Wednesday, 6 January 2016

Prince George's First Day at Nursery

Prince George completed his first day at his new Montessori nursery today. To mark the milestone, Kensington Palace released two adorable photos of the future king taken by his mother, the Duchess of Cambridge, who is a keen photographer.

Kensington Palace Twitter Feed

It is understood the two-year-old spent just a couple of hours at the Westacre Montessori School. Below, a lovely photo of the little prince arriving at his school and walking past a colourful mural. We have become accustomed to seeing relaxed, family shots of George and Charlotte taken by Kate (who has a very good eye) allowing us to see glimpses into the children's childhood. Today is a very special day indeed for the family, and I imagine these will be taking pride of place in the family photo albums.

Kensington Palace Twitter Feed

Both William and Kate dropped George off at the nursery in the village of East Walton, which is housed in an old chapel. It is a twenty-minute drive from their home, Anmer Hall, on the Queen's Sandringham estate. The school is located on a private road, a factor the Cambridges will have considered to ensure their son will be away from the spotlight.  It is understood the prince will attend two or three times a week.


Royal aides shared news "it went well" but were reluctant to reveal if there were any first day tears.

Richard Palmer Twitter Feed

More from the Telegraph's article:

'Both Prince 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. Princess Diana worked as an assistant at a Montessori nursery before marrying the Prince of Wales.
The Montessori method of nursery education, invented by the Italian Maria Montessori, places an emphasis on independence, freedom and social development.'

George's low-key first day was in stark contrast to Prince William's first day at nursery, when journalists and reporters were invited to capture the moment and even invited inside the classroom to film. I think many of us guessed the Cambridges would opt for something more private and social media has given them the perfect tool to directly connect with people. Twitter is increasingly becoming their outlet of choice to release photos of the children.



Prince George's navy quilted jacket with a tartan lined hood is by John Lewis. (with thanks to Prince George Pieces) Unfortunately, it's currently sold out, though the department store has a very similar piece available here. George also carried a light blue rucksack as he made his arrival.

John Lewis

We hope George had a wonderful first day at nursery; no doubt the prince made several new friends!

Kensington Palace Twitter Feed

If you're just joining us, we're holding our annual end of year polls. To vote for Kate's Best Coat of 2015, so please click here or scroll down. We already have two options leading the pack and I look forward to seeing your winning selection. :)

259 comments:

  1. His little face just slays me! What a cutie!
    These pictures remind me of what it was like to drop our son off at daycare for the first time when I had to return to work (he was 3 months old). I cried the entire time we dropped him off and the entire drive to my office--even my hubby teared up a bit. I'm sure there were tears today, and I am willing to bet that they were likely shed by Kate and William! :)
    Shantel (@FashionandFaith)
    Minnesota, USA

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    1. I think you guessed it right, Shantel. :)

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    2. Tedi in California6 January 2016 at 20:53

      I thought the same thing Shantel. Kate and William must have been feeling very emotional. What a precious little fella.

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    3. Shantel: That must have been difficult when he was only 3 months! George is definitely a cutie! It is perhaps the same for Will & Kate. Blessings on you.
      RW.

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    4. Rebecca - Sweden7 January 2016 at 03:57

      Haha, very true. Might have been a few from George but I bet more from his parents :P

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    5. Blessings to you too, Royalwatcher!
      Now I have to prepare myself to send him off to kindergarten this Fall. Cue the tears (from me...he is so excited!) :-)
      Have a great day, everyone!
      Shantel (@FashionandFaith)
      Minnesota, USA

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  2. I love their choice to keep this private, a young boy deserves a normal life. A few photos by mum who you are use to, and who you are use to getting photographed by, is a lot better than a dozen or more photographers shouting at you to look their way.

    Although I'm sure the British press would never do it, the Paparazzi are known to say some quite vile things to get a reaction, so they can get a photograph.

    I do hope the Cambridges can build a private life in Norfolk, where their kids can be normal. And not have to worry about how they are looking that day and their outfit being dissected by the world media.

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    1. Tedi in California6 January 2016 at 20:54

      I agree 100% :)

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    2. The kids aren't normal. George is the future king of England. No amount of photos taken by mom can change that. He is the future leader of.this country

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    3. Sure, but protecting his privacy and allowing him to be a normal kid for a while can have a significance affect in how he will turn out.

      So much attention can have very negative consequences. We have had Royals with eating disorders, body image issues, depression etc.

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    4. No, the children aren't "normal" and for this reason photos were released of a 2 year old's first day in nursery school. But it was both appropriate and reasonable for W&K to do it in this manner. After all, it was not just their child's first day at school, and they also spared other children and parents a disruptive circus environment.

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    5. Rebecca - Sweden7 January 2016 at 03:59

      I agree. They're not normal kids. But I mean... on a day that is nervous and new anyways I think it could be rather stupid actually to have photographers yelling at the kid. It can cause alot of bad emotions that you don't want the kid to associate with school.

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    6. Exactly, Rebecca. It wasn't just George who was spared from the media circus.

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    7. I love that W&K are coming up with all of these creative & alternate ways to spare their children the circus that Will was exposed to! Of course they can't hold the inevitable at bay forever, but each day/ week/ month/ year that they do.... Will only help. Well Done W&K!
      Becca USA

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  3. What a cutie!! So adorable! He's growing up so fast! In this photographs little George reminds me of Kate and Granpa Middleton even if I read on twitter that "that pointing pose" it's a Windsor thing :)
    I like that they're keeping sharing photos taken by Kate and not by professional photographers.
    I hope George had a great first day at nursery :)

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    1. He does look more and more like Grandpa Middleton. I love the curls especially. I like Kate's pictures too. The kids are always more at ease when it's the parents who take the pictures.

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    2. He does resemble Kate and great grandpa Peter.

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    3. nice that they have some artwork by the rather drab looking building. The mural seems to have given George a smile.

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  4. Harry's first day is priceless! First he wants to shake the hand of his teacher, and then he hurries to keep his backpack away from his bossy older brother!

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  5. Twitter has become their outlet of choice which is an absolutely awful move, just dreadful media guidance. I don't want to harp on this particular event, George is only 2, it's just nursery school, but when you combine it with everything else they do it's astounding.

    They are not celebrities, they are official public figures who cannot repeatedly circumvent the British press. And unlike celebrity children, George is equally important in his own right. It is incredibly naive and is putting them in an increasingly precarious position. If William wants to play the "I don't need you" game with the press, he will find out the hard way how incorrect that is.

    Again, I'm not harping on this event, George going to nursery school, but one of these events is going to be the straw that broke the camel's back and it won't be pretty.

    William and Kate have been lucky with a very positive narrative on almost everything they do (or don't do) - that can change quickly.

    I know you're probably thinking this is all terribly negative! I think Kate took lovely photos (I suspect the pointing one will be a popular side by side comparison for the papers) and I understand what she's thinking. But in my opinion they are rapidly failing to see the forest for the trees.

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    1. The Daily Mail has them as the website headline (or did) so they got them. I agree with most of what you say, though.

      And George is one adorable little tot. I would be all over that kid like a cheap suit if I was around him!

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    2. I don't know Claudia - isn't this what other royals do nowadays? Release things on their own terms through twitter and other outlets? What does the Swedish or Norwegian family do? The Dutch probably do something similar, no ? I do remember that when the oldest daughter started to go to high school they released a home video or her biking away.

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    3. I see your point but I also think that the world is rapidly changing and social media is leading the way. One must adapt. When the British press ends up uninvited to official events, then I would agree. But today they did the right thing.

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    4. I completely agree Claudia, I'm quite shocked by this move. They are the Royal Family, not the Kardashians. I have no idea who is on their PR team but they shouldn't be there. A missed opportunity in my opinion. Sure, if they had invited photographers it wouldn't have been a "normal" first day. But they are not normal people. And they enjoy the privileges of not being normal people. Ridiculous move, sorry.

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    5. Statistics say that more and more people are getting news from social media. It's their day to share or not share with who they want and how they want. Maybe it's more forward thinking in light of increasing reliance on social media sites for more than just life up dates.

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    6. None of the front pages used the picture of George pointing on their front page

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    7. Claudia, I think W&K's decision was appropriate. It wasn't just George's first day of nursery school, and by keeping it sane for their son, W&K did the very same for all of the other children and parents.

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    8. 100000000 percent agree with you. They need the media without them no one would really pay attention to them and then that could put the whole system in peril.
      I don't get Williams hatred of the press. Is mother brought in the press into her life through those interviews and those tell all books. And the fact she wasn't wearing a seatbelt combined with a drunk driver was the reason for her death
      William and Kate need to learn to be nice to the press. Same goes for Harry. Take a lesson from Camilla. All the royal reporters have nothing but nice things to say about how she interacts with them.

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    9. Hi Claudia, I completely understand the point you are making. And they are super cute photos! Brings back memories of my two heading off into preschool.

      It's a really interesting time in our lives, with people taking over the way they read, obtain news, travel and holiday. For example, traditional taxi services being challenged by Uber, traditional hotel stays being challenged by AirBnB, traditional television being challenged by youtube, netflix, catchup tv, traditional new services being challenged by online content, many of it independent, the reporting of celebrity news being reported by people on the street with a smart phone and twitter account, reporting of natural (or unnatural disasters) being reported directly through social media by witnesses and bystanders on the ground rather than traditional news agencies.

