Prince William and Kate Middleton drop off George, Charlotte and Louis at new school

The Duke and Duchess of Cambridge dropped off their ‘excited’ Cambridge ‘gang’ – Prince George, Princess Charlotte and Prince Louis – at the same new school after moving their family to Windsor for the next major phase of their life.

However, young Prince Louis was adamant he did not want to be seen holding his father’s hand on his first day of school.

The four-year-old strolled into the grounds of Lambrook School, near Ascot, in between his parents but holding just his mother’s hand.

Kate Middleton was wearing a smile and holding the hands of both her sons, who themselves were wearing matching uniforms.

While Prince William could be seen holding Princess Charlotte’s hand on his left side and vying for the attention of his youngest with his other hand.

Louis is old enough to go to school now and seemingly believes this meant he is too old to be seen holding hands with his father.

The Duke of Cambridge sticks his right hand out while trying to grab the youngster’s attention but little Louis ignored his efforts and stuck close to his mother.

After holding out for a few moments, Prince William admitted defeat and gently stroked the back of his son’s head – which Louis then shook off.

As the family approached closer to the school the young prince showed no signs of nerves and broke out a huge smile for the cameras.

The children attended a ‘settling in afternoon’ – an annual event to welcome new starters and their families to the school on the day before the new school term begins. The trio will officially start school today. 

Young Prince Louis was seen rejecting his father’s efforts to hold his hand on his first day at school

It was Prince Louis' first day at school, but he didn't want to be seen holding his father's hand

It was Prince Louis’ first day at school, but he didn’t want to be seen holding his father’s hand

Prince William and Kate Middleton’s children have joined the co-educational private in Berkshire, after the couple set up a new home at Adelaide Cottage in Windsor’s Home Park.

In photographs released from the family arriving, the Cambridge siblings looked confident and happy as they arrived ready for a 90-minute settling-in session for new pupils and their families. 

A source close to the couple told the Daily Mail: ‘As they got out of the car, they were just giddy with excitement. It was just so sweet to see. Not a nerve in sight. It was all so relaxed. They are wonderful kids.’ 

The Duchess of Cambridge, 40, was the picture of elegance in a £245 brown polka dot dress by Rixo for the occasion, which she paired with matching tan coloured heels. She wore her soft brown locks in her signature bouncy blow dry style, and kept her makeup and jewellery neutral for the occasion.

The mother-of-three beamed widely as she walked hand-in-hand with Prince George and Prince Louis, both of whom were dressed in the school’s summer uniform, up the drive. 

Meanwhile Prince William appeared in equally happy spirits, and could be seen walking with his daughter Princess Charlotte, who was dressed in a blue and white checked summer dress for the outing. 

William called his children ‘all the gang’ as he ushered them up the steps of the large white 19th-century country mansion, while Prince George, Charlotte and Louis all said they are ‘excited’ to be starting. A source said the Cambridge children were ‘particularly excited’ to be going to the same school for the first time.

The Duke and Duchess are beginning a new life in the country away from the goldfish bowl of their official London residence Kensington Palace which is being seen as a bid to put their children first and give them more freedom.

William and Kate had been known to have set their heart on outdoorsy prep school Lambrook, with its 52 acres of grounds, where fees will cost the couple in excess of £50,000 a year in total for their three youngsters.

The Duke and Duchess of Cambridge, both 40, yesterday dropped off their children Prince George, Princess Charlotte and Prince Louis at the same new school after moving their family to Windsor for the next major phase of their life

The Duke and Duchess of Cambridge, both 40, yesterday dropped off their children Prince George, Princess Charlotte and Prince Louis at the same new school after moving their family to Windsor for the next major phase of their life

Prince William and Kate Middleton's children Prince George, Princess Charlotte and Prince Louis were greeted by Headmaster Jonathan Perry as they arrive for a settling in afternoon at Lambrook School, near Ascot in Berkshire

Prince William and Kate Middleton’s children Prince George, Princess Charlotte and Prince Louis were greeted by Headmaster Jonathan Perry as they arrive for a settling in afternoon at Lambrook School, near Ascot in Berkshire

The Duchess of Cambridge, 40, was the picture of elegance in a £245 brown polkadot dress by trendy cult brand Rixo for the occasion, which she paired with matching tan coloured heels

The Duchess of Cambridge, 40, was the picture of elegance in a £245 brown polkadot dress by trendy cult brand Rixo for the occasion, which she paired with matching tan coloured heels

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William drove his family the 20-minute journey, no doubt relishing his first experience of the shorter school run after the daily trek from west to south London to George and Charlotte’s old school, Thomas’s Battersea. 

