Prince George recently had his first day of class at Thomas’s Battersea, a prestigious school in London. As has been the case for older royals, like William, Harry, and Albert, the public was excited to learn all they could about George’s first day.
One of the biggest stories was that George’s mom, the Duchess of Cambridge, had to stay home due to extreme morning sickness brought on by her third pregnancy. Another unusual tidbit from the important day was that Thomas’s Battersea will discourage little George from having a best friend.
The advice has nothing to do with royal etiquette or even the fiercely private lifestyle that Prince William and Kate insist upon. Rather, the policy seeks to prevent children from being excluded and having hurt feelings.
According to its website, the most important rule of Thomas’s Battersea is “Be Kind.”
The school attempts to be as inclusive as possible and wants all of its students to interact. They believe this is more likely to occur when children don’t pair off with each other.
Jane Moore, a local who has friends with children in the school, told Reader’s Digest that Thomas’s Battersea also has a rule that birthday invitations should not be passed out in class unless every child is invited. This may strike some as coddling the students, but to anyone who has been left out of a party, it makes a lot of sense.
Prince George will be one of 560 students at the school.
William and Kate have attempted to give their children a normal life by protecting the privacy of their young family. William allowed one video camera and one photographer to film George’s arrival at the school. George’s first day was a stark contrast to his father’s, which was attended by large numbers of photographers.
Besides the small media presence, George will be treated like any other pupil (at least, in theory). He’ll learn math, literacy, arts, and a variety of skills having to do with communication and understanding.
Ben Thomas, the former headteacher of Thomas’s Battersea (and current principal of Thomas’s London Day School), told The Guardian that the school would not give George special treatment. “The whole aim of these precious early years of education is to give children that confidence in who they are,” Thomas said. “So we are not going to try and mould him into any kind of particular person and we wouldn’t do that with any of our pupils.”
The young royal will be known as George Cambridge for official purposes.
George’s report card will not say “Prince George” at the top, but rather “George Cambridge.” This raises the question, “What is the family’s surname?” That turns out to be a somewhat complicated question.
Queen Elizabeth’s male descendants who do not have the title “prince,” use Mountbatten-Windsor as their surname. Because William and Harry are both princes, they did not use that cumbersome name.
Instead, they took Wales as their surname since their father is Albert, Prince of Wales. So, when they enlisted in the military, they went by William Wales and Harry Wales.
George appears to be following suit. Because his father is William, Duke of Cambridge, George will take Cambridge as his last name.
Of course, it’s a made-up surname, but it should make him feel a little more like the other students. Regardless of what his official last name is, we’re guessing that everyone will know who George is anyway.