Prince William and Kate Middleton became parents for the third time last week when the Duchess gave birth to Prince Louis Arthur Charles on April 23rd.
As the future King and Queen of England, William and Kate are probably scrutinized more than any other parents on the planet. But, in reality, they are just people who are doing their best to raise their kids just like everyone else. Even though they are members of the royal family who have a nanny, the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge are quite hands-on when it comes to raising their little ones – which also includes Prince George, 4, and Princess Charlotte, 3, in addition to their newborn.
Kate has said in public that “parenting is tough,” but Prince William seems to be very impressed with his wife’s abilities as a mother, and the couple are on the same page when it comes to raising their kids. The royal couple has dedicated themselves to mental health causes recently, and they are both mindful of teaching good wellbeing to their kids.
“Catherine and I are clear that we want George and Charlotte to grow up feeling able to talk about their emotions and feelings,” he said.
Considering their place on the international stage, William and Kate have managed to keep things private when it comes to their family. But, there are those mandatory royal engagements that allow fans to get a glimpse into their lives, and sometimes we are in awe about how amazing they are with the kids. And, then there are those times they would probably prefer we forget.
20 Dropped The Ball: Tantrum At Aunt Pippa’s Wedding Day
On May 20th last year, Kate’s younger sister Pippa Middleton married James Matthews. But on that day, Kate’s parenting skills drew scrutiny after a documented parenting fail. According to The Hollywood Gossip, paparazzi spotted Prince George looking out of a moving vehicle while standing in his seat and not wearing a seat belt.
The vehicle was driving slowly on a private road and there were no other cars around, but Kate still caught flak for allowing her toddler to ride in a car in what many believed to be such a dangerous way.
Twitter lit up after the incident, with royal watchers claiming it was a serious oversight on Kate’s part. But, that wasn’t the only criticism Kate received on her sister’s wedding day. Her reaction to Prince George’s behavior didn’t go over well, either.
“Clearly, Prince George just wanted to have fun ... in the wedding party, but Kate didn’t have the time or the patience for his shenanigans," said one observer from the wedding.
Prince George stepped on his Aunt Pippa’s wedding gown and managed to turn over a basket of confetti. His mom did her best to control him, and her heart was apparently in the right place. And, she is doing all she can to be the best mom she can be, despite her wealth and status.
19 Great Parents: Letting Kids Go To A Regular School
Unlike Prince William and Prince Harry, who went to the all-boys Wetherby School, Prince George is attending Thomas’s School, a private co-ed school in Battersea. And, for some, that is an indication that William and Kate will continue to break some royal rules when it comes to raising their kids.
Unlike royal parents of the past who have sent their kids away to boarding school, it is thought that William and Kate will opt for Prince George, Princess Charlotte, and Prince Louis to study at independent London schools.
Royal expert Michael Cole told The Express that he believes Kate will choose Marlborough School for Prince George, and Princess Charlotte could also get a co-ed education at a place like King Alfred School.
Experts also believe that Kate will lead the way when it comes to her children’s education. She will be the one who decides if George receives an education like his grandfather in traditional Scottish schools or get an education more like his dad, who went to Eton.
Cole even thinks that Kate could send George to Bedales in Petersfield, Hampshire, a liberal school that doesn’t require uniforms and where students call the teachers by their first name.
“You never know, Prince William and his photographer wife might come up with something original, following Viscount Linley and Lady Sarah Armstrong Jones to that once-trendy alternative school Bedales because it is arty, cool and achingly laid-back,” said Cole.
18 Dropped The Ball: Rosemary’s Baby
When William and Kate introduced Prince Louis to the world on the stairs of the Lindo Wing at St. Mary’s Hospital last week, the couple appeared to be overjoyed to present baby number three. But, Twitter users quickly noticed that the Duchess’s red dress looked strikingly similar to the one Rosemary Woodhouse wore in the 1968 horror movie Rosemary’s Baby.
Fox News reported that the scarlet long-sleeved dress with a white lace Peter Pan collar made a lot of people uncomfortable and wondered if the public should be concerned. But those with a dark sense of humor thought the dress was “magic” and “awesome.”
Other fans had fun with quotes from the movie.
"He chose you, honey! From all the women in the world to be the mother of his only living son!" one Twitter user wrote in a nod to both a line from the spooky film and the high-profile romance of the future King and Queen.
Another joked that there must be a stylist out there who is in big trouble. The faux-pas was most likely an accident. Most believe the red dress was an attempt to pay homage to the late Princess Diana who wore a red dress when she brought Prince Harry home from the hospital.
17 Great Parents: Modern Mother’s Handbook
Kate’s favorite parenting book is the Modern Mother’s Handbook: How to Raise A Happy, Healthy, Smart, Disciplined, and Interesting Child, Starting From Birth, and we know this because she sent a letter to the book’s anonymous author saying so.
