Britain’s only identical quadruplets were ready ‘four’ class today as they dressed in smart matching uniforms for their first day at primary school.
Little Ellie, Georgina, Jessica and Holly, four, beat odds of 64 million to one when they were born to proud parents Julie and Jose Carles.
Julie, 42, was the 27th woman in the world to naturally conceive a set of identical quads and doctors advised her to abort at least one of her unborn children.
But the Carles’ went ahead with the birth and all four of the quadruplets have survived against the odds to start primary school together this week.
The quads are so identical that mum Julie has to mark their initials on their collars, as it is the only way their teacher can tell the girls apart.
Housing valuations manager Julie, who lives with landscaping products manager Jose, revealed that the girls are ”very excited” to begin their education.
She said: ”I look at them and wonder where the time has gone. They look so grown up and very cute in their uniform together.
”They were quite happy to go off to school and there we no tears at the school gate.
”Our lives have completely changed since they were born. Now our world revolves around them and their development.
”Looking after four children is really tough, we now both have to work because it is so expensive and that has been difficult.
”They are so imaginative and really work together as a team, though it depends on what they are doing as some games they will play in pairs.
”They are also still at the stage where they want to be identical all of the time and wear the same clothes.
”For example, if one tries to be different the others will follow so they will all end up the same again.”
Ellie, Georgina, Holly and Jessica have just started full days at a school near Biggleswade, Beds., where they are all in the ‘Ruby’ reception class.
The girls, who are Julie and Jose’s only children, insist on being dressed identically at all times and were conceived naturally in September 2005.
Julie and Jose were originally advised to reduce the number of babies after doctors realised she was carrying quadruplets at her 11 week scan.
But despite being told there was less than a 60 per cent chance of all four surviving the couple vowed not to abort any of their unborn children.
Despite a few minor problems during pregnancy the quadruplets were delivered by caesarean section on March 23 2006 at 29 weeks and three days.
The girls all came from one embryo that split into four and are monochorionic quads, which means they shared the same placenta in the womb.
Because of this, Holly and Jessica received less nutrients than Georgina and Ellie, meaning they had lower birth weights.
However, all four are now an identical weight and their favourite games are dressing up, computers and digging in the garden of their four-bedroomed home.
Jose, 37, is working full time and shares childcare with Julie, who has been forced to return to work in order to cover the ”huge” cost of the quads.
Julie added: ”It is weird because I was used to spending all day with the girls but it’s very expensive having four children so I have to work.
”The biggest change is for Jose because he now has to look after the girls by himself when they get back from school, as he works an earlier shift now.
”When we go out to the shops it’s a nightmare – people stare at them and often ask some quite blunt questions but the girls deal with the attention very well.
”From very early on I started noticing small differences between them, such as different shapes in their faces and how close together their eyes were.
”They all have their own distinctive personalities too so I think that helps and as people get to know them they do begin to tell them apart.”
Dad Jose said he was ”immensely proud” of his girls and was amazed they had already started primary school together.
He said: ”It’s amazing how fast the time has gone. I think when they turn 13 I’ll have to either move home or build my own bathroom.
”I am immensely proud of them and hoping they can start looking after me when I get older.”