Prince George’s birthday photo hides Kate Middleton’s heartbreak as she wrestles with the anguish of sending him to boarding school, a royal expert claims.
The future King’s annual birthday photo was shared by the Royal Family this week, with eight-year-old George casually dressed in a polo-style striped top and shorts.
In a touching tribute to his late great-grandfather Prince Philip, George poses for the camera while sat on top of a Land Rover Defender, a vehicle synonymous with the Duke of Edinburgh.
But royal expert Daniela Elser believes the adorable snap is a poignant one for his mum Kate as it marks his eighth birthday, the same age Prince William and Harry were when they started boarding school.
Ms Elser, an Australian writer who covers the Royal Family, says the debate over whether to send the Cambridge’s first-born child to boarding school is a ‘a heavily freighted question’.
In her latest column for the New Zealand Herald, she wrote: “At first glance, today's shot is par for the wholly predictable course: Personal, heartwarming and with a suitably bucolic twinge.
“But what makes this image so interesting isn't what it shows but what it signifies, which is that George has reached the same age at which his father and uncle Prince Harry were bundled off to boarding school.
“For the first time, the question has reared its controversial head over whether the Cambridges might decide to send their own son away to school now he's reached this particular milestone moment.”
She suggests William and Kate could be thinking of sending him to another day school, but adds the notion that they would uproot him from a school they are seemingly happy with would ‘be most odd’.
Ms Elser claims the decision to send George to a boarding school will be a tough one for Kate to make as both she and William had ‘rocky starts’ at their respective boarding schools.
She writes: “For Kate, after reportedly being picked on at Downe House school where she had been a day girl, her parents sent her to board at the exclusive Marlborough College.
“When she arrived there, 'apparently she had been bullied very badly at her previous school and she certainly looked very thin and pale. She had very little confidence’, one classmate has said.”
Ms Elser adds: “Even though both of the Cambridges came to embrace their boarding years, would they be willing to put their son through a similar experience?
“And as a close family unit, would it not be too painful of an emotional a wrench to send their son away?
“Similarly, they run the risk of alienating and angering the public who could well see the decision as somewhat barbarous in this day and age.
“In recent years, thanks nearly entirely to William and Kate, the monarchy has managed to attract a nearly warm and fuzzy tinge, a certain homely, relatable charm. All of that is at stake here.”
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