bitchy | Why are Prince William & Kate choosing to send their kids to Lambrook?

bitchy | Why are Prince William & Kate choosing to send their kids to Lambrook?

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Something I find incredibly interesting about the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge: Kate has gotten “her way” about the children’s education so far. Maybe that won’t always be the case, especially as Prince George gets older and there will be a heavy expectation that he will be sent off to Eton. But for now, Kate has gotten her way. Her way is only-coeducational schools and never any schools which are pipelines for aristocrats’ kids. Kate prefers to send her kids to posh schools for new-money families, where the children of lawyers, hedge-funders and businessmen might go. Reportedly, for the new school year, George, Louis and Charlotte will attend the co-ed school Lambrook, which is “fifteen minutes away” from Adelaide Cottage, the Cambridges’ “new home” on the Windsor royal estate. The Telegraph had a fascinating look at Lambrook and why the Cambridges chose that school. Some highlights:

Prince George won’t board: It’s off to prep school for Prince George this September but happily without a tuck box, teddy bear and tearful goodbye. If whispers are to be believed, the third in line to the throne, who turned nine this July, will become a day pupil at Lambrook School in Berkshire, along with his sister, Princess Charlotte, seven, and brother, Prince Louis, four.

Lambrook is nurturing: It offers a modern, cozy and nurturing take on the quintessential prep school experience. “There’s no comparing it to the hot house our daughter attended in London – there’s acres of space and no pushiness,” says one. “The lessons are fun and there’s a tight, all-inclusive community. I defy any child not to love it.” At Lambrook, where termly fees are currently £4,389 from reception and £6,448 from year 3, they’ll have to go to school on Saturdays – the weekend! – and there’s no ski chalet; Thomas’s has one in Austria, which they would have got to use if only they had been allowed to stay on until the senior school. And anyway, why Lambrook rather than Ludgrove, their father’s alma mater, or St Andrew’s in Pangbourne, where their mother was a pupil?

Will & Kate’s school runs: Ludgrove is likely to have been ruled out as it only takes boys and the Cambridges, who strive to do school runs every day despite their hectic schedules, will find it far easier to have all their children at one school. St Andrew’s, meanwhile, 35 minutes away, is too far: having navigated the school run from Kensington to Battersea on a daily basis for the past few years, the Cambridges want the next school to be as close as possible.

Lambrook isn’t the poshest choice: Among Berkshire’s circle of prep schools, which also includes Cheam and Elstree, Lambrook is regarded as “very respectable yet not one of the posh ones” – rather similar then to Thomas’s Battersea, which was considered an off-piste choice for the Cambridges who, friends assumed, would send George straight to Wetherby in Kensington, the all boys day school Prince William himself attended before Ludgrove.

Wealthy families only: Like Thomas’s, Lambrook has a few aristos on its books but its bread and butter is driven, affluent families who want their children to have a happy, free-range childhood, while ultimately scoring places at top public schools. A bus load of pupils arrives from London each day but most families live locally – which is financially no mean feat, given that a nondescript-looking five-bedroom house a mile from the school, with just over 2.5 acres, is currently for sale for £3.5 million.

Blue-chip parents: “Everything at Lambrook is freshly painted; it’s very blue chip parent wise and the children are all very polite,” explains one parent who opted instead for a more rough around the edges prep school. “On our open day tour the children all made personalized Lambrook key rings in the DT centre, and were sent home with Lambrook wooden yo-yos in a Lambrook reusable jute bag – I dread to think how much it cost them. We went back there a few weeks ago, as our son was playing in a cricket match and again I couldn’t believe how polished and manicured it is. I have to say that the match tea looked good but the cakes tasted of nothing.”

Optional boarding: Meanwhile, Louis will have rows of welly boots outside his reception classroom ready for “Forest Fridays”, when the younger children head deep into the grounds for den building and marshmallows by the fire. From the age of seven, boarding during the week is an option, either for a night every so often or, for £1,481 extra per term, five nights every week. “Even the most local parents like the idea of ​​their little ones being able to stay over for a night when necessary – it means they can throw dinner parties and have hangovers without having to get the kids to school the next day,” says a source. For this reason, Friday night is most popular for boarding – parents can turn up well-rested after lessons on Saturday to watch matches, plays and recitals without it affecting their working week or their social life.

[From The Telegraph]

From the outside looking in, it strikes me as pretty bold for Kate to insist on co-educational schools and no boarding. I’m sure Kate and William have felt a lot of pressure from “the establishment” to send George to boys-only boarding schools, the prep schools which are seen as pipelines for all of Britain’s future leaders of politics and industry. It’s likely Kate insists on George and Charlotte attending the same school for as long as possible simply because it makes the logistics easier, but I also think they probably want George to enjoy co-education for as long as possible before he eventually goes to Eton. I continue to find it fascinating that the Cambridge kids are sent to regular wealthy-family schools, schools for the children of nouveau riche families. Why does Kate keep winning these battles? Is it because William genuinely agrees with her, or does William simply not care?

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Photos courtesy of Avalon Red, Cover Images, Backgrid, KensingtonRoyal social media.



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