Princess Charlotte arrived for the first day of school with her parents and big brother Prince George.
They may be royal and attending a posh primary school, but Prince William and Duchess Kate’s children Prince George and Princess Charlotte of Cambridge are following the same rules as all the other students in London: no return to school yet.
Under rapidly changing lockdown measures in response to a dangerous surge in COVID-19 cases, London Mayor Sadiq Khan announced all primary schools in the sprawling city will stay closed after the winter break due to the pandemic.
That includes the Cambridge kids’ school, Thomas’s Battersea, the pricey private school that George, 7, has attended since 2017 and Charlotte, 5, since 2019. The school is located across the River Thames from the Cambridge home in Kensington Palace, a short drive away.
USA TODAY reached out to Prince William and Duchess Kate of Cambridge for comment. Kensington Palace referred reporters to government guidelines on primary schools in London.
Princess Charlotte with her parents, Prince William and Duchess Kate of Cambridge, and brother, Prince George, arrive at school, Thomas’s Battersea, in London on Sept. 5, 2019. (Photo: AARON CHOWN/Pool/AFP/Getty Images)
The news, yet another government reversal on pandemic measures, was greeted as “the right decision” by Khan. It’s unclear how long the closures will last.
“The Govt has u-turned and now none of London’s primary schools will open on Monday,” Khan tweeted on Friday.
“It is good news that the Government has finally seen sense and announced this u-turn,” his statement said. “The government’s original decision was ridiculous and has been causing immense confusion for parents, teachers and staff across the capital.”
The Govt has u-turned and now none of London’s primary schools will open on Monday. My full statement. pic.twitter.com/zHYOyAl6mP
— Mayor of London (gov.uk/coronavirus) (@MayorofLondon) January 1, 2021
Britain has been divided up into “tiers” where lockdown restrictions vary region to region depending on the number of COVID-19 cases and the status of local hospitals.
London is in the most restrictive category, Tier 4, with rules including a general stay-at-home order except for medical reasons, to buy food, exercise outdoors or carry out work that can’t be done from home. Businesses including nonessential shops, gyms and hairdressers must close.
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The Cambridges have spent the lockdown months at Kensington Palace or at their country retreat in Norfolk, Anmer Hall, a few hours north of London by train.
The traditional royal Christmas holiday, usually spent with Queen Elizabeth II at her Sandringham estate in Norfolk, was canceled; the queen, 94, and her husband, Prince Philip, 99, instead spent the holiday quietly and away from their extended family at Windsor Castle.
Will and Kate, both 38, worked to keep up homeschooling George and Charlotte, keep 2-year-old Prince Louis occupied, and also carry out most of their engagements via Zoom.
In an interview with the BBC in April on how they were coping, the Cambridges said they weren’t getting much exercise in quarantine except for running after their kids.
Prince William and Duchess Kate of Cambridge and their children, Prince Louis, left, Princess Charlotte and Prince George, arrive for a special pantomime performance at London’s Palladium Theatre, Dec. 11, 2020. (Photo: Aaron Chown, AP)
“The children have got such stamina, I don’t know how,” Kate said, adding that she found tips online for activities to do around the house.
In December, as a Christmas treat, the whole family turned up at The London Palladium for a traditional holiday pantomime show, hosted by The National Lottery to thank key workers and their families for their efforts during the pandemic this year.
As camera strobes flashed, the little royals walked hand in hand with their parents down a red carpet, the first of likely many more in their futures.
Seasons greetings: Prince William, Duchess Kate are all smiles in adorable new family Christmas photo
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