Princess Kate Was Reportedly Bullied at School—How This Difficult Experience Influenced Her Parenting

She's tried to shield her kids.

Princess of Wales at the Chelsea Flower Show
(Image credit: Getty)

Bullying is incredibly common among school kids—and Princess Kate was sadly not immune during her own childhood, apparently.

And according to one royal expert, the Princess of Wales' difficult experience at one of her boarding schools has heavily influenced how she chooses her own kids' schools, including hers and Prince William's decision not to send them to boarding school as of yet—despite the prevalence of boarding among British aristocracy.

"The Prince and Princess of Wales have made it clear that their young family will, as far as possible, come first and that includes sending all three to day school, rather than having them as boarders away from home," Jennie Bond told OK!, referring to Prince George, Princess Charlotte and Prince Louis' enrollment at Lambrook School since September.

"Catherine had a very unhappy time at Downe House in her first two terms and was bullied quite badly before she left and moved to Marlborough College," Bond continued.

The Princess of Wales started as a day student (not a boarder) at Downe House at age 13, before moving to Marlborough in 1996, and remaining there until 2000, per Hello!.

Prince William, Kate Middleton, Prince George, Princess Charlotte, Prince Louis

(Image credit: Getty)

"This has completely influenced the way she wants her children to be educated, coupled with her belief and research into early years development," Bond added.

"It is telling that Kate was heavily involved in searching for George, Charlotte and Louis' school as two of the key aspirations of Lambrook are kindness and inclusivity."

Before news broke that all three Wales children would be attending Lambrook, there were rumors that George could be sent to boarding school—but this doesn't look like it's on the cards for the moment.

"Prince William and Prince Harry were at boarding school once they hit primary school age," Bond said.

"Diana missed them hugely, but in the same breath, had been brought up in much of the same way away from her family.

"For the moment at least it seems William and Catherine want to keep their children close, as day pupils at Lambrook, in a happy and nurturing environment."

This isn't the first time it's been reported that Kate was bullied at Downe. In her book Kate: The Future Queen, royal expert Katie Nicholl explained that the future royal had unfortunately been targeted for a few reasons—first, because she started there at 13 instead of at 11; second, because she was a "day pupil" instead of a boarder; and third, for being "especially slender and a head taller than her peers."

Ugh, this must have been so difficult, but thankfully these experiences have probably helped Kate think of ways to shield her own children from similar difficulties.

If any kids in your life are dealing with bullying, Stomp Out Bullying and Stand for the Silent are wonderful resources.

Iris Goldsztajn
Morning Editor

Iris Goldsztajn is a London-based journalist, editor and author. She is the morning editor at Marie Claire, and her work has appeared in the likes of InStyle, Cosmopolitan, Bustle and Shape. Iris writes about everything from celebrity news and relationship advice to the pitfalls of diet culture and the joys of exercise. She has many opinions on Harry Styles, and can typically be found eating her body weight in cheap chocolate.