Here's How Much The Royal Family Really Spends On Education

Choosing the right school for a child is difficult for most parents, but when you're a royal and money is no object, you have access to a gateway to the world's best schools. Although Queen Elizabeth II was homeschooled with her sister by a series of top specialist educators (via Britannica), the royal generations that followed her have all opted to attend prestigious schools. Schools chosen by royals offer much more than just academics. The younger royals have all attended institutions emphasizing pastoral care programs and extravagant offerings such as international ski trips, golfing, and beekeeping.

For the royals, the school social scene is a great place to rub shoulders with others from the upper echelons of society or even find love. So, it's no surprise that Prince William famously met his future wife, Kate Middleton, while studying at the University of St. Andrews (via Express). Let's take a closer look at how much the royals really spend on education.

Prince William attended Eton College

Prince William, the future king of England, was educated exclusively in elite independent schools. Between the ages of 8 and 13, he attended Ludgrove School in Berkshire, England. Set on beautiful grounds of 130 acres in the Berkshire countryside, with gardens and woodland, the school's annual tuition fee is approximately $35,000. Its grounds include outdoor fields for hockey, cricket, and tennis, and its indoor facilities include two squash courts, a sports hall, and a 65 feet long indoor swimming pool (via Ludgrove).

At 13, Prince William enrolled in the prestigious Eton College in Windsor, England. According to the Eton website, the school fees are over $50,000 annually. Prince William was a boarding student there and enjoyed Eton's state-of-the-art facilities, including grand theaters, swimming pools, and tennis courts. He spent a total of five years at Eton, which included the time of his mother's death, where he turned to his peers for support (via The Sun). After graduating, the prince attended the University of St. Andrews in Scotland, where he met his future wife, Kate Middleton (now known as Catherine, Princess of Wales).

Princess Catherine met Prince William at St. Andrews

Born into an upper-middle-class family, Princess Catherine (then called Kate Middleton) is the first of three children. Her parents started their careers as flight attendants with British Airlines before using their inheritance to launch a successful business selling children's party supplies. The profitable venture helped them send Catherine to Marlborough College. At the elite private school, she was a serious student who did well academically and was captain of the school's field hockey team (via Britannica). According to Marlborough College school's website, annual boarding tuition fees are $47,680.

After graduating high school, Catherine studied Art History at the University of St. Andrews, where she first met Prince William. St. Andrews fees start at $43,900, not including boarding expenses (via St. Andrews).

Catherine said she was embarrassed when she first met William. "I actually went bright red when I met you and scuttled off feeling very shy about meeting you," she admitted years later when the pair were interviewed, per Express.

Prince Harry faced cheating allegations at an elite school

Like his older brother Prince William, Prince Harry also attended Eton College. The $50,000 a year school is well-known for its prominent alums, which include 20 prime ministers such as David Cameron and Boris Johnson, per Express.

Prince Harry faced cheating allegations at Eton, where his art teacher was accused of writing a document that accompanied his final art project. However, he and his teacher denied the claims, and an exam board later cleared them (via The Guardian).

After graduating from Eton, Prince Harry took two years off before attending the Royal Military Academy Sandhurst in May 2005. Those who enroll in Sandhurst are not charged; instead, they are provided a salary based on their rank, according to the British army's official site. After Harry graduated from Sandhurst, Prince Harry spent ten years in the military, undertaking tours of Afghanistan. He also trained as an Apache attack helicopter pilot (via Reuters).

Meghan Markle attended a private Catholic school that cost $17,650

Before becoming the Duchess of Sussex, Meghan Markle grew up in Los Angeles and attended private schools. Her education started at Hollywood Little Red Schoolhouse (now known as Hollywood Schoolhouse) when she was two years old. The tuition for early childhood programs costs $21,950 annually (via Hollywood Schoolhouse). Other celebrities who attended the school include actress Scarlett Johansson and the children of Johnny Depp, according to Yahoo!

From grades 6 to 12, Markle moved on to Immaculate Heart High School, an all-girls independent Roman Catholic school, per Britannica. The school offers a variety of opportunities for students, including leadership roles, community service, journalism clubs, and robotics. The tuition for the 2022-2023 school year starts at $19,800, per the school's website.

The former "Suits" star attended college at the elite Northwestern University in Evanston, Illinois. In 2003, she earned a bachelor's degree in Theatre and International Studies from Northwestern University School of Communication (via Biography.com). Back in 2013, Meghan confessed to always being a "theater nerd at Northwestern University" but said she "hated the idea of being this cliché—a girl from L.A. who decides to be an actress," per Marie Claire. With so many accomplishments to her name today, she no longer needs to worry about that cliche.

