Prince William set to 'take on the morning school run'

Wills at the wheel! Prince William set to ‘take on the morning school run’ when he and Kate move to Windsor with George, Charlotte and Louis – as family friends insist couple will continue to be in London ‘a great deal’

  • William will take his three children to school when they begin new term together
  • Cambridges have selected £21,000-a-year Lambrook School near Ascot, Berks
  • Couple set hearts on highly regarded to replicate their own happy childhoods
  • But their offices and charitable empire will continue to operate out of London
  • A friend of the family also said couple ‘expect to be in London a great deal still 

Prince William is set to ‘take on the morning school run’ when he and Kate move to Windsor with George, Charlotte and Louis – as friends of the royal couple say they will still be in London ‘a great deal’.

The Duke of Cambridge, 40, will take his three children to school when they begin the new term together next month.

William and Kate have selected the £21,000-a-year Lambrook School near Ascot, Berkshire for the young royals – just a 15-minute drive from their four-bedroom Adelaide Cottage on the Queen’s Home Park estate.

As revealed by the Daily Mail earlier this year, the couple had set their heart on the highly regarded co-educational school set in 52 acres of grounds to replicate their own happy childhoods in the county.

But their offices and charitable empire will continue to operate out of London, with the couple returning several days a week for work. 

To all intents and purposes, though, Adelaide Cottage will be their main home, day-to-day.

One source told the Mail: ‘Kensington Palace will remain their official residence now and in the future. Their office will remain there – private office, press office, the lot. They expect to be in London a great deal still. How many days is yet to be decided.

‘They will need to work out over the next few months how they balance everything. But they lived in Norfolk during lockdown and it still worked. It can be done.’

The Duke of Cambridge (pictured at the wheel), 40, will take his three children to school when they begin the new term together next month

William and Kate have selected the £21,000-a-year Lambrook School near Ascot, Berkshire, for their three children 

Prince George, Prince William, Princess Charlotte, Prince Louis and Kate on the balcony of Buckingham Palace on June 5

William and Kate will move with their three children George, Charlotte and Louis to Adelaide Cottage in Windsor (file picture)

All three children – George, Charlotte and Louis – will be sent to the prestigious £21,000-a-year Lambrook School in Berkshire

New home has link to royal scandal and gilded dolphin ceiling

The Cambridges’ new home Adelaide Cottage is a pretty Grade II listed four-bedroom home nestled in Windsor’s Home Park.

It was once home to Princess Margaret’s lover Peter Townsend, who lived in the grace and favour property in the 1940s with his first wife Rosemary to be on hand for the king in his role as equerry.

Princess Elizabeth, now the Queen, her mother Queen Elizabeth and her sister Margaret, as a teenager before the romance began, would regularly take tea in the gardens of the cottage with the Townsends and their two young sons. Margaret’s love affair rocked the Establishment, but she put duty before desire when she called off plans to marry divorced Townsend in 1955.

Relocating to Adelaide Cottage means William, Kate, Prince George, Princess Charlotte and Prince Louis are just 10 minutes’ walk south east from ‘Gan Gan’ the Queen at Windsor Castle. Even closer is Frogmore Cottage, which the Duke and Duchess of Sussex use when visiting the UK, although the brothers’ long-running fallout makes it unlikely they will be socialising together any time soon.

The property was rebuilt more than 190 years ago as a cottage orne, or decorated cottage, for Queen Adelaide, the wife of William IV, to be used as a summer retreat. It was built in 1831 on the site of the old Head Keeper’s Lodge on the North Slopes of Home Park.

According to Historic England, the public body which cares for England’s historic buildings and places, Adelaide Cottage is a ‘picturesque’ two-storey stucco-faced dwelling with casement windows, and elaborate pierced bargeboards edging the roof.

The principal bedroom has a coved ceiling decorated with gilded dolphins and rope ornament reused from the 19th century royal yacht Royal George, and a good marble Graeco-Egyptian fireplace.

