Prince George is the new kid on the block.
On Thursday morning, Prince William escorted his 4-year-old son to his first day of school at Thomas's Battersea in the London borough of Wandsworth, England. Kate Middleton, who is pregnant with her third child, opted to stay home, as she is dealing with severe morning sickness. "Unfortunately The Duchess of Cambridge remains unwell, and will not be able to accompany Prince George on his first day of school," a Kensington Palace spokesperson said earlier that day. "The Duke of Cambridge will drop off Prince George this morning as planned."
William and George arrived in a Range Rover shortly before 8:50 a.m. local time. George, third in line to the throne, was dressed in the school's summer uniform: a blue sweater with the school's logo on it, blue Bermuda shorts, blue socks and black lace-less shoes. (Children are given the option of wearing either their summer or winter uniform at the start of the fall term.)
A large crowd of locals had gathered outside the school, and they waved as George was driven through a side entrance and a security gate closed behind them. Upon their arrival, William got out to unbuckle George from his child seat. As George stepped out, he held his father's hand and walked towards a side door to the school, where Helen Haslam, the principal of the lower school, was waiting to greet them. According to an onlooker, George looked nervous and stared at the floor as he walked over, glancing up just once to look at the small pool of royal media.
William held his son's backpack as they went to meet Helen. He encouraged George to shake hands, which he did, and told her George had been "excitedly noticing" the other children in their school uniform on the way in. "Oh, look!" Helen told George. "You've got your backpack."
Helen then took George's other hand to walk in the school. William, like the other parents on the first day, stayed inside the building for a bit until George was settled in his new classroom.
The school has 560 boys and girls aged from 4 to 13, with around 20 in each class. George will be taught a range of activities and subjects, including art, ballet, drama, French, music and P.E.
(Thomas's Battersea's notable alumni include Cara Delevingne and Florence Welch.)
See more photos from George's first day at Thomas's Battersea:
Previously, George attended nursery at the Westacre Montessori School, in Norfolk. Kate has already said she's unsure George "has any idea what's going to hit him" at Thomas's Battersea.
In a statement released in March, headmaster Ben Thomas said George becoming a student was "a significant moment" for Thomas's Battersea. "Like so many parents, the Duke and Duchess have put a great deal of thought into the choice of their eldest child's first 'big school.'"
"We are deeply conscious of the trust that they, like all Thomas's parents, are placing in us and we hope very much to live up to their expectations. The Duke and Duchess have made it clear that they do not wish Prince George's attendance at Thomas's to change its aims, values or ethos in any way," said Ben, who later stepped down and was replaced by headmaster Simon O'Malley. "They would like, as far as is possible, for him to enjoy the same education that all of our pupils receive and for them to join the school community as all of our new parents do."
Ben, principal of Thomas's London Day Schools, told reporters there would be no special treatment for George, though special precautions will be taken for his safety. "We are going to try and make this a really happy, safe and secure time. The whole aim of these precious years of early education is to give children that confidence in who they really are. We are not going to try and mold him into any kind of particular person. I hope he will have the confidence to be himself with all his quirks and his idiosyncrasies and characteristics—that's what I would want for all of our children," Ben said. "The global spotlight has been a little bit daunting but that will move on and we are looking forward to a time when he is just another Thomas's pupil."