It was a big week for the Cambridge kids as Prince George went back to school and, for the first time, his younger sister was with him.

The two attend Thomas's Battersea, an exclusive school in in southwest London where Kindergarten tuition usually costs about $24,000 in US dollars. Luckily for the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge parents get a discount on younger kids' tuition if an older sibling is already enrolled. Since Prince George has been at Thomas's Battersea since 2017, Charlotte's school fees are lower than his.

The Cambridges celebrated this big day by sharing some photos and video on their official Instagram account, @KensingonRoyal.

Princess Charlotte makes her first school entrance 

Like her older brother, Princess Charlotte was dressed in the school's prim and proper blue and red uniforms and carried the standard Thomas's Battersea backpack (but if you look closely you can see Princess Charlotte's backpack is accessorized with a blingy sequin unicorn keychain—which is going to come in handy in a school where everyone's got the same backpack).

The school's headteacher, Helen Haslem, met the family and greeted Charlotte with a handshake in a scene that was reminiscent of Prince George's first day two years ago.

A look back at Prince George's first day of school

When Prince George made his first entrance to Thomas's Battersea in 2017, there were two fewer royals in the frame. Princess Charlotte was still way too young and the Duchess of Cambridge was unable to attend her son's first drop off because she was pregnant with Prince Louis and super sick with Hyperemesis Gravidarum (HG)—a severe form of morning sickness.

We really felt for Kate because she had previously stated publicly that she was looking forward to the experience of going with Prince George and dropping him off at his first day of school (like most moms of kindergarteners).

It was really unfortunate that she wasn't able to attend that day, but it makes this year's school entrance even more special.

Four royals, one big day 

With the exception of little Prince Louis (who likely wouldn't have had much fun anyway) all the Cambridge royals were united for Princess Charlotte's big day.

According to the BBC, Prince William drove the four of them to the school (which is nice, they got to have some private family moments without a driver).

When the family entered the school Prince William said: "First day—she's very excited."

Kate's smile suggests she's very excited, too, and we are very excited for both of them.

Congrats to Princess Charlotte and all the other 4 and 5-year-olds starting school this term!

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When I was expecting my first child, I wanted to know everything that could possibly be in store for his first year.

I quizzed my own mom and the friends who ventured into motherhood before I did. I absorbed parenting books and articles like a sponge. I signed up for classes on childbirth, breastfeeding and even baby-led weaning. My philosophy? The more I knew, the better.

Yet, despite my best efforts, I didn't know it all. Not by a long shot. Instead, my firstborn, my husband and I had to figure it out together—day by day, challenge by challenge, triumph by triumph.


The funny thing is that although I wanted to know it all, the surprises—those moments that were unique to us—were what made that first year so beautiful.

Of course, my research provided a helpful outline as I graduated from never having changed a diaper to conquering the newborn haze, my return to work, the milestones and the challenges. But while I did need much of that tactical knowledge, I also learned the value of following my baby's lead and trusting my gut.

I realized the importance of advice from fellow mamas, too. I vividly remember a conversation with a friend who had her first child shortly before I welcomed mine. My friend, who had already returned to work after maternity leave, encouraged me to be patient when introducing a bottle and to help my son get comfortable with taking that bottle from someone else.

Yes, from a logistical standpoint, that's great advice for any working mama. But I also took an incredibly important point from this conversation: This was less about the act of bottle-feeding itself, and more about what it represented for my peace of mind when I was away from my son.

This fellow mama encouraged me to honor my emotions and give myself permission to do what was best for my family—and that really set the tone for my whole approach to parenting. Because honestly, that was just the first of many big transitions during that first year, and each of them came with their own set of mixed emotions.

I felt proud and also strangely nostalgic as my baby seamlessly graduated to a sippy bottle.

I felt my baby's teething pain along with him and also felt confident that we could get through it with the right tools.

I felt relieved as my baby learned to self-soothe by finding his own pacifier and also sad to realize how quickly he was becoming his own person.

As I look back on everything now, some four years and two more kids later, I can't remember the exact day my son crawled, the project I tackled on my first day back at work, or even what his first word was. (It's written somewhere in a baby book!)

But I do remember how I felt with each milestone: the joy, the overwhelming love, the anxiety, the exhaustion and the sense of wonder. That truly was the greatest gift of the first year… and nothing could have prepared me for all those feelings.

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My husband and I always talked about starting a family a few years after we were married so we could truly enjoy the “newlywed” phase. But that was over before it started. I was pregnant on our wedding day. Surprise!

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