Why Prince George's upcoming birthday is an extra significant one

·3 min read
Photo credit: Eamonn McCormack - UEFA - Getty Images
Photo credit: Eamonn McCormack - UEFA - Getty Images

Prince William and Kate Middleton's eldest son, Prince George, is somehow set to turn eight this week (they grow up so fast!) and it's an especially significant birthday for the young royal – as it's the age that his father, grandfather and great-grandfather all started boarding school.

Many royal commentators are now speculating as to whether or not the future king will be following in their and leaving his current school, St Thomas's in Battersea, and heading off to a boarding school too.

As we all know, the royals are stickler for tradition and the Duke of Cambridge was sent off to board at Ludgrove School in Berkshire after his eighth birthday, as was Prince Harry when he reached the same age. George's grandfather, Prince Charles, attended Cheam School, in Hampshire, following in the footsteps of his own father, Prince Philip, who - you've guessed it - took up his place at the same boarding school aged eight.

But will this be a tradition the Cambridges also decide to continue on with?

Currently, the jury seems to be out. Some reports suggest that the Cambridges are looking at potential new homes in the Berkshire area, with the idea of sending George to boarding school on a part-time basis. The young Prince could have a more 'flexible' structure in place, wherein he'd be at home with his family as much as possible, but would also have the option of sleeping on campus should his parents be away for work.

Photo credit: WPA Pool - Getty Images
Photo credit: WPA Pool - Getty Images

However, others think that William and Kate will break the tradition of sending their children to boarding school completely.

One royal expert Duncan Larcombe, former Royal Editor at The Sun and author of a biography about Prince Harry, told OK!, "It's my understanding for some time, possibly even before George was even born, was that William was quite keen that any child he had wouldn't be packed off to boarding school."

He continued, "Eton [another boarding school later attended by William and Harry] wasn't an unhappy time, apart from the fact it was when their mother died, which means William doesn't blame the school or the experience of boarding. But he's never intended to have his kids as full-time boarders and if George does go to a school that offers it, he'll likely be a day boarder."

Equally, the young royal could be afforded a degree more privacy if he were to attend a boarding school, so there really are pros and cons on both sides of the coin.

Right now, it sounds as though Prince George is pretty content at his current school (which is also attended by his sister, Princess Charlotte), with his classmates affectionately giving him the nickname 'P.G'. Speaking to Vanity Fair, one of the mums at the school said the young Prince is "really happy" there, where he's "popular and has lots of friends". Apparently, there's very "little fuss made about who he is" – something he'll no doubt appreciate as he gets older.

George and Charlotte's school takes students right up to the age of 13, too - so who knows? Perhaps the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge will opt to keep him there to minimise disruption. And, it goes without saying, that they'd no doubt miss George a tonne if he went off to be a boarder, too.

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