Prince George attended a nursery school that costs just $36.91 a day

Prince George, the eldest child of Prince William and Princess Catherine, started his schooling at a Montessori nursery that cost just $36.91 a day. As a two-year-old, the young prince attended the Westacre Montessori in King's Lynn, England, where many of his peers received government funding. Prince William and Harry both attended Montessori nurseries, and this could be because their mother, the late Princess Diana, worked as an assistant at a Montessori nursery before she married Prince Charles (via The Telegraph). Pioneered by the Italian educator Maria Montessori, the Montessori method is student-centered, emphasizing child empowerment and independence.

Despite the modest start to his schooling, Prince George was soon moved to Thomas's Battersea, a co-educational prep school in South London with fees that start at $20,000 a year, according to The Sun. According to Thomas's Battersea website, the school offers ballet, karate, debating, and gardening sessions.

In August, Prince William and Princess Catherine announced they would move to Windsor, and their children would attend Lambrook school in Berkshire, England. The prestigious private school is located in the idyllic Windsor countryside. The annual school fees for Prince George's grade are around $23,000 (via Town & Country).

Princess Charlotte and Prince Louis attend a school with a golf course

While Prince George attended the modest $36.91-a-day nursery school, his younger siblings, Princess Charlotte and Prince Louis attended Willcocks Nursery, a nursery for more affluent families. Willcock's Nursery fees begin at $16,000 a year, and its proximity to Kengsinton Place made it desirable to the royals residing there at the time, according to Express.

Prince Louis' began nursery school at three instead of two like his older siblings, most likely due to the COVID-19 pandemic (per Hello!). Princess Charlotte attended Willcock's nursery from age two until she was old enough to join Prince George at Thomas's Battersea (via Town & Country).

Following the family's move to the Windsor countryside, Prince George, Princess Charlotte, and Prince Louis all started attending Lambrook school. The school offers exciting activities like beekeeping and even has a golf course (via People). Lambrook school fees accumulate to over $59,000 a year for all three children, according to Town & Country.

Princess Beatrice and Princess Eugenie schools fees were $44,000 a year

Prince Andrew and Sarah Ferguson's divorce in the early '90s changed the lives of their daughters. Princess Beatrice and her younger sister Princess Eugenie went from having a chance at being working royals to having to get regular jobs just like the rest of us (via ABC News). 

Princess Beatrice and Eugenie began their education at Upton House School in Windsor (via Royal Central). According to the school's website, the fees go up to more than $20,00 annually. The sisters went on to attend Coworth Park school in Surrey, England, with costs that go up to around $17,000 a year​​ (via Coworth Park). Both princesses moved on to St George's School in Ascot, an all-girls school with fees that start at $44,000 a year, but Princess Eugenie left to attend Marlborough College in Wiltshire in 2003. Princess Eugenie was a boarding student there for five years until she finished high school (per Hello!). According to Marlborough College's website, annual boarding tuition fees are $47,680.42.

Princess Beatrice studied at Goldsmiths, the University of London, where fees are approximately $11,000 per course for undergraduate students from the United Kingdom, per its website. Meanwhile, Eugenie studied at Newcastle University, with its website advertising similar charges of roughly $10,500 per course for undergraduate students from the United Kingdom.

The Queen was homeschooled

As a girl, Queen Elizabeth II (then known as Princess Elizabeth) was privately home-tutored with her younger sister, Princess Margaret. Their mother was responsible for overseeing her education. She called upon the finest educators to teach her daughters history, music, languages, and other subjects, including dance (via Britannica).

When King George VI ascended the throne in 1936, Princess Elizabeth was just 10 years old, and her education needed to be stepped up as she had become heir to the throne. The Archbishop of Canterbury was responsible for the future queen's religious education, as becoming queen meant she would become Head of the Church of England, according to Express.

As a princess, Queen Elizabeth II read most of the works of Shakespeare and enjoyed horseback riding, music, and dance. She was also a great swimmer, and passed her life-saving swimming tests, per The Atlantic. It is unknown how much was spent on Queen Elizabeth II's education.

King Charles III attended a boarding school in Scotland

Taking the throne at 73 years old, King Charles III is the first monarch of the United Kingdom to hold a university degree and the first to be educated in a school, according to Metro.

