Why Prince George’s 8th birthday could see him break with royal tradition

Prince George of Cambridge watches a flypast from the balcony of Buckingham Palace during Trooping The Colour
(Image credit: Photo by Max Mumby/Indigo/Getty Images)

Prince George will celebrate his eighth birthday on July 22nd and this milestone occasion could signal a departure from a royal tradition upheld by his father and grandfather. 

Prince George will turn eight (opens in new tab) on July 22nd, marking a huge milestone in the young royal’s life. The Duke and Duchess of Cambridge’s eldest child is currently third in the royal line of succession (opens in new tab) and will take on a huge amount of responsibility as the future monarch. Already, Prince George is delighting fans during his public appearances, with many dubbing a video of him as the “best bit” of the Euros 2020 final (opens in new tab).

Though as he approaches his eighth birthday, many are starting to question if George will follow past traditions. In recent weeks there has been talk about whether George could be sent to boarding school (opens in new tab).

And this huge step would certainly be in keeping with his father Prince William's experience.

Prince George of Cambridge with Prince William, Duke of Cambridge at a children's party for Military families during the Royal Tour of Canada on September 29, 2016

The Duke of Cambridge was sent to Ludgrove School in Berkshire after his own eighth birthday, before going on to attend Eton. Whilst Prince Charles also departed for boarding school at this young age, attending Cheam School in Hampshire, as did his own father Prince Philip.

But whilst it might perhaps be expected for George to continue this family custom, some aren’t quite so convinced that this is the path William and Kate Middleton have in mind for him. 

Opening up to OK! magazine, royal expert Duncan Larcombe suggested that William in particular, as someone who experienced boarding school, has long been against this. 

"It's my understanding for some time, possibly even before George was even born, was that William was quite keen that any child he had wouldn't be packed off to boarding school," he explained. 

Prince William Using His Computer At His Desk At Eton College Boarding School

"Eton for William and Harry wasn't an unhappy time, apart from the fact it was when their mother died, which means William doesn't blame the school or the experience of boarding.”

Duncan continued, "But he's never intended to have his kids as full-time boarders and if George does go to a school that offers it, he'll likely be a day boarder."

Prince George currently attends Thomas’s Battersea (opens in new tab) school, as does his sister Princess Charlotte. It’s thought that his possible school move would affect Charlotte (opens in new tab) as she will miss her older brother. 

Princess Charlotte arrives for her first day of school, with her brother Prince George and her parents the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge, at Thomas's Battersea in London on September 5, 2019

However, if Duncan Larcombe’s speculations are indeed correct, it seems that Prince William is reluctant to see George leave for boarding school like he, Prince Charles and Prince Philip did. 

This means Prince George’s eighth birthday might be even more momentous, as the months afterwards could reveal where the young royal will continue his education.

Until then, he will no doubt be looking forward to celebrating his birthday with his family.