Prince William and Kate Middleton face difficult decision of sending George to boarding school after Wills ‘experienced terrible trauma’

Prince William and Kate Middleton face difficult decision of sending George to boarding school after Wills ‘experienced terrible trauma’

The playful photos released for the Duke of Cambridge’s 38th birthday illustrate how Prince George, six, Princess Charlotte, five, and Prince Louis, two, really are the centre of his world. Taken by the Duchess of Cambridge at their Anmer Hall home, they’re the most candid royal photos we’ve seen yet and give a lovely insight into William and Kate’s hands-on parenting style.

But with the pictures telling the story of a close-knit family unit, they emphasise the potential dilemma the couple face about whether or not to send George and his siblings away to boarding school in the near future.

Royal expert Ingrid Seward exclusively tells OK! magazine, “Kate and William are modern parents and will weigh up the decision very carefully. I think they’ll wait to see how the children’s personalities develop, and take into consideration whether or not they would be happy to live away from home. Having experienced terrible trauma in his own childhood, William is very tuned in to his children’s mental health.”

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George and Charlotte, who’ve spent the past three months being homeschooled during lockdown, are both pupils at Thomas’s Battersea, London, not far from Kensington Palace. The private day school takes students up to the age of 13, but royals are traditionally sent away to preparatory school from the age of eight.

“We’re used to seeing the royals breaking with tradition these days so it won’t be a huge shock if they do things their way. I think William and Kate’s view will be, if the children are happy in their school, why change things,” says Ingrid. However she adds, “If I was Kate though, I’d feel more secure if George, as heir to the throne, was tucked away at boarding school. He’ll have more freedom there and he’ll be very protected from any outside dangers.”

Prince William was just eight years old when he became a full-time boarder at Ludgrove School in Berkshire. Unlike his father Prince Charles, who attended Cheam School in Hampshire and then Gordonstoun in Scotland – an experience he described as “disastrous” – William seemed to thrive.

“William loved it at Ludgrove, as did his brother Harry. They both boarded full-time but Diana would visit at weekends,” says Ingrid. It’s a super friendly school so it could be a good choice for George. He might then follow his father to Eton College for his secondary education. I doubt the royals will have to go on any waiting lists, so they won’t need to rush their decision.”

Ingrid points out that the Cambridge children all seem to be developing quite different personalities. “It’s likely the decision will depend on the individual child. Charlotte appears very confident and would suit the boarding school environment,” she says. “But George is a shy little boy, so he might not have the right character for it just yet. William was very boisterous at six, but perhaps George is more like his grandfather Charles, who was quite the shrinking violet.”

The photos of William and his brood suggest that George and his younger siblings are enjoying a very carefree childhood.

“Charles never used to do the rough and tumble play with William and Harry,” explains Ingrid. “It was usually the police protection officers who did that. Charles would have found it very difficult to really let go in the way William does. But it’s also a generational thing. You wouldn’t in a million years have seen Prince Philip wrestling on the grass with Charles either!”

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There have been claims that Charles was a distant father and that it was Diana, Princess of Wales who was the loving parent, but Ingrid disputes that. “Diana used to say that Charles knew how to shake hands and be polite but he didn’t know much about being a child. It took Charles a while, but he was actually very warm towards his sons and related really well to them. He’d take them to the polo, read them stories and encourage their interest in nature, once telling Harry, ‘Plants have feelings too.’ Really sweet things like that.”

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The lovely father and son photo that William shared of himself with Charles, 71, to mark Father’s Day illustrates their close relationship. Indeed the royals seem keen to perpetuate the image of a warm, modern monarchy, who readily swap designer outfits for high street clothes during their downtime. In the pictures featuring the Cambridge clan, with Charlotte in her John Lewis dungarees, George in his H&M T-shirt and Louis in his GAP top, they certainly look like everyday kids, rather than members of a stuffy royal institution.

“William and Kate seem keen to convey that deep down they’re just a regular, relatable family,” says Ingrid.

Mission accomplished!

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