Princess Charlotte posed for her obligatory first day of school family photo this morning – on the familiar steps of Kensington Palace.
The excited young royal, four, posed beside her brother Prince George, six, proudly wearing her Thomas’s Battersea school uniform.
The adorable pair were shot standing at the bottom of white concrete steps, with their arms affectionately placed around each other’s waists.
It’s a photoshoot location often used by proud mum and keen photographer Kate to capture her children, but it is not known if the duchess took this particular shot.
London-based award-winning photographer Bronwen Sharpe previously told FEMAIL how Kate carefully composes her pictures so that there are ‘no distracting elements’ in the background.
The steps served as a backdrop for Kate’s photo of Prince George on his first day of nursery in November 2014.
The couple’s eldest son was sat on the first step with a mischievous expression, and Bronwen commented on Kate’s unique ability to capture ‘joy and real moments in her subjects’ expressions’.
The steps were slightly out of focus, which Bronwen put down to Kate’s ‘great ability to create wonderful out of focus backgrounds using limited depth of field’, thereby drawing more attention to George.
On his first day at Thomas’s, Prince George posed with his father Prince William halfway up the steps, beaming as he held his hand while balanced on one leg mid-step.
This shot, which was not snapped by mum Kate, was taken from the bottom of the steps and offered a different angle to the duchess’ usual style.
Kate snapped a similar picture to today’s image of Princess Charlotte on her first day at nursery in January 2018.
In this image Charlotte was positioned stood on the first step with her hand resting on the black railing and her other arm outstretched, as if she was mid-descent when pictured, making it appear more natural.
The young princess also wasn’t pictured looking right into the lens of the camera – which was also the case with the photos of young George.
Another shot of her showed her sitting on the second step, gazing almost directly towards the lens with a cheeky glint in her eye.
This photo of the siblings is considerably more staged, with George and Charlotte now older and more adept and experienced at posing for the camera.
The steps themselves had evidently undergone a deep clean since they were first used as the location for photoshoots, as the green moss present on the 2014 shot of George has been removed.
Princess Charlotte held onto her mother’s hand this morning as she arrived at Thomas’ with her father and brother, who is set to show her around the £18,915-a-year private institution in south London.
Charlotte smiled, waved and shyly hid behind the Duchess of Cambridge, who was holding her bag for her, and had her hair in a practical ponytail, which she kept adjusting, fixed with a bow.
Head of the lower school Helen Haslem was waiting to greet her new pupil and shook hands with the princess, who celebrated her fourth birthday on May 2 and will be known as Charlotte Cambridge to staff and schoolmates.
The siblings were driven to school by her father in the family’s Land Rover Discovery, arriving just after 8.15am.
The children, whose mother wore a £215 red-patterned Michael Kors dress, were welcomed through a side entrance while other children accompanied by their parents went in through the front.
Princess Charlotte’s arrival was in contrast to George’s first day at the £6,000-a-term school two years ago.
George arrived without his mother, because she was at home suffering from acute morning sickness.
She was pregnant at the time with Prince Louis, her third child. Instead, William had to take him by himself.
Charlotte – whose fees are two per cent lower than George’s because she is a second child at the school – arrived wearing what staff call a ‘transitional’ uniform of a blue pinafore with a white summer blouse, and black shoes and white socks.