Mike Tindall refuses to allow daughter Mia to be packed off to boarding school


While their marriage has seen a few blips, Zara Phillips and Mike Tindall seem to be a pretty solid couple. Zara is the only daughter of Princess Anne, and Mike Tindall is the rough-and-tumble rugby player. They were married in 2011, just a few months after William and Kate’s big wedding. Zara welcomed daughter Mia Tindall in 2014, and Mia seems to be utterly adored by both of her parents. Reportedly, Zara’s pregnancy and birth was pretty difficult, so Mia might even be their only child, or their only child for a while. So it makes sense that Mike and Zara would be especially hands-on with Mia, even if it means going against the royal/aristocratic tradition of packing off one’s children to far-flung boarding schools when they’re very young. Mike Tindall has put his foot down: no boarding schools for Mia! From the Daily Mail’s gossip girl, Girl About Town:

Oh dear – it seems there could be something of a bust-up brewing in the Tindall household. In a move that could well upset his wife Zara, Mike Tindall has robustly insisted that he will not send their daughter Mia away to a boarding school such as Gordonstoun. The move flies in the face of Royal tradition as many of the family have attended the elite school in the north of Scotland, including Prince Philip, Prince Charles… and Zara herself.

‘I’m certainly not keen on sending Mia away to a boarding school at the other end of the country,’ Tindall told me at London’s famous Abbey Road studios, where he was supporting a fundraising event for children’s charity Hope and Homes. ‘I know many people who say boarding was the making of them because they forged great independence from their parents, but I don’t really want her to be distanced from us.’

The former England rugby captain, who attended Queen Elizabeth Grammar School in Wakefield, added: ‘My school was a public one and plenty of my mates lived in, but I was just a day student and it definitely didn’t do me any harm. If anything, I enjoyed the best of both worlds. Personally, I’d rather she attend a school that’s nearby, where we’ll always be on hand if she needs us. Anything else goes against my instincts.’

There are a number of top-notch schools near the Tindall home on the Gatcombe Park Estate in Gloucestershire that Mia’s father may consider more suitable for her. Insiders suggest that Dean Close pre-preparatory school in Cheltenham may be the first choice, while in later years Mia could become a day girl at Cheltenham Ladies College.

[From The Daily Mail]

I don’t think Mike is off-base at all. While there are some upper-crust Americans who send their kids off to boarding school, the whole English tradition of packing off the kids at such a young age just seems ridiculous to me. If Mike and Zara want Mia to stay at home, good for them. It’s nice to see Mike insisting that they break the mold. I bet when Mia gets to be a teenager, she’ll actually want to be with her friends at a prep school or boarding school, but for her early education? Mike’s right. And THIS is the real “middle class” and “normal” way of doing it, in my opinion. While the Duchess of Cambridge’s instincts might be similar to Mike’s, there’s no way that the royal family will let George and Charlotte stay at home when they get to a certain age. By the age of eight, I bet George gets packed off to boarding school.



Photos courtesy of Pacific Coast News, WENN.

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93 Responses to “Mike Tindall refuses to allow daughter Mia to be packed off to boarding school”

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  1. Melly says:

    What an adorable daddy’s girl! And those overalls! The cuteness is just too much!

    • Andrea says:

      Right? They dress their daughter far more relaxed and normal than Will and Kate. I’m also surprised to see Tindall attended Queen Elizabeth Grammar School – that sounds posh! I got such a working class vibe off of him. He looks rough but obviously he is moneyed!

      • Melly says:

        They dress their daughter like a “normal” child. This is what kids wear to do kid things, like run and play. W&K always dress their kids, George in particular, in weird throw back style.

      • spidey says:

        @ andrea. Sorry if I’m teaching my grandmother to suck eggs, but most grammar schools were where you went if you passed the 11+ exam as opposed to a secondary modern or technical school. They were mostly abolished in the 70s and the 11 plus phased out. They were replaced by comprehensive schools. However this particular grammar school is I believe quite posh, but they weren’t all.

      • spidey says:

        He looks rough because he got his nose broken/smashed playing rugby.

      • sienna says:

        Traditionally rugby is quite posh and players were from independent schools. I believe many state schools had football as a focus and private schools had a more rugby focused program.

