Next Question: Where will Kate send Its Royal Babyness to school?
Gone are the days when royal children were educated by governesses in chilly royal schoolrooms, and William and Kate will be keen to get their kids signed up for one of the best London schools
Competition is famously intense for London’s best schools, but we don’t think the royal nipper will suffer the fate of Madonna’s son Rocco who was summarily turned down from fancy kindergarten Acorn.
The refurbishment of apartment 1A in Kensington Palace – the former residence of Princess Margaret – is almost complete, royal sources say, and there now seems little doubt that William will indeed quit the RAF next year allowing the couple to set up home full time in London.
But where will they send their little darlings to school? Here’s some of the options.
Acorn Nursery, Notting Hill. The early favourite for Will and Kate’s spawn, the Acorn is considered Britain’s most exclusive kindergarten. Fees are approximately $3,000 per term - for a half day. The school rejected Madonna’s son Rocco but the offspring of Jade Jagger, Ruby Wax, Jeremy Paxman and Sebastian Faulks, all attended. Show and tell might involve daddy’s Oscar.
Minors Nursery, Pembridge Square. Some people think Acorn is too flash and ‘nouveau’ and Will and Kate may be more tempted by the prospect of Minors Nursery or its sister school, Rolfe’s Nursery School both also a short walk north through the park in Notting Hill. Less of a celeb Mom scene than Acorn, Minors and Rolfes are both popular choices for parents who like to see their children to continue on to prep schools Pembridge Hall and Wetherby.
Chelsea Pre-Prep and Nursery (Chelsea): Kate might shun the Notting Hill scene altogether and head south from Ken palace with the stroller, in which case Chelsea Pre-Prep, located on a small side street running parallel to King’s Road, would be handy for Kate’s shopping trips. The list of extra-curricular activities offered to children includes ballet, sport, music, drama, French and animal care.
Tadpoles Nursery (Chelsea): another extremely popular nursery with an outstanding Ofsted rating and a glowing report. Its founder Claire Dimpfl was inspired by Maria Montessori’s methods when she opened Tadpoles in 1993: “My wish is for every child to be ready to become independent learnings, to explore and to be excited to learn and be happy and comfortable”.
Garden House School: Probably the favourite for now, Garden House School takes kids aged 6 – 12, and has the advantage of taking boys and girls if Kate has twins. Also has a kindergarten facility. Located in Turks Row, Chelsea. “Literature filters through the curriculum; we are inspired by the history, the architecture, the style, the greenness and busyness as well as the nearness to the River Thames,” the school says.
The school’s eponymous garden is the historic grounds of the Royal Hospital, and sport is played in the gardens, and school plays are staged at The Royal Court Theatre, in Sloane Square. School boasts a world-clas art collection.
Moms are frequently Russian or American and super glam. Parents include Tamara Mellon, Roman Abromavich and Lady Helen Windsor. Impeccable sportsmanship of children at school matches is legendary.
Wetherby: William and Harry (and Hugh Grant) went to Wetherby which has a kindergarten in Notting Hill and a prep school in Westminster. Fees are approximately $20,000 a year. We suspect however that William and Kate will not replicate any part of their own schooling.
Pembridge Hall: A female royal child could well be sent to Pembridge Hall, Wetherby’s sister school for girls. Victoria Beckham was spotted looking round recently ahead of a recent move back to London, so William might be swayed by what his mate becks has to say. A source said: “Victoria and David take the education of their children very seriously and know this is one of the best prep schools in the country.
Faulkner House: If Kate wants to stay south of the park then this Gloucester Road girls school could be a handy choice. Famous for wearing ‘jellybag’ hats, and eating home-cooked lunches. More academic, girls often go on to brainy St. Paul’s Girls or Downe House, then Oxbridge.
St Mary Abbots: A daring option for Kate and William could be to send their kids to St Mary Abbots primary school, on Kensington Church St. This is the local Church of England state school – ie not a private school. The free school is already attended by David Cameron’s kids Nancy and Elwen and Education Minister Michael Goves' children, and many others of the political/social set, so could be a good choice with serious common-people cred.
If a state-school option is pursued then following the Cameron children would ensure security protocols were already in place.
Toby Young, the writer turned education activist who helped set up a parentally-managed state school in West London tells the Daily Beast: “Our charitable trust is opening a primary school in Hammersmith next year, but I fear the Duke and Duchess won't live close enough to get their child in. We're hoping to open a second in Earls Court in 2014 and he or she might just squeeze in there. I think it would be a great thing if William and Kate did send their child to a state school, whether it's one of mine or not.”