      The traditional ways are evolving in unprecedented ways by people choosing to take the lead and ownership of their publicity content (if you have a public profile) or how the world sees you (privately on Facebook) or simply how you choose to travel.

      I believe we are in a time of people leading/challenging large corporations or establishments, not the other way around, and I see the release of news on the Twitter account as leading the way in this regard.
      I think this is refreshing and forward thinking in an age where the press have less power and public opinion through social media is a lot stronger.

      Just my thoughts on the ever changing 21st Century digital world we live in!
      Cara, Australia

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    10. I agree with you. I think it could also be dangerous. The children are darling. I would be very uneasy with mine on social media if I had their high profile.

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    11. This was King Willem-Alexander's request on behalf of his daughter, age 11, who is next in line...

      http://royalista.com/114437/king-calls-respect-daughters-privacy-family-snapshot/

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    12. I never suggested the press should have been at the school royalfan - I think the mistake was (once again) releasing the photos through Twitter instead of through the British press.

      Yes bluhare the papers run them, but after the fact, they don't "unveil" them, or even have one exclusive to them.

      One of the main roles of the BRF is to support and promote British industry, the press comes under that, William has to recognize and accept the "give and take" relationship. Pictures of George are highly desirable, let the press get the benefit of that. Even if newspapers no longer existed, the press would have other outlets. My point is go there first, then release a separate one on their social media accounts if they like.

      Cara I think the people who should be most worried about survival of the press are us mere mortals :) A free and thriving press is vital to every democracy. But yes it is an ever changing world!

      Claudia

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    13. Maggie - Minneapolis7 January 2016 at 03:47

      Claudia, I have to disagree with you this time. I don't understand the need to subject any two year-old to a bunch of loud strangers with cameras on a day that is very new and scary for him, and heartbreaking and scary for his parents, who also deserve to be able to send their son to school for the first time in private. To be completely honest, allowing the media to be there is just as intrusive as allowing them to be there for when Kate is giving birth. That could also be considered necessary because it's a huge day in George's life (his first!), and in fact, used to be considered necessary for that very reason. They still shared photos of the big moment with the public. I think that they often have a terrible media/PR strategy, but I absolutely agree with their decision in this case, for the same reasons that I actually disagreed with them deciding to have George do the walk to/from church from Charlotte's christening. That seemed quite overwhelming for a little boy, and making him do what William's first day of school was like would be as well, in my opinion.

      And I think it's important to think about the parents too in this situation. People below are mentioning Charles' seeming coldness with William on William's first day. Well Charles was raised in the royal family, and thus probably was uncomfortable showing emotion in public, especially as a man. In fact, you don't have to be raised in the royal family to be uncomfortable showing emotion to a bunch of strangers, especially since men are often expected to be stoic. Perhaps Charles wanted to hug his son and tear up a little on his first day, but felt like he couldn't because of the media. Depending on George's personality, it's entirely possible the day was even harder for his parents, and they deserve to be able to do it in private. And also perhaps a reason to think a little before saying Charles seems like he wasn't a hands-on father - that was a tough situation. And I think if it were any other mother, Diana would have gotten more criticism today too, because for a mother (in terms of what people expect from them), she didn't do much except hold William's hand and ruffle his hair. There wasn't even really a hug. I'm not at all criticizing Diana, but merely pointing out that people may be a little hypocritical about how they talk about Charles vs Diana, especially on this blog in general, given history.

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    14. Rebecca - Sweden7 January 2016 at 04:04

      Times are changing and so are the royal family. People around the queens coronation were grumpy against television, and didn't want it because it wasn't dignified and "this new media that noone will use" and stuff like that. There will always be people that are against things changing, but things change either way.

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    15. Nicely said Cara.

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    16. Royal fan, I think you may have missed a few things in that article, namely the AGREEMENTS made with the Royal fa,only and the press. They clearly have a generally good relationship with the press. Sure, he still asks for her privacy, but it seems they also have a good bargaining relationship with the press to ensure that. Can you imagine Will and Kate making such an agreement? Firstly, and forgive me for saying this, but they often act like they are too good for the press, not even an acknowledgement at events, and the press probably wouldn't grant it because Will and Kate don't treat them well from the start. The need to start fostering a good relationship, slowly, slowly. There will always be called for privacy, but at least if their relationship with the press is strong it may help the situation somewhat.

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    17. No problem with disagreement Maggie :) As I said I was talking about the outlet they choose. I wasn't harping on photographers at school, as George is 2 and it's just nursery.

      Why can't they throw the press a bone and give them 3 or 4 shots exclusively, then they have a few to choose from and they all don't end up with same cover?

      I'm not saying the press are without sin, but love them or hate them they have to figure out a way to work with them.

      Here's what editors are thinking: We do what the Cambridges want, we don't chase them off-duty, we don't print un-authorized pics, and what do we get in return? They cut us out even more. So why are we playing by their rules?

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    18. Maggie, I don't think that there is any hypocrisy on this blog regarding how people talk about Charles v Diana. And I take offense to that accusation.

      So, you are saying that because what Diana did "wasn't even really a hug" therefore it is the same as what Charles did - which was to stand around diffidently without even touching his son ? Or acknowledging the teacher who was going to look after his kid for hours each day? What they did is the same?
      And while it is possible that what you are saying is correct: Charles did actually want to hold and hug his son, it is equally possible that HE DIDN'T. We cannot know what he wanted to do, or what motivated him. We DO however know what his actions were: which were to remain standoffish and cold. And this is not one video. He was very distant from everyone in those days in public. There are hundreds of videos that show that. Therefore whatever speculation you can make on this blog is going to have to based on what we see, not what "may possibly you think could" be going on.
      You are seeing the whole situation through a more neutral lens than many who lived through the CD years, but you are making the mistake of thinking that just because many of us are not as neutral as you are, we are unfair or refusing to see the truth for the truth. Those who followed CD through the years are actually basing their opinions on the CONDUCT of the Prince of Wales, and the aftermath. No one is glorifying Diana. Everyone knows that she was a damaged woman, a woman of many many faults. It is true though, that if she had been in a happy marriage these faults would have been mitigated rather than enhanced. And yes, many of us DO hold Charles responsible for bringing a rather silly romantically idealistic 19 year old into a cynical hopeless marriage from the start. And don't blame the royal upbringing for that. That is just an excuse and a rationalization. Charles was a grown man, a 33 year old man by then. Despite his upbringing he knew right from wrong. As you do, yes ? He did not have a bullet to his head. He knowingly married Diana ("whatever love means"), he knowingly brought Camilla's cufflinks on his honeymoon, he knowingly allowed Camilla to be a "non-negotiable" part of the marriage from day one. What do you think that does to a rather silly emotionally-challenged 19 year old? It crushes them. He was not some overgrown 10 year old, which is how you seem to be viewing him. Would you have made the same excuse for your other people say in your family or your circle of associates who did that? I certainly wouldn't. Despite what you think social mores on marriage and fidelity were pretty much the same as they are now. And Charles was quite aware of them, you would expect.

      For what it's worth I think that YOU are being hypocritical in how you view the royals. You make tons of excuses for Charles without allowing a slight leeway for Kate or William, who for all their faults and their laziness (and by the way I DO THINK that they are lazy and unethical in the way they approach their duties and don't have any sympathy for that ) are still honest and upright and have not done anything to hurt anyone or each other. How about showing some of your generosity towards them, eh ?

      You seem to have absolute sympathy for Charles - why not extend that to his upright non-cheating honest son William?

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    19. About the Dutch, Danish and Swedish press: they do a combination of releasing things via Twitter or Facebook and having the press document special moments. For instance Princess Madeline of Sweden is quite active on facebook and regularly posts pictures of her children there. The Dutch RF have an agreement to release videos, or allow the press corp to come into their home a few times a year to document things like girls' birthdays or other milestones. The Danish release pictures for birthdays but do regular documentaries on their work. In addition they do photocalls two to four times a year.
      The British Royal Family is the most unaccessible one in the sense that they seldom do any of these things. Charles and Diana did all of the above, but after Diana's death the RF had to batten down their hatches for a few years and Charles has only recently started to venture out bit by bit. He is letting the press corp into his life and work. Wiliiam and Kate have a long long way to go. They don't even do interviews on foreign tours, let alone documentaries etc. Even Harry does interviews about his work once in a while. The Danes and Dutch speak to the press always during foreign trips, as do the Swedes.

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    20. Anon 13:04, whatever agreements the Dutch RF may have with the press, apparently, the King still felt the need to speak up on his daughter's behalf.

      And did you notice that the video and photos were released on the Dutch Royal Court's Facebook page? Isn't this what W&K are being criticized for?

      Also, Princess Catharina-Amalia is 11 and next in line after her father, the King. George is 2, with a *grandfather* who is next in line.


      I thought it was very relevant to point out that the Dutch RF made this request on behalf of an 11 year old girl, and one who is next in line. Her parents want her to have privacy while she is a child, given that she will lead a public life as an adult.

      "Like her peers, the Princess has a right to an undisturbed youth. As the future life of the Princess will largely be devoted to public duties, it is important to respect her privacy,” reads the message.

      Suddenly, the Cambridge's don't seem so over the top, do they?

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    21. Anon 16:47, while I believe the reference to Diana being "damaged" is harsh and I am not on the same page with you on W&K's work ethic, I do agree, wholeheartedly, with the majority of your post. Thank you.

