Christmas is just a week away, and Prince William and his lovely wife Kate Middleton are celebrating a little early with a royal family photo. This is an exciting release since the family tends to keep photos and news about their children fairly private. Two-year-old George has been especially shielded from public attention, so it's almost surprising to see how big he looks in the photograph.The photo was taken at Kensington Palace in early October, which explains the colorful foliage. It was very recently posted on the official Kensington Palace Twitter account as a Christmas-style greeting.
Photographer Chris Jelf did the honors of posing the family together and editing the photo before publishing it.
"I thoroughly enjoyed photographing a very lovely family, although you have to be sharp as you don't have long when there are two young children involved!" Jelf shared with the media. "I hope everyone enjoys this photo and I am honored that the Duke and Duchess have decided to share it with the public."
It sounds like it will be a happy New Year as well since little George will begin nursery school come January. Kensington Palace reported that George will be attending the Westacre Montessori School Nursery in Norfolk.
The school is about 110 miles north of London and not too far from Kensington Palace, where the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge reside. The Westacre Montessori School Nursery commented on Prince George's enrollment.
"We are looking forward to welcoming George to our nursery where he will get the same special experience as all of our children."
You would expect the Westacre Montessori School Nursery to be another school filled with other royal children and high-security measures to accommodate. However, this school isn't much different than others in the area. It's just £33 a day, which is a little more than £8,000 a year. In an area where the average nurseries near Kensington Palace cost more than £22,000 a year, it's clear that the couple is trying to send a message: They really do want their child to live as normally as possible.
Kate and William have expressly asked that the media allow George as much privacy as possible. They've expressed before that they wish to live a simple life without too much interruption so that their children can have a peaceful, carefree childhood.
Both Prince William and Prince Harry attended Montessori nurseries as children, William being the first of the two to begin his formal education there. The basis of Montessori learning method is a focus on adhering to the child's independence and freedom while also teaching them valuable skills to get a head start on their education. The first Montessori schools were developed in the first part of the 20th century, and since that time, they've grown in popularity.
This particular school, which is run by Rosie Reynolds, tries especially to bring that feeling of independence to their structure. Reynolds explained that they offer "an inclusive child-focused environment with a strong Montessori pathway... in a self-contained old chapel, and offer an all inclusive open-door approach. We aim to achieve the best possible outcome for each individual child and have in the past met the needs of children on the autistic spectrum and physically disabled."
The school says that they will work hard to meet the requests of the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge to maintain the privacy of their little family as George embarks on his newest childhood journey.
This news comes with the release of a new royal family photo, which will hopefully mark a tradition of yearly family photos, even though they like their privacy.
[Image via Chris Jackson/Getty Images]