After parking, the family of five managed the walk to the school during a gap in the rain, which later became torrential as other parents arrived.

A source said the Cambridge children were particularly excited to all be going to the same school for the first time.

‘They’re really excited about starting a new school together, and I think mum and dad are too,’ they said.

Arriving yesterday, the family strolled in a line, with Kate holding George and Louis’ hands and William holding Charlotte’s, to meet headmaster Jonathan Perry.

The mother-of-three beamed widely as she walked hand-in-hand with Prince George and Prince Louis, both of whom were dressed in the school's summer uniform, up the drive

The mother-of-three beamed widely as she walked hand-in-hand with Prince George and Prince Louis, both of whom were dressed in the school’s summer uniform, up the drive

Meanwhile Prince William appeared in equally happy spirits, and could be seen walking with his daughter Princess Charlotte, who was dressed in a blue and white checked summer dress for the outing

Meanwhile Prince William appeared in equally happy spirits, and could be seen walking with his daughter Princess Charlotte, who was dressed in a blue and white checked summer dress for the outing

The Duchess wore her soft brown locks in her signature bouncy blow dry style, and kept her makeup and jewellery neutral for the occasion

The Duchess wore her soft brown locks in her signature bouncy blow dry style, and kept her makeup and jewellery neutral for the occasion

Yesterday marks a new start for the Duke and Duchess, who are beginning a new life in the country away from the goldfish bowl of their official London residence Kensington Palace - it is being seen as a bid to put their children first and give them more freedom

Yesterday marks a new start for the Duke and Duchess, who are beginning a new life in the country away from the goldfish bowl of their official London residence Kensington Palace – it is being seen as a bid to put their children first and give them more freedom

‘Welcome to Lambrook,’ Mr Perry told the children. ‘It’s lovely to have you with us. We’re very excited for the year ahead.’

Shaking them each by the hand in turn, he asked ‘Are you excited?’ with all three chorusing ‘Yes’.

William remarked ‘We’re looking forward to it,’ adding the children had ‘lots of questions’.

Fresh air and freedom for George, Charlotte and Louis at ‘magical’ school 

Set in 52 acres of idyllic Berkshire countryside, Lambrook School gives its pupils ‘feathers to fly’ and a ‘delicious sense of freedom’.

Its new royal charges, Prince George, Princess Charlotte and Prince Louis, will enjoy a nurturing education at the wholesome, co-educational independent day and boarding school for three to 13-year-olds near Ascot, just a 10-minute drive from their new home in Windsor.

The Good Schools Guide describes it as a ‘classic prep school’ with a ‘heart of gold’, and tells of how youngsters get to ‘run and run’ in the vast grounds with ‘total freedom to explore, provided you’ve got your wellies on’. Lambrook boasts of ‘first-class teaching and superb facilities’ which include a 25-metre swimming pool, a nine-hole golf course, an astroturf, hard courts, a squash court, cricket and other sports pitches.

It has a Diamond Jubilee performing arts studio, dance studio and sports hall, and a new £6 million Queen’s Building for ICT and academic learning. The prospectus quoted one parent as saying: ‘It’s the most magical place for our children to spend time, and they can often be seen rosy-cheeked and perfecting handstands, throwing balls or racing to the tree stumps.’

There is school on Saturday mornings followed by an afternoon of sports fixtures for pupils in Year 5 and above which includes nine-year-old George.

Lambrook offers weekly and flexi-boarding for boys and girls aged seven onwards, with the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge having the option to let George and Charlotte stay as little as one night a week on an ad-hoc basis, with the sleepovers booked online. George and Charlotte will be day pupils for now.

‘Weeknights sound like a hoot; think Harry Potter evenings and lashings of hot chocolate,’ Talk Education said in its review of the school.

Fridays are the most popular night for one-off boards, leaving parents free to host dinner parties and nurse hangovers, the Telegraph reported.

