parenting and, in my view, is a form of cruelty.

      George and Charlotte are NOT commodities, they are children. Nor do I feel I own them; nor would any reasonable person. They have rights, IMO, at least, and one of those rights is the freedom to choose their future life. (Okay, not everyone can choose to be a research scientist,etc., but, since they are lucky enuf to live in a relatively wealthy Western country, surely they should have the right to choose between remaining in the royal system and deciding to make their own way outside that system, without losing contact with their family.)

      Its a big ask of the BRF, mired as they are in the muck of tradition and protocol, but the revolution will come, either from within or without, if they fail to make some radical changes. They are at least a generation behind most Western monarchies, and two generations behind middle class North Americans, by my reckoning. Incremental changes will not suffice.

      Well, this is of course just my POV--but I just detest the way they raise future heirs, teaching them to believe that they are devoid of choice.

      JC


      But to remove choice

      Delete
    35. JC, regarding your discussion of having choices... I believe the royals look at is as having privilege that comes with certain responsibilities. It's a trade off, IMO.

      And here is food for thought, how is raising a child from day one to live a certain life different from raising them in a certain religion, whatever that may be? I don't mean to add a hot potato here, but if the discussion includes choices, this is one most people do not make on their own.

      Delete
    36. I don't think that the British royals are raised to believe that they are 'devoid of choice'. I remain unconvinced that William will take the throne. We don't yet know.

      Delete
    37. Royalfan, what privilege, other than getting themselves into the history books? I don't view it as a privilege to spend Xmas celebrating in the Germanic tradition--opening gifts on Xmas eve, unlike the majority of their countrymen--, I don't view it as a privilege that on Xmas Day, young children and their parents are separated at Xmas dinner/lunch, I don't view it as a privilege the George, still a one-year-old, was expected to trot off to see his newborn sister in hospital in front of the world press--particularly as William and Kate were taking their newborn home later that very day. I don't view it as a privilege that, still a one-year-old, George had to walk the gauntlet of fans and photographers at his sisters christening. (Nor did George enjoy either experience, given the photos I have seen.

      Further, there are several aristocratic British families, not mention many more talented Brits who have more wealth than the BRF who don't parade their children in such a way.

      In the modern world, royalfan, George and Charlotte are set to inherit a wealth which has been squandered by their foolish ancestors and their equally foolish financial advisors.They are set to inherit pomp and circumstance, with little, or no, substance.

      This won't wash in the 21st century--I am surprised that it managed to survive the 20th! Apparently, not even Diana was a wake-uo call for the Edwardian Queen--look no further than Downtown Abbey, but add in the need to be SEEN doing *good works* whilst parading their youngest in public, unlike Downtown Abbey, and whilst forbidding female spouses from taking up meaningful careers. (Personally, I think that Kate would've been able to carve out a career as a photographer.)

      There is nothing privileged about William, Kate, George and Charlotte. Nothing. Beginning with their wardrobes, which gives the game away.

      JC

      Delete
    38. Anon, Jan 10, at 4:33 PM I used to harbour this hope too. I used to wish that both Will and Harry would walk out, in tandem, the minute they inherited control of their monies from Diana. But they didn't.

      Clearly, neither will, unless forced, by the British public.

      The problem was that Charles, etc., waded into Diana's will, shifting the age of inheritance (from 25 to 30). That is my understanding--Charles or the Queen prevented both of Diana's sons from inheriting; the judge, however, inserted a proviso, insisting that both William and Harry were entitled to spend/have access to the monies earned on investments (the income, but not the assets), at age 25.

      Neither sons had the guts to wait until they inherited the entirety of Diana's estate. William locked himself in, psychologically speaking, the moment his first child was born--pretty sure that he knew that George could be taken away from him and his wife if he abdicated. As for Harry--well, I am of the opinion that he loves the spotlight. He could still make a clean break, unencumbered by a wife and children, but he won't, IMO.

      Would be very interested in your reply.

      JC

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    39. I want to thank everyone who chipped in re the British educational system, and particularly Hannah, who seems to have a grip on statistics.

      On the face of it, your system seems to be a mishmash--something to confuse the great unwashed?

      If Hannah is correct, if not all comprehensives offer A-levels, why the heck aren't Brits marching to Parliament to protest this inequity?

      JC

      Delete
    40. JC, I would not want to stand in Kate's pumps, nor do I believe their lives are perfect, but they do enjoy status and a comfortable lifestyle. In no way do I wish to sound like some folks who keep pointing out the perks of the job. Absolutely not; I do recognize that they pay a price for it (some of which you described). But to suggest that they do not have privilege, well, I cannot agree with you on that issue.

      Delete
    41. JC, regarding the idea of William or Harry walking out... I do not believe it is/was an option they would entertain. Diana's experience in the RF was not a good one, to say the least, and her sons are well aware of it. But I believe she did respect the Queen and the institution, and it was her wish that they would take her lead and improve it. And, IMO, they are honoring her wishes.