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  6. Claudia, I don't understand why it is so awful. George is not the next in line to the throne, he is third down. And Kate and William sharing the photos in this manner is very modern, appealing to the generation that will see George as King. I will probably not live to see Kibg George--maybe not even King William as I am only a little younger than Charles. If the monarchy falls, it will be over Charles and not because of anything William and Kate do. I love looking at these photos, thinking of how things have progressed since the Diana days. Not critiquing you post--just not agreeing :)

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    1. I like it more when people disagree Valerie so no worries :) That's what gets good debate going!

      I just would prefer them to support the press more, and recognize how much they need a good relationship with them.

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    2. Rebecca - Sweden7 January 2016 at 04:06

      I agree. Their instagram is very popular among people that don't follow the royals on other places and I see people linking eachother and saying "you must follow this". These are the people that would never pick up a newspaper (I don't think I've ever bought a daily newspaper. Well, my family had the local one) because it's just not needed for getting your news. They are reaching the young people and those are the people that will be their "subjects" in the future.

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    3. Rebecca - Sweden7 January 2016 at 07:45

      I agree Claudia. Just not that the kids should be the means to that. Also not that they should allow bunches of photographers in on engagements because that is disturbing to the people they visit. I think we both want them to support british media but disagree on the tactics. I don't know a good way to go about it though.

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    4. It is definitely a brave new world to navigate Rebecca and coming up with the right balance is not easy.

      I have no problem with them using social media, as long as it's in addition to the press, not instead of the press. And as I said, when you look at this as one lone issue it's easy to say what's the big deal -- but when you see the pattern it's very troubling.

      The only people who will benefit or be hurt here are William and Kate! I want them to get this together because editors are surely thinking, "we're playing by their rules, why do they keep cutting us out?"

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  7. I do think that it was the right thing to do - to let George enjoy his first day of school with his parents in privacy from the world. There will be many more years for him to get to know that he is not 'normal'. For now he is only 2, let him have a quiet moment.
    I also want to say that thank god for William's hands on approach towards fatherhood. I don't want to turn this blog into a bastian of Charles-bashing because I know it is focussed on Kate. But I do have to say that I watched this video of William's first day at school and just look at Charles' body language. Closed off. Not a word to his son. No handshake with the teacher. Standoffish. Just horrible. Thank god Diana was there to ruffle William's hair.

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=bRPVjBuCCNw

    The Charles we see today is much warmer with the public. He has done wonderful things with the Princes' Trust. I think that he is probably one of those people that connect better with older children than younger children - my mother is like that as well and it bothered me a lot when my children were younger but now that they are older I appreciate this style. It could explain why Kate and William see less of Charles now and more of the Middletons.

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    1. So I say this as a Diana fan, but one of the worst things she did (for her sons too) was push the image of Charles as an uncaring, heartless father. Nothing could be further from the truth.

      Case in point -- the famous scene where she runs to greet the boys on Britannia, what people didn't see was minutes later Charles did the exact same thing, he had stopped to greet the captain first - again, duty bound. But the Diana shot was played repeatedly.

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    2. Rebecca - Sweden7 January 2016 at 07:48

      Yeah, Claudia. Just as the picture of Diana running barefoot in a race against other mothers at their school. I had seen that picture rather early on in my interest. But you have to dig deeeeeep to stumble over the picture of Charles running with other fathers in suits on the same occasion!

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    3. Claudia, I know it will shock you that I am jumping in here :) ... HOWEVER... Diana didn't have to do much pushing. Look at Charles' body language during William's first day of school, for example. Was that an example of engaging and supportive? What about when William was rushed to the emergency room when he had a head injury? What about when he took off on shooting holiday at Balmoral or a painting holiday in Italy with Camilla? If he was Mr Smith, would that fly? Yes, Diana used the press to her advantage, but she was not a magician.

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    4. Also... do you recall when Charles was with Kate and George at a polo game last summer? Tons of photos were taken, however, not one showed him interacting with his grandson. (If I missed one, I hope it is posted here.) Even Ann is seen chasing after and holding her grandchildren on those occasions.

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    5. I agree Claudia--Diana used the media against Charles and, wet as he is, he was not nearly the monster she portrayed him to be. I don't like Camilla and hope she doesn't become Queen but that is mainly because Charles flouted the rules that others (think Margaret) had to obey. If this is modernity, yuck. I think that Kate is much more approachable than Camilla is and with her candid camera appeals to all of the moms (and grandmas) who post their offsprings' antics on Facebook. Watching the interview with William and Harry, I see two sons who love and poke fun at their dad. Personally I think they have grown up much more balanced without Diana's manic influence. I also think that is the Queen's and Prince Philip's doing--they have always been there for their grandchildren and I love that the Queen uses iPads and all of that. Final comment too--the British (and American) media have sealed their fates with all of their made-up up stories (today apparently Kate is pregnant). They are like dogs--even if William and Kate gave them photos they would still turn them into Royal Kardashians if they can. So silence is golden.

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    6. Maggie - Minneapolis7 January 2016 at 21:05

      William went hunting while Kate was so ill with HG that she had to cancel appearances. Not only was she ill, she was ill because she was carrying their child. Yet he went hunting. When Kate and George went on what was his son's first foreign vacation ever, William instead went hunting with his ex-girlfriend. After having to spend quite a bit of time apart from his wife and son because he was studying at Cambridge. Oh and below, where you somehow can tell George is very alert and well-raised from just a picture, you say it must be because he gets a lot of quality attention. You also often say William has grown up to be a wonderful man, but somehow you know that Charles doesn't deserve any credit for that?
      You defend William all the time against the things I've said above - based mostly on an assumption that Kate and William are great parents and spouses, so they must have considered everything before making those choices. But you seem to know that Charles didn't have any reasons to justify/explain what he did. Please tell me, royalfan, how do you know so much about the royal family that no one else knows?

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    7. Maggie - Minneapolis7 January 2016 at 21:15

      Also for all the credit Kate and William get for being "modern" parents, let's not forget that Charles was part of some great modernizations too as a parent. He was the first royal father to be present for the birth of a child. He was the first royal father to bring a child along on a tour. He was the first father to have his child attend nursery school.
      And if we are putting so much stock into pictures proving Kate and William's parenting skills, then any picture of Charles holding William in William's early years has William looking comfortable and happy.

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    8. I really don't agree that the Ant and Dec interview gave any insight whatsoever into William and Harry's life with their dad or their relationship. First of all you must know that before they film any segment the questions are given out to the royal family member. They are told days in advance and so they can rehearse their answers. Everything they said was so rehearsed it was hilarious. For instance, the answer about whether Charles embarrassed them - it was obvious that they knew what they were going to say and had planned on that very innocuous and endearing anecdote about him laughing during shows. Similarly the one about the writing - there was nothing spontaneous in any of that.

      What really baffled me was the claim that Harry could hear George's tractors... Exactly how would that be? Their apartments don't share a wall and are across from each other. I looked at the plans of KP and there is no way that Harry could hear any of that from his apartment. Besides we are talking about sound proofed mansions with 20 feet tall ceilings. You really really cannot hear through the walls on these things. I hope that wasn't a lie because that will make this cold heart even more cynical than it already is. LOL. But I suspect that this, in addition to everything else that was said in that documentary it was just yet another lie, another cozy PR crafted little lie to make them seem like a happy family.
      It was particularly telling when one of the interviewers said to them in KP "So this was your living room where you had many happy memories". William gave a bashful grin and looked at the ground and said "many happy memories". He never could hide his feelings very well. Body language ultimately gives things away on video.

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    9. I don't really think that Diana did any image crafting on Charles being an absent father. Charles was not really what one would call a very present father. He was away a lot. He was not physically affectionate. When the kids were older he probably became closer to the boys but when they were younger I doubt that he was actually very present with them. I dont think that Diana had to do a whole lot on that front.
      And Claudia about that footage of Diana throwing her arms - it was the media that chose to play that segment over and over. I don't think that Diana explicitly asked the media not to show Charles do the same thing. How can you possibly hold her responsible for this? Did she actually come out and ever say that Charles was a bad father? As far as I know she did point out the head injury and Polo playing exercise that Charles did. But when did she actually explicitly claim that Charles was uncaring and heartless?
      I think that Charles has been quite clever in painting Diana as the manipulative one, when it is now becoming clearer how his master spin doctor Mark Bolland was an absolute master at that. Even Penny Junor, Charles' biggest fan on this planet, acknowledged that in an on-record interview.

      Delete
    10. LOL. Maggie, was they truly Charles' firsts, or was some of it as agreeable as a root canal?

      Delete
  8. George is adorable! And I echo the sentiments of others here that they made the absolute right choice in releasing pictures themselves. Nursery can be very scary for a two year old all on its own. He looks happy and comfortable to have his parents around, but thankfully not the world's media. There are many other events that can be covered by official press. But not with the children in my opinion.
    I hope George will enjoy school very much.

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  9. Well Claudia, I have to say that I don't agree with you. Kate and William are modern royals and are forging a modern path. If it doesn't work, it doesn't work, but I suspect that the British media is just going to have to get over themselves, like every other organization that has had to adapt to the realities of the changing world. These are Catherine's pictures and I don't think she has any obligation to do anything other than what she wants with them. The British press might not like it, but I don't think there will be any "back firing" or other dire consequences. The interview that Ant and Dec did for The Prince's Trust and the interview with William and Harry shows that the young royals haven't thumbed their noses at the press. That was a very relaxed interview in which W&H both were very open with what they said. They are doing things differently. So don't worry Claudia. I'm sure everyone will take a breath and figure it out. This is just my opinion of course, but I don't share your view that the situation is dire.

