William and Kate’s move to Norfolk has gone swimmingly

The Duke and Duchess of Cambridge with their two children, Prince George and Princess Charlotte. Pic

The Duke and Duchess of Cambridge with their two children, Prince George and Princess Charlotte. Picture: Chris Jelf/PA Wire - Credit: PA

As they sit down after the traditional Christmas Day service and watch Prince George open his presents, William and Kate might reflect on how glad they are that they moved to Norfolk.

His new job flying an air ambulance is going well and he's juggling work with his Royal duties in London and elsewhere. She's finding time to devote to her two young children and the growing list of charities she supports.

Now the couple hope the Westacre Montessori down a private track, in a tiny village near King's Lynn, will allow Prince George to enjoy his first days at school away from the spotlight.

The couple moved to Anmer Hall to give their children as normal an upbringing as possible. Schools will play an important part of that as two-year-old Prince George and his little sister Princess Charlotte, aged seven months, grow up.

The Cambridges are understood to have looked at a number of schools around their home, before announcing that the two-year-old Prince would be joining the Westacre Montessori School at East Walton, near King's Lynn, before the end of January.

In a brief statement, the nursery said: 'We are looking forward to welcoming George to our nursery where he will get the same special experience as all of our children.'

Montessori schools have no grades or tests, and children of different ages are taught together and encouraged to work at their own pace. To his peers, the third in line to the throne will be simply George.

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The Cambridges, who were regular visitors to our county before moving here, have settled into Norfolk life.

They shop in Holt, Fakenham and Burnham Market, eat out in coastal pubs and visit nature reserves and attractions like countless other families.

Prince William will fondly recall trips to the beach at Old Hunstanton or the panto at the Princess Theatre with his mother Diana, Princess of Wales, during childhood visits to Norfolk at Christmas.

In a recent interview with the Big Issue magazine, he revealed how he planned to celebrate with his own young family.

'We'll go to church as a family on Christmas Day, as we always do,' he said. 'Then we'll watch George try to tackle his presents as he tries to unwrap them. It's a very different experience at Christmas, having a family of your own.'

George is said to be 'bouncing around like a rabbit' with excitement about the big day like any two-year-old.

'If I get an sleep on Christmas Eve, it'll be good,'

added William.

While the Prince has been working in his day job, as a pilot for the East Anglian Air Ambulance, the Duchess has been out buying decorations to give Anmer Hall some festive sparkle. When they choose their tree, they might well smile at how the tradition was brought to Britain by the Royal Family almost two centuries ago.

In December 1800, Queen Charlotte, the wife of George III - and the namesake of their dear little Princess - set up the first known English tree at Queen's Lodge, Windsor. Families had decorated fir trees in her native Germany since the 16th century.

The Christmas tree became popular in the 1840s when Prince Albert, Queen Victoria's husband, imported a decorated Christmas tree and pictures appeared in the periodicals of the time.

Yesterday, the Cambridges released a touching family photograph showing William and Kate with Prince George and Princess Charlotte in the garden at Kensington Palace.

The royal couple are understood to be hugely appreciative of all the warm messages they have received about their family this year.

In the image they are crouching down and Kate balances her daughter on her knee while her son stands next to her - and all four smile for the photographer.

The picture was taken in late October by photographer Chris Jelf who said: 'I thoroughly enjoyed photographing a very lovely family, although you have to be sharp as you don't have long when there are two young children involved.

'I hope everyone enjoys this photo and I am honoured that the Duke and Duchess have decided to share it with the public.'

Most years, Christmas Day is the only time almost the entire Royal Family is seen together as they gather for the service at the tiny Church of St Mary Magdalen.

Around 30 are expected to attend this year's gathering, but it is not known whether Prince George will be joining them before he returns to Anmer Hall to open his presents.