Prince Louiss fourth birthday photos were taken by his mother, at a Norfolk beach

Just once, I’d like to do a “royal child’s birthday photos” post without the comment section devolving into a huge fight about who the child looks like, or which side of the family the child takes after. Part of this is that I’m tired of being yelled at personally, especially because I’ve always thought that all three Cambridge kids take after the Middleton side of the family more than the Windsor side. But another part of it is just exhaustion with arguing over royal children in general.

So with all that being said, here are the Duchess of Cambridge’s birthday portraits of Prince Louis. He turned 4 years old on Saturday, and these photos were taken at the beach in Norfolk. Reportedly, the setting is Holkham Beach, which is close to Sandringham, meaning close to Anmer Hall. Louis is cute and I’ll just say it – to me, he looks so much like Kate. Strong Middleton genes in this one. Kate agrees – she’s said before that Louis is the child who looks the most like her. Now that Louis is four years old, he’s getting ready for big-kid school, which will reportedly be in Berkshire, not London. From the Daily Mail:

The Daily Mail can exclusively reveal the youngster is set to join both his big brother, Prince George, eight, and sister, Princess Charlotte, six, at a new school this September. Their parents, who are looking to move to Berkshire imminently, are currently exploring options to have all three of their children at the same co-educational establishment, it is understood.

Earlier this year the Mail revealed that William and Kate were ‘progressing rapidly’ with plans for a new life in the Home Counties. George is already earmarked to leave Thomas’s in Battersea, south-west London, for a new prep school in the royal county this autumn. But it has now emerged that he may be joined by Charlotte and Louis too. Charlotte has always been ‘super happy and settled’ at Thomas’s and it had been thought that Louis would join her later this year. Louis is currently enrolled at Willcocks Nursery in Kensington, only a few minutes from the family’s home of Kensington Palace, where Charlotte also went. But it seems that, possibly for practical reasons, the Cambridges are now considering keeping all three children together.

The royal couple have been seen touring several schools in the area and are keen to find one that is out of town and where all the facilities are on one campus, the Mail understands from multiple sources. The news also suggests that the family may be considering upping sticks out of London altogether for a new life in the country, using Kensington Palace and their home there, Apartment 1A, as a ‘work base’. They intend to keep the palace on even after they become Prince and Princess of Wales.

In fact the Mail can reveal that William, 39, and Kate, 40, have recently been looking at large private homes in the Berkshire area, specifically in villages close to her parents’ home in Bucklebury, as well as more well-publicised homes on the Queen’s Windsor estate.

While it could be another 20 years before the couple accede to the throne, William and Kate are now starting to map out where they see their family settling down. They are keen to afford their offspring as normal childhoods as possible and feel that the duchess’s home county, which as well as being close to Kate’s family means they will be just a short drive from the Queen at Windsor Castle, is the perfect spot.

They intend to vacate their current country home in Norfolk, Anmer Hall, which will revert to the Queen.

One source said: ‘Word is that all three children will be leaving their London schools. William and Kate, in particular, love the idea of their family growing up not far from her own childhood home. They are both country people at heart and Kate spends so much time with her family anyway. It makes perfect sense for them to all be at the same school together. If all three children are at school in Berkshire together it also means George wouldn’t have to board. The talk is that if they don’t find a suitable place with the Queen at Windsor, they are likely to end up if not necessarily right next to Bucklebury, not far off it. They have been discreetly viewing potential properties in recent months.’

[From The Daily Mail]

All of the kids going to the same co-ed school sounds like an education battle which Kate won. Kate and William moving to Bucklebury (or close to it) also sounds like a battle Kate won, although it might indicate that she’s winning some battles but losing the larger war. I find it so incredibly strange that William and Kate have been pushing all of these stories about “a move to Windsor” for a full year, and we’ve yet to hear any actual concrete plans about where they’re moving and which school the kids will go to. It definitely feels like they’ve been begging the Queen and Prince Charles for some fancy Windsor palace and they’ve repeatedly been told “no.” The whole thing is just so curious. I’m starting to believe the conspiracy that the “Berkshire home” will be for Kate alone, and that’s why no one is offering up a Windsor palace. Anyway, happy b-day to Lou.

Photos courtesy of Kensington Palace.

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