Fees cost £4,389 a term for Reception to Year 2 pupils such as Louis, £6,448 per term for Years 3-4 like Charlotte, and £6,999 per term for George through Years 5-8, with an additional £1,481 per term for boarding for Y3-8. It means William and Kate will be spending in excess of £50,000 a year on their children’s private education.

The bill amounts to £53,508’s worth of fees in 2021-2022, not factoring in any potential sibling discount if available, fee increases or the cost of uniform or trips. Boarding for the older two Cambridge children would cost an additional £8,886 a year if chosen at a later date.

Lambrook, a Christian school, prides itself on its high academic standards, with a pass rate of 100 per cen for the Common Entrance exam – taken by private school pupils as part of the selective admissions process at age 13. With 620 pupils, it is a larger than average pre-prep and prep school but billed as not as pushy as its London counterparts, with some of its intake being bussed in from west London and Oxfordshire, Buckinghamshire and Surrey.

Year 8 leavers join prestigious schools such as William’s alma mater Eton, Wellington College, Marlborough College, where Kate went, and Charterhouse among others.

Headmaster Jonathan Perry is known for his charm, and performed a rock-and-roll dance and jumped on chairs to cheer up pupils during lockdown. His wife Jenny works with the pastoral team, with the pair praised for their focus on emotional wellbeing, perfectly in line with William and Kate’s campaigning on mental health.

Mr Perry says on the school website: ‘We give our pupils the ‘feathers to fly’ so that when they move on to the next stage of their educational journey, they will spread their wings and will take flight; leaving as confident, happy, engaging, mature, considerate and thoughtful young adults who are outward-looking global citizens.’

Lambrook’s on-site orchard is home to pigs, chickens and rabbits, available to cuddle during tutor time wellbeing walks, bees with hives, and visiting lambs, and George and Charlotte will have an enrichment afternoon every Monday to complement their academic studies.

They will be able to draw from a huge range of activities for this including farming, bee-keeping, chess, mountain biking, ballet, tap, jazz, mini-masterchef, polo, podcast-making, scuba diving, skiing, as well as life-saving, survival, debating and public speaking.

Louis, who will be in reception, will enjoy ‘Forest Fridays’ and be ‘taken on a journey of discovery in the beautiful outdoors’, the school’s prospectus says, mirroring the Duchess of Cambridge’s philosophy of the importance of outdoor play and spending time in nature.

Talk Education said there is a ‘sense of delicious freedom’ while the Good Schools Guide said one mother was ‘mystified by how they get pupils back for lessons, but like clockwork they tumble in, ruddy-cheeked and full of fresh air’.

And parents enjoy the benefit of not having to deal with muddy PE kits. Games clothes are handed in at the start of term and remain there to be laundered by staff, before being sent home at the end of term. Every item must be named but only sewn-on tags are permitted.

The main school building is a large white 19th-century country mansion. Lambrook was founded in 1860 and two of Queen Victoria’s grandsons, Prince Christian Victor and Prince Albert of Schleswig-Holstein, attended, with Victoria travelling from Windsor Castle to watch them in plays and at cricket matches.

Uniforms consist of blue and green tartan kilts for girls and and navy corduroy trousers for boys, plus check shirts, navy pullovers and blue and green ties.

William and Kate can also immerse themselves in the school’s busy social life amid reports of plentiful Lambrook get-togethers and helpful WhatsApp groups. Lamborghinis, Ferraris and Range Rovers apparently fill the car park.

But one Mumsnet user wrote: ‘I have been rather put off by the size of Lambrook, and the reputation of ‘Lambrook’ parents. We are not super wealthy, nor are we city people or country landholders!’

Overseas school trips include jaunts to France, Italy, Iceland and South Africa. But Year 7 students preparing to embark on a canoeing trip in Sweden must each first fundraise £500 to help an underprivileged child do the same through the Teenage Wilderness Trust.

Sustainability – no doubt a hit with eco-conscious William – is also key with the children planting 400 saplings to create a new woodland.

Mr Perry’s wife Jenny, who works in the pastoral team, was waiting in the doorway and greeted them with ‘Welcome back to Lambrook’, with William quipping ‘With all the gang’.

The duke and duchess could be heard talking to the children and laughing, in the final moments of preparation.

The children’s first full day is on Thursday, at the official start of term.

The Cambridges are said to have visited the exclusive prep school a number of times before choosing it, and greeted Mr and Mrs Perry warmly, with Kate remarking: “Nice to see you, Mr Perry.”

