A class of north Cumbrian primary schoolchildren now have a rather special pen pal.

Pupils in year one and two at Boltons C of E Primary School, near Wigton, had sent handwritten letters to Prince George to tie in with the Royal youngster's first days at school.

The inquisitive youngsters asked the Prince if he was enjoying his time at school and hoped his days were filled with "excitement, discovery, laughter and fun".

They also revealed to four-year-old Prince George what they liked best about their school.

After sending the letters first class to the palace, the children never expected to each receive a personal reply, as well as a photograph of Prince George on his first day at Thomas's Battersea, a fee-paying independent school in south London.

Their class teacher, Louise Dickson, said their topic in History was 'Kings and Queens', and 'Castles' in English, and as a result the children had been learning about the Royal Family.

"As our class work coincided with Prince George's first days at school we thought it would be a good idea for the children to write to him, but we didn't imagine we would get a reply," said Mrs Dickson, who started at Boltons School this term.

"The idea for the children to send letters came from our Key Stage One co-ordinator, Tracy Smith, and everyone loved it."

But two weeks after the letters were sent to His Royal Highness Prince George of Cambridge, the school was delighted when a big envelope arrived on the doorstep stamped from Kensington Palace.

"There was a letter to myself, and each one of the 24 pupils received a letter addressed to them personally. It was so exciting. The children loved it," said Mrs Dickson.

The letters marked 'private and confidential', were from Miss Claudia Spens, written on behalf of the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge, thanking the children, aged five to seven years, for the "lovely letter" they had sent to Prince George, telling him about their school and their favourite subjects.

Before writing their letters, the children dressed up as either a king or queen, and then chose their own border for their letters. They were later shown a clip of Prince George going to school with his dad, Prince William.

"We started off each letter Dear Prince George for them, but they could decide what they wanted to say themselves.

"The letters were teaching the children about sentence structure, using full stops and capital letters and finger spaces," said Mrs Dickson.

One child wrote to the Prince telling him how he liked sausage sandwiches, while another said how school was fun, and how he liked his friends who were funny. Another said he liked to play football on the grass at school and how they learned about God in the class.

Edward Dawson, six, on getting his reply said: "I was excited. Everyone was. I had seen a photograph of Prince George with his dad going to school.

"I told him about our school dinners, and how lovely they were."

Seven-year-old Chloe Little said she had written to Prince George about their school.

"I told him it was fun here and what I liked about it, and I told him I liked art," she said.

Bobby Clark, five, said he had asked Prince George if his teacher read him stories.

He said: "We have lovely ones here, and I told him I liked to listen to them and how I liked to play."

Lily Taylor, six, described how she like the adventure playground at the school - especially the obstacle course.

Mrs Dickson continued: "We have put up a story board with copies of all the children's letters and photographs.

"They have never stopped talking about it. We didn't expect any replies because we know how busy they are at the Palace.

" It was the icing on the cake for us. I didn't want to make any false promises to the children about getting a reply."