      Delete
  16. Darling photos of a beautiful little boy. William and Kate's determination to give him as grounded and normal of a childhood is a wise decision. love his riot of windswept curls and flushed chubby cheeks.

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  17. At 2.5 years old, it would be quite daunting to see a full blown press pack yelling your name and flash bulbs going off. The Cambridges did a nice job and we are still lucky to be allowed to share in George's first day as a big boy! He's around a lot more adults than most (relatives, servants, office people, protection officers,etc) so to spend a few hours among his peers must've seemed like a party! I bet he came home tired and took a big nap! He is so stinkin cute! Hope his first week is so much fun!

    On a different note, let's cut Charles a little bit of slack. He's been a loving and available father to his sons and after watching the Prince's Trust documentary this week, it is evident that he is very close to them. Charles and Diana are a generation apart, and Charles did his best to be a more modern father than he was raised to be.

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    Replies
    1. It's so true, Charles was not raised to embrace emotions or be a demonstrative parent. We know now that he is a sensitive soul who loves art and nature, and only in this stage of his life is able to express himself more fully. I think he recovered from the disaster of his first marriage and early fatherhood quite well. It is touching to see him so close to his sons and so happy in his current life.

      Delete
    2. 'Charles was not raised to embrace emotions or be a demonstrative parent': We don't actually know that for sure. He probably received a great deal of affection from adults when he was young, including from his grandmother, his nannies, his parents (behind closed doors).

      Delete
    3. Anon 10:21, if you have observed his body language over the years, particularly with his children, it is difficult to believe that he is comfortable with being demonstrative or emotional. How much affection he received from his mother and father is something that has been documented rather consistently over the years. The Queen took her obligations quite seriously and wasn't there for her children as much as she would have liked to have been. Philip comes across as the military, get on with it type and his lasting affect on Charles, who was more sensitive as a child, is also well documented. How much affection he may have received from his nannies, I do not know. I know he was quite fond of her, but I don't know how affectionate (physically) a nanny would have been when he was growing up. And regarding his grandmother, the QM, she was very close to him and tried to make up for what was lacking where his father was concerned (I think she shielded him from PP's rigid approach as much as possible), but her input was so over the top that it did not do him any favors in the end. He was her favorite grandchild and she doted on him to the point of making him self absorbed and self pitying. And I strongly believe that her place in his life is what attracted him to Camilla. IMO of course, but trust me, I have done a lot of reading over the years and the picture painted is consistent.

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    4. In any case, it isn't about affection, but about showing emotion, about being demonstrative. He may have received a lot of affection , we don't know, but it is clear he was educated in very English "stiff upper lip" style: Showing one's feelings is simply not done! That doesn't mean he hasn't feelings, just that his education doesn't allow him to bring them out. Actually quite a good thing in many cases, helpful not to show surprise or worse when confronted to other cultures...he has had to taste a lot of strange looking food, to stroke a lot of strange animals, to listen to a lot of strange stories... And has done it without turning a hair. Still, he will never give the impression of being a demonstrative, sensitive, emotional person...

      Delete
    5. Sort of like Johnny Carson. I don't believe he hugged either.

      Delete
    6. 'Still, he will never give the impression of being a demonstrative, sensitive, emotional person...'I don't think that is true at all! He seems to me to be an extremely sensitive, emotional person. He has been shown on camera to weep when classical music is played. Reading books about the character is not the same as actually knowing the person, or being that person. Only Charles knows his own heart. Charles blamed much on his parents in Dimbleby's book, but it was very subjective. I think people are believing 'fairy stories' as Princess Anne once said. And why would Charles necessarily be demonstrative in front of cameras? As he has said, he is not a 'performing monkey'.

      Delete
    7. Anon 12:03, being sensitive and emotional is one thing, but it does not necessarily mean the person is equipped to be demonstrative, emotional or sensitive in a GIVING manner.

      Delete
    8. But we don't REALLY know if he is 'demonstrative, emotional or sensitive' or not! We are not his family or friends! It is all hearsay, rumour/speculation.

      Delete
    9. Of course, we don't know!!(a good thing in my opinion)
      We have an image derived from public behaviour. But take another kind of personality/education/culture: Maxima. The image she gives is of a demonstrative, highly emotional person. In public, she gives easily way to her emotions. We still don't know her real feelings, just that she doesn't mind showing them. Two different ways, each with advantages and drawbacks.

      Delete
  18. I agree - very well handled. George's parents stuck just the right note, honoring his private childhood and also satisfying the fact that he is famous and we his fans want to see!! Montessori is a great choice!!

    Charles did what all new parents do, ultimately. He made a lot of mistakes. He also seems to have learned from them, worked to become better as a parent, and in my opinion succeeded as a father. As a mother of grown children and soon to be grandmother I find myself increasingly understanding of how hard it must be to be learning the ropes of parenthood with the entire world watching. Doing it with no one watching is hard enough!