William and Kate went inside with the children for refreshments before George, Charlotte and Louis went to their new classroom to meet their teachers and other students. 

The family are also now using the pretty 19th century Adelaide Cottage as their base after the Queen gave them permission to lease the four-bedroom Grade II listed cottage, which belongs to the Crown Estate. It was built for Queen Adelaide in 1831 and is nestled just a 10-minute walk from Windsor Castle in the private Home Park.

It comes after William and Kate’s sister-in-law the Duchess of Sussex said in an interview to US magazine The Cut last week that she would not be able to do the school run in Britain without being hounded by the paparazzi.

Meghan feared it would have become a ‘royal photo call with a press pen of 40 people snapping pictures’, according to the interviewer who joined her to pick up son Archie, three, from pre-school as part of the article.

But royal experts pointed out that strict rules governing the UK media prevent photographs being taken of children in education. 

William and Kate regularly drop off their children at school most days without note, and any published pictures are released to the press with their approval – such as those yesterday – or taken at public events.

Their arrival at Lambrook was captured for the history books by just three members of the media – one PA news agency photographer, one BBC cameraman and one reporter, forming the royal rota, supervised by one Kensington Palace press officer.

Those present were asked not to film on their mobile phones, to make sure the children were not faced with screens.

About half a dozen protection officers, dressed discreetly, kept carefully out of sight, with no other members of the media permitted to attend, in order to keep the afternoon calm and relaxed for the children.

Harry and Meghan are staying at their Frogmore Cottage home on the Windsor estate while in Britain this week.

But they are not expected to meet the Cambridges at Adelaide Cottage, which is less than a 10-minute walk away, amid a feud between the brothers that has continued since Harry and Meghan moved to North America in 2020. 

When news of the Cambridge children’s new school and the move to Windsor was announced by Kensington Palace on August 22, royal officials said in a statement that William and Kate were ‘hugely grateful’ to Thomas’s Battersea where George and Charlotte had a ‘happy start to their education’.

The statement also added that the couple were ‘pleased to have found a school for all three of their children which shares a similar ethos and values to Thomas’s’.

Kensington Palace also confirmed that the family would move to Adelaide Cottage in Windsor’s Home Park before the school term began.

A royal source said at the time: ‘This is very much a decision that two parents have made to give their children the ‘most normal’ start possible. KP can be a little bit of a fishbowl.

‘They wanted to be able to give George, Charlotte and Louis a bit more freedom than they have living in central London. It’s very much a decision that’s been led by the kids.’

William and Kate have retained Kensington Palace’s Apartment 1A, which was refurbished with £4.5 million of taxpayers’ money in 2013, as their official residence and their working base, which continues to house their office staff.

They are also keeping their 10-bedroom Norfolk country mansion Anmer Hall, which was a gift from the Queen, has a swimming pool and tennis court and underwent large-scale building work at their own cost.

The downsizing to Adelaide Cottage, which is not considered vast, means William and Kate’s full-time nanny Maria Teresa Turrion Borrallo is now living elsewhere for the first time, as well as other staff including the housekeeper and the chef.

The source said at the time of the announcement last month that the duke and duchess were very conscious of how their move stands in contrast to the cost-of-living crisis impacting the nation.

Asked whether the couple was mindful of the economic difficulties facing many who would not be able to afford such opportunities, the source said: ‘They absolutely are.

‘It’s something they have thought long and hard about and this is a decision they have not taken lightly. It would have been extremely difficult for them to continue on as senior working royals if they were based in Norfolk.

‘What they have basically done allows them to put the kids first, but also to continue on doing what they do all day, every day.’

Joe Little, managing editor of Majesty magazine, said last month that the decision had many benefits for the family.

Mr Little said: ‘Apartment 1A at Kensington Palace is perfect in so many ways but the duke and duchess and their children are unable to come and go as they might like or take advantage of the nearby London parks because of the ever-present privacy issues.’

He added that having all three children at the same school made sense and removes the ‘nightmare’ journey from Kensington Palace to Battersea twice a day.

‘It also means that the cost of security, always a contentious topic, is much lower than if Louis was at a different school to his siblings,’ Mr Little said.

But royal commentator and former BBC royal correspondent Peter Hunt highlighted the three properties now at the couple’s disposal amid the cost-of-living crisis.

