A royal education: Princess Charlotte marks her first day of school

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By Linda Givetash  with NBC News World News
Image: Britain's Princess Charlotte, left, with her brother Prince George a
Britain's Princess Charlotte, left, her brother Prince George and parents Prince William and the former Kate Middleton arrive at school Thursday.   -   Copyright  Aaron Chown

LONDON — Clinging onto her mother's hand, Princess Charlotte arrived for her first day of school with her older brother Prince George leading the way Thursday.

The Duke and Duchess of Cambridge, Prince William and the former Kate Middleton, accompanied the youngsters dressed up in navy and red school uniforms to begin a new year at Thomas's Battersea, a private school in a posh London neighborhood just a few miles from Kensington Palace.

Charlotte was smiling as she quickly stepped away from Kate to shake hands with Helen Haslem, who oversees the first two grade levels at the school. She didn't take her mother's hand again and instead walked in front of her to walk through the school doors alone.

The four-year-old, the great-granddaughter of Queen Elizabeth II, wore a sweater, skirt and black Mary Jane shoes with white socks. She fidgeted a bit, twirling her fingers through her long neat ponytail.

Six-year-old George, looking less apprehensive than on his first day two years ago, walked through the doors holding Prince William's hand to begin his third year at the school.

Absent was Prince Louis, still too young to begin his schooling, having celebrated his first birthday in April.