Kensington Palace has confirmed that on November 7, the Prince of Wales will travel to Singapore by himself, while the Princess of Wales will stay at their Windsor residence to provide support for their eldest son, Prince George. This decision is in consideration of Prince George's upcoming exams, which are pivotal for his future education and his choice of senior school when he turns 13. The examination process consists of three steps, and Prince George will complete two of them next month.
The initial exam will entail Prince George taking an ISEB test, comprising multiple-choice questions that assess verbal reasoning, non-verbal reasoning, mathematics, and English. This exam has a duration of two and a half hours and is typically administered in either October or November. The scores are adjusted for age. Additionally, Eton College will request a report from the headteacher of Prince George's school, focusing on his academic strengths, character, and personal interests. The results of this report will be released in December.
Since Prince George's birth falls in July, he will undergo the second test in either early April or late May the following year. This exam will take place at Eton College and will involve an individual interview and an online predictive test assessing academic aptitude and potential. The results from this test will be available to the Palace by July 2024. If successful, Prince George will receive a conditional offer and will then need to pass a Common Entrance Exam in year 8.
Prince William, George's father, took the Common Entrance Exam in 1995 and was admitted to the College in June of that year. Prince Harry also followed a similar path in 1998. Nowadays, students like Prince George, who receive conditional offers based on their year 6 exams, revisit the school and select a boarding house in year 7, one year before the common entrance test.
The Palace typically promptly announces whether a royal has successfully passed the exams. In the cases of William and Harry, news of their acceptance was made public just a day after they received the positive outcome. However, Eton College adheres to a policy of not disclosing the results or individual scores from the entrance exams. Consequently, we won't have knowledge of George's performance, although, in 1998, the Palace did confirm that Harry had excelled in his exams.
On HELLO!'s A Right Royal Podcast, Melanie Sanderson from the Good Schools Guide discussed the significance of George's upcoming exams, which are rapidly approaching. While talking about what Prince George will face, Melanie explained that he would be expected to follow the established procedures, even if he were to not succeed in the exams.
She mentioned, “He will be required to follow the established procedures alongside his fellow students at Lambrook. The ISEB exam becomes more challenging as you progress, so if you find the pretest particularly difficult, it's actually a positive sign because it indicates that you've covered a substantial portion of the material. Conversely, if it feels too easy, it may not bode well.”
Regarding potential choices for Prince George, she explained, “This branch of the royal family is too high-ranking to deviate from tradition.” She further elaborated that Eton College has a strong reputation for security, as it has successfully accommodated not only British royals but also members of royal families from various countries and other highly prominent families. Therefore, they are well-equipped to manage such situations.
She further stated, “It's crucial for any family to have a deep understanding of the school they choose, so they know precisely what to expect.”
In addition to educating William and Harry, the school has also provided instruction to their uncle, Charles Spencer, as well as Prince Edward, Prince Michael of Kent, and Princess Margaret's grandsons, Arthur and Samuel Chatto.
Describing what Prince George can anticipate if he chooses Eton, Madeline explained, “The current headmaster is recognized for being quite forward-thinking, and the school offers an excellent fusion of traditional and contemporary elements.
“What sets it apart is its versatility – you can pursue virtually any interest there. It's not limited to typical sports; they offer a wide range of activities, from conventional football to polo, and they even have a substantial golf course. Additionally, they offer options like silversmithing, participation in numerous choirs, and the opportunity to learn to play various musical instruments, including the violin, bagpipes, or harp. Essentially, there's nothing a young person might wish to explore that Eton cannot provide.”
She further commented, “For the royal family, it represents heritage and tradition, combining traditional values with the progressive style of education that we know William and Catherine desire for their children.
“Eton College's proximity to their home is another advantage; you can actually see Windsor Castle from Eton College. Moreover, the school has become more flexible when it comes to boarding arrangements. It's quite normal for mothers to visit their children for a coffee or tea on the high street. Additionally, students are permitted to spend nights at home if their housemaster approves it, particularly on Saturday or Sunday evenings.”