07/09/2017 10:37 BST | Updated 07/09/2017 11:05 BST

William Takes George For First Day At School As Too-Sick Kate Stays At Home

Prince George looked smart in his uniform as he walked nervously into school on his first day – without his mother, the Duchess of Cambridge, by his side.

Kate had hoped to join the Duke of Cambridge on the school run but is suffering from severe morning sickness and was too ill to attend, Kensington Palace said.

The four-year-old was helped out of the car by William after being driven through the gates of Thomas’s Battersea, a fee-paying independent school in south London.

The prince, who is thought to be one of the youngest pupils in the year, will be known as George Cambridge to his classmates.

Ben Thomas, who is principal of Thomas’s London Day Schools and was headmaster of Thomas’s Battersea for 18 years, said he hoped future king George would learn to “be himself”.

Prince George is led into school by the Duke of Cambridge and head of the lower school Helen Haslem (Kensington Palace/PA)

He said: “The whole aim of these precious early years of education is to give children that confidence in who they are.

“So we are not going to try to mould him into any kind of particular person and we wouldn’t do that with any of our pupils.

“I hope he will have the confidence to be himself with all his quirks and his idiosyncrasies and characteristics.”

Prince George is welcomed to Thomas’s Battersea by the head of the lower school Helen Haslem (Kensington Palace/PA)

George looked tentative and clutched his father’s hand as he was led towards the entrance of the school after arriving at around 8.45am.

The young prince shook hands with Helen Haslem, head of the lower school, as the Duke held a school bag packed ready for his first day.

Then, with William holding one hand and Ms Haslem the other, he walked inside.

Prince George looked tentative just before he went into the classroom for the first time (Richard Pohle/The Times/PA)

The Duke said George, who was wearing a shirt, navy V-neck pullover, shorts and black shoes, had “noticed” the other boys arriving in their uniforms.

Mr Thomas said the prince will begin by attending school for half days and building up to longer hours.

The Duke of Cambridge hopes to do as many school runs as possible (Richard Pohle/The Times/PA)

He said: “It will be a very, very gentle start.

“They start with half days and the moment comes when they get to stay for lunch – which is a really big deal, trying to balance their lunch on their trays.

“Then they will be here eventually for full days and then we will start to introduce them to the breadth of the curriculum.”