Royal Family

28 Years Ago, Prince William Broke A Long-Standing Royal School Tradition

At the request of his late mother, Princess Diana.

Prince William (d.o.b. 21/06/82) (left) leads his classmates to lessons on his first day at Eton Sch...
John Stillwell - PA Images/PA Images via Getty Images

The British monarchy is famous for its commitment to royal tradition. However, Prince William once broke with convention when he began studying at the prestigious Eton College. As per The Express, the heir to the throne was photographed visiting the school with his eldest child Prince George in the summer of 2023, sparking rumors that the young royal might one day enroll at the famed institution like his father.

The Prince of Wales first began attending Eton College in 1995, with younger brother Prince Harry joining the school three years later. At the time, it was presumed that William would instead attend Gordonstoun boarding school in Scotland, following in the footsteps of King Charles, Prince Philip, Prince Edward, and Prince Andrew.

However, breaking with the royal school tradition, the late Princess Diana opted to enroll William at Eton, where her father and brother had studied previously. The Prince of Wales was reportedly a keen athlete during his time at the historic college, where he is said to have excelled at swimming, football, and water polo.

William’s academic journey began in 1985 at Mrs. Mynors Nursery School in West London. From there, the royal heir went on to attend the all-boys institutions Wetherby School and Ludgrove School, before eventually joining Eton College. In 2005, the future king graduated with a degree in geography from the University of St Andrews in Scotland, where he first met his future wife, Kate Middleton.

Jayne Fincher/Getty Images

The Prince of Wales went on to break another royal school tradition with his own three children, Prince George, Princess Charlotte, and Prince Louis after he and Middleton decided to enroll the youngsters at the leading co-educational Lambrook School in the Berkshire countryside.