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Popular Prince George has school friends to play at Kensington Palace

He may only be in his third year of school, but Prince George is already proving a popular pupil among his peers. 

The third in line to the throne, six, is attending £18,000-a-year school St Thomas's Battersea, and returned to school after the summer holidays this month. 

And according to insiders the young royal has already invited 'a few' of his classmates back to Kensington Palace, with his parents Prince William, 37, and Kate Middleton, 37, said to be 'delighted' at how well he is settling in. 

However the 'wonderful' play dates at the palace are reportedly more complicated than the average, as every visitor has to be security vetted.

Prince George, 6, is already proving a popular pupil among his peers at £18,000-a-year school St Thomas's Battersea, inviting peers back for play dates at Kensington Palace (seen on his first day at school this month)

A source described to The Sun how George is 'just like any other normal child', adding: 'It's just that most schoolkids don't go somewhere like Kensington Palace to see their friends out of lessons.

'It is wonderful for them – and their parents – to go to such a beautiful and historic palace and have the run of the place.

'But it does involve a bit more planning than a normal play date, as everyone visiting the palace has to be security vetted.'

According to insiders the young royal has already invited 'a few' of his classmates back to Kensington Palace, with his parents Prince William, 37, and Kate Middleton, 37, said to be 'delighted' at how well he is settling in (seen this month on Charlotte's first day)

However the 'wonderful' play dates at the palace are reportedly more complicated than the average, as every visitor at the palace (seen) has to be security vetted

This month George started his third year at St Thomas's Battersea, while Charlotte began her first year at the same school - with Kate telling onlookers that she is 'very excited to join her big brother', during an engagement in June.

In May Simon O'Malley, headmaster at Thomas's Battersea, said: 'We are delighted that the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge have decided that Princess Charlotte will join her elder brother, Prince George, at Thomas's Battersea. We greatly look forward to welcoming her and all of our new pupils to the school in September.'

The fees for George are £6,429 a term or £19,287 a year, while for Charlotte they will be £6,305 a term of £18,915 a year - the lower figure being due to a small discount given to a family's second child. 

The family seen playing together in May: Kate, William and their children Prince George, Princess Charlotte and Prince Louis in the Adam White and Andree Davies co-designed garden ahead of the RHS Chelsea Flower Show

Established by David and Joanna Thomas 40 years ago, Thomas's Battersea has described itself as being 'happy, dynamic and vibrant' and one that prides itself on its 'excellent academic results'.

Pupils are offered afterschool activities, including fencing, philosophy, gardening and pottery.

Thomas's prides itself on a 'rounded education', with as much emphasis on kindness as academic results - although many of its 540 boys and girls, aged four to 13, go on to top public schools such as Eton.

Ballet and a rooftop playground at Thomas's Battersea

  • Thomas's London Day Schools is a group of independent, co-educational preparatory schools in Battersea, Clapham, Fulham and Kensington 
  • It was founded in 1971 when actress Joanna Thomas, a mother of three, started a kindergarten in a church hall
  • Thomas's Battersea branch opened in October 1990 
  • The school has 540 pupils between the ages of four and 13 
  • It occupies a Grade II listed building - which was once a grammar school founded in 1700 - where facilities include a rooftop playground, theatre, ballet room and pottery rooms 
  • The most important school rule is to be kind, while other core values include courtesy, confidence and humility 
  • Former pupils include singer Florence Welch (of Florence & The Machine), model Cara Delevingne and her sisters, Poppy and Chloe
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