Prince George to start Montessori nursery in the new year
The Duke and Duchess of Cambridge's son Prince George will begin his school life next month when he starts attending a Norfolk nursery.
The two-year-old will be enrolled for a few days a week at the Westacre Montessori School nursery near William and Kate's Norfolk home, Anmer Hall.
The nursery said in a statement: "We are looking forward to welcoming George to our nursery where he will get the same special experience as all our children.''
With the announcement came the release of a touching family photo of William and Kate and their two children George and Princess Charlotte in Kensington Palace's garden.
In the image they are crouching down and Kate balances her daughter on her knee while her son stands next to her - and all four smile for the photographer.
The royal couple are understood to be hugely appreciative of all the warm messages they have received about their family this year and are very much looking forward to their first Christmas as a family of four.
George will only attend the nursery while the couple are staying at their Norfolk home and will not be enrolled in classes when they are in residence at Kensington Palace in London.
Montessori is an approach to educating children developed by the Italian educator Maria Montessori.
It is founded on the belief that within each person is untapped potential that needs a fertile environment and it aims to develop the whole child naturally, with the period from birth to age six seen as when children have the greatest capacity to learn.
George, who will be begin attending nursery before the end of January, is following in the footsteps of Princess Eugenie who attended the Winkfield Montessori School, in Berkshire, when aged two in 1992.
The picture of the Cambridges and their children was taken in late October by photographer Chris Jelf who said: "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.
"I hope everyone enjoys this photo and I am honoured that the Duke and Duchess have decided to share it with the public.''