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    Replies
    1. No problem with disagreement Marny!

      I wouldn't call the situation dire... I do think they're on a very fine line.

      The British press can find any number of celebrities to fawn over, and often do sadly, the British Monarchy can't exist if the press decides not to bother with them anymore.

      Delete
    2. Rebecca - Sweden7 January 2016 at 04:09

      I agree. I fully understand the uneasiness among the press. They are not alone in feeling it, most newspaper reporters and magazines are. It's not something unique to the royal press. They are in a sticky situation because they are becoming more and more obsolete and I understand that makes a person grumpy. But that's not Kate and Williams fault!

      Delete
    3. very good point Rebecca. The angst of the press is a worldwide one. Print media is quickly becoming the media dinosaur and that has nothing to do with Willam and Kate.

      Delete
  10. Tedi in California6 January 2016 at 20:59

    Great photos of an adorable little boy. I agree that this should be kept a private event. What message does it send to a 2 ½ year old if swarms of photographers surround him. He will have plenty of that in the future. He should be allowed to be a little boy enjoying his first day at school.

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  11. What I always notice about George is how very alert and aware of his surroundings he always is. When anyone carries him he is usually turning around to the front and surveying everything that is going on.

    Today, rather than a shy little baby, he was so grown up and enjoying his surroundings. He seems to be a healthfully aggressive, always alert and decisively focused person. And, no doubt, the only ones crying today were W/K is my guess.

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    Replies
    1. I don't think George is a passive child either. He seems naturally instilled with a go-getter personality.
      Nice that Kate will no doubt direct those attributes in the right way. That could produce an amazing King.

      Delete
    2. William's little boy swagger as he turned to walk into his first day of school was so sweet.

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    3. Anon:21.01

      Very astute analysis. I agree, that only W&K will be welling up and let us not for Nanny Maria--she is surely missing having him around too, I think.

      All the best for a Happy New Year.

      RW.

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    4. He appears to be a very sharp and curious little boy. And the (apparent) quality time invested in him does shine through.

      Delete
    5. He would have to have that RF. He seems like a very active and headstrong child. The effort and time invested to direct that in the right ways is priceless.

      Delete
  12. George could not be any cuter.

    Harry is SO cute, also. He certainly did get his backpack out of his big brother's reach quite nicely and quickly. lol

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  13. He is a child, not a commodity. Don't blame them at all.

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    1. Absolutely right, Virginia. Well said.

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  14. I love George's hair. =) I bet he kept the teachers' hands full--he seems to be a vivacious boy! Glad they kept it private, but took a few snaps and shared them with us--doing it on their terms. Great job Will and Kate!

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  15. Not sure why this bothers you Claudia. Please explain. I like that they kept the press away and used Twitter. At least they shared the day with all of us. Am I missing something?

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    1. I don't mind that the press wasn't there as much as I mind that they released the photos on Twitter Anon. They could have given a couple to the press exclusively and released a different one on Twitter. I just think they need to cultivate a better relationship with the press, it is still fairly strained. Not to mention Twitter is an American owned company and I think their first obligation should be to British companies :)

      Delete
    2. Thank you for the reply. I do see your point however I am going to echo the view of many here and say that I disagree. I do not think the BRF needs the British press to survive. I believe they are becoming obsolete. The world is evolving and just as snail mail is pretty much a thing of the past so are newspapers. They fail daily. Social media is the future. I am 58 and I love my NYT Sunday paper but honestly I read my news online 99% if the time. I think the choice to go on Twitter and release a private family moment in a photo was brilliant.

      As Virginia said above ... George is a little boy not a commodity.

      They don't need the press following them 24/7 to remain relevant. I can Google Kate Middleton or William or Harry or any of them and find many bits on them that are not from the press. Times are changing.

      They are a modern couple using modern technology. I recall thinking the use of email was just wrong and well here we are! My 89yr old Mother balks at the thought of writing a letter. She has her computer. ..her smart phone.... we adapt. W&K are adapting.

      Delete
    3. I read most of my news online as well but I get it from news outlets. I search google news for the top headlines and most of those stories are generated by the main news outlets, probably 99%.

      As I've been saying repeatedly, I have no problem with them using Twitter as long as it's in addition to and not instead of the press. They're walking a fine line.

      I know this is semantics to many of you, and you think "it all ends up online anyway what's the difference" but it does matter, the process matters, and the ones who will benefit or be hurt the most are obviously William and Kate.

      And it's ok to disagree... as long as we're not disagreeable :)

      Delete
    4. Indeed they are. They are NOT stupid.

      Delete
  16. Yay!!!!! Prince George is soooo adorable! Such a handsome little guy. It's hard to believe he's starting nursery school already. It seems like just yesterday I watched Prince William and Kate leave the hospital with him. He's growing up so fast!!
    Christina.

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  17. Could you elaborate on how releasing information via twitter is circumventing the press?
    I'll admit that I'm in my mid-twenties, so learning of major news via social media is the norm for me and I might not understand. But I'm not sure how it's much different than a traditional press release? The press all run the same pictures and stories regardless of whether the release is done over twitter.

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    Replies
    1. Whereas I'm nearing my mid-50's Labelo so yes maybe I'm a different mind-set :)

      I just think the Cambridges need to cultivate a better relationship with their press corps, it is not the best. And a photo of George is a big story, as we saw today, and going around the press (repeatedly) with that is foolish in my opinon. They need the press on their side.

      So as I've said, release a few to the press exclusively, let them "unveil" it. The Cambridges would be able to reap the rewards of that later :)

      Delete
    2. Rebecca - Sweden7 January 2016 at 04:10

      Very true Labelo. But I'm also in mid/early-20s so...

      Delete
    3. Claudia, C&D invited the press into their homes, they released photos, and videos. Did it ensure respect and positive press in return? No.

      Delete
    4. I am 52 and Get my new via social media firs,then I check other sources.

      Delete
    5. Maggie - Minneapolis7 January 2016 at 20:49

      Well yes, royalfan, I don't think any of us are saying Kate & William would get positive press after inviting the media into their homes and releasing photos/videos if soon afterwards, they became embroiled in affairs and a very, very public separation/divorce. And we can't know if it would have been worse if they hadn't invited the press into their lives, or at least have started earlier (media drama wise). Obviously just being friendly with the media is not enough to always ensure good PR no matter what.

      Also - in times like that, they probably had their go-to reporters to leak to so they would look good during their very public war. And they could do that because they had built those relations earlier.

      Delete
    6. It actually did royalfan. While the disaster of their marriage was all over American media, the British press didn't touch it. When correspondents witnessed problems between them their press secretaries were able to squash the stories (documented in many of their books)

      And let's face it, C&D destroyed their own relationship with the press with the constant games, lies and back and forth as they tried to push their own version of events. One of Diana's closest links was Richard Kay and she flat out lied to him numerous times when she wanted to spin a story.

      Delete
    7. royalfan I think that the press was extremely extremely favorable to Charles and Diana for years and years especially when they were given so much access to their homes. Even when many in the press pack knew that the marriage was breaking they kept quiet. It is only much much later that they turned on them. When things had gone very wrong already.

      Delete
    8. Amen RF. The press had a field day with them.
      The media is at best very fickle. It is a circus, with rules that are only followed arbitrarily if even then.

      Delete
    9. Valid points, Claudia and Anon 22:09.

      Delete
  18. He's absolutely gorgeous!!! Now for the bit that's going to get me in trouble..... What exactly will this mean for the Kate's engagements??? Is she going to be tied to the days George isn't in pre school? Surely it would be frowned upon if she takes off to London a few days a week and leaves George with Maria in Norfolk. I can't help feel we'll see a decrease in work for a while. That said, I don't begrudge this time with her babies, it's just purely a selfish observation on my part!!!!

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    Replies
    1. Maggie - Minneapolis7 January 2016 at 03:30

      My understanding is that since he's only two, they aren't worried about him missing school since its basically like a play date right now. They said he wouldn't attend when they are in London. Also Kate and William seem to pack their engagements together so he probably wouldn't have to miss very much anyways.

      Delete
    2. Rebecca - Sweden7 January 2016 at 04:11

      The release they made about him going to school said he will be going there "when they're in norfolk" which probably means that when they're in KP he will be with the nanny.

      Delete
  19. What a lovely surprise. The little prince is so adorable. Big "thank you" to the Cambridge's for sharing.

    Thanks Charlotte for always being on the ball. Have a Happy New Year.

    RW.

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  20. For anyone who may be thinking that George is too young, does his face say, "I'm ready!" or what? :)) I love it! What a happy, confident, and enthusiastic little boy.

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    Replies
    1. He does look ready. Nothing timid about George.
      Seems to be a born leader type. He will enjoy school a lot I think. Such amazing photos. Thank you William and Kate.

      Delete
  21. I was so not prepared for this!!!!!

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  22. What a special day and those pictures are wonderful. A tremendous milestone for the young family.

