Princess Charlotte has embarked on her first day of nursery, celebrating with two photographs taken by her proud mother.

The Duchess of Cambridge has released photographs of her 2-year-old daughter beaming with excitement; tiny backpack ready for her first day.

Wearing a mulberry-coloured coat, pink scarf and smart red shoes, the Princess has her hair carefully pinned back ready for a hard day's playing.

Kensington Palace said the two photographs were taken by the Duchess shortly before Princess Charlotte left for her first day at Willcocks Nursery School.

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The Princess is ready to go with her own backpack Photo /Duchess of Cambridge
The Princess is ready to go with her own backpack Photo /Duchess of Cambridge
Princess Charlotte prepares for her first day at nursery. Photo / Duchess of Cambridge
Princess Charlotte prepares for her first day at nursery. Photo / Duchess of Cambridge

Princess Charlotte now attends the "kind and gentle" Willcocks Nursery School, which is barely 800m from Kensington Palace, full time.

Her 4-year-old brother Prince George is expected to return for his second term at Thomas's Battersea this week.

The Duke and Duchess will also return to work on Wednesday, when the Duke will visit the Royal Marsden Hospital in his capacity of president of the Trust, while the Duchess visits Reach Academy in Feltham as patron of children's mental health charity Place2Be.

The family last year moved back to London to become full-time royals. The Duke increased his workload in support of the Queen after the retirement of his grandfather Prince Philip.

The Duchess' third baby is due in April.

Prince George on his first day at the Westacre Montessori nursery school near Sandringham in Norfolk in 2016. Photo / Duchess of Cambridge
Prince George on his first day at the Westacre Montessori nursery school near Sandringham in Norfolk in 2016. Photo / Duchess of Cambridge

Willcocks, which has an all-female staff, is described by Tatler as a "hidden gem" that "flies under the radar" and is attended by British children and "chic foreigners" alike, some of whom register their children at birth in order to ensure them a place.

It is rated "outstanding" by Ofsted because of the "exceptional" organisation of time and the staff's meticulous planning, which ensures "no time is wasted".

Prince George attended a Montessori nursery school in Norfolk. His first day was similarly marked with a photograph of him carrying a backpack

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