It’s a big milestone for any youngster - and a very important one for the future king.
Today, Prince George began his school life under the watchful eye of his extremely proud parents, and he was even snapped striking a pose that made him look just like Prince Charles at one point.
The lively two-year-old appeared slightly windswept as he made his way into Westacre Montessori School near the family home, Anmer Hall in Norfolk.
Blond-haired George, dressed in a navy quilted jacket with a tartan-lined hood and a light blue rucksack, is believed to have spent only a couple of hours at the school today to help ease him into lessons. A source reported: ‘It all went well.’
Prince George dressed in a navy quilted jacket and light blue rucksack grinned as he made his way into Westacre Montessori School near the family home, Anmer Hall in Norfolk
Blonde-haired George is believed to have spent only a couple of hours at the school today to help ease him into lessons. A source reported, ‘It all went well’
Kensington Palace shared two special images of Prince George’s first day on its social media accounts with the public.
They were taken by his adoring mother and keen photographer, the Duchess of Cambridge.
One image of the royal toddler looking at the camera was captioned on Twitter: ‘Prince George arrives for his first day at nursery in Norfolk earlier today.’ It received nearly 30,000 likes in less than 20 minutes on Instagram.
While the second photo, of him pointing at a mural in a stance reminiscent of his grandfather Prince Charles, read: ‘The Duke and Duchess have released 2 photos to mark Prince George’s first day at Westacre Montessori School nursery.’
William and Kate opted to send George to local nursery Westacre as it is so convenient to their country home.
It will cost the couple £5.50 per hour– or £33 per day – to send their son to the school, which is significantly cheaper than similar London establishments.
Of its 27 children, 23 are in receipt of funding to help pay the fees.
The school, in the tiny village of East Walton, is situated on a private road which, the couple hope, will enable their son, who will be three in July, to enjoy his time there away from the spotlight. George will not attend a nursery while in London.
This is the photograph of William, Kate, George and Charlotte which was used on Christmas cards sent to the couple’s family and friends
Westacre school (above), in the tiny village of East Walton, is situated on a private road which, William and Kate hope, will enable their son, who will be two and half next month, to enjoy his time there away from the spotlight. George will not attend a nursery while in London
Prince George’s pose on his way into the nursery was reminiscent of his many stances taken by his grandfather Prince Charles
Both William and Prince Harry attended Montessori nurseries, though the Duchess of Cambridge went to a local pre-school in Bradfield Southend, Berkshire, where her family lived at the time.
William attended Mrs Mynors nursery school in Notting Hill, where fees were around £780 a year at the time.
He was escorted to his first day of school by his mother, Princess Diana. Dressed in a red gingham shirt, striped sweater and red shorts, young William looked strictly similar to his pre-school son, albeit without the famous curls.
The Montessori learning approach was developed by Maria Montessori, an Italian physician and educator.
It places an emphasis on creativity, freedom to move within the classroom and developing a sense of independence through child-centred education. There are 700 Montessori schools in the UK.
Celebrities who have gone through the Montessori school system include George Clooney, Taylor Swift, Amazon founder Jeff Bezos and Larry Page, the founder of Google.
The Westacre Montessori School Nursery have said: ‘We are looking forward to welcoming George to our nursery where he will get the same special experience as all of our children.’
The announcement that George would be attending school in January was made last year when The Cambridges unveiled their family Christmas card.
The photograph, taken in late October by photographer Chris Jelf, shows a relaxed-looking Duke and Duchess of Cambridge crouching down with their children amid the autumn leaves at Kensington Palace.
The family portrait showed the royal couple posing in their garden with their six-month-old daughter and her brother George.
Cradled by his father Prince William, Prince George waves to well-wishers as he visits the Lindo Wing of St Mary’s Hospital in London
Prince William and Princess Diana arrive for his first day at Mrs Mynor’s Nursery school in London’s Notting Hill, left, and young William by the class teacher, right
A young Prince William, right, looked strictly similar to his pre-school son Prince George, left, on his first day of school, albeit without his famous curls
The Duke and Duchess of Cambridge with Prince George and Princess Charlotte ahead of Charlotte’s Sandringham christening in July
Prince George stands on tip-toes and looks into the pram at his sister Princess Charlotte ahead of her christening in Norfolk
But it’s George and Charlotte who steal the show, with the two-year-old, dressed in schoolboy shorts and a knitted jumper, grinning mischievously into the camera, while his chubby-cheeked sister - whose shoe has fallen off into the grass - rests on her mother’s lap nearby.
A Kensington Palace spokesman said of William and Kate’s family photograph in December: ‘A new family photo - Merry Christmas from The Duke and Duchess of Cambridge, Prince George and Princess Charlotte.
‘The Duke and Duchess are hugely appreciative of all the warm messages they have received about their family this year and are very much looking forward to their first Christmas as a family of four. ‘
Photographer Mr Jelf, from Wiltshire, who developed his photography skills while serving in the British Army, described the family as ‘lovely’. He said he is ‘most happy’ when photographing people, capturing their personalities and a moment in their lives.
‘I thoroughly enjoyed photographing a very lovely family, although you have to be sharp as you don’t have long when there are two young children involved!’ he said.
‘I hope everyone enjoys this photo and I am honoured that The Duke and Duchess have decided to share it with the public.’
The Duke and Duchess of Cambridge with Prince George and Princess Charlotte (in pram) as they leave the Church of St Mary Magdalene in Sandringham, Norfolk, after Charlotte’s christening
In May 2015, a photograph showing Prince George cradling Princess Charlotte in Anmer Hall in Norfolk, just weeks after she was born was released by the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge
The schooling system was invented in the early 1900s by Dr Maria Montessori to educate poor children in her native Italy.
Today, there are more than 5,000 Montessori schools in the US, and around 700 in the UK, where they are privately funded.
The method discourages traditional competitive measurements of achievement, such as grades and tests, and instead focuses on the individual progress and development of each child.
Children of different ages share the same classes, and are encouraged to collaborate and help each other.
Special educational materials are used to keep children interested, and there is an emphasis on “practical life skills”. Most Montessori classrooms are secular in nature.
The Montessori method has had its share of criticism. Some parents believe the classroom environment is ‘too free’ while others question Montessori teaching priorities, or the fact that children are not normally assigned homework.