‘He would rub shoulders with a much wider cross-section of his future subjects’: Labor MP says Prince William should break with tradition and send Prince George to a state school, instead of Eton at £46,000 a year
- Labor MP Clive Lewis said Prince William should send George to a public school
- Party sources have discussed the ‘optics’ of George following his father to Eton
Prince William should break with royal family tradition by sending Prince George to a state school, a Labor MP has claimed.
Norwich MP Clive Lewis’ appeal comes as Labor sources discussed the ‘optics’ of George following his father to Eton at a time when the party expects to be in government after the year’s election next – and whether the Prince of Wales might be ‘pushed’ to make a different decision for nine-year-old George.
It is understood the Princess of Wales would prefer her eldest son to attend a coeducational school such as her alma mater Marlborough College, where the fee is £42,500.
Eton, where fees stand at £46,296 a year, is considering whether it would admit girls for the first time since it was founded in 1440.
Sir Keir Starmer said a Labor government would add VAT to tuition fees which would raise Eton’s fees to over £55,000 at current values.
TRADITION: Prince William should break with royal family tradition by sending Prince George to a state school, a Labor MP has claimed. Pictured: Prince George (left) with siblings Princess Charlotte (right) and Prince Louis (centre) accompanied by their parents the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge as they arrive for their set up afternoon at Lambbrook School, near Ascot in Berkshire in September last year
Labor MP Clive Lewis (pictured) said while the decision on whether George went to Eton was ‘his parents’ business’, he added: ‘There is a case to be made for him to go to a public school”
Mr Lewis said that while the decision on whether George went to Eton was “his parents’ business”, he added: “There is a case to be made for him going to a public school”.
He said: “He is a future king and I would say that in a public school he would rub shoulders with a much wider cross-section of his future subjects than he would at Eton.”
George, along with Princess Charlotte, 7, and Prince Louis, 4, currently attend the £12,000-a-year Lambrook School in Windsor, a feeder school for Eton.
Lambbrook’s 52-acre grounds are home to several peacocks, with after-school activities such as chicken and lamb feeding as well as polo and beekeeping. There is also a cricket pavilion and a nine-hole golf course.
Prince William was enrolled at Wetherby Prep School, then Ludgrove School in Berkshire, before attending Eton from 1995 to 2000.
King Charles’ school years at Gordonstoun in Scotland – the remote and austere state school attended by his father, Prince Philip – were notoriously unhappy. He called his time at the school a “jail sentence”, calling the school “Colditz in kilts”.
A Labor source said: ‘The last thing Keir wants is a row with the Royal Family, but voices around him are whispering that it would be a ‘good look’ if William decides not to send George in the most elite school in the world at a time when we are adding to the already exorbitant costs.
Union sources have discussed the ‘optics’ of George following his father to Eton College (pictured) at a time when the party expects to be in government after next year’s election
George, along with Princess Charlotte, 7, and Prince Louis, 4, currently attend the £12,000-a-year Lambrook School (pictured) in Windsor, a feeder school for Eton
Winchester-educated Rishi Sunak accused Sir Keir of ‘attacking the aspirations of millions of hard-working people’ by pledging to scrap the charity status of private schools which would mean they would lose their VAT exemptions and would be faced with the payment of professional tariffs.
If they lose their status, it is estimated that more than 90,000 children would have to move from private to public schools because their parents would be deprived of prizes.
The move has been called a “class war” tax, which would restrict access for all but the children of the super-rich.
But Shadow Chancellor Rachel Reeves has said private school tuition fees should be taxed in the same way as restaurant meals, insisting that “every penny” of proceeds from Labor’s plan to levy VAT on Independent school tuition would be spent on public education.