The south entrance is flanked by paired diagonally set chimneys with stepped bases, and the house has a porte-cochere, a canopied entrance to provide shelter. There is a verandah with bargeboard eaves on the east side.

Its four-bedrooms mean that for the first time since she joined the family, William and Kate’s full-time nanny Maria Teresa Turrion Borrallo will live elsewhere, as will other staff including the housekeeper and the chef, giving the Cambridges more privacy.

The location offers the family easy access to the private 655-acre Home Park and the historic royal estate’s network of drives, gardens, farms, nearby trout stream, Frogmore House and Royal Mausoleum, and Queen Victoria’s Walk flanked by cedars. Other benefits include neighbouring Windsor Great Park, which spans more than 5,000 acres, with its Long Walk leading up to Windsor Castle, deer park and woodland trails in the Valley Gardens.

The property, previously known as Adelaide Lodge, was constructed by Sir Jeffry Wyatville using materials from John Nash’s Royal Lodge built for the indulgent Prince Regent. Its entrance bears the initials AR (Adelaide Regina) and the date of 1831. It sits next to another property called Adelaide Lodge, which is empty and inhabitable due to problems with it not being underpinned.

Queen Victoria often visited the cottage for breakfast or tea, according to the Royal Collection Trust. Her beloved King Charles spaniel Dash, whom she would dress in a scarlet jacket and blue trousers, was buried there after his death in 1840.

He was honoured with an effusive inscription on his grave reading: ‘Here lies Dash, The favourite spaniel of Her Majesty Queen Victoria, In his 10th year, His attachment was without selfishness, His playfulness without malice, His fidelity without deceit, Reader, If you would be beloved and die regretted, Profit by the example of Dash.’

Moving from Kensington Palace means they can set down roots just a stone’s throw from the Queen at Windsor Castle.

The family will also be only 30 miles from the children’s grandparents Michael and Carole Middleton, uncle James and aunt Pippa in Bucklebury.

And the benefit of a mixed school, boasting just 610 boys and girls aged three to 13, is that all three children can attend together, cutting down the need for separate school runs and security teams.

The closeness to their new home will also enable Kate and William to continue to do the school runs themselves as much as possible.

It offers boarding but George, nine, Charlotte, seven, and four-year-old Louis will be day pupils.

The Good Schools Guide says the prep school has a ‘heart of gold’ and offers pupils ‘total freedom to explore, provided you’ve got your wellies on’.

It boasts of ‘first-class teaching and superb facilities’ including a 25-metre swimming pool, a nine-hole golf course, an Astroturf, squash court and a new £6million Queen’s Building for ICT and academic learning.

The prospectus quotes one parent calling it ‘the most magical place for our children to spend time, and they can often be seen rosy-cheeked and perfecting handstands, throwing balls or racing to the three stumps’.

Friends say the Cambridges loved the ethos of the school which is hugely successful but more ‘under the radar’ than others in the area.

Many of the pupils go on to public schools such as Eton, for which George is earmarked and where his father and uncle Harry went.

The couple’s decision to move to Windsor was driven by the wish to find a balance for their family.

They wanted to allow their children the opportunity to enjoy as normal a life as possible while they continue to serve as senior working royals, sources told the Mail.

‘Their children are at the heart of every decision they make,’ said one royal insider. 

‘The duke and duchess want to give them as “normal” start as is possible and this is their chance to give them that for as long as they can.

‘Kensington Palace is a bit of a goldfish bowl. The children can’t play in the grounds without being seen. 

‘They are very fortunate, of course. 

‘The duke and duchess are very conscious of that.

‘But they are hopeful this will afford a happy medium between their public and private lives.’

Kensington Palace – where the couple have lived until now at 20-room Apartment 1A – will remain their official residence both now and after they become the Prince and Princess of Wales.