King Charles III (then Prince Charles) attended Hill House school in West London in 1956. According to the Hill House School website, the school's fees are $17,000 annually. After 10 months at Hill House, the young prince became a boarder at Cheam School in Berkshire. Per its website, current boarding fees at Cheam school are approximately $12,000 annually. Like his late father, Prince Philip, King Charles III spent his middle and high school years at Gordonstoun private school in Scotland. According to the Gordonstoun school website, the current fees are just over $16,000 yearly for boarders in grades 9-12.

At Gordonstoun, King Charles III took part in the school plays, with his performance as the King in Shakespeare's Macbeth receiving a positive critical reception in the newspapers, per BBC. King Charles III attended Cambridge University in 1967. He studied archaeology, anthropology, and history, per the Prince of Wales ebsite. Undergraduate degrees at Cambridge University cost around $10,000 annually, according to the university's website.

Princess Diana attended finishing school in Switzerland

The late Princess Diana was sent to Riddlesworth Hall boarding school at nine years old, a time she said was "lonely and difficult," according to New Idea. The boarding school fees at Riddlesworth Hall are $18,000 (per the Isbi school search website).Following Princess Diana's time at the boarding school, she went to West Heath Girls' School in Kent, where she was a talented pianist and won an award for being a great helper, per Royal Central.

It's unclear how much the West Heath Girls' School fees were as the school experienced financial difficulties and has since closed down. However, a new school serving disadvantaged students has opened in its place. The new school, called West Health School, was funded by Mohamed Al Fayed, whose son Dodi Al Fayed was in a romantic relationship with Princess Diana. In a public statement, Mohamed Al Fayed said that "he was surprised that the Princess Diana Memorial Fund with all its millions in the bank did not show a greater interest" in buying her old school, via the BBC. "I believe it to be a far more fitting tribute to her work than putting her name on tasteless souvenirs," Al Fayed added.

Princess Diana left West Heath Girls' School in 1977 and attended a Swiss finishing school called Institut Alpin Videmanette in Rougemont. The finishing school is no longer in operation, but similar schools charge $20,000 for a six-week course (via Time).

The Queen Consort school fees were $26,000 a year

Born Camilla Rosemary Shand in 1947, and later known as Camilla Parker Bowles, the Queen Consort grew up in a wealthy family with high social standing. Although her family mingled in upper-class circles, they were not royal (via BBC). But when Camilla first met Prince Charles (now King Charles III), she joked about her connection to the royal family by mentioning her great-grandmother, Alice Keppel, who was the mistress of King Edward VII, according to Reuters.

Camilla's family's wealth gave her access to the most elite European schools. Foreshadowing her future, the current Queen Consort attended Queen's Gate independent school. The school for girls aged 4 to 18 is located in South Kensington, London. With school fees of $26,000 annually, the school's focus is on empowering girls, according to the Queen's Gate website.

Camilla looked back at her time at the all-girl school fondly. "Queen's Gate must have given me a foundation and gave me a love of English and reading, and for some unknown reason, they have made me chancellor of Aberdeen University," she said in 2016 when visiting the school (via Private Schools). "So Queen's Gate must have taught me something." The Queen Consort then attended Mon Fertile in Switzerland, the now-closed school, charged $20,100 for a six-week residential diploma course, per Financial Times.

Prince Philip started his schooling in France

The late Prince Philip, Duke of Edinburgh, was born in 1921 in Greece. He was born into the Greek and Danish royal families and renounced his right to the Greek and Danish thrones before marrying Queen Elizabeth II, who was his distant relative. Born into royalty and wealth, Prince Philip began his schooling in France before his family moved to London, per Britannica. In London, he attended Cheam Preparatory School, Surrey, in 1928, a private school with fees of $12,000 annually (via Cheam). He left Cheam at 12 years old to spend a year at Salem School in Germany, run by the famous educationalist Kurt Hahn. Following Jewish persecution, Hahn fled and founded the Gordonstoun School in Scotland, where Philip finished high school (via The New York Times). The current fees at Gordonstoun school are just over $16,000 for boarders in grades 9 to12, according to the school's website.

Prince Philip must have enjoyed his education because his eldest son Prince Charles (now King Charles III), attended both Cheam Preparatory School and Gordonstoun School in Scotland.

Prince Philip's influence in the royal family is likely why his son, the current King of England, is the first monarch not to be homeschooled like the monarchs before him.