The Battle of the Boarding Schools: Will Prince George Attend Eton College (Prince William’s Alma Mater) or Marlborough College (Princess Kate’s Alma Mater)?

A recent visit to one has many thinking that it’s the choice the Wales family has settled on.

Prince George
(Image credit: Getty)

Though it was all but assumed that Prince George would follow in his father Prince William’s footsteps and attend Eton College, it looks like the prestigious boarding school has some competition—in the form of Princess Kate’s alma mater, Marlborough College.

Prince William Prince George Kate Middleton

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For the second time in two months, a member of the Wales family was spotted touring Marlborough, The Daily Mail reports; the £47,000 per year school is co-ed, as opposed to Eton, which is boys only—something William and Kate would surely appreciate, as they are keen to keep all three of their children together for school, as they are now at Lambrook. The Daily Mail reports that “speculation that the prince will not follow his father to Eton College is growing,” adding that Kate “attended Marlborough and is said to have flourished there,” excelling in sports like field hockey and tennis.

“Kate is said to not be a fan of single-sex schools like Eton, and reportedly ‘absolutely hated’ her time at Downe House, an all-girls boarding school in Berkshire, where she was allegedly targeted by bullies,” The Daily Mail writes.

No firm decision has yet been made about George’s future school but, after visiting Marlborough alone in October, Kate was joined by William and George for a second visit on December 1; the three also toured Eton in June. Both William and Prince Harry attended Eton, which is nearby Windsor Castle, and, while William found solace at Eton after his mother Princess Diana’s death, Harry wrote in his memoir, Spare, that the school was not the right fit for him. 

Prince William Kate Middleton Prince George

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Lambrook educates pupils up to age 13, which means George will go to whatever school the Wales family chooses in 2026, when he turns that age. Both Marlborough and Eton have similar application processes involving assessments and interviews that begin when pupils are around George’s age (he turned the milestone age of 10 this past summer).

The Mirror reports that there have been “heated debates” taking place within the Firm on whether to allow George to attend Marlborough instead of Eton, thereby breaking precedent. “After years of discussion and heated debates between William, Kate, and King Charles, the family have made a choice,” a source told that outlet (though it still remains unclear whether a choice has been made or not). “They’ve decided that he and sister [Princess] Charlotte will attend boarding school together. They’ll both be students at Marlborough. This way, George and Charlotte will have a few years where they’ll overlap at the same school.” 

Prince George and Princess Charlotte at Wimbledon

(Image credit: Getty)

After their visit to Marlborough, William, Kate, and George “enjoyed a low-key lunch at Tray’s Café at nearby Barrs Yard in Hungerford with their security detail hovering nearby,” The Daily Mail reports. A member of staff at the café—which is a 15-minute drive from Marlborough—told the outlet that the trio were “utterly delightful” and “couldn’t have been nicer.”

Rachel Burchfield
Senior Celebrity and Royals Editor

Rachel Burchfield is a writer, editor, and podcaster whose primary interests are fashion and beauty, society and culture, and, most especially, the British Royal Family and other royal families around the world. She serves as Marie Claire’s Senior Celebrity and Royals Editor and has also contributed to publications like Allure, Cosmopolitan, Elle, Glamour, Harper’s Bazaar, InStyle, People, Vanity Fair, Vogue, and W, among others. Before taking on her current role with Marie Claire, Rachel served as its Weekend Editor and later Royals Editor. She is the cohost of Podcast Royal, a show that was named a top five royal podcast by The New York Times. A voracious reader and lover of books, Rachel also hosts I’d Rather Be Reading, which spotlights the best current nonfiction books hitting the market and interviews the authors of them. Rachel frequently appears as a media commentator, and she or her work has appeared on outlets like NBC’s Today Show, ABC’s Good Morning America, CNN, and more.