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  19. Well played, Cambridges!
    George! Adorable! I wonder how Kate felt, sending him off? The pics are precious:)
    As for comments on another sibling... I wouldn't want to go through that awful hypervarium/uber-morning sickness again if I were Kate. Heir & spare, done?

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  20. I might point out that this is nursery school, not primary school.

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  21. Hello Michael Middleton Jr. lol. I think he's adorable and looks a lot like his maternal grandpa.

    I am personally shocked that some press wasn't there, but I really have to hand it to W&K that today they struck great balance. They got the private normal family experience of seeing George off on his first day, and they knew to give the public what they want. Hopefully it's a balance they continue to pursue and get comfortable with.

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  22. hmm prince George is growing as cute little boy I think he prepared to start nursery im sure mom also know as duchess shed tears as she let her first born in nursery I think George will do great in his nursery meeting new friends plus playing

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  23. Carmen, The NetherlandsJanuary 7, 2016 at 12:52 AM

    He's such a darling little boy! The jacket is just too cute :D
    It makes me kind of emotional that he is going to primary school already. Children grow up so fast and seem to have obligations and pressure at such an early age. Especially George is going to realise one day that he has responsabilities and isn't "normal" like the rest of the children. I hope he will enjoy a carefree life for many more years to come!

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  24. Lovely job on the blog, Jane. Love the photos of George and your commentary. Well done you.

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  25. Hi Jane, just a head's up that the title of this post is wrong - it's nursery school, not primary school, which George will not be starting until he is 4 or 5.
    He's such a cutie!!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Sonja from BavariaJanuary 7, 2016 at 3:51 PM

      Isn't primary school a synonym for elementary school? (I'm German, maybe I didn't translate it properly?) Does 1st grade in the UK really start when the kids are only 4 years old? At that age I had my first day of kindergarten :D

      Delete
    2. Sorry! That is your single, American blogger being a little ignorant.

      Delete
    3. In the UK, most children start school at the age of 4, and this is called 'Reception'. Schooling is not compulsory till children are 5, however. My niece is 4 and she attends her Reception class 5 days a week, 9am till 3pm. A long day for a little one!

      Delete
    4. Don't know if people saw these comments about William & Kate: a bit of a re-hash of Moir's criticism of them earlier this year

      http://www.dailymail.co.uk/femail/article-3380834/JAN-MOIR-sock-Time-ring-crashing-bores.html

      Delete
    5. Sonja from BavariaJanuary 9, 2016 at 10:06 AM

      Anon10:24, thanks for clarification! Do they already learn to write and calculate in reception? Or is this one year rather like a cross between kindergarten and elementary school where they don't learn to write and stuff yet but do more advanced things than in kindergarten? (In Germany, we call it 'Vorschule')

      Delete
    6. Yes, by the end of their first year children will know the entire alphabet, and be able to spell and read short words, along with simple addition, although generally not subtraction. They also have quite a lot of play time, so while breaking them in gently, they are definitely beginning to learn.

      Delete
    7. 'Reception' learning is generally quite structured, my niece is learning cursive writing, taking books home to practice with parents, then reading them to the teacher at school. No play equipment in the playground. There's too much emphasis on 'formal learning', in my opinion. It's not 'free play'.

      Delete
  26. a lot people are complaining about prince George posting the photo prince George in KP twitter or instagram can help it but wonder modern ages people are exposed to aocial medis

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  27. Love it! Since it is almost Kate's birthday and their anniversary is coming up and the Queen etc... You can send them a card or letter! Just Google which person's address and mail it! You will get a response! If you had sent a Christmas card (which you still can) or Congrats on Charlotte's birth you'd get the picture with the response.. So neat!! Although you'll wait a month or 2 it's so worth it! Happy writing!
    Valerie from the US at ccadctbd9900@gmail.com

    ReplyDelete
  28. Off subject, but William and Catherine have added a visit to Bhutan with their Spring visit to India.
    That should be really interesting.

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    Replies
    1. Jean-since the subject of this blog is Kate, I think you are very much on topic.
      It should be a fascinating visit.

      Delete
  29. I think George looks a lot like his grandfather Michael.He looks like a darling wee man, full of life and character.

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  30. William and Catherine are just a Duke and Duchess raising their children at their country home. They are not the Prince and Princess of Wales, as William's parents were, so I think a lower profile should be accepted by all. George a normal first day of nursery school with daddy and mommy taking pictures, not 1000 paparazzi yelling and clicking at him.

    I think The Duchess is onto something, releasing her own pictures of the children. We're all waiting with baited breath for her next quality shots. She is a talented photographer.

    Little George appears to be very advanced for two and a half, I'm sure Nanny Borallo has been tutoring him well already. He looks excited and ready to start this next step in his little life.

    Belle

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  31. Happy birthday dear Duchess, happy birthday to you. And many more...

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