      • ladysussex says:

        To be fair, Mia will never be a major royal, while George will be King one day. They have an obligation to dress him a certain way for public events and photos, and they would be criticised if they didn’t. But really they will be criticised either way, won’t they?

      • VL says:

        It is a public school, and there’s nothing fancy about Wakefield. It’s a bit of a shit hole really.
        So that alone doesn’t mean he’s moneyed.

      • Nic919 says:

        There is no obligation to dress George a certain way. Especially when he is dressed in more old fashioned clothes than Will and Harry ever were as kids and Will is closer to the throne.

      • spidey says:

        @ sienna – Rugby Union is the posh one played at a lot of public ~(ie paying schools). But Rugby League, a game played more in the north of England, is not considered posh.

  2. Lucy says:

    At such a young age it seems rather harsh to send your child away, but I understand how tradition and pressure from family is really hard. My husband and I are in a similar boat, our daughter turns three and is supposed to start pre-school, my family is pressuring us to send her to the same private school we all went to, my husband and I want to keep her home 1 more year with me and let her start kindergarten in public school, this is outraging my family, especially mu mother. The way we see it we have 1 more year of her being ours and able to enjoy her before she’s in school for the rest of her life, and we can’t justify spending $45,000 a year on tuition for such a small age. We figured we’d send her in middle and high school, but my very old stuffy traditional family thinks we’re corrupting our daughter.

    • SloaneY says:

      $45,000 a year for pre-school??? I forked out less for 4 years of college!

    • Erinn says:

      You know – I know it’s never this easy, because if it was, it’d never be an issue.

      But your mom had a chance to raise her kids, and she needs to kindly let you do the same. Pushy family always adds so much unneeded stress to everything – and that’s something I can definitely empathize with.

    • swak says:

      Do what you want to do. I went to Parochial and Private schools. My children went to public school and two went to Private for high school. I believe public schools give the children a more rounded education and it allows them to meet people from all backgrounds. Not so much with private schools. Plus, you can buy a couple cars with $45000

    • SamiHami says:

      Your child, your decision. No one else gets a vote.

      • spidey says:

        Well said SamiHami. And if you put your foot down this time, next time will be easier and maybe the family with get the message.

    • hplupoi says:

      My kid currently goes to Pre-K half days and it costs 538.00 a month. Granted we are in an area that is very cheap.

      Funny story, I was talking to women in my daughters gymnastics who send their kids to private schools. I asked what they thought the benefit was to private school, I said I am sending my kid to public first chance I get, I don’t want to pay for school. They explained that there kids were better behaved (they aren’t). I said I am living for the day I can send her to “free” school. They said if money is an issue for you then you should a financial aid package or a scholarship for low income families. I was so shocked I couldn’t stop laughing. I can afford private school I just think it’s a waste of money a lot of time. I know I look homeless sometimes at gymnastics but come on just because you can doesn’t mean you will.

    • Jane.fr says:

      I don’t know what a child does in preschool in the states, but I come from a family of teacher/educator and work with some educationalist. So here my unasked for opinon :

      First :
      The first years are crucial for a good/easy socialization, for good logical, thinking and knowledge basis.
      Some parents can provide what the child need. Some parents can’t. And it has nothing to do with being a good/loving/not stupid parent. School does. Professional teacher are also supposed to have the means for early detection of psychological, physiological, emotional, etc…, problems.

      $45,000 a year? Seriously seriously ? I did two full degrees programs in computer sciences and in teaching at uni for far less.
      Maybe going back to uni, learning everything and anything about education of children would be less expensive?

      • Lucy says:

        We’re in Canada not the States, but yeah the prestigious private schools here run anywhere from $15,000 – $50,000 yearly. It’s pretty insane to my husband and I, we have the funds but just think for the amount of learning 3-10 year olds do it’s pretty stupid to spend this kind of money.

      • Denise says:

        Many European countries don’t send their children to school until they are 7 years old and these are countries at the forefront of innovation where their citizens are taken care of through robust social programs. What happens at school will never make up for/replace/supercede the foundation a child receives from her parents. As far as identifying issues, teachers and schools are responsible for creating them, too.