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  23. I bet William and Catherine were incredibly happy and tearful at the same time that there little one is starting school. I know that I cried the first fe days when my started. Now she is 10 years old. I can see the day. Lol

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  24. Tammt from California7 January 2016 at 00:08

    Whether you are royal or not, the first day of preschool is an exciting one. As a mom, you look forward to a few hours of your own, while knowing your child is also enjoying himself while learning, playing and meeting new friends. I loved this stage in my little boy's life and feel excitement for mommy as I recall what I felt.

    George is so cute and every picture I see of his sweet little face just makes me smile for the whole day.

    ReplyDelete
  25. Tammt from California7 January 2016 at 00:10

    I forgot to mention, I just bought a pair of Kate's Le Chameau Wellies. I am so excited, I can't stand it!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Just in time for El Nino weather conditions expected this year. Congrats! Is this Northern or Southern California?

      Happy New Year.

      RW

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    2. Tammi,

      Could certainly use a pair myself. Things are a little wet here in San Diego. Are you in the path of El Niño.?

      Delete
  26. Very sweet! I am so glad Kate took the photographs and spared her son another scene like that at the hospital. So wise to start him to school tucked away in the country. And to simply provide a couple of nice private pictures.

    ReplyDelete
  27. Sarah from Calif.7 January 2016 at 00:52

    Oh he is edible,a real sweetie pie :)

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  28. How fast they grow! George is taking it his stride, he looks so big and ready even if he's only 2 1/2! Anyone can guess that he probably had a more pleasant experience than William 30 years ago. He can thank his parents for that. So nice to know both Kate and William saw him off on his first day in school.

    ReplyDelete
  29. I want to get back to what Claudia said about "circumventing the British Press." What rights do the British media or any media have to the private moments in anyone's life? I would say none. However, people in public life realize that the media is very powerful and can be used to spread the word. Hence the documentary on the Prince's Trust. Perfectly appropriate. But public figures also know the very dark side of intrusive media. No one knows that better than Princes William and Harry.

    Of course there is a place for serious investigative journalism and meaningful information about world events; however, too much of today's media appropriates images of celebrities and royals for one reason only. To sell papers. Photographers take them for one reason, to make huge money on the shot of a breast or a bottom. In other words, all too often they are exploiting people who happen to be in the public eye.

    The media is not an elected body. It has no obligation or duty to society whatsoever. Its only responsibility is to the advertisers and the shareholders of the major corporations which distribute the news. Much too much of what passes for news is glossy gossip.

    Given permission the media would have exploited Prince George's first day at nursery school and likely created the same sort of gong show which accompanied his birth. As someone pointed out, it likely would have frightened the other classmates and spoiled the day for all concerned. Instead we see an almost candid photo of an eager boy enjoying a stroll past a mural as he goes to school with his parents.

    Given the advantage of ever changing social media platforms by which to take some control of their very public lives, I laud the way William and Catherine are protecting themselves and their children (as well as their community) from media harassment. You don't necessarily want the media to be your sole marketing tool. So much better to exercise some control over situations that can quickly spiral out of control.

    It also saves the British taxpayer a great deal of money by keeping down the cost of security required.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Philly I truly hope you don't believe that. Let's forget about the royals and George for a moment, the media have a tremendous obligation and duty to society and most of the reputable ones recognize and fulfill that role.

      And the people with the least wealth and power benefit the most from a free and thriving press. I shudder to think what the powerful would do if they no longer feared a press watchdog. Look at how the distribution of wealth has shifted in the last decades, there are more people in positions of great power that need to be held accountable. Power and money that's increasingly controlling elections, politics, politicians, and the media is probably only scratching the surface.

      I'll stop because I don't want to hijack Charlotte's blog :) But a free and active media is a tremendous benefit to democracy.

      Delete
    2. Philly if only I have the way with words like you do.So eloquent,thank you,my thoughts too.

      Delete
    3. Agreed and well stated

      Delete
    4. Maggie - Minneapolis7 January 2016 at 20:46

      There are at least 20 studies that all show that democracy cannot truly exist without a free press. At least. You ask what rights do the British media or any media have to the private moments in anyone's life? Well, when taxpayers pay money to to sustain the livelihood of a certain family, and trust that family to do things like negotiate action on endangered animals, then they have a right to know that those public officials are doing the right thing. Yes, William and Catherine are protecting themselves. But it is to the detriment of things like free press and other essential parts of any free country. Your characterization of the media is incredibly worrisome to me. Of course they have an obligation to find stories that sell, but that doesn't disprove their incredible utility in ensuring a free nation with public officials who are held accountable.
      And can we stop acting like the media is a bunch of bullies? William and Kate would not have gotten that 4.5 million pound refurbishment on a house they barely live in without the media making the royal family look good. Or at let's be honest - you say "you don't necessarily want the media to be your sole marketing tool". You're not wrong. But the media isn't wrong for expecting something in return for giving them good PR. Kate and William in general expect that they can use the media whenever they need it, without giving anything back. That's not how life works. They can try to make it work but it usually doesn't for anyone.
      And let's not pretend like they aren't above using the media for PR, even in the case of their children. Do we really think it's a coincidence that after George was born and went home from the hospital, he was basically never seen on British soil in the first year of his life, but had several appearances in Australia, a country with record levels of support for becoming a republic?

      Delete
    5. I agree with Philly. In theory, I also agree with Claudia, a free and active press is of course a benefit to society. In practice, money and power do corrupt the press as much as they do corrupt politics. And sadly nowadays the press is what Philly so well describes. There is nothing to be idealistic or naïve about.
      T.Z.

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    6. so is humane treatment of a toddler a tremendous benefit to society.

      Delete
    7. Claudia, we all know there is not really any "free press". The press do anything but report the facts. They find a topic and schreew it the way they want. They spin what every they want in the way they want. If they are trying to turn public opinion against someone they will make up stories about them. We have all seen this first hand several times about the November vacation that never happened, the supposed problems in the Middleton marriage just to mention two.
      Here in the U.S. The mainstream media definitely has the Democratic Party and left wing interest and writes their stories slanted it that direction. There is no more unbiasised reporting. I do not think the press/media deserve any respect and consideration

      Delete
  30. Do we know what kind of security stays with him and how close?

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    Replies
    1. I thought about that also. He would have to have the place surrounded by intense security you would think. The world knows now that George will be there each week. William and Kate aren't going to leave him there with only one ppo.
      Even when William was at university they bomb proofed the windows (toilet), etc. I think that the security must be intense there even if no one can tell they are there.

      Delete
  31. hmm prince George is so big and adorable looking at picture says im ready to do it im sure he getting a lot of friends to play too surely his mom and dad would be proud on him how great his first day at her nursery

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  32. I'm not sure if anyone has pointed this out already or not, but in the one picture he has his hand in his pocket exactly like Prince Charles always does! It's cracking me up!

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    Replies
    1. That is funny Brooke. George looks so grown up for a two and a half year old.

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    2. I thought the same thing Brooke :) Not just the pointing, but the other hand in the pocket... like mini-me!

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    3. Nicole from France7 January 2016 at 17:29

      that's just what Ithought, Brooke ! funny to see a todler doing that ! Georges looks like a grown-up boy already ! I have always admired the way he controls his body, very well balanced from the first day we saw him walk, very curious of everything, and he seems to have the same charming smile as his mother's !

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    4. I hope Charles notices how much George is copying him in that "pose". That is so special.

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    5. Like he mimicked unknowingly, Harry and his hand on his chin in deep thought. lol

      Delete
  33. Julia from Leominster7 January 2016 at 03:15

    Very cute pictures of George. Such a little one to wear a rucksack.

    I tend to agree with Claudia - I don't like Twitter at all and ignore it as do many of my generation, but I realise this is an age thing and I'm outdated.

    I thought William and Harry did very well in their interview and Charles showed off to advantage - the Prince's Trust is impressive. But I didn't like all the mugging of Ant and Dec - never have - they seemed more interested in showing themselves off than the prince - but I'm sure I'm outdated there too.

    I find Camilla's role and numbers rather retro but I can't say honestly I care what she does - or know many who pay much attention either. I did have the feeling she wasn't keen on this interview - she didn't even sit down. (Perhaps Charles begged her to say something to them.) She probably doesn't like Ant and Dec much either - imagine Camilla and me having something in common! Age does tell.

    I would like to see William throw a bone or two to the mainsteam press simply because they are very good at destroying reputations (think Andrew) and sensing weak points and it's better to get on with them than not. They are a necessity to the royal family and I would hate to see William make George phobic. It's like dogs - you want little ones to be cautious and respectful of big dogs but not scared.

    But the pictures are very sweet and I'm not going to fret how we came to see them - just glad to have them. I've enjoyed looking at all the coats too and look forward to the next poll.

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    Replies
    1. I may be outdated as well Julia :) But I think Twitter should be one tool at their disposal, I don't think they can circumvent the press with it. They are public officials, not celebrities.

      And one photographer raised an interesting question: Isn't is the role of the press and photographers to document the lives of the royal family?

      Food for thought!

      Delete
    2. Then they need to hire a royal photographer/chronicler, right, (Kate seems to be doing a good job of that) and keep the media circus in order (no small feat). There is a way to accomplish what you are saying Claudia without having the affect that Diana had to deal with and spoke so passionately about in her video interview and elsewhere. Throwing a 2 1/2 year old toddler to the lions is sick.

      Delete
    3. Exactly 22.35. The numerous royal reporters are all writing the same lines anyway and the same photographs. Investigative journalism does not seem to exist with the royal reporters. Every now and then a scoop comes along and then it is repeated ad nauseum everywhere and is not always accurate anyway.

