The four-year-old royal was accompanied by both of her parents, the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge, and her big brother George as she arrived at the private school.
Charlotte appeared to be looking forward to her first day, waving to the crowds as she was welcomed by the school’s head of lower school, Helen Haslem, and was wearing the school’s traditional uniform.
Kate and William’s second child will join Reception while her brother, who started at Thomas’s Battersea in September 2017, goes into Year 2.
Commenting on Princess Charlotte’s demeanour as she headed to school for her big day, body language expert Judi James remarked on the young royal’s confidence and ease with the paparazzi, who were on hand for a photo call.
James told Yahoo UK: “All the previous signs have suggested that Charlotte is a confident and very sociable child who is always happy to wave to the cameras, so these signals of what could look like shyness on her first day at school do appear to be prompted by playfulness rather than real diffidence or first-day reluctance.
“Charlotte looked happy to keep her mum within touching distance and even to pull back behind her as they walked across the yard but once they got to the teacher she came round to the front promptly and keenly, flicking her ponytail and performing a cheerful part-wave as she did so.
“Unlike her brother, who looked a lot less distracted and grown-up, Charlotte also stared happily at the cameras as she walked past them, also suggesting sociability rather than shyness.”
James added the young royal seemed significantly more “confident and outgoing” compared to her brother Prince George on his first day.
This may be something to do with the different experience Prince George has had a first-born child, she suggests.
“First-born children often get an overload of parental attention before their siblings arrive, which can lead to displays of the kind of shyness and lack of attention-seeking behaviour that George showed on his own first day at school.
“He stood greeting his teacher with his chin down and a slightly wary, solemn expression on his face and William stood close alongside to offer what looked like support.”
While Charlotte displayed some “shyness rituals”, such as “pulling at Kate’s hand and even peeping round from behind her skirts at one point,” her shyness soon abated.
“Once [Princess Charlotte] reached the teacher she walked out in front of Kate, shaking hands with her chin up and an open smile that suggest confidence and a more outgoing approach socially,” explained James,
“She also had her hand raised in a wave quite a lot, suggesting she’s happy with the attention that her brother seemed to be avoiding on his first day.”
St Thomas’s Battersea
St Thomas’s isn’t cheap: one term sets parents back £6,305, according to the school’s website, however as Charlotte’s the second in the family to attend the establishment, her fees will be almost 4% lower than those of Prince George.
Rated as outstanding by Ofsted, Thomas’s Battersea teaches around 560 boys and girls aged between four and 13.
Art, ballet - which Charlotte has reportedly already been studying -, drama, ICT, French, music and PE are all on the curriculum.
Princess Charlotte’s education to date
Prior to Thomas’s Battersea, Princess Charlotte attended the £14,000-a-year Willcocks Nursery School in South Kensington - a mere 12-minute walk from the Cambridges’ family home home in Kensington Palace.
Charlotte wasn’t required to wear a uniform to nursery school and likely spent her days getting involved in the activities on offer, which included pottery, singing, dancing and music.