Parents at new school chosen by William and Kate fear arrival of George, Charlotte and Louis at ‘sweet and laid-back’ £21,000-a-term prep school will mean ‘lots of security and armed police hiding in the trees’
- Princes George and Louis and Princess Charlotte will go to Lambrook School
- This is to be a 15-minute drive from Adelaide Cottage on the Queen’s estate
- But parents at the £21,000-a-year school fear the royal arrival will change ‘vibe’
- As it is understood royal children have security with them at other schools
- One said: ‘Parents are picturing armed police in trees and in the corridors’
Fearful parents at the ‘sweet and laid-back’ school where Prince William and Kate will send Prince George, Princess Charlotte and Prince Louis think they will see lots of security, it has been reported.
Those who have children at the £21,000-a-year Lambrook School near Ascot believe their 52 acre slice of idylic Berkshire countryside could be transformed when the three royal children attend next month.
They think electric gates will be installed and armed police will need to stalk the corridors and grounds after palace officials revealed on Monday that Prince William and his wife, Kate, will relocate their family from central London to Windsor.
One mother told the Sunday Mirror: ‘A lot of parents are p***ed off. They’re worried the feel and atmosphere of the school will change with all the security.
‘Many of us worry things like the carol service will now become more formal and won’t be the sweet, laid-back affair they usually are.’
However, it is understood that most of the school community are happy with the Royal family’s arrival at the school.
Prince George, Prince William, Princess Charlotte, Prince Louis and Kate on the balcony of Buckingham Palace on June 5
All three children – George, Charlotte and Louis – will be sent to the prestigious £21,000-a-year Lambrook School in Berkshire
Having had varied experiences of schooling themselves, they have a clear vision of what they want for their children — Prince George (second from right), nine, Princess Charlotte (left), seven, and four-year-old Prince Louis — and that appears to include the opportunity to have as close to a normal family life as possible
Prince Louis, pictured in uniform, is currently at the Willcocks Nursery School in Kensington
William and Kate will move with their three children George, Charlotte and Louis to Adelaide Cottage in Windsor (file picture)
Lambrook boasts of ‘first-class teaching and superb facilities’ which include a 25-metre swimming pool, a nine-hole golf course, an astroturf, hard courts, a squash court, cricket and other sports pitches.
And it has the added benefit of being a mixed school, boasting just 610 boys and girls aged three to 13, for the Cambridges, meaning that all three children can attend together, cutting down the need for separate school runs and security teams.
New home has link to royal scandal and gilded dolphin ceiling
The Cambridges’ new home Adelaide Cottage is a pretty Grade II listed four-bedroom home nestled in Windsor’s Home Park.
It was once home to Princess Margaret’s lover Peter Townsend, who lived in the grace and favour property in the 1940s with his first wife Rosemary to be on hand for the king in his role as equerry.
Princess Elizabeth, now the Queen, her mother Queen Elizabeth and her sister Margaret, as a teenager before the romance began, would regularly take tea in the gardens of the cottage with the Townsends and their two young sons. Margaret’s love affair rocked the Establishment, but she put duty before desire when she called off plans to marry divorced Townsend in 1955.
Relocating to Adelaide Cottage means William, Kate, Prince George, Princess Charlotte and Prince Louis are just 10 minutes’ walk south east from ‘Gan Gan’ the Queen at Windsor Castle. Even closer is Frogmore Cottage, which the Duke and Duchess of Sussex use when visiting the UK, although the brothers’ long-running fallout makes it unlikely they will be socialising together any time soon.
The property was rebuilt more than 190 years ago as a cottage orne, or decorated cottage, for Queen Adelaide, the wife of William IV, to be used as a summer retreat. It was built in 1831 on the site of the old Head Keeper’s Lodge on the North Slopes of Home Park.
According to Historic England, the public body which cares for England’s historic buildings and places, Adelaide Cottage is a ‘picturesque’ two-storey stucco-faced dwelling with casement windows, and elaborate pierced bargeboards edging the roof.
The principal bedroom has a coved ceiling decorated with gilded dolphins and rope ornament reused from the 19th century royal yacht Royal George, and a good marble Graeco-Egyptian fireplace.
The south entrance is flanked by paired diagonally set chimneys with stepped bases, and the house has a porte-cochere, a canopied entrance to provide shelter. There is a verandah with bargeboard eaves on the east side.
Its four-bedrooms mean that for the first time since she joined the family, William and Kate’s full-time nanny Maria Teresa Turrion Borrallo will live elsewhere, as will other staff including the housekeeper and the chef, giving the Cambridges more privacy.