      Delete
    4. sick indeed. The press corps is not unlike a pack of lions. Kate accomplished what needed to be accomplished in a humane and loving way.

      Delete
    5. Julia from Leominster8 January 2016 at 02:59

      Well, Estelle has been far more exposed to the press than George and I have to confess I don't see anything sick about it. In fact, Estelle seems very confident and precocious, more so than George at the same age. I don't take that too seriously, children change so much and I've known little monsters to grow up to be doctors and shy children to be solicitors, but at the same time, I don't think Victoria and Daniel are doing anything wrong with Estelle.
      If William and Kate choose a different path,that's their perogative but one may not be more right than another.

      As for a royal phtographer, I wish there was a Beaton, a Parkinson, a Lichfield or even a Snowdon out there. Kate's photos are pleasant but not iconic, Testino's were somewhat disappointing after his excellent engagement photo and the others have been the same sort of snaps any family might have taken. Perhaps, there just isn't a royal photographer of that calibar out there at the moment.
      As a final thought,I have to say my only rearing experience is with puppies and it is absolutely imperative that a puppy who is to be a city dog be exposed early and often to city noises and activities - raise a pup in the country and than bring him or her to the city - it is going to be far more difficult with a real risk of timidity.
      No idea whether the same applies to a child but I do think George needs some exposure at a young age if he is to spend a life in public service -possibly a bit more than he is getting, although it needn't be his first day at nursery which was probably exciting enough to such a sheltered child.

      Delete
  34. What a little cutie! Lovely photos and good on Kate and Will for sharing this precious moment on their terms. Although they are royality, they still deserve to protect and share their lives in a way THEY see fit. My children are the same ages as George and Charlotte and we just experienced this milestone too with our son. So I understand how proud they must be. I love that this darling little boy could experience his first day of nursery school feeling safe, encouraged and loved by the two most important people in his life...mummy and daddy.

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  35. I cannot believe that anyone would want to subject a child of George's age to a barrage of cameras. The two people in the world who truly know how awful that is,are William and Harry so perhaps just perhaps that is the major reason for the twitter decision. The photographs will be picked up by all the other press and media. The only difference is that Catherine took the picture and not a bank of photographers. Ordinary people would like to see the the photos of George and probably do not care who took them in fact in this day and age many young parents might think that the less intrusive decision was the best one. I follow Kensington Palace on my twitter account and would much rather see a photograph there than in the tabloids.

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  36. Kate, Texas, USA7 January 2016 at 05:21

    What a handsome little guy! He looks so grown up trotting off to school with his rucksack in tow. Such a special day and milestone for him and his parents. The pictures Kate snapped are precious and will be treasured forever. I hope his first day was filled with excitement, adventure, learning, and new friendships. All the wonderful things a little one should experience in school! Such a happy post! Thank you Charlotte! :)

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  37. Have to disagree that this was a bad move by W&K. We are now living in a modern world. The Press is important to keep up the good PR I agree - but it's not the Press that makes the Royal Family. It's the Royal Family themselves. Having this modern approach to releasing images via social media keeps control of certain moments via certain channnels and in this case probably sparing George the ordeal of a mass photocall on his first day is a wise move - and imagine what impact that has on the other nursery children also attending too (it's a small local nursery after all). I'd rather see a happy relaxed little George, captured by his mother, than a rather nervous looking or bewildered one trying to cope with a hoard of press. Plenty of time and bigger occassions for that to come.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. And George says Thank you Mr. D.

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    2. The video with Charles was okay. I could not understand much of the dialogue as Prince Charles sort of mutters and the English accents (that I love)
      were so thick. The antics of the two men were silly and unnecessary. I think the taller one made Prince Charles uncomfortable more than once by pawing at him and being loudly in his face. He was too familiar and it made the situations awkward. What surprised me was how formal that dinner was in that they were measuring placement of silverware and alignment of glasses just like they do at Buckingham Palace for state dinners. I loved the young man who had come through the Prince's Trust training and is now a butler and even gets to bring Charles breakfast. How sweet is that? The young people crying when they learned that they had passed training and been given the positions full time was also very poignant.
      I think the video will benefit the Prince's Trust and be good PR for Charle's on many levels. Thanks for including that Charlotte.

      Delete
    3. Julia from Leominster7 January 2016 at 14:31

      I would amend that to say it is a mixture of what the family does itself with what is reported - as I discuss in more detail below.

      As for George, I cautiously agree, although a child doesn't have to be nervous and bewildered. Estelle of Sweden certainly doesn't appear that way - she seems confident, even cheeky, in public occasions that are heavily reported. How the parents handle it makes a difference. Some feel Estelle is too much exposed - I tend to disagree - I like how the Swedish royals have an openess with their children and include them without even too much worry about their conduct and use the larger exposure to balance requests for privacy when needed.

      Only time will tell - George and Estelle are essentially the same age and are beng handled in different ways - it will be interesting to see how they develop.

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    4. 14:31, I thought the same thing about all that and was also frustrated because I couldn't understand what Charles (and others) were saying.

      Delete
    5. closed captioning would have helped. I couldn't understand them either and I was so disappointed about that aspect of it.

      Delete
    6. That young butler was so attractive in his humility.
      Seemingly quite a fine young man.

      Delete
  38. Oh my gosh this is so adorable what a handsome boy!!!

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  39. Too cute. He looks like he’s raring to go.

    Claudia there’s an entirely different way of looking at the media issues. The British media clearly knew about the twitter release because they simultaneously retweeted the photos. Just picking out two of the media companies the DM has 1.4m followers on twitter & the Daily Telegraph has 1.48m. Their retweets were done at the same time as the KP tweet & had a link to their on line articles which is where they make their money from advertising revenues. The DT also tweeted a promo for a print newspaper issue with the photos. They know better than anyone that reaching the 45 & under demographic means being on social media.

    In this age of selfies & Instagram the fact that the photos were taken by the Duchess is a real bonus. They’re very tuned in to the zeitgeist of younger generations who value sharing photos & the personal touch. The KP media strategy might make some older readers here uncomfortable but that doesn’t mean that the Cambridges are amateurs who don’t know what they’re doing.

    A thread that comes up again & again in the comments is that the reputations and popularity of the royals can change quickly. My grandmother who’s 89 & has been an avid follower of the royals all her life strongly disagrees. Her view is ‘Bollocks unless you think 30 years constitutes ‘quickly’’. I didn’t know what to think so I decided to do a ‘facts check’ using the established research protocols. I used Princess Margaret, Prince Andrew, the Countess of Wessex & Prince Charles as the case studies. .

    The results of the facts check?

    a) Things might change quickly for politicians but they do NOT for royals. My grandmother is spot on – it takes decades.
    b) There seems to be an assumption in the comments that the change in reputations is for the worse when in fact it can go either way. The Countess of Wessex & Prince Charles are the good news stories here.

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    1. Thank you Blue Wren.

      Delete
    2. Julia from Leominster7 January 2016 at 14:20

      It can go either way and Sophie's star has certainly risen of late, although the majority of her engagements still go unreported. She has upped her fashion and even though she erred badly early on, it's worth remembering she has PR experience. It would not surprise me to find that her staff has worked mightily to gain this recent favourable publicity.
      I would question whether Prince Charles is really a "good news" story. According to this recent Mayer biography, he remains deeply concerned that his work is not gaining press attention - he is not content and his recent interviews show that he is actively seeking a higher profile. He still is seen as an easy target by those opposed to the monarchy - much more so than if his reputation had continued on a smooth course since his youth. And he crashed rather rapidly during the Diana crisis. It certainly, with respect to your grandmother, didn't take decades.
      Neither did it for Andrew. While many of his troubles were of his own making, arrogance led to "Air Miles Andy" even before this. Many business people say this was unjust and the good he did for British trade went unreported. But his reputation vanished in a few short years. It can change quickly, especially today. I can easily remember when Andrew was the golden boy - the handsome, glamourous, war hero - of the royal family - it was gone almost in the wink of an eye for him and today he is essentially finished.
      Age always leads to a falling off of attention - William and Kate may be surprised to find one day little attention is paid to their activities - probably when they most want it. That's why good publicity is important now when the sportlight is focused on them. The reputation they gain at this point could well be the one that stays with them through the years if they avoid troubles that could damage it.

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    3. blue wren forgive me if this is a duplicate, I replied earlier but don't see it, although when I've done a few replies in a row it seems to want to shake me off! Maybe I'm talking too much :)

      The royal press corps generally get an email "heads-up" when something is coming down the line so yes would be at the ready.

      I have no problem with the Cambridges using Twitter, as long as it's in addition to going through the press, not instead of. That is a troubling pattern to me. As I said, I am not harping on this particular event, it's the way they've been repeatedly doing things that alarms me.

      I would politely disagree with the speed at which a narrative can change. It is very cyclical and can be a matter of 6 months or 6 years. William and Kate have enjoyed an overall positive narrative when it could very easily have been spun differently. Diana herself had great press and then when certain stories came along it was very different. (her last years were probably the most volatile) It does come and go in waves and how long they can ride each wave depends often on how well they manage it!

      As each "new" direct line of succession grows, the extended royals will care less about the press, as it doesn't hurt or help them. The ones in the main line will always need it, look at what happened with the Queen after Diana died. So the only person who will really be hurt by this strategy is William.

