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- Eldest child of Prince William, Duke of Cambridge, and Catherine, Duchess of Cambridge
The school at which Prince George will start this week is vulnerable to terrorists, local residents have claimed, after one filmed herself wandering the corridors unchallenged.
Sarah Burnett-Moore, 54, strolled into Thomas’s Battersea after the wrought iron gate and a main entrance door were left open.
She said that, bearing in mind the third-in-line to the throne would be starting there on Thursday, the lack of security just a few days ago was “astonishing.”
The disclosure will come as an embarrassment to Kensington Palace but insiders insisted that when the new term begins, a carefully planned, yet discreet security operation would swing into action.
Mrs Burnett-Moore told The Telegraph: “I could have walked in with an IED and set it to go off on Thursday.
“I live just 200 metres from the school and myself and lots of neighbours are worried about the security implications as the prince’s presence will make the area a target for attacks.”
Thomas’s has undergone a major renovation project in recent weeks and dozens of contractors have been working there throughout the summer, extending the dining room and renovating the communal areas.
Mrs Burnett-Moore, a doctor, acknowledged that the school was closed for the summer holidays until later this week and that the place had been teeming with builders, but said that the fact she was able to walk through reception and into a classroom area unnoticed was "rather worrying."
However, from the moment the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge drop off their apprehensive son in his brand new uniform on Thursday, a slick, well-rehearsed security operation will come into force designed to ensure both the prince’s safety and that of other pupils.
Checks on the security of the building will be done on an hourly basis and royal protection officers will work around the clock in a “significant” operation.
However, a prime emphasis will be the comfort of four-year-old Prince George and his fellow pupils, and to that end, there will be minimal impact on the children, whom it is hoped will not even notice anything.
The Prince’s start at the London school, where annual fees reach almost £18,000, marks the beginning of a new life for the Cambridge family as they settle in the capital to support the Queen in her duties full-time.
The Duchess has vowed to get involved in the school run, telling fellow parents she may see them at the school gates.
But the 3.5 mile journey from Kensington Palace to the school will likely take well over 40 minutes each way in busy rush-hour traffic that is particularly notorious through Chelsea, Kensington and over Battersea Bridge at school drop off and pick up times.
It is understood that while there will be no blue light escort holding up other traffic, there will be a measure of unobtrusive additional security for the Prince's daily journey.
While Battersea locals have expressed concerns about security, Prince George;’s imminent arrival has triggered a surge in interest in the SW11 postcode, with estate agents reporting a 60 per cent rise in interest of people looking to buy.
Prospective parents must register their child as early as possible, usually at birth, to guarantee an entrance assessment. The list closes when there are 200 names on it.
According to the Good Schools Guide, it is "a big, busy, slightly chaotic school for cosmopolitan parents who want their children to have the best English education money can buy. That is what they want and, to a large degree, that is what they get."
The school, which prioritises kindness and discourage pupils from having best friends, has a rooftop playground overlooking the River Thames and boasts a ballet room, science laboratories, a pottery room and two libraries.
Past school dinner choices include freshly prepared authentic lamb ragout with garlic and fresh herbs, served with organic grated cheese, baton carrots and cucumber, and steamed fibre-rich whole-wheat twisty pasta, to Mediterranean 50/50 couscous and quinoa, and baked smoked mackerel on a bed of puy lentils.
The Prince's new uniform - which must be bought from John Lewis - includes a navy v-neck pullover with red trim, navy bermuda-style school shorts and long red socks.
His black school shoes must be polishable and laceless. Other items the young Prince will take with him on Thursday are a red art smock and a sports kit including a swim hat, and a pair of black ballet shoes.
Neither Kensington Palace nor Thomas’s would comment on security matters.