The couple are said to be ‘acutely conscious’ that £4.5million of taxpayers’ money was used to refurbish the Kensington premises for them and want to ensure it is still a ‘hub’ of activity. 

(‘Two kitchens Kate’ was a criticism frequently flung at the couple when it emerged there would be a staff cooking area installed as well one for the couple personally.)

In 2013 aides even said it would be their ‘forever home’ and somewhere they would live for a ‘long, long time’.

Yesterday sources told the Mail that remained true but added their circumstances had changed – they are parents to three young children and are adapting to suit their needs.

‘I think the word forever home has been a bit of a lesson for them. It’s certainly their long-term official residence still. 

‘But it’s [also] about evaluation. 

‘Things have changed for them as a family since then – they didn’t know what school their children were going to be sent to, for example,’ said a source.

The Cambridges will also keep on Anmer Hall, the ten-bedroom property in Norfolk gifted as a wedding present by the Queen.

The couple adore the house and would have happily brought up their children there but for its distance from London.

William and Kate will retain Apartment 1A at Kensington Palace as a base in London, where their staff will be located

The Cambridges also intend to also keep their current country home at Anmer Hall on the Sandringham estate in Norfolk

The four properties William and Kate have available to use

– Kensington Palace Apartment 1A

Their central London home, Apartment 1A at Kensington Palace, used to belong to Princess Margaret, and will remain their official working residence. It was refurbished at a cost of £4.5million to the taxpayer with a new roof and electrics, and the removal of asbestos.

It has some 20 rooms and a large, private walled garden. The Cambridges added a second kitchen, wanting a private family one in addition to the existing 350 sq ft kitchen.

Before William and Kate moved to ‘KP’ in 2013, royal aides insisted it would remain their main home for ‘many, many years to come’.

– Anmer Hall

Anmer Hall, the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge’s 10-bedroom country retreat, was a gift to the couple from the Queen following their wedding.

The secluded red brick Georgian mansion sits on the monarch’s vast, private Sandringham estate in Norfolk and is a short drive from Sandringham House.

Kate oversaw the major renovations, including the conversion of wood stores into accommodation for the nanny and the creation of a garden room.

The duchess was dubbed ‘Three kitchens Kate’ after it was reported that a new kitchen was to be installed in place of the £50,000 designer one already there, with the family already having two kitchens at Kensington Palace.

The bolt-hole, which had a swimming pool and a tennis court, was given a £500,000 new roof, as well as a garden room, re-landscaped front driveway and new nursery for Prince George and Princess Charlotte.

– Tam-Na-Ghar

William is also said to have a cottage called Tam-Na-Ghar on the Balmoral estate, given to him by his great-grandmother the Queen Mother in 2002.

While dating, university flatmates William and Kate spent romantic weekends at the three-bedroom former game keeper’s house and Kate was taught to shoot and fish.

The remote Highland retreat is reportedly close to Birkhall and used by the Cambridge family as a holiday home if travelling to Balmoral in the summer.

– Adelaide Cottage

The Grade II listed four-bed house in Windsor’s private Home Park is William and Kate’s newest home.

Owned by the Crown Estate, the duke and duchess will pay market rent on the picturesque historic building which is close to Windsor Castle.

It was built in 1831 for Queen Adelaide as a summer retreat and used to be the grace and favour home of Peter Townsend, whose love affair with Princess Margaret rocked the monarchy in the 1950s.

However given Prince Charles’s plans for a slimmed-down monarchy and the cost of living crunch, the couple’s insistence on running three homes may attract unwelcome criticism.

‘They thought long and hard about this and are not unaware [of the criticism]. But they love Anmer, I would say it is the place they actually view as home,’ one friend said yesterday.

‘It’s where they would have brought their family up if the logistics had been different.

‘They are very serious about being senior members of the Royal Family, they want to play a part and this is about finding a compromise that works with their family. 

‘It’s about balance and what it the best for their kids while trying to serve as royals.