      As Julia points out, it is hard to top the Andrew shift as an example. The younger ones here will never fully understand what a veritable stud he was and what a popular action man! He had enormously positive press, especially when he came home from the Falklands and bounded off the ship to greet the Queen with a rose between his teeth! Can you imagine! He was second in line to the throne and the press ate it up. You never would have dreamed in a million years what his reputation would be today.

      But Andrew is arrogant, and thought he knew better than anyone and could do better than anyone. It must be a hit to the ego to go from being so important to barely being on the sidelines I'll admit, but he was instrumental in his own fall in my opinion.

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    4. Julia, my take on Prince Andrew's falling star was more related to his questionable associations and business tactics.

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    5. There is research to show that a touch of mystery leads to greater interest. That is akin to uneven gratification as the foundation of addiction; it's a milder version of the same effect. There is nothing sinister about William and Catherine's desire to protect their children, and nothing that in any way resembles the mistakes of Andrew or Charles, or Sophie's one error. I think the Queen's subjects who are paying attention are probably greatly relieved to witness the caution of the younger generation of the royal family.

      Delete
    6. Anon 22:19, I agree. As a matter of fact, if Andrew and Sarah had been mature enough to handle the pros and cons of marriage (clearly, they love each other), and avoided exploiting their royal connections over the years, perhaps they would be seen as a relatively popular and down to earth family unit. Perhaps... :)

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    7. Surely Julia you are not comparing Andrew with William and Kate? Andrew is not anything like them. His issues lost him good PR. W/K don't have those issues, not even close.

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    8. Julia from Leominster8 January 2016 at 03:03

      Anonymous, I was referring more to Blue Wren's comment that things don't change quickly for the royal family -a comment I respectfully disagreed with. I don't think William and Kate's situation is at all the same except having the press as an ally rather than an enemy will be wise for them down the road.

      Delete
  40. Claudia said, "Twitter has become their outlet of choice which is an absolutely awful move, just dreadful media guidance." Really disagree. Twitter, like all social media, is for engaging with others. William and Kate did just that. Modern. Easy. Very much excellent and current PR guidance. That's simply how it is done these days, I promise you.

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    1. And I promise you Anon, that no public official can be successful once they've lost their press corps. And the Cambridges are barely holding theirs together.

      They are not celebrities looking for PR. Twitter can and should be a tool, they should not try to circumvent the press with it.

      Delete
    2. Maggie - Minneapolis7 January 2016 at 20:26

      While I disagree with Claudia about not inviting the media in this specific instance, in general, I do agree with her about their use of Twitter. Twitter is absolutely meant to engage with the public, but most others (public officials, etc.) also engage with the media much, much more. If Kate routinely took pictures of George or Charlotte and tweeted them like most mothers, while saving official pictures to be released by newspapers, it would be one thing. but they barely interact with the media like most do. Their media strategy in general, i.e. the Twitter-focus, is a clear way to control what is said and more. Otherwise, why
      do you think they still invite the media to their events? Twitter is meant for snapshots (figuratively speaking); it cannot be a substitute for news pieces that keep people's interests in public figures. Not to mention that Twitter relies on people following them to begin with - the news media has a leg up in that anyone who reads a news paper or news site could happen to read something good or bad about Kate. Much more of an impact.

      Delete
    3. Claudia, I disagree with you that they tried to "circumvent the press". The press all had equal access to the pictures and were not prevented from publishing. All media outlets were treated equally. So I can not see the need to make this an issue.

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    4. Also, they are NOT politicians which is a positive for the British people.

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    5. "barely holding theirs together"? did I miss something here? Where does it say that?

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  41. So adorable!! He just looks like a little imp. Love it!

    I don't think there is much issue in regard to the press and the children. William has made it very clear he has a pretty hard line in regard to the children and the press intruding on non public aspects of their lives. But I think he does realize the public genuinely wants to see the children grow so they have devised a plan through social media to satisfy the public. He satisfies the press with a handful of public things like walking for the christening, trooping, etc but certain events, like school are private. And times change before will and Harry no one ever saw the royals go to school, they were the first, not really a tradition, and will allowed the public in in a private way.

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    1. Like previous generations, the Queen and her sister were educated by tutors at home. But thanks to their fathers, all of their children attended schools. That was the generation that changed the education traditions.

      Delete
  42. This process of Kate taking the pictures and then releasing them is really quite clever of the Cambridges and is to be applauded. They are able to control the pictures that are shared, newspapers can publish them without fear of angering the Palace and it completely negates any need for the paparazzi. On top of all that, Kate takes great pictures so this is a win-win for the Cambridges and us. Hope it continues.

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    1. I hope it does also 12:23

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    2. I simply agree on all points.

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  43. I actually agree with most about Twitter - we are in modern times after all. BUT even with Twitter the press still have a lot of power and can sway public opinion - even through Twitter. Kate and William ignoring the media doesn't do them any favours. I might be in the minority here, but reporters also have a job to do. It's no wonder their going to great lengths to get a photo - no one has access to George. They could have invited a few photographers to the event and made sure they kept their distance. I'm sure he wouldn't be "traumatised".

    I worry that Kate and Will are setting a precedent. Will this also happen on George's first day of school? George is young but not insignificant. He's the future King. By only supplying two photos William and Kate have excluded the public and almost "robbed" them of seeing a milestone in their future King's life. It's only appropriate to share a lovely experience like that with the public. They haven't used Twitter to engage with others, they've used it so they can control what is released and have more privacy. Maybe it would be better next time if they release a short video? There's really only so much you can get from photos. I don't mind so much because it's just nursery school, but I will be quite disappointed if they do the same for his first day of school.

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    1. George is only 2 years old. I do not know about primary school but maybe there will be more access then. But I certainly do not feel "robbed" of the experience. On the contrary I feel happy for George and feel we have shared some part of his big day in an intimate, unstaged way.

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    2. Maybe he wouldn't have been traumatised but other children attending the school might. If they had invited "a few" then they would have been accused of favouritism. This way all media outlets including the so called newspapers. Why can't you just be happy they released the photos. Now you want a video? The more they give the more people want. Nothing they do will make the naysayers happy. UGH!!!

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    3. How was the public almost robbed? We did get to witness a milestone in George's life. The only difference is that we saw it through his mother's lens instead of a press photographer's.

      Delete
    4. How many photos would have constituted not "robbing" the public? 10? 50? 2,000? Anyone who wants to see the photos can. They are EVERYWHERE. Just ask my brother who doesn't like the RF.

      I think the two photos are more than ample.

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    5. The media is fickle and insatiable.
      The public is fickle and insatiable.
      Oh, and did I mention often less than kind? Really? Yeh, really.

      Kudos for William and Kate navigating safely and healthfully through the jungle.

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    6. 20:19, I also feel we got to "share part of his big day in an intimate and unstaged way". Nicely said. Thank you. It was an honor for them to do it that way. Definitely a higher ground thing to do. Many thanks to them for sharing in a perfect way. George is just so cute, cute, huggably cute.

      Delete
    7. Julia from Leominster8 January 2016 at 03:29

      I have to agree with Anon 12:47 - a compromise with the press would be nice.

      There was a little article on the Telegraph site and a photo on the front of the Times -- being without TV right now,not sure if it was discussed when the newsreaders went over the headlines.

      But more and more in the papers, there isn't much about the royal family at all other than an occasional photo- except nonsense in the tabloids. It sometimes seems a bit of a two direction street to me - that the royals want privacy but the mainstream papers are also happy to avoid royal news when possible. I feel like there used to be more out there in the Diana days, but that could be my faulty recollection.

      I feel for Anon 22:26 brother! Hubby's a bit the same way - while he continues to believe in the monarchy, seeing photos splashed across the papers doesn't do much for him and you don't find him reading my Hello!s I believe he completely missed George's first day - not that he would care.

      (I did make him pick a coat though He picked the Hobb's Celeste because "a coat is meant to keep you warm and that coat looked the warmest." Plus he could see what it looked like without it being on Kate. Man Thinking!)

      Delete
    8. While I agree with you that the Cambridges need to build or improve better relationship with the press, your argument to invite some photographers would also have backfired. Here comes the question, which one/ones to invite?

      When they only invited CJ, others complained and they were fully right.
      I understand the part of protecting their private lives but they did the same with public engagements. This is where IMO they made a big mistake.
      They need to give all photographers the same chance because that is their job.

      I also agree, browsing through Twitter for instance that opinions can quickly change.

      Still, I consider this move, releasing Kate's pics fine.

      Delete
  44. Yours is an interesting point of view, Claudia!
    I'm sure they're trying to reach as many as possible people. Most of us - especially young people - use social networks such as twitter every day so this is a very astute move.
    No press there but the press given one of the photos exclusively would have been nice for British Royal Journalists!
    Here in my country lots of people follow Kensington Palace on twitter and instagram and the interest about The Cambridges is increased after Charlotte's birth (even if no one is a royal watcher e they're not on the front pages of our papers).
    But first of all they have to look to reach as many as possible people in the UK - I think - because they will be one day their King and Queen :)
    I'm sorry if I did mistakes, my english is not very good :)

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Your English seems very good to me Emi!

      I have no problem with them using Twitter at times, I just think they need to build a better relationship with the press and work with them and not against them :)

      Delete
    2. They ARE working with them.