The location offers the family easy access to the private 655-acre Home Park and the historic royal estate’s network of drives, gardens, farms, nearby trout stream, Frogmore House and Royal Mausoleum, and Queen Victoria’s Walk flanked by cedars. Other benefits include neighbouring Windsor Great Park, which spans more than 5,000 acres, with its Long Walk leading up to Windsor Castle, deer park and woodland trails in the Valley Gardens.
The property, previously known as Adelaide Lodge, was constructed by Sir Jeffry Wyatville using materials from John Nash’s Royal Lodge built for the indulgent Prince Regent. Its entrance bears the initials AR (Adelaide Regina) and the date of 1831. It sits next to another property called Adelaide Lodge, which is empty and inhabitable due to problems with it not being underpinned.
Queen Victoria often visited the cottage for breakfast or tea, according to the Royal Collection Trust. Her beloved King Charles spaniel Dash, whom she would dress in a scarlet jacket and blue trousers, was buried there after his death in 1840.
He was honoured with an effusive inscription on his grave reading: ‘Here lies Dash, The favourite spaniel of Her Majesty Queen Victoria, In his 10th year, His attachment was without selfishness, His playfulness without malice, His fidelity without deceit, Reader, If you would be beloved and die regretted, Profit by the example of Dash.’
This is along with its closeness to their four-bedroom Adelaide Cottage on the Queen’s estate, just a 15 minute drive away which they will occupy for much of their time instead of their current main home of Kensington Palace.
Meanwhile, George and Charlotte were pupils at Thomas’s Battersea until the start of the summer while Louis attended Willcocks Nursery in Kensington where they are are understood to have had royal protection.
In September 2017, a woman was given a caution after causing a nuisance on Thomas’s Battersea property and police reviewed security arrangements in the wake of the incident.
A year later, in June 2018, an internet terrorist urged his social media followers to target George at his school.
Husnain Rashid, 32, admitted three counts of engaging in conduct in preparation of terrorist acts and one of encouraging terrorism and had been jailed for life with a minimum sentence of 25 years.
His life conviction was upheld by the Court of Appeal but his term was reduced to 18 years and 146 days in April 2019.
But the mother with children at the school added: ‘Parents are picturing armed police in trees and in the corridors – they don’t want their kids witnessing it.
‘There are no electric gates, but that may change with the royal kids coming. It’ll no longer be so easy to come and go.
‘It’s certainly not the same school and vibe we signed the kids up for, and most parents I’ve spoken to feel the same.’
Meanwhile, the Royal family will also be only 30 miles from the children’s grandparents Michael and Carole Middleton, uncle James and aunt Pippa in Bucklebury.
As revealed by the Daily Mail earlier this year, the couple set their heart on the highly regarded co-educational school, Lambrook, set in 52 acres of grounds to replicate their own happy childhoods in the county.
But their offices and charitable empire will continue to operate out of London, with the couple returning several days a week for work. To all intents and purposes, though, Adelaide Cottage will be their main home, day-to-day.
And while there, both will pick up the school run. Kate has often been the one pictured taking Prince George to his current school, Thomas’s in Battersea. But a source told the Sun: ‘Both William and Catherine are very keen to do the school run.’
It comes as it was last week reported how during meetings to discuss the family’s future plans in recent months, Prince William’s own experiences as a grieving schoolboy have, once again, come to the fore.
More than just a physical move from Kensington Palace, experts have suggested that William is sending a clear message to the Royal Family that, while his children remain in their formative years, he views his most important job as being a dad.
One royal insider said ‘Prince William has forgiven his father and relations between them are stronger than they have been in some time, but he has been abundantly clear to all that he won’t repeat the way he was prioritised as a child.
‘He feels Prince Charles’ unquestionable work ethic had a direct impact on his upbringing, especially after the death of his mother. Far too often, his father chose his duties over being a dad.’
While the couple will spend most of their time now at Windsor, one source told the Mail that their base at Kensington Palace will still be used.
A source said: ‘Kensington Palace will remain their official residence now and in the future. Their office will remain there – private office, press office, the lot. They expect to be in London a great deal still. How many days is yet to be decided.
‘They will need to work out over the next few months how they balance everything. But they lived in Norfolk during lockdown and it still worked. It can be done.’
The closeness to their new home will also enable Kate and William to continue to do the school runs themselves as much as possible.
It offers boarding but George, nine, Charlotte, seven, and four-year-old Louis will be day pupils.
The Good Schools Guide says the prep school has a ‘heart of gold’ and offers pupils ‘total freedom to explore, provided you’ve got your wellies on’.