      • Nic919 says:

        $45,000 is about the cost of law school in Canada. . For three years. So you are not getting bang for your buck paying that for a young child. Really I hear great things about Montessori, which is not private school and the kids actually learn and have fun. They have half day programs too.

    • Lucy says:

      The school is very old and prestigious, you pretty much have to have had several generations attend to even be accepted. My husband and I are very different from how I was raised. We’re lucky enough to have businesses that run themselves so we can afford to spend a lot of time with our daughter and honestly the way I see it is we only get 3 years with her and then she’s in school, work and married and gone so we want to enjoy this time as much as possible. We also live in a very affluent neighbourhood so even the public school is fantastic and we see no reason why she can’t attend public school for elementary and we can shell out the money for middle and high school. Older generations just do things differently and are stuck on “tradition”

      • Ryllis says:

        We’ve kept our 3yo son at home, ignoring all the criticisms from well-meaning friends, family, and neighbours. When every other person, be it people we knew or strangers, were pressuring us to put him in nursery, I asked my son what he wanted to do. His sister had just been born, and he said he wanted to spend time learning about babies, and get to know her. Barely a year later, I asked him again. Since then he’s made friends his own age (everyone else goes to nursery/pre-school) and starting to get a bit annoyed his sister doesn’t understand “how to play properly”. So he’s open to going a few times a week. This year, he’s learned to do a few chores around the house, which judging by what the other mums say, is a rarity so it’s not a bad thing to have your child hang around you! I suggest asking your daughter what she wants to do. She’ll tell you when she feels ready for all that!

    • rudy says:

      Lucy!!! Keep your girl home with you!!

      Love and family are most important. That is SUCH a young age to send a child away.

      Trust your instincts.

  3. The Original Mia says:

    Do her cousins go to boarding school? If they don’t, I could see the girls attending the same local schools as the lesser royals that they are.

    Mia is adorable. Very much a mix of her mom and dad.

  4. aims says:

    I don’t understand the boarding school at a young age either. I’d think it would be traumatic to leave your home at a young age and have someone else raise your children. Maybe I’m showing my middle class, but can’t she get a good education while still living with her parents?

    • Denise says:

      Absolutely! Boarding school kids have a ton of pressure heaped on them from a very young age. If your parents are sending you to boarding school, they have a track in mind for you. Many children must spend their summers, like a full-time job Mon-Friday 9–5 with a tutor so they will get into the next ‘must attend or die’ school/university when it’s time to move on. They have no childhood. They are not treated as individuals. Their early lives are a means to an end. My husband is a professor here in the UK and has many students that come from the elite schools, including aristocrats, and every year he comments on how disturbing it is that they cannot think for themselves. They have been trained how to pass tests, not think critically. They cannot write a paper. I can’t imagine growing up so ‘privileged’.

  5. LAK says:

    I think his principal objection is to a boarding school ‘the other side of the country’ not boarding school per se.

    It makes you think that they’ve hsd this conversation because a boarding school at the other end of the country can only mean Gordonstoun which Zara and Peter attended and by all accounts thrived there.

    There are plenty of boarding schools near their home. And Boarding schools let you visit all the time. It’s not like ye old days when you were sent away because no one cared or inconvenient or business as usual and no one saw their kids for 80% of the year.

    And most boarding schools aren’t the hell hole of reputation. Gordonstoun has evolved from mandatory 6am bathing in the ice cold sea as a form of character building exercise. It’s fantastic if you are sports mad like this family. I think Harry would have thrived there instead of Eton.

    I’d imagine it’s a tricky conversation if you enjoyed boarding school and your partner did not AND attended a day school. It’s hard to convey the merits of both systems.

    • Sixer says:

      He just went to QE in Wakefield, didn’t he? Up the road from where his parents lived? (I know too much about rugby!)

      My school was only about 20 miles away from my parents’ house and they could visit any time, but I still went home every single weekend for no other reason than I wanted to because I liked my extended family and they did cool stuff at the weekend. Nobody at the school ever objected. And this was 25 years ago.