Mr Hunt said: ‘A third home for the Cambridges is a reminder the royals don’t suffer from the cost-of-living crisis and a looming recession in the same way as the rest of us.

‘When taxpayers’ money was spent on refurbishing their apartment at Kensington Palace, Prince William, who campaigns for the homeless, insisted his family planned to stay there for many years to come.’

Republic branded the decision ‘disgraceful’. Graham Smith, chief executive of the campaign group, said: ‘All these palatial homes require round-the-clock protection, heating and staffing.’

He said the Crown Estate was ‘a state-owned property empire that is supposed to make money for the treasury’.

Mr Smith added: ‘While ordinary households are struggling with their energy bills and facing crippling inflation, why are we giving yet another home to William and Kate? This is disgraceful.’

After walking with their children hand-in-hand into the school yesterday, the Duke and Duchess stopped to speak to the headmaster ahead of the settling-in afternoon

After walking with their children hand-in-hand into the school yesterday, the Duke and Duchess stopped to speak to the headmaster ahead of the settling-in afternoon 

After shaking hands with the three Cambridge children, headmaster Jonathan Perry pointed the family up the stairs to enter the school for the afternoon

After shaking hands with the three Cambridge children, headmaster Jonathan Perry pointed the family up the stairs to enter the school for the afternoon 

William and Kate regularly drop off their children at school most days without note, and any published pictures are released to the press with their approval - such as those yesterday- or taken at public events

William and Kate regularly drop off their children at school most days without note, and any published pictures are released to the press with their approval – such as those yesterday- or taken at public events

Prince William and Kate appeared to share a smile as they walked with their young children into the school in Berkshire this afternoon

Prince William and Kate appeared to share a smile as they walked with their young children into the school in Berkshire this afternoon 

William and Kate pay market value rent on the property from their own private funds, not from taxpayers’ money via the Sovereign Grant, and footed their own moving costs.

Future king George, nine, and Charlotte, seven, have left their current school Thomas’s Battersea in London and four-year-old Louis is starting full-time education.

How the royals have fared during their school days 

Members of the royal family have experienced their fair share of ups and downs as pupils of a variety of prestigious establishments.

The Duke and Duchess of Cambridge will have drawn on their own experiences of education when choosing Lambrook as the next school for their three children.

It is the first time a future king and spares to the heir have been signed up for the private day and weekly boarding school near Ascot in Berkshire, which prides itself on its academic success teamed with an outdoor lifestyle.

Prince George and Princess Charlotte began their school days happily at private day school Thomas’s Battersea – a busy, cosmopolitan establishment in south London – with George starting in 2017 and Charlotte in 2019.

The school’s most important rule was to ‘be kind’.

As a toddler, George went to Westacre Montessori School near the Cambridges’ Norfolk home, Anmer Hall, while a young Charlotte went to Willcocks Nursery School, near Kensington Palace, in 2018, followed by Louis in 2021.

As a 14-year-old, Kate withdrew from independent girls’ school Downe House in Cold Ash, Berkshire, after just two terms when she was reportedly bullied.

She started afresh at Marlborough College, a £42,930-a-year co-educational boarding school in Wiltshire, where she went on to blossom, captaining the hockey team and doing well in her exams.

The duchess has long campaigned on the importance of a child’s early years and with William on mental health issues.

The duke and duchess previously attended a child mental health conference to learn about issues surrounding the transition years between primary and secondary education.

William’s first experience of school was Mrs Mynor’s Nursery School in west London which he joined aged three.

From the age of four the duke went to Wetherby School, also in west London, before spending five years at Ludgrove School in Berkshire.

William went on to board at Eton College, as did Prince Harry, for five years and it offered him a sanctuary when his parents were in the middle of an acrimonious divorce and provided stability in the difficult years that followed his mother’s death.

His housemaster Dr Andrew Gailey was an important source of support. Dr Gailey’s role earned him an invite to the royal wedding in 2011 and the title of Commander of the Royal Victorian Order (CVO), an honour in the Queen’s gift.

It was Dr Gailey who was cited as influencing William’s university choice, having studied at St Andrews himself.

Kate’s prep school was St Andrew’s School in Pangbourne, Berkshire.

She joined the public school, where fees are now up to £6,845 per term, in 1986 when her family returned to the UK after spending two-and-a-half years in Jordan where she attended a nursery school.