It boasts of ‘first-class teaching and superb facilities’ including a 25-metre swimming pool, a nine-hole golf course, an Astroturf, squash court and a new £6million Queen’s Building for ICT and academic learning.
The prospectus quotes one parent calling it ‘the most magical place for our children to spend time, and they can often be seen rosy-cheeked and perfecting handstands, throwing balls or racing to the three stumps’.
Friends say the Cambridges loved the ethos of the school which is hugely successful but more ‘under the radar’ than others in the area.
Many of the pupils go on to public schools such as Eton, for which George is earmarked and where his father and uncle Harry went.
The couple’s decision to move to Windsor was driven by the wish to find a balance for their family.
They wanted to allow their children the opportunity to enjoy as normal a life as possible while they continue to serve as senior working royals, sources told the Mail.
‘Their children are at the heart of every decision they make,’ said one royal insider.
‘The duke and duchess want to give them as ‘normal’ start as is possible and this is their chance to give them that for as long as they can.
‘Kensington Palace is a bit of a goldfish bowl. The children can’t play in the grounds without being seen.
‘They are very fortunate, of course.
‘The duke and duchess are very conscious of that.
‘But they are hopeful this will afford a happy medium between their public and private lives.’
Set in 52 acres of idyllic Berkshire countryside, Lambrook School gives its pupils ‘feathers to fly’ and a ‘delicious sense of freedom’
The Duke and Duchess of Cambridge with Princess Charlotte watching the Artistic Gymnastics at Arena Birmingham on day five of the 2022 Commonwealth Games in Birmingham
George, Charlotte and Louis will also be able to enjoy activities such as bee-keeping and scuba diving. Above: The school’s bee hives
Lambrook, a Christian school, prides itself on its high academic standards, with a pass rate of 100 per cent for the Common Entrance exam
Lambrook boasts of ‘first-class teaching and superb facilities’ which include a 25-metre swimming pool
Kensington Palace – where the couple have lived until now at 20-room Apartment 1A – will remain their official residence both now and after they become the Prince and Princess of Wales.
The couple are said to be ‘acutely conscious’ that £4.5million of taxpayers’ money was used to refurbish the Kensington premises for them and want to ensure it is still a ‘hub’ of activity.
(‘Two kitchens Kate’ was a criticism frequently flung at the couple when it emerged there would be a staff cooking area installed as well one for the couple personally.)
In 2013 aides even said it would be their ‘forever home’ and somewhere they would live for a ‘long, long time’.
Sources told the Mail last week that remained true but added their circumstances had changed – they are parents to three young children and are adapting to suit their needs.
‘I think the word forever home has been a bit of a lesson for them. It’s certainly their long-term official residence still.
‘But it’s [also] about evaluation.
‘Things have changed for them as a family since then – they didn’t know what school their children were going to be sent to, for example,’ said a source.
The Cambridges will also keep on Anmer Hall, the ten-bedroom property in Norfolk gifted as a wedding present by the Queen.
The couple adore the house and would have happily brought up their children there but for its distance from London.
Talk Education said there is a ‘sense of delicious freedom’ while the Good Schools Guide said one mother was ‘mystified by how they get pupils back for lessons, but like clockwork they tumble in, ruddy-cheeked and full of fresh air’
The main school building is a large white 19th-century country mansion. Lambrook was founded in 1860
William and Kate will retain Apartment 1A at Kensington Palace as a base in London, where their staff will be located
The Cambridges also intend to also keep their current country home at Anmer Hall on the Sandringham estate in Norfolk
However given Prince Charles’s plans for a slimmed-down monarchy and the cost of living crunch, the couple’s insistence on running three homes may attract unwelcome criticism.
‘They thought long and hard about this and are not unaware [of the criticism]. But they love Anmer, I would say it is the place they actually view as home,’ one friend said yesterday.
The four properties William and Kate have available to use
– Kensington Palace Apartment 1A
Their central London home, Apartment 1A at Kensington Palace, used to belong to Princess Margaret, and will remain their official working residence. It was refurbished at a cost of £4.5million to the taxpayer with a new roof and electrics, and the removal of asbestos.
It has some 20 rooms and a large, private walled garden. The Cambridges added a second kitchen, wanting a private family one in addition to the existing 350 sq ft kitchen.
Before William and Kate moved to ‘KP’ in 2013, royal aides insisted it would remain their main home for ‘many, many years to come’.
– Anmer Hall
Anmer Hall, the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge’s 10-bedroom country retreat, was a gift to the couple from the Queen following their wedding.