      • LAK says:

        It’s tradition in my family to board and all seem to have enjoyed the experience so i’m extremely biased on this subject.

        It probably helped that we attend the same schools, so my siblings and cousins and family friends’ kids were all there.

        Also, by pure concidence, most of the other parents tended to treat other kids like extensions of their own families so you never felt lonely or left out.

        Doing stuff i could never have been allowed to do at home. That was a bonus.

      • Sixer says:

        Nobody else in my family had ever boarded, so far as I’m aware. I liked it. I liked the school. I liked the teachers. I liked the other pupils. But I also liked my family, you know? There’s a great many of them and they always had a raucous communal social life going on. So I went home for that at the weekend because I didn’t want to miss out. I kinda feel like I got the best of both worlds and nobody putatively in charge of me, either parent or school person, ever seemed to mind.

        I have a veritable shopping list of criticisms of the public school system, but being in any way a non-nurturing environment or failing to create a happy (and loving) atmosphere for the pupils was not at all my experience. Quite the opposite. My school would have done literally anything if it made me happy.

      • Cee says:

        I was shipped off to Australia for two months and I hated it. Not only because of the time difference, but I felt so isolated and different, as a foreigner. And I was 17! I wouldn’t be able to send a child off to boarding school at such a young age. Perhaps at 13 years old I would change my mind.

      • LAK says:

        Sixer: Mine too.

        On the family front, my family is like yours so it never felt like being at school was abandonment.

        Though having so many family members at school with me also helped on the not feeling abandoned front.

        Cee: despite my bias, i recognise that it wasn’t/isn’t the best place for everyone. Some kids had serious adjustment issues. Others felt abandoned no matter how much the school tried to alieviate that.

        For my family, there is no alternative. Everybody goes. No discussion.

      • noway says:

        I think for the majority of Americans, even the ones who attended private schools, we just don’t have the tradition of boarding school as prevalent as the Brits. Yes some here do go, but not as many and generally not at 8 years old either. Kind of foreign to the American mind, but I can see the upside to either side. I think whatever the parents wish they should be able to do with their child. Hope they don’t feel any undo pressure because of their royal status, and good for them for thinking and doing for themselves.

      • Sixer says:

        noway – it’s just culturally known outside of Britain that poshies go to boarding school, that’s all. It’s not common. Only 7% of children are educated outside the state system and about half of them go to day schools, as Tindall did. You’re talking about 2 or 3 in 100 children attending boarding school here. Probably the same as it is stateside.

      • Cee says:

        A friend’s youngest brother was taken out of school (most schools here are day only) and got sent to board at another British School in Buenos Aires. This kid THRIVED. He has changed so much, and for the better.

        Parents should make their choice taking into account the child’s personality, if there is a choice at all. I would have hated being away from home, my sister on the other hand, I’m sure would have loved it.

      • Carol says:

        In high school, I always wanted to go to boarding school. It just seemed like I would have loved it. But I don’t know if I would have enjoyed being away from my parents at an eatlier age. Glad you guys had a good experience though:)

    • Scal says:

      Exactly-he went to a boarding school-just as a day student not a sleep away one.

    • Birdix says:

      My oldest went to the summer program of a specialized school outside London last year and begged and pleaded to stay yearround. I couldn’t do it, for selfish reasons, I suppose, I didn’t want her to be that far away. So I understand Mike,, but still feel a little guilty about it.

  6. LaraK says:

    I find the idea of boarding school prior to the teen years to be ridiculous. Why bother having kids if you are not going to bring them up? Unless the parents are military personnel serving in a war zone, or something similar, it’s just not right in my book.

    I like this guy. He’s doing what we all hope non-royals will do when they join the royal family – bringing some common sense and normalcy.

    Also the kid is adorable. Who wouldn’t want to keep her home :)

    • SloaneY says:

      I am in complete agreement. I would maybe understand in the teen years for a specialty school, but otherwise…nope. Why bother having children if you aren’t going to bother raising them? When you send them away to school, someone else is raising them. Even if they “visit on the weekends”. There’s so much learning that goes on with just the everyday of driving places with your family, doing chores, bedtime reading. And yes, you can get a routine from a school, but you’re getting that routine with someone else’s values, and with someone who will never love you as much as your parents will. I guess maybe if you just don’t give a toss about your kids then maybe they would be better off, but….. Sorry to all those who boarded if that was harsh.