      Delete
  45. The Queen herself once said We need the press more than they need us.

    ReplyDelete
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    1. That was then. This is now. A different world and Twitter is the norm. The newspaper also all got the pictures to publish so I don't get the angst that some are trying to make it.

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    2. 13:20, and your point is?

      Delete
    3. Well, in 2016 and with the reality of social media, even the Queen may have a different opinion.

      Delete
  46. Thank you, blue wren, for the facts about the release! Those of us who are not twitter users needed your research.

    One of my offspring was recently surprised that I had recognized a politician in an airport. I knew him from his pictures in newspapers! A toddler in my family was quite interested in a newspaper I brought with me on a visit. He had never seen one before. What I take for granted has become exotic.

    I continue to believe the Cambridges did the right thing. George's bewildered, frightened expression when he had to face the cameras at the hospital was painful to see. He is too small to have his life peppered with intrusion.

    ReplyDelete
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    1. George can be conditioned to the media circus in gradual increments. Much more healthful.
      They took him to see Charlotte, that was a start. Then the christening. He was definitely affected by that. He didn't like it. Now let him go to nursery school in peace. There is plenty of time for him to learn media savvy and deal with that circus.

      Whoever said he is not a commodity is right.

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  47. I love these cutie pie pictures of George! Thanks to William and Kate, we get to enjoy seeing him off to school too. As to releasing them on Twitter, that's just how things are done these days. I am not on Twitter but I am on Facebook- that's how I was alerted to the release and then I came directly to Charlotte's blog! It's tough to navigate the PR but they have paid staff to do that for them.

    As to Charles vs Diana video of William's first day, it probably was daunting for William to go into school with a bank of photographers and news cameras about. For that time period, the press were very much focused on Diana and her reaction/appearance to her son's milestone. Something she and Charles could not ever change. Prince Charles is a loving and attentive father-always was. He has an extremely close relationship with his boys- the Ant and Dec documentary makes this very obvious. Princess Diana was of a different generation than Charles and was always a very demonstrative person- probably one of the reasons Charles was attracted to her in the first place (he had his pick of pretty blondes!)

    Bravo to William and Kate for keeping this day focused on their little boy and not creating a circus at the nursery school for the other kids to navigate. If we had seen them drop him off at school, we would be talking about Kate's clothes now, wouldn't we? :)

    ReplyDelete
  48. Regardless of how the photos were released, can we all take a moment and revel in how cute George's curly hair is???

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Yes please let us not take the happy moment away. I think he got his curls from his mother's side of the family.

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    2. Yes, we can! Cuteness overload!!

      Delete
  49. Just wanted to add that I think Charles and Diana really did what was best at the time.

    William and Harry did not go to a school down a private country road, it was on a public street in London. They couldn't whisk them in and out through a back door, or shut down a public street. Walking in and out like other children was the most normal approach, and the fact that photographers were there to record a future King going to nursery school (a first) was part of their "normal" as well. Charles & Diana recognized that.

    It reminds me of something Christie Brinkley said years ago, when she was married to Billy Joel. They were a huge target for the paps in NY, it was quite a circus, especially after they had their daughter. At first they tried to dodge them, and avoid photos, and Brinkley said at one point in a restaurant they threw a napkin over her head. (they had a little fun with this also themselves!)

    She and Joel then realized, how "normal" is that? Sitting in a restaurant with a napkin over your head? They realized that "normal" life for their daughter was going to be different than their experience as children, and they had to adjust to that, and get her used to that.

    So I think Charles and Diana knew that any day a photog might be on that street as the boys came and went, so better to let the boys see that right away and not fear it, as Julia pointed out in a comment earlier.

    ReplyDelete
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    1. Nice story.

      I see how these stories can go either way. So difficult to balance what the ideal is for a 2,5 year old. As much as I was with the photographers who complained not taking a pic and earning money earlier on, this time I found W&K way of showing him to nursery so much better. :-)

      Delete
    2. Well Claudia, I guess Diana and Charles plan backfired!

      Delete
    3. Julia from Leominster8 January 2016 at 03:40

      I don't think so - I think the problems came later with Diana's death and William and Harry's chosing to blame the photographers (who certainly played a part but not the whole part - but it would be hard for Diana's sons to see that rationally.)

      In the early days, the boys seemed quite comfortable at royal engagements and being seen off to school. I remember William out with his father when he was around George's age watching a military helicopter land. Robert Maxwell was there as I recall. It certainly didn't put William off helicopters!

      I also never felt that Charles and Diana seemed particularly cold around the boys - it would have been a bit unusual for the times for a father to show phyisical affection - I don't remember thinking much about it, although I thought it was odd Charles went to the opera when William hit his head. There are some quite tactile photos of Diana on that first day of school too.

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    4. Anon 21:50
      Very funny.

      Delete
  50. George is an adorable little boy. I'm slightly saddened that his special day and the release of such endearing photos should be dampened by a few photographers who in my view were throwing tantrums for not making money out of it. They are professionals. There are other royals and subjects to photograph yet all they do is wait for Kate and George to hand it to them and whine in public if they don't. Did they photograph Andrew today visiting the flood victims? Harry in Africa? No. They ridicule Chris Jackson and yet at least the latter photographs charities and visits countries to highlight issues on the side. Poor show of character and clearly to me they are in it for the money. George is a future king and his life should somehow be documented, which is exactly why his mother released these pictures. And she made sure it was done in an undaunting, nonintrusive way. Well done Kate! You shared the moment with the world without adding more stress to your two year old. I'd rather see pictures from her anyway because they make them even more poignant and special.

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  51. This is a little off topic but I've been curious about this topic for a while. I saw an Instagram post from a usually very knowledgable Kate account which showed Kate's 11 pairs of black pumps and their prices. Someone commented "why does she needs all those shoes" and the account replied "she's a duchess so she can afford it." This reply made it seem like Kate personally (not the crown or government) paid for these shoes and it made me wonder who actually pays for things like that. I'm pretty sure that Kate doesn't personally pay for her work wardrobe.

    So can someone please explain to me how Kate's wardrobe is funded? Whether it's though Charles personally or though the government. I was always under the impression that Charles paid for Kate's work clothes with money from the Duchy of Cornwall which he only has access to through his titles, meaning that is not a personal fund. Im not trying to critize Kate, I'm just very curious as to how things are funded.

    ReplyDelete
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    1. It has been stated many times that William and Kate are not funded at all by the government. Charles pays for all of Kate's clothes for her royal engagements. Also he funds many other things for William, Kate and Harry.
      But you also have to realize both William and Kate have their own money.

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  52. Hi Amelia - nothing wrong with looking for information :)

    Her official wardrobe is paid for by the Prince of Wales. This is information from June 2015, when the last Annual Report was released. (expect another report this June)

    Excerpt from a Richard Palmer article:

    "Charles, 66, also funds much of the work of his wife Camilla, the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge and Prince Harry but refuses to disclose exactly how much that costs.

    Supporting their work is bracketed with other spending on infrastructure and transfers of cash to reserves.

    But the total, including supporting William, Kate, and Harry rose from £2.8 million to £2.9 million in the year ending March 31"

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  53. A good explanation of the Duchy of Cornwall and how it works.
    https://www.google.com/url?sa=t&rct=j&q=&esrc=s&source=web&cd=3&cad=rja&uact=8&ved=0ahUKEwicvI-9-pjKAhUM82MKHbepDQAQFggkMAI&url=https%3A%2F%2Fen.wikipedia.org%2Fwiki%2FDuchy_of_Cornwall&usg=AFQjCNE8qCAY9Pa4sQhDSQ8zWzccJRvraw&sig2=Z3A-nyGMCM_oziqDkBdfzA&bvm=bv.110151844,d.cGc

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  54. Am I the only one saddened by the kerfuffle caused by two sweet photos of an adorable 2 year old boy on his first day of nursery school?

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  55. Forgive my comment of it's already been pointed out but he continues to remind me of Michael Middleton and Charlotte looks like Carole. :) I enjoy the glimpses in to their lives that they approve of and hope they are as happy as they seem. :)

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  56. He is absolutely adorable!!
    Thanks for the post!

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  57. hmm I love twitter all my friends and my work mates share their engagement news wedding details or events life are in twitter and social media pior to the reporters they can ask celebrities or high position in government to grabbed their photos but bad for our royal photographers a lot of my friends are interested of being photographers maybe the duchess wants prince George to be relaxed upon taking those photo and I guess duke and duchess does want George to be normal kid just like the rest kid maybe time will come he will exposed to public when the lil prince is ready

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  58. Times are a changing. We have blogs now as well newspapers and twitter etc. Where do you go first????? Perhaps in a quiet patch Charlotte could ask us.

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  59. I think she has money from Charles, her own money and Williams money.
    Do not know if there is other money. From my long distance view she spends very little on clothes. If all she did was spend her and Williams money on clothes it would still be a small amount of their income. Those collections of shoes probably cover 10 years, heavens know she has worn some of the same boots for years:)

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  60. Wanted to add to my earlier post, many of my friends spend more than she does on clothes and jewels every year. I live in a wealthy area of the US and her clothes and jewels are minimal compared to many of what are considered upper class but not outrageously rich people. William has gorgeous expensive coats, suits, tux's, shoes, but men often wear the same pair of 3000 pound shoes for many years. Same for his tux and suits and overcoats. Neither of them appear to spend much relative to their personal incomes on clothes.

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