The secluded red brick Georgian mansion sits on the monarch’s vast, private Sandringham estate in Norfolk and is a short drive from Sandringham House.
Kate oversaw the major renovations, including the conversion of wood stores into accommodation for the nanny and the creation of a garden room.
The duchess was dubbed ‘Three kitchens Kate’ after it was reported that a new kitchen was to be installed in place of the £50,000 designer one already there, with the family already having two kitchens at Kensington Palace.
The bolt-hole, which had a swimming pool and a tennis court, was given a £500,000 new roof, as well as a garden room, re-landscaped front driveway and new nursery for Prince George and Princess Charlotte.
– Adelaide Cottage
The Grade II listed four-bed house in Windsor’s private Home Park is William and Kate’s newest home.
Owned by the Crown Estate, the duke and duchess will pay market rent on the picturesque historic building which is close to Windsor Castle.
It was built in 1831 for Queen Adelaide as a summer retreat and used to be the grace and favour home of Peter Townsend, whose love affair with Princess Margaret rocked the monarchy in the 1950s.
‘It’s where they would have brought their family up if the logistics had been different.
‘They are very serious about being senior members of the Royal Family, they want to play a part and this is about finding a compromise that works with their family.
‘It’s about balance and what it the best for their kids while trying to serve as royals.
‘All of this is about them putting their children first. They really are such great parents, George, Charlotte and Louis are the centre of their world.’
Fortunately their new home, Adelaide Cottage, is fairly modest by royal standards albeit with a principal bedroom decorated with gilded dolphins and rope ornament reused from the 19th century royal yacht Royal George and a marble Graeco-Egyptian fireplace.
With just four bedrooms, the couple will have no live-in staff for the first time, with their nanny, housekeeper and security team living nearby.
The Grade II listed property is owned by the Crown Estate and the couple will pay ‘market rent’, sources say.
The Queen and the Prince of Wales have both been ‘very supportive’, the Mail understands.
Indeed Her Majesty personally extended the invitation to live at Adelaide Cottage.
A source added: ‘It’s not the main factor but clearly their close proximity to the Queen – I’d say it’s a brisk ten-minute walk – will allow them to spent more time with her.
‘The duke adores his grandmother and values her opinion more than ever.’
Aides stress that any refurbishment needed above and beyond anything required by an ‘ordinary tenant’ would be funded by the couple privately.
‘There are no major costs. They already benefit from having the security in place there at Windsor,’ said one.
The house was built in 1831 for Queen Adelaide as a summer retreat and was the grace and favour home of Peter Townsend, the former aide whose affair with Princess Margaret rocked the monarchy in the 1950s.
According to a source, the Queen offered the Grade-II listed property to Harry and Meghan as a gift shortly after they married.
The couple allegedly went for a viewing and liked it but ultimately moved to Frogmore Cottage before quitting the UK entirely.
In a statement Kensington Palace thanked George and Charlotte’s school for their ‘happy start to their education’.
It added the royal couple ‘are pleased to have found a school for all three of their children which shares a similar ethos and values to Thomas’s’.
Jonathan Perry, headmaster at Lambrook, said the school was ‘delighted’ the royal children will be joining and looked forward to welcoming the family.
Ben Thomas, principal of Thomas’s London Day Schools, wished George and Charlotte ‘every happiness and success at their next schools and beyond’.
Fresh air and freedom await Cambridge children at ‘magical’ school
By Harry Howard for MailOnline
Set in 52 acres of idyllic Berkshire countryside, Lambrook School gives its pupils ‘feathers to fly’ and a ‘delicious sense of freedom’.
Its new royal charges, Prince George, Princess Charlotte and Prince Louis, will enjoy a nurturing education at the wholesome, co-educational independent day and boarding school for three to 13-year-olds near Ascot, just a 10-minute drive from their new home in Windsor.
The Good Schools Guide describes it as a ‘classic prep school’ with a ‘heart of gold’, and tells of how youngsters get to ‘run and run’ in the vast grounds with ‘total freedom to explore, provided you’ve got your wellies on’.
Lambrook boasts of ‘first-class teaching and superb facilities’ which include a 25-metre swimming pool, a nine-hole golf course, an astroturf, hard courts, a squash court, cricket and other sports pitches. It has a Diamond Jubilee performing arts studio, dance studio and sports hall, and a new £6 million Queen’s Building for ICT and academic learning.
The prospectus quoted one parent as saying: ‘It’s the most magical place for our children to spend time, and they can often be seen rosy-cheeked and perfecting handstands, throwing balls or racing to the tree stumps.’