She stayed until she was 13 and was predominantly a day girl but in her later years also boarded for part of the week.

Both William and Kate were academic at school and went on to university, achieving a 2:1 at degree level.

George, Charlotte and Louis’ grandfather the Prince of Wales went to Cheam prep school as a boarder at the age of eight.

He went on to have a difficult time at secondary school as a teenager.

Charles was sent to Gordonstoun School in Moray, Scotland, following in the footsteps of his father the Duke of Edinburgh, but was picked on and described his days there as ‘a prison sentence’.

Charles did admit, however, that the school instilled him with self-discipline and a sense of responsibility.

He spent part of the school year in 1966 as an exchange student at the Geelong Church of England Grammar School in Melbourne, Australia – the first member of the British royal family to attend an overseas Commonwealth school.

Gordonstoun is also where Zara Tindall and Peter Phillips, the Duke of York and the Earl of Wessex were taught.

The Queen, however, was educated at home with Princess Margaret. After her father succeeded to the throne in 1936 and she became the heir, she was taught constitutional history and law.

She also studied art and music, and is fluent in French.

They are now enjoying first class facilities at Lambrook including a swimming pool, sports pitches and new £6 million academic and ICT building.

The day and boarding school offers both weekly boarding and flexi boarding for the older two – where they can opt for a night’s stay as and when they choose, but George and Charlotte are day pupils for now.

The Good Schools Guide describes how youngsters get to ‘run and run’ in vast grounds with ‘total freedom to explore, provided you’ve got your wellies on’, with Lambrook’s pastoral care described as excellent.

Jonathan Perry, headmaster at Lambrook, said last month that we ‘very much look forward to welcoming the family, as well as all of our new pupils, to our school community.’

Ben Thomas, principal of Thomas’s London Day Schools, wished George and Charlotte ‘every happiness and success’ and thanked the pair for ‘upholding the school’s values and for their many contributions to school life throughout their time at Thomas’s’.

It was the first time Lambrook has been chosen for a future king and his siblings.

William and Kate will be spending in excess of £53,000 a year on their children’s private education.

Fees cost £4,389 a term for Reception to Year 2 pupils such as Louis, £6,448 per term for Years 3-4 like Charlotte, and £6,999 per term for George through Years 5-8.

The bill amounts to £53,508’s worth of fees in 2021-2022, not factoring in any future boarding which costs £1,481 per term per pupil for Y3-8, potential sibling discount if available, fee increases or the cost of uniform or trips.

The school on the outskirts of Bracknell is only a 20-minute drive from Adelaide Cottage, and their new home is just a short stroll to see the Queen at Windsor Castle.

The source said being able to be close to the 96-year-old monarch – who is currently at her Scottish retreat of Balmoral, where she welcomed the incoming and outgoing prime ministers Liz Truss and Boris Johnson yesterday – was a factor in the move.

Adelaide Cottage used to be the grace-and-favour home of equerry Group Captain Peter Townsend whose love affair with Princess Margaret caused a scandal in the 1950s.

Four bedroom detached rental properties in Windsor with substantially less land are currently priced at anywhere between £3,000 to £5,750 a month.

The location also ensures the family are close to Kate’s parents Michael and Carole Middleton, and sister Pippa Matthews in Bucklebury, Berkshire.

Next Tuesday, the Cambridges are to visit a Slough charity founded in response to gang violence between young people from Asian backgrounds.

William and Kate will hear about the work of Aik Saath, which means ‘Together As One’ in Hindi, Punjabi and Urdu.

The couple will join a cooking lesson with youngsters as part of the charity’s Global Grub programme – which was started during the summer holidays to keep young people positively engaged outside of school and ensure they had access to regular hot meals.

William and Kate will also meet youth volunteers who lead peer training sessions and hear how they teach youngsters to resolve conflict, challenge prejudice and contribute to a mentally healthy society.

Yesterday, the Duke of Cambridge has described the killing of 10 people in a series of stabbings in Canada as ‘truly heart-breaking’.

William said in a personal tweet that his thoughts and prayers were with the victims of these ‘horrific acts’ in an indigenous community and a nearby town – one of the deadliest attacks in the nation’s history.

The duke, a future king of Canada, said: ‘The attacks at James Smith Cree Nation and Weldon, Saskatchewan are truly heart-breaking.