    • JLo says:

      I feel the same. I didn’t have children so that someone else could raise them, oversee their education and imprint their values instead of my own. My kids may drive me crazy, but I love them to pieces and wouldn’t miss out on the few short years I have with them. I think of parenting as slowly letting out the slack in a rope until your kids are adults, when you let go completely and hopefully have developed a relationship where they were enjoy being around you as adults. I know kids are resilient and probably learn to deal with living away from parents quickly, but I have a hard time seeing the value beyond prestige.

  7. HappyMom says:

    I think they’re having more kids-but they have to wait until after these Olympics where Zara is competing.

    • Bridget says:

      I thought the same thing. Rio is just around the corner, and Zara is competing. Any female Summer Olympic athlete would have put baby plans on hold through 2015/2016. Though I wonder how Zika will change any athletes’ family planning.

      • The Original Mia says:

        It’s not just the female athletes that have to worry. It’s everyone. Men can transmit the virus to their partners just as easily as women can be infected before pregnancy. No one should be conceiving within 6 months of leaving Rio. The risk is just too great.

      • Bridget says:

        I can’t imagine having to make that trade-off – go to the Olympics, but have to put starting a family on hold (I’ve heard that it should be at least a year after possible Zika exposure). For women athletes, their prime baby years typically also coincide with their prime competing years, and it’s an immense physical sacrifice to lose a couple of years to the pregnancy/postpartum process. Anyone who had Olympic dreams would have put off pregnancy (if possible) through 2015 and 2016, and now it derailed by another year.

      • Nic919 says:

        There is a crazy amount of sex that happens at these events between the athletes so let’s hope they are all smart and use protection. There is a real concern that the Olympics in Rio could help spread Zika worldwide far quicker than it is currently moving.

      • astrobiologiste says:

        I think the current recommendations is to wait 8 weeks post exposure (or 8 weeks after symptoms) to start trying for kids. I don’t think her plans would be affected that much. Her sport requires a very covered up uniform, so there is one layer of protection there, and there is always mosquito repellent. I am more worried about the athletes who will have to swim in the sewers Rio has for water bodies.

      • mltpsych says:

        My doctor just told me that if you go to a country with Zika, the men should wait 6 months before trying to conceive. Women only need to wait 8 weeks but it stays in the sperm for 6 months.

  8. GoodNamesAllTaken says:

    I wouldn’t send my child to boarding school at any age. I’m not judging people who chose to, and I have friends who went to boarding school and loved it, but it would never have worked for me as a child or as a parent. I think it’s cruel when they are very little. Why do they need to gain independence from you when they’re six? They will gain independence from you when they are ready. During the teenage years, I think they need parental supervision. I wouldn’t abdicate that responsibility. You really don’t know what’s going on in their lives when they don’t live with you, or so I am told by my friends who went. As I said, I’m sure there are perfectly reasonable counter arguments to this, but it would not work for me.

    • Nic919 says:

      In North America it is still a big deal for 18 year olds to leave home for university so I couldn’t imagine an eight year old leaving home. Just coming home during the summer and holidays is very different than coming home from school every day. The bond formed with parents discussing your homework and what happened at school that day and then doing after school events is one that I think is very important in developing relationships with them. I also wonder about bullying and being stuck in that environment for long periods of time.

      • Chicken says:

        Totally. My mom broke down in the parking lot of my university and sobbed hysterically for the longest time when she dropped me off to begin my freshman year. I can’t imagine that she would have ever been able to part with me earlier than that. Here, kids leaving at 18 is considered a pretty big deal.

      • ladysussex says:

        Boarding schools are pretty common for the upper classes in the U.S. as well, but not so common for elementary students. I went to a private school but had many friends who attended boarding school. And yes, bullying does occur and sadly students have no respite from it when they live amongst the bullies. Also what I find noteworthy, is that boarding school is where most of my girl friends learned to be “naughty”.