There is school on Saturday mornings followed by an afternoon of sports fixtures for pupils in Year 5 and above which includes nine-year-old George.
Lambrook offers weekly and flexi-boarding for boys and girls aged seven onwards, with the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge having the option to let George and Charlotte stay as little as one night a week on an ad-hoc basis, with the sleepovers booked online. George and Charlotte will be day pupils for now.
‘Weeknights sound like a hoot; think Harry Potter evenings and lashings of hot chocolate,’ Talk Education said in its review of the school.
Fridays are the most popular night for one-off boards, leaving parents free to host dinner parties and nurse hangovers, the Telegraph reported.
Fees cost £4,389 a term for Reception to Year 2 pupils such as Louis, £6,448 per term for Years 3-4 like Charlotte, and £6,999 per term for George through Years 5-8, with an additional £1,481 per term for boarding for Y3-8. It means William and Kate will be spending in excess of £50,000 a year on their children’s private education.
The bill amounts to £53,508’s worth of fees in 2021-2022, not factoring in any potential sibling discount if available, fee increases or the cost of uniform or trips. Boarding for the older two Cambridge children would cost an additional £8,886 a year if chosen at a later date.
Lambrook, a Christian school, prides itself on its high academic standards, with a pass rate of 100 per cent for the Common Entrance exam – taken by private school pupils as part of the selective admissions process at age 13. With 620 pupils, it is a larger than average pre-prep and prep school but billed as not as pushy as its London counterparts, with some of its intake being bussed in from west London and Oxfordshire, Buckinghamshire and Surrey.
Year 8 leavers join prestigious schools such as William’s alma mater Eton, Wellington College, Marlborough College, where Kate went, and Charterhouse among others.
Headmaster Jonathan Perry is known for his charm, and performed a rock-and-roll dance and jumped on chairs to cheer up pupils during lockdown. His wife Jenny works with the pastoral team, with the pair praised for their focus on emotional wellbeing, perfectly in line with William and Kate’s campaigning on mental health.
Mr Perry says on the school website: ‘We give our pupils the ‘feathers to fly’ so that when they move on to the next stage of their educational journey, they will spread their wings and will take flight; leaving as confident, happy, engaging, mature, considerate and thoughtful young adults who are outward-looking global citizens.’
Lambrook’s on-site orchard is home to pigs, chickens and rabbits, available to cuddle during tutor time wellbeing walks, bees with hives, and visiting lambs, and George and Charlotte will have an enrichment afternoon every Monday to complement their academic studies.
They will be able to draw from a huge range of activities for this including farming, bee-keeping, chess, mountain biking, ballet, tap, jazz, mini-masterchef, polo, podcast-making, scuba diving, skiing, as well as life-saving, survival, debating and public speaking.
Louis, who will be in reception, will enjoy ‘Forest Fridays’ and be ‘taken on a journey of discovery in the beautiful outdoors’, the school’s prospectus says, mirroring the Duchess of Cambridge’s philosophy of the importance of outdoor play and spending time in nature.
Talk Education said there is a ‘sense of delicious freedom’ while the Good Schools Guide said one mother was ‘mystified by how they get pupils back for lessons, but like clockwork they tumble in, ruddy-cheeked and full of fresh air’.
And parents enjoy the benefit of not having to deal with muddy PE kits. Games clothes are handed in at the start of term and remain there to be laundered by staff, before being sent home at the end of term. Every item must be named but only sewn-on tags are permitted.
The main school building is a large white 19th-century country mansion. Lambrook was founded in 1860 and two of Queen Victoria’s grandsons, Prince Christian Victor and Prince Albert of Schleswig-Holstein, attended, with Victoria travelling from Windsor Castle to watch them in plays and at cricket matches.
Uniforms consist of blue and green tartan kilts for girls and and navy corduroy trousers for boys, plus check shirts, navy pullovers and blue and green ties.
William and Kate can also immerse themselves in the school’s busy social life amid reports of plentiful Lambrook get-togethers and helpful WhatsApp groups. Lamborghinis, Ferraris and Range Rovers apparently fill the car park.
But one Mumsnet user wrote: ‘I have been rather put off by the size of Lambrook, and the reputation of ‘Lambrook’ parents. We are not super wealthy, nor are we city people or country landholders!’
Overseas school trips include jaunts to France, Italy, Iceland and South Africa. But Year 7 students preparing to embark on a canoeing trip in Sweden must each first fundraise £500 to help an underprivileged child do the same through the Teenage Wilderness Trust. Sustainability – no doubt a hit with eco-conscious William – is also key with the children planting 400 saplings to create a new woodland.
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