‘All of this is about them putting their children first. They really are such great parents, George, Charlotte and Louis are the centre of their world.’

Fortunately their new home, Adelaide Cottage, is fairly modest by royal standards albeit with a principal bedroom decorated with gilded dolphins and rope ornament reused from the 19th century royal yacht Royal George and a marble Graeco-Egyptian fireplace.

With just four bedrooms, the couple will have no live-in staff for the first time, with their nanny, housekeeper and security team living nearby. 

The Grade II listed property is owned by the Crown Estate and the couple will pay ‘market rent’, sources say.

The Queen and the Prince of Wales have both been ‘very supportive’, the Mail understands.

Indeed Her Majesty personally extended the invitation to live at Adelaide Cottage.

A source added: ‘It’s not the main factor but clearly their close proximity to the Queen – I’d say it’s a brisk ten-minute walk – will allow them to spent more time with her. 

‘The duke adores his grandmother and values her opinion more than ever.’

Aides stress that any refurbishment needed above and beyond anything required by an ‘ordinary tenant’ would be funded by the couple privately.

‘There are no major costs. They already benefit from having the security in place there at Windsor,’ said one.

The house was built in 1831 for Queen Adelaide as a summer retreat and was the grace and favour home of Peter Townsend, the former aide whose affair with Princess Margaret rocked the monarchy in the 1950s.

According to a source, the Queen offered the Grade-II listed property to Harry and Meghan as a gift shortly after they married. 

The couple allegedly went for a viewing and liked it but ultimately moved to Frogmore Cottage before quitting the UK entirely.

Meanwhile, George and Charlotte were pupils at Thomas’s Battersea until the start of the summer while Louis attended Willcocks Nursery in Kensington.

Yesterday in a statement Kensington Palace thanked the school for George and Charlotte’s ‘happy start to their education’.

It added the royal couple ‘are pleased to have found a school for all three of their children which shares a similar ethos and values to Thomas’s’.

Jonathan Perry, headmaster at Lambrook, said the school was ‘delighted’ the royal children will be joining and looked forward to welcoming the family.

Ben Thomas, principal of Thomas’s London Day Schools, wished George and Charlotte ‘every happiness and success at their next schools and beyond’.

Fresh air and freedom await Cambridge children at ‘magical’ school 

Set in 52 acres of idyllic Berkshire countryside, Lambrook School gives its pupils ‘feathers to fly’ and a ‘delicious sense of freedom’.

Its new royal charges, Prince George, Princess Charlotte and Prince Louis, will enjoy a nurturing education at the wholesome, co-educational independent day and boarding school for three to 13-year-olds near Ascot, just a 10-minute drive from their new home in Windsor.

The Good Schools Guide describes it as a ‘classic prep school’ with a ‘heart of gold’, and tells of how youngsters get to ‘run and run’ in the vast grounds with ‘total freedom to explore, provided you’ve got your wellies on’.

Lambrook boasts of ‘first-class teaching and superb facilities’ which include a 25-metre swimming pool, a nine-hole golf course, an astroturf, hard courts, a squash court, cricket and other sports pitches. It has a Diamond Jubilee performing arts studio, dance studio and sports hall, and a new £6 million Queen’s Building for ICT and academic learning.

The prospectus quoted one parent as saying: ‘It’s the most magical place for our children to spend time, and they can often be seen rosy-cheeked and perfecting handstands, throwing balls or racing to the tree stumps.’

There is school on Saturday mornings followed by an afternoon of sports fixtures for pupils in Year 5 and above which includes nine-year-old George.

Lambrook offers weekly and flexi-boarding for boys and girls aged seven onwards, with the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge having the option to let George and Charlotte stay as little as one night a week on an ad-hoc basis, with the sleepovers booked online. George and Charlotte will be day pupils for now.

‘Weeknights sound like a hoot; think Harry Potter evenings and lashings of hot chocolate,’ Talk Education said in its review of the school.

