The Duchess of Cambridge needs sharp elbows , writes Camilla Tominey
THE Duchess of Cambridge has joked that Prince George has “no idea what’s going to hit him” when he starts school in September but Kate might find she’s in for an even bigger culture shock.
I doubt parents come more sharpel-bowed than at Thomas’s Battersea, described by the Tatler Schools Guide as “high achieving” and “competitive”. Uh oh! It’s going to make the Montessori nursery George attended up in Norfolk feel like a petting zoo. Cue playground gaggles of maniacal mothers bemoaning the lack of theoretical physics classes for four-year-olds and obsessing over verbal and non-verbal reasoning tests.
“Has George started to play an instrument yet?” will undoubtedly be the opening gambit from some Boden-clad sociopath with so much time on her hands she makes baked beans from scratch and constantly bombards the class WhatsApp group with messages such as: “Not being funny but shouldn’t they be learning binomial theorem by now?”
Then there’s the whole playground dress code thing. When mere mortal mothers can find themselves being judged for donning leisurewear at drop-off (they’re not pyjamas, honest) what hope is there for Kate if she appears anything less than Trooping the Colour ready?
One curl out of place and she runs the risk of being castigated to the “slummy mummy” pile, where parents are secretly held accountable for every recurrence of nits and each piece of confiscated lunchbox contraband. “Wagon Wheel? Mummy told me it was a hummus-filled rice cake, Miss!”.
It’s probably no bad thing Thomas’s bans best friends since every child in George’s class will soon be vying for the inaugural Kensington Palace play date. As anyone familiar with private school knows, it’s not just the education middle-class parents are prepared to pay a premium for but the company their children keep. It’s the reason why Carol-with-an-e sent Kate and Pippa to Marlborough, regarded as the best place to rub shoulders outside of a physiotherapy session with Tom Hardy. And to be fair to Mrs Middleton, who scales such social heights she needs to wear crampons, the investment has certainly paid off.
It doesn’t always work out that well for everyone aspiring to aristocratic in-laws. Seemingly within minutes of turning your nose up at the local comp, your little darling will most likely be hanging around with a coke-addled trustafarian and planning a “season” in Verbier that will contribute precisely nothing to their CV.
Then, despite the thousands you’ve spent on their education, they’ll turn around and tell you they want to study colouring in at Goldsmiths before launching a range of jewellery no one wants to buy. Trust me, I was privately educated from the age of seven so I know the drill. Plus I’m one of those parental pariahs who sends one child privately and the other two state, so I’ve got a foot in both playgrounds.
Thankfully my Mummy mates aren’t the sort to engage in passive-aggressive one-upmanship about their offspring’s ability to urinate unaided but there are plenty out there who do. My best advice to Kate when it comes to making friends in the playground is to avoid anyone who insists that their child simply “adores” Countdown or carries around a hard copy of the weekly newsletter. I tend to go for the parents who are always late and forgetting the water bottle. It isn’t difficult to spot the pushiest mums and dads, their children are guaranteed to be the unhappiest ones in the playground.
There is one saving grace: at least Kate won’t have to endure endless dinner party chat about what George plans to do when he’s older.
Source: EXPRESS CO UK
Tags: Prince George, Prince William, Prince Harry, Kate Middleton, Catherine Duchess of Cambridge, Education ,School