There are big changes afoot for the children of Prince William and Kate Middleton, as the two eldest are now together in the same school, as Princess Charlotte was recently enrolled in St. Thomas’s Battersea school, where her brother, Prince George, started last year.
But according to Express, as Princess Charlotte starts her first day of big girl school, she is doing so using a new name officially for the first time, and it’s expected to be an adjustment.
It is the royal tradition that for school and in public, the children of princes and princesses use their title as their last name. Prince William and Prince Harry used their father’s title, Wales, as their last name all through their academic careers, and they were known as William and Harry Wales.
The littlest British princess will now be known as Charlotte Cambridge by her friends and teachers at the prestigious St. Thomas’s Battersea school, just as Prince George is called George Cambridge.
According to the Royal Family’s official website, royals “can be known both by the name of the royal house, and by a surname, which are not always the same.”
“Just as children can take their surnames from their father, so sovereigns normally take the name of their ‘House’ from their father.”
This was the standard until King George V changed the family name to Windsor to give an English spin to the previously German-sounding name, House of Saxe-Coburg-Gotha. When Queen Elizabeth married Prince Philip, he added his adopted surname to the official family, making it Mountbatten-Windsor.
For now, Prince Harry and Meghan Markle have chosen to use that last name for their child, making their newborn Archie Harrison Mountbatten-Windsor, where his first cousins are known as Cambridge. In time, Archie can be known as Archie Sussex for school.
For her first day of school, Charlotte Cambridge will have chaperones, confirms Kensington Palace. Proud mama Kate Middleton is reportedly happy to be able to take her daughter to her first day of school, as she was forced to miss Prince George’s beginning of reception year last September due to having severe morning sickness with Prince Louis.
Princess Charlotte will enjoy the advantage of having big brother Prince George nearby, as the heir to the throne is reportedly a protective sibling, according to royal biographer, Penny Junor.
“Prince George is a very protective and lovely older brother. I’m sure he’ll look after his little sister and take great pride in showing her the ropes.”