‘Our thoughts and prayers are with the victims of these horrific acts and all those that have lost loved ones. Catherine and I send our best wishes to the people of Canada.’

The message on the Cambridges’ Twitter account ended with W, denoting personal words from the duke.

It comes as the Duke and Duchess of Sussex thrilled fans in Germany yesterday as they went on a walkabout in the hot sunshine before taking a cruise along the River Rhine.

Harry and Meghan shook hands and chatted with an eager crowd outside Dusseldorf Town Hall as they marked the one-year countdown to The Invictus Games coming to the city.

Shouts of ‘Harry, Harry’ could be heard, while Meghan posed for selfies with members of the public who stood in the sun to catch a glimpse of the couple on their short visit to Dusseldorf.

The duchess wore a cream halter-neck knitted vest by LA-based designer Anine Bing, and beige wide-legged belted trousers.

The couple’s outing yesterday comes after they made their first public appearance in the UK since returning for the Queen’s Platinum Jubilee earlier this year.

Delivering a speech at the Town Hall reception, Harry, wearing a suit and white shirt, said he is ‘filled with such excitement’ at the thought of the next Invictus Games having the backdrop of the River Rhine.

The main building at Lambrook School is a large white 19th-century country mansion. Lambrook was founded in 1860

The main building at Lambrook School is a large white 19th-century country mansion. Lambrook was founded in 1860

Children at Lambrook School can enjoy activities such as beekeeping and scuba diving. Pictured: The school's bee hives

Children at Lambrook School can enjoy activities such as beekeeping and scuba diving. Pictured: The school’s bee hives

Lambrook School boasts of 'first-class teaching and superb facilities' which include a 25-metre swimming pool

Lambrook School boasts of ‘first-class teaching and superb facilities’ which include a 25-metre swimming pool

Lambrook prides itself on its high academic standards, with a pass rate of 100 per cent for the Common Entrance exam

Lambrook prides itself on its high academic standards, with a pass rate of 100 per cent for the Common Entrance exam

Talk Education said there is a 'sense of delicious freedom' at Lambrook School which is located near Ascot in Berkshire

Talk Education said there is a ‘sense of delicious freedom’ at Lambrook School which is located near Ascot in Berkshire

William and Kate have moved with their children George, Charlotte and Louis to Adelaide Cottage in Windsor (file picture)

William and Kate have moved with their children George, Charlotte and Louis to Adelaide Cottage in Windsor (file picture)

Harry and Meghan have returned to the UK ahead of the WellChild Awards in London , where Harry will deliver a speech. 

Yesterday’s trip comes a day after Meghan gave the keynote address in Manchester on Monday for the One Young World summit.

The former actress told the 2,000 delegates how her life had changed when she last joined the summit in London in 2019, singling out her role as a wife and a mother, but making no mention of becoming a senior royal the year before.

During the proceedings on Monday, the couple sat in the front row on stage, side by side on a bench, as they joined One Young World counsellors to watch the flag bearers enthusiastically parading the flags of more than 200 countries.

Meghan swayed in time to the music, and Harry leaned over to whisper in his smiling wife’s ear a number of times.

The couple travelled by train from London to Manchester, and flew commercial from the US to the UK.

Meanwhile Meghan has described herself in her latest Spotify podcast as a ‘loner’ at school and an ‘ugly duckling’ who had no-one to sit next to at lunch.

The former Suits actress said it was ‘really hard’ and that she was ‘the smart one forever and ever and ever’ rather than the pretty one during her time at Immaculate Heart all-girls Catholic school in Los Angeles.

In conversation with actress Mindy Kaling, Meghan said she filled her lunchtimes with meetings and becoming president of clubs in order to keep busy and not worry about who to sit with.

The duchess also confessed to her love of Archie comics and redheads like the Duke of Sussex, and told how she dreamed of a ‘cookie cutter-looking perfect life’ but read the series because she was ‘alone so much as a child’ and was a ‘latchkey kid’.

She criticised suggestions when she became engaged to Harry that she was lucky to be chosen by him, saying the duke had ‘countered the narrative’ by saying: ‘They’ve got it all wrong. I’m the lucky one because you chose me.’

Back to school! How the Cambridges have taken nursery – and school – in London – in their stride before moving to Windsor 

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