The first day of school is a big deal in most parents' and their children's lives. Walking through the big doors, down the long hallways and into a classroom of peers, with not a parent in sight can be overwhelming for a 4-year-old.
Prince George started his first day of school at Thomas's Battersea, an independent fee-paying school in South London, costing $23,000 a year in tuition.
William and George arrived in a Range Rover shortly before 8:50 AM Thursday and were greeted by a large crowd of locals gathered outside of the school for George's first day.
Dressed in his navy v-neck pullover and matching Bermuda-style shorts, the summer uniform of the school, the 4-year-old Prince shook hands with the head of the school, Helen Haslam, before entering the building.
George is the eldest son of the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge and is third in line for the throne, after his grandfather and father. The couple also has a 2-year-old daughter, Princess Charlotte and just announced they were expecting a third child in spring 2018.
During her first 2 pregnancies Kate suffered from Hyperemesis Gravidarum which is an extreme form of morning sickness. She was hospitalized when she was pregnant with George in 2012 because of it. Earlier this week she was forced to cancel her planned engagement at the Hornsey Road Children's Center in London, because it appears she is suffering from the same condition in this pregnancy as well.
She was hoping to feel better in time to take George to school, but things didn't work out the way she had planned.
"Unfortunately The Duchess of Cambridge remains unwell, and will not be able to accompany Prince George on his first day of school. The Duke of Cambridge will drop off Prince George this morning as planned," a spokesman for Kensington Palace said.
"The Duchess wanted more than anything to be there. It's a big day for her son. But she has been really very sick this week," a source said.
The young prince's new school has been described as "a big, busy, slightly chaotic school for cosmopolitan parents who want their children to have the best English education money can buy," according to the UK Good Schools Guide.
The school has about 560 students ages 4-13 with around 20 in each class.
Students are educated in a range of subjects and activities including ballet and art to drama, French, music and physical education.
Previously, George attended nursery school at the Westacre Montessori School in Norfolk. Kate has already indicated that she's unsure George "has any idea what's going to hit him" at Thomas's Battersea.
"Like so many parents, the Duke and Duchess have put a great deal of thought into the choice of their eldest child's first 'big school," wrote headmaster Ben Thomas in a statement released in March.
"We are deeply conscious of the trust that they, like all Thomas's parents, are placing in us and we hope very much to live up to their expectations. The Duke and Duchess have made it clear that they do not wish Prince George's attendance at Thomas's to change its aims, values or ethos in any way," Thomas said, who later stepped down and was replaced by headmaster Simon O'Malley. "They would like, as far as is possible, for him to enjoy the same education that all of our pupils receive and for them to join the school community as all of our new parents do."
There isn't expected to be any special treatment for the prince, or any new safety precautions taken by the school.
"We are going to try and make this a really happy, safe and secure time. The whole aim of these precious years of early education is to give children that confidence in who they really are. We are not going to try and mold him into any kind of particular person. I hope he will have the confidence to be himself with all his quirks and his idiosyncrasies and characteristics—that's what I would want for all of our children," Ben said. "The global spotlight has been a little bit daunting but that will move on and we are looking forward to a time when he is just another Thomas's pupil."