Fridays are the most popular night for one-off boards, leaving parents free to host dinner parties and nurse hangovers, the Telegraph reported. 

Fees cost £4,389 a term for Reception to Year 2 pupils such as Louis, £6,448 per term for Years 3-4 like Charlotte, and £6,999 per term for George through Years 5-8, with an additional £1,481 per term for boarding for Y3-8. It means William and Kate will be spending in excess of £50,000 a year on their children’s private education.

The bill amounts to £53,508’s worth of fees in 2021-2022, not factoring in any potential sibling discount if available, fee increases or the cost of uniform or trips. Boarding for the older two Cambridge children would cost an additional £8,886 a year if chosen at a later date.

Lambrook, a Christian school, prides itself on its high academic standards, with a pass rate of 100 per cent for the Common Entrance exam – taken by private school pupils as part of the selective admissions process at age 13. With 620 pupils, it is a larger than average pre-prep and prep school but billed as not as pushy as its London counterparts, with some of its intake being bussed in from west London and Oxfordshire, Buckinghamshire and Surrey.

Year 8 leavers join prestigious schools such as William’s alma mater Eton, Wellington College, Marlborough College, where Kate went, and Charterhouse among others. 

Headmaster Jonathan Perry is known for his charm, and performed a rock-and-roll dance and jumped on chairs to cheer up pupils during lockdown. His wife Jenny works with the pastoral team, with the pair praised for their focus on emotional wellbeing, perfectly in line with William and Kate’s campaigning on mental health.

Mr Perry says on the school website: ‘We give our pupils the ‘feathers to fly’ so that when they move on to the next stage of their educational journey, they will spread their wings and will take flight; leaving as confident, happy, engaging, mature, considerate and thoughtful young adults who are outward-looking global citizens.’

Lambrook’s on-site orchard is home to pigs, chickens and rabbits, available to cuddle during tutor time wellbeing walks, bees with hives, and visiting lambs, and George and Charlotte will have an enrichment afternoon every Monday to complement their academic studies.

They will be able to draw from a huge range of activities for this including farming, bee-keeping, chess, mountain biking, ballet, tap, jazz, mini-masterchef, polo, podcast-making, scuba diving, skiing, as well as life-saving, survival, debating and public speaking.

Louis, who will be in reception, will enjoy ‘Forest Fridays’ and be ‘taken on a journey of discovery in the beautiful outdoors’, the school’s prospectus says, mirroring the Duchess of Cambridge’s philosophy of the importance of outdoor play and spending time in nature.

Talk Education said there is a ‘sense of delicious freedom’ while the Good Schools Guide said one mother was ‘mystified by how they get pupils back for lessons, but like clockwork they tumble in, ruddy-cheeked and full of fresh air’.

And parents enjoy the benefit of not having to deal with muddy PE kits. Games clothes are handed in at the start of term and remain there to be laundered by staff, before being sent home at the end of term. Every item must be named but only sewn-on tags are permitted.

The main school building is a large white 19th-century country mansion. 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.

Uniforms consist of blue and green tartan kilts for girls and and navy corduroy trousers for boys, plus check shirts, navy pullovers and blue and green ties.

William and Kate can also immerse themselves in the school’s busy social life amid reports of plentiful Lambrook get-togethers and helpful WhatsApp groups. Lamborghinis, Ferraris and Range Rovers apparently fill the car park.

But one Mumsnet user wrote: ‘I have been rather put off by the size of Lambrook, and the reputation of ‘Lambrook’ parents. We are not super wealthy, nor are we city people or country landholders!’

Overseas school trips include jaunts to France, Italy, Iceland and South Africa. But Year 7 students preparing to embark on a canoeing trip in Sweden must each first fundraise £500 to help an underprivileged child do the same through the Teenage Wilderness Trust. Sustainability – no doubt a hit with eco-conscious William – is also key with the children planting 400 saplings to create a new woodland.

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