The “Cambridge gang” are no ordinary children, of course, but teachers at their new school, £53,000 a year Lambrook near Ascot, were on hand yesterday to give them a warm and reassuring welcome. It was an especially big day for little Prince Louis, who at four enjoyed his first day in the Reception Class.
For George, nine, and Charlotte, seven, the new term has meant saying goodbye to their friends at Thomas’s Battersea, which they have both attended for the past few years.
The children left the school at the end of the summer term after the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge decided to relocate to Adelaide Cottage on the Windsor Estate
The decision was rooted by both a desire for the young Cambridges to have a more rural upbringing than that afforded at Kensington Palace, and for the family to be closer to the Queen who resides in the main at Windsor Castle.
William called his children “all the gang” as he ushered them up the steps of the large white 19th-century country mansion, and said the three of them were looking forward to starting.
Lambrook was founded in 1860 and two of Queen Victoria’s grandsons, Prince Christian Victor and Prince Albert of Schleswig-Holstein, attended, with Victoria travelling from Windsor Castle to watch them in plays and at cricket matches.
The family strolled in a line, with Kate holding George and Louis’ hands and William holding Charlotte’s, to meet headmaster Jonathan Perry.
“Welcome to Lambrook,” Mr Perry told the children. “It’s lovely to have you with us. We’re very excited for the year ahead.”
Shaking them each by the hand in turn, he asked “Are you excited?” with all three chorusing “Yes”.
William remarked “We’re looking forward to it,” adding the children had “lots of questions”.
Mr Perry’s wife Jenny, who works in the pastoral team, was waiting in the doorway and greeted them with “Welcome back to Lambrook”, with William quipping “With all the gang”.
The youngsters were dressed in summer uniforms, with George and Louis in checked short-sleeved white shirts and navy shorts and Charlotte in a blue belted gingham dress.
A source said the Cambridge children were particularly excited to all be going to the same school for the first time.
“They’re really excited about starting a new school together, and I think mum and dad are too,” they said.
Just three reporters - one from the Press Association and two from the BBC - were on hand to capture the historic moment.
The Duchess of Sussex claimed last week in an interview with The Cut that she would not be able to do the school run with her eldest child, Archie, in the UK, without a press pejjkefn of 40 people snapping pictures.
The photos, of course, bring to mind other first days at school from years gone by.
Gone are the days when William first arrived at Eton, of a three-tier scaffolding stage being erected for the scores of media outside, the young prince accompanied by his parents Prince Charles and Princess Diana.
And there was no first day at all for the Queen, who was not sent to school but educated privately.
Photos do exist of Charles, accompanied by the Queen and the Duke of Edinburgh at Cheam School, near Newbury.