      • sauvage says:

        Bullying was my first thought, too. Like so many, I’ve been through it myself, and if I try to imagine being trapped with those people at a boarding school on top of that… Not having a retreat, not having friends out of school, not being able to go home to Mum, not having my cat in bed with me at night… HORRIBLE!

    • noway says:

      I completely agree with you for me personally, but I think this is a cultural thing in Britain. Also, keep in mind in America people call social services when they see kids walking to a playground alone, at least near me they did. Also we are the land of helicopter parents with parents doing kids projects and asking to be in college and job interviews with their kids, so as a culture we may be a bit too far on the other side of child independence too. For some kids I can see how boarding school could help them gain confidence and independence, but I just don’t think it would be good for my family.

      • Gretchen says:

        It’s not just a cultural thing, it’s very much a class thing. I’m British and the whole boarding system is completely alien to me and I have a feeling that the vast majority of non-elite Britons are similarly bemused by it.

      • GoodNamesAllTaken says:

        Yes, I’m not putting it down. Children are individuals just like adults (obviously) and some would probably thrive. I just don’t think it would work for me. Not because of the helicopter thing – I really don’t get parents who do their children’s homework. But I had a very close day-to-day relationship with my parents and it made me feel very loved and very safe. I would want that for my children, too.

      • Ellie says:

        I went to university with lots of ex-boarders. Some loved it and some hated it. I think the trick is to be flexible. If your kid hates it, LET THEM LEAVE.

        I also think that universities and education in the UK is just less “intense” than in the US. I don’t think that American education + boarding is survivable. Too much type A neuroticism. But in the UK, these boarding schools are actually comparatively relaxed about the education part. They stress the social skills, sport and connections element. This isn’t like living at Harvard for 10 years.

  9. Tulip says:

    The cynic in me says if she wasn’t the only child and reasonably well behaved, she’d be packed off pretty quickly. But as things stand, it’s good that they take the time to enjoy being around their child.

  10. Megan says:

    William is so determined to raise his family on his terms, he may buck the trend of sending the kids to boarding school at age 8. Although he and Kate both attended boarding school, so they may not object. I guess we’ll see.

    • ladysussex says:

      Yes but Kate was horribly bullied at boarding school, so her parents withdrew her and sent her to a school near their home where she attended as a “day student”. We would all hope little George wouldn’t be bullied like that since he’s a royal.

      • Ellie says:

        I doubt anyone can bully George simply because he’s George. He doesn’t seem like he’d take any crap to me.

      • LAK says:

        Ladysussex: Prince Charles was bullied as a badge of honour at his boarding school.

        Kate wasn’t bullied. All examples given of her being bullied were impossible because she was a day pupil at the school that she claimed the bullying happened.

        She simply didn’t fit in, so her parents moved her to another school where she boarded and fit in much better.

  11. kodakay says:

    Good for him! What a novel idea – actually raising your own children! Who da thunk it? lol

  12. Locke Lamora says:

    I had a hard time going to college because my family is ridiculously close, but being sent away at such a ypung age seems barbaric.

    • SloaneY says:

      It really does. I have a 7 year old, and he would be heartbroken if we sent him away. I’m sure he would develop a tough shell and get through it, but he would lose the light in his eyes and I honestly think it would ruin his sweet soul.
      I volunteer at my kid’s school a lot, and those kids like to act big, but they absolutely still need parental figures. They love when parents come to help and still need that parental attention.

    • GoodNamesAllTaken says:

      I had a hard time going to college, too, Locke Lamora, because of family closeness, but also because I went to such a small school and had the same 15 students in my class from seventh grade through graduation. I really didn’t know how to make friends because I had never had to. I adapted, and even loved it, but it was rough at first. I can’t imagine doing that at eight years old!

      • Locke Lamora says:

        Oh, GNAT, I can relate to that too. Our entire school system is like that. Here you choose a high school ( gymnasium or a vocational school) , and not individual subjects , and you’re put into a class of around 25 people. For the next 4 years, you spend 7 hours a day, 5 days a week with the same 25 people. Plus my school was also small and we were on very friendly terms with the teachers. I’m also from a very close knit family from a very close knit neighbourhood from a small town. So when I was suddenly in college with 300 other people it was a shock. I had a pretty rough time for the first year, but later it became great.
        When I was 8 going on a school trip for a couple of days was really hard for me, I can’t imagine being without my parents for months.

