Princess Charlotte is preparing for a major milestone as her nursery school opens its doors for a new term this week.
The two-year-old is attending The Willcocks in London – close to her family’s Kensington Palace home – which is rated outstanding by Ofsted and described by Tatler magazine as a “hidden gem”.
Here’s what we know about the place where Charlotte will spend her pre-school days.
The Willcocks, which charges £3,050 a term for morning school, is owned and run by headmistress Lavinia Taylor and offers a range of classes including French, dance, sport and music.
Founded in 1964 by Diana Willcocks, it calls itself a “traditional nursery school” and is located in the church hall of Holy Trinity Church in Kensington, close to the Royal Albert Hall.
Activities enjoyed by its pupils include garden play, cooking, painting and music time, with each child’s development monitored by an allocated member of staff.
A recent Ofsted report on The Willcocks said children were “exceptionally well-behaved”, while a parent testimonial on the school’s website described its teachers as “the kindest” and “most encouraging”.
The Duke and Duchess of Cambridge will initially be invited to a short “stay and play” session with Charlotte before they are asked to leave for a short period to see if she is happy. This will then be gradually extended to the full morning or afternoon.
Some 32 children aged between two and five can attend the nursery’s morning school, which runs five days a week from 9am to midday.
Afternoon school – costing £1,800 a term – runs for two hours a day, three days a week.
The nursery charges a registration fee of £125 to secure a place on its waiting list, which is non-refundable and does not necessarily guarantee a place at the school.
William and Kate will be invited to the nursery’s parents’ association meetings to share ideas and plan fund-raising events. William can also join a fathers’ breakfast club.
It is not known if Charlotte, who is fourth in line to the throne, will start at the nursery on the same day as her classmates.
Her new adventure comes just months before William and Kate welcome a new arrival into the family, with their third child due in April.
In September, Charlotte’s older brother, Prince George, started at Thomas’s Battersea, a fee-paying independent school in south London.
He previously attended Montessori nursery school in Norfolk, which is close to the family’s country home, Anmer Hall.
If William and Kate decide to send Charlotte to Thomas’s Battersea with her brother she is unlikely to have to any problems gaining a place, as the school gives priority to siblings of current pupils.