Harry, His Royal Shyness, Assumes His Rightful Role as a Cygnet at Big Brother Wills's Old School

updated 10/05/1987 AT 01:00 AM EDT

originally published 10/05/1987 AT 01:00 AM EDT

He didn't cry and he didn't fuss, at least not once he got there. But being third in line for the British throne didn't make facing that first day of school any less wrenching for Prince Harry than for any other 3-year-old—or any less harrowing for his parents.

Fortunately, Prince William, 5, was there to take charge. As the elder statesman of the Kensington Palace nursery, he took it upon himself to guide little brother Harry to his first day of kindergarten at Wills's alma mater. "Come on," William shouted impatiently as he yanked Harry by the shoulder. "Come on, it's this way." With that, the pair disappeared down the stairs into Jane Mynors' Nursery School in West London, just a mile from home. "It made me feel very sad," said Prince Charles, who stayed outside with Diana. "I had a big lump in my throat."

Of course Harry wasn't exactly out on his own. The school has classes for three age groups—Cygnets, Little Swans and Big Swans. Harry shares the Cygnet designation with 12 classmates, including the great-great-grandson of Wilhelm II, the last Kaiser of Germany. Harry's coat hook has a duck painted above it and is labeled simply "Harry," but his painting smock reads "Prince Harry." The school costs Harry's folks about $400 per term, and he will attend two days a week, three hours a day.

At the end of Harry's first session a detective brought him home; Diana cut short an official visit to a local milk-processing plant to welcome her little prince back from class. Harry came out from school clutching the hand of headmistress Mynors and holding a pair of "binoculars" made from two cardboard toilet-paper rolls. In a move reminiscent of his mischievous older brother, shy Harry aimed his binocs right at the pack of photographers gathered to record this momentous moment. Here's looking at you, kid.

From Our Partners