      • LAK says:

        Locke Lamora: it doesn’t work like that.

        For the under 11yr olds, most schools are weekly boarding which means kids go home every weekend.

        For the over 11yr olds, some schools are weeklies and some are monthlies ie you go home every weekend or every month.

        For both options also go home for half-term which is usually a week.

        For the duration of term-time, parents are encouraged to be in regular contact and can see their kids as often as they like as long as it doesn’t disrupt school schedule.

        Only extenuating circumstances keep parents from their children eg if parents live abroad. And pastoral care is a no 1 priority in all schools.

  13. HollyG says:

    I’m American, so I find this whole debate deliciously exotic. Like arguing about whether my Martian unicorn should have red hooves or blue hooves. Boarding school here is almost solely the purview of a certain element of upper middle class.

    Having said that, the quotes aren’t exactly forbidding her from becoming a boarder, he just says he would prefer it if she wasn’t so far away. There are days when I am like “NEVER GROW UP MUMMY LOVES YOUUUU” and other days where I want to pin the fare for a one-way ticket to grandmas house on my child.

    • Pansy says:

      Haha! I love the analogy! And I totally get it!

    • Gretchen says:

      “Boarding school here is almost solely the purview of a certain element of upper middle class.” In Britain too! Relatively very, very few Britons think about it, let alone have the resources to afford it.

    • MoochieMom says:

      I was engaged to a boarding school kid. Found him in bed with another all boys boarding school kid. Kept the ring. Glad he grew up but thankful I wasn’t married with a prenup to him.
      It’s elitist and often used as punishment in that circle. Gossip Girl wasn’t all fake.

  14. Pansy says:

    I’m American, and middle class at that, so the idea of boarding schools are just odd to me! At the risk of being offensive, why have kids other people raise. One of my very favorite times of the day is the 30 minutes after I get mine from school (I work in a school, so have the same hours and the luxury of getting mine right at 3)! They’re chatter boxes, telling me about what they learned, who hurt their feelings, who they like and don’t….I cannot imagine not having that with them on a daily basis! Even my teens have a conversation daily with me of some sort. And I feel like my husband and I can guide them through this life that way.

    I have a friend from a very wealthy family who was sent to boarding schools here in America, and his entire focus of nearly every conversation revolves around money. He has a sweet spirit, but constantly has to impress people. I always wondered if it was because he was instilled with having to compare everything with the people he was being raised with, not having parents’ unconditional love around him all the time.

    I realize things are different culturally, but maybe that’s why Americans are usually stereotyped as more open socially? Because, aside from the elite, we are very open with our families?

    • MoochieMom says:

      Boarding school tuition = college free ride is how it’s been explained to me from a boarding school.

      • ladysussex says:

        Never heard that one! I’ve had lots of friends who attended boarding schools, and none of them had scholarships at college.

      • Die Zicke says:

        @MoochieMom: Well, the boarding school was trying to sell you something, so take that with a grain of salt. Not everyone who goes to a boarding school is going to get a full ride. My cousin and my current roommate both went to boarding schools and I’m pretty sure my brother and I have gotten more scholarship money than either of them have. My cousin and my roommate weren’t slackers either. My brother and I had really great teachers at our public school and they really prepared us for college. Receiving a good education has a lot more to do with having good teachers at your school than with how much you pay to go to school.

    • SloaneY says:

      I get that feeling from boarding school kids, too. Their whole life is to impress other people. Hell, look at Cumberbatch and Hiddleston. They are the poster children for eager beaver, must be everything to all people all the time boarding school kids.

  15. Murphy says:

    I highly doubt those two will row over this. But I enjoy seeing an item about the Tindalls on here, they’re fab.

  16. LizLemonGotMarried says:

    The only boarding school I would consider is Hogwarts!

  17. Thais says:

    She is adorable. And good for him. I can’t imagine sending my young kid off to live miles from me at school. I can’t imagine Zara would put up a huge fight on this, tho.

  18. Susan says:

    As a late in lifer parent, I get lots of advice–some solicited, some unsolicited, lol–about how important it is to cherish the years when they’re young and at home because it goes so quickly. I hear many people say they put their careers, personal interests ahead of time with their children and now suffer those “Cat’s in the Cradle” moments. I wonder what it’s like for those that send their kids off to boarding school? I already suffer enough mommy guilt for working and sending them to daycare/preschool.

  19. Devereaux says:

    Another American here who thinks boarding school at 8 is barbaric. IMO. I view it as having to live where you work. We all have a ‘work face’ and a ‘home face’. Imagine having to live with your co-workers. Never being able to fully relax, because the work environment bleeds into the home life and vice versa.
    You are a vulnerable child, sent to live with strangers who don’t love you, may not even like you and are only talking to you because they are paid to do so.
    Imagine looking to your boss for unconditional love? Or a snuggle just when you’re feeling needy. Would you get it? And if you didn’t get it, would that mean that you’d stop needing it? Or only that you’d learned how to hide your need? And is that ‘Sophie’s choice’ a feeling to encourage in your child? Either ask for love from strangers, or learn how to never ask for love at all.

    Private school yes. Boarding school (at 8) never. JMO.

    • SloaneY says:

      What you wrote just punched me in the gut. And can you imagine if you weren’t popular and were bullied? How do you escape from that? You literally have nowhere to go.
      Again, great post.

    • Locke Lamora says:

      Private school – no. Boarding school – never.
      I think private education is morally wrong.

  20. racer says:

    So many people have spent tens of thousands of dollars over lifetimes to send children to the “best” schools in the world and all for what? Just to say you did it, or just to say you went to one.

    • GoodNamesAllTaken says:

      It does open doors for you. You meet and befriend other kids who will likely have influential jobs one day. Also, my ex went to Wharton and all the best firms were begging him to interview there. So it gives you a leg up. Having said that, I read a study once that said it doesn’t necessarily guarantee long term success. You might get your foot in the door easier, but the rest is up to you, usually.

      • Kate says:

        It doesn’t guarantee it, but it is yours to lose. You have to really work hard to throw away all the advantages an education like that gives you. Someone who attends a bad public school might be far smarter and harder working and never even come close to the opportunities presenting to a middling, lazy student who attended a high status private/boarding school.

        People talk about ‘getting in the door’ like it’s just a little help, no big deal, but getting in the door is like 90% of it. Most people never even see the door, and many that do will never get to go through it. Being handed the opportunity to go straight through the door is the same as being handed the keys to the world. Maybe you’ll lose them or throw them away, but that’s on you.

  21. Cerys says:

    I’m with Mike on this one. There are plenty of good day schools where Mia will receive an excellent education while remaining in a loving home. Children need family support as they grow. I have never understood the Royal and upper class tradition of sending children away at an impressionable age.

  22. Liz says:

    There is a big difference between sending an 8 year old to boarding school and sending a 15 or 16 year old. Young kids belong with their families. There are more factors to consider for older kids.

    My mother-in-law was sent to boarding school at 8 years old – she was the child of an American diplomat in Southeast Asia in the 1950s. At that time, it was not considered heathy or safe for foreign children to live in the city where her father was stationed and the children who did live with their families were educated by governesses and tutors. She was sent to a boarding school established for the children of diplomats and missionaries. She tells stories of crying herself to sleep at night, but she still talks to her former classmates regularly – and it has been more than 60 years since they were in school together. However, she refused to consider boarding schools for her children.

    My young teenager is an exceptional athlete. Her coaches are encouraging us to consider boarding school in order to allow her to maintain both her academics and athletic training without burning out (no spending three hours a day in the car getting to and from her training facility – it would be walking distance from a dorm room). We can’t move because of her father’s job. Her father and I are reluctant – she is also an only child and neither of us left home until college (we both attended public schools). However, we need to do what is best for her and that may be boarding school FOR HIGH SCHOOL. She would have gone to boarding school at 8 over my dead body.

  23. Tessa says:

    Princess Anne started all this as she refused to let her kids have titles ( as opposed to Andrew whose kids have made up titles) she made her kids work and be normal. Even though she’s ‘princess royal’