It can be difficult figuring out how to raise a prince a princess, but since we know that Kate loves this book, it gives us a glimpse into her parenting style.
The author says to keep calm during tantrums, and during Prince George’s very first royal engagement, Kate quickly put the advice in action. George became overwhelmed with the loud noises from the Royal International Air Tattoo, but Kate quickly scooped him up and communicated with him in a calm and reasonable tone.
George immediately stopped crying, and before long he was enjoying the planes, and the tantrum was averted. Kate managed to stay cool and calm while the entire world watched her little boy have a meltdown.
She also uses the count to three method when disciplining the future King, and there is a time-out chair in Kensington Palace. But, not every antic is worth getting upset over because sometimes all you need is a laugh and a hug as a proper reprimand.
16 Dropped The Ball: Making George and Charlotte Travel All The Time
Back in the fall of 2016, the prince and princess went on a tour of Canada, and fans couldn’t get enough of the royal siblings. George used both hands to wave to fans at Victoria Harbour, and Charlotte was quick to follow with her own royal wave, even though she was only 16 months old.
The two shared tons of funny facial expressions with photographers, but when Prime Minister Justin Trudeau tried to give George a high five, the little prince was having none of it and refused.
During a Children’s party, George found an orange fish bubble gun and immediately tried to squirt his sister with it, but failed because both William and Kate quickly reacted. But, Charlotte didn’t even notice at first because she was too busy playing with balloons. However, when the bubble gun did catch her eye, she didn’t seem too thrilled that her brother dared to shoot her with bubbles.
Fans also got to see Charlotte walk for the first time, as well as hear her call Prince William “dada.”
Also, during their first royal tour as a family of four, the family was exiting their plane when Charlotte took it upon herself to grab her mom’s expensive brooch – a family heirloom from Queen Elizabeth – but Charlotte had a look on her face that said, “I didn’t do it.”
15 Great Parents: iPad Ban
Just like every other parent, William and Kate have to manage their children’s screen time, and for them, the iPad is just not necessary while their kids are so young.
“They’re very much seen as Mummy and Daddy’s toys, not for children,” an insider told US Weekly.
For parents, technology can be both a blessing and a curse, but since neither William or Kate had gadgets to entertain themselves growing up, they don’t believe they are essential for their kids. Instead, they are firm believers in toys, playing outside, and encouraging active imaginations.
They also love music, and Kate loves to sing, dance, and play instruments with her kids.
William and Kate also allow their kids to be independent, and they do this by giving their kids a good example and then they stand back and watch. They believe it is best to get out their kids’ way and let them make discover the world and make their own mistakes.
The royal parents also encourage their kids to find their own talents and want them to have as many different experiences as possible. Even though it scares her, Kate encourages George’s love of motorcycles, planes, and helicopters. And, she also shares her daughter Charlotte’s love of horses.
14 Dropped The Ball: The Kids Are Hounded By The Paparazzi
Not long after Princess Charlotte arrived, reporters asked Prince William about how things were going with a toddler and a newborn in the house, and he couldn’t help but make a joke.
"No broken bones yet, but they're trying. Running around, pushing things, jumping. Please tell me it gets easier," said William.
The Prince also said that Charlotte was very sweet, but fathers always tell him to just wait until she is 9, 10, and 11, because she will go crazy. But despite the expected drama, William said he was looking forward to it.
Kate has said that Charlotte is the boss at home, and even though her kids usually appear perfectly behaved in public, sometimes she doesn’t bring Charlotte to events because she would be a “running riot.”
The couple does not share a bunch of private photos from home because privacy is extremely important for the family, and they issued a statement asking the media to leave the kids alone. They made the request because they want their children to be free to play in public with other children without being photographed.
They issued the statement after paparazzi followed George and his nanny and were hiding in random places like the back of cars to get a photo of the young prince.
13 Great Parents: Kate Acts Like A Regular Mom...Not A Princess
Kate is a hands-on mom who bucked tradition when she gave birth to Prince George and didn’t hire a nanny right off the bat. Even now, as the mom of three, she insists on handling play dates and maximizes the amount of time she gets to spend with her kids.
By simply watching her in action, fans have been able to get an idea of her parenting style. And, even though she understands the huge interest in her children, she will stop at nothing to protect them and their privacy.
With her mad photography skills, she’s taken some awesome snapshots of the kiddos – including some amazing shots of Charlotte on her first day of school – and she is also sure to include the prince and princess in the sporting activities that she loves.
She also has boundaries when it comes to her famous in-laws and has made it clear her role as mom is much more important than royal protocol. Kate has William drive her home from the hospital after giving birth, instead of hiring a chauffeur, she has baby showers, and she even spends some holidays with her family instead of his. And, we know she isn’t afraid to be a disciplinarian, because you can’t always be the fun parent.
12 Dropped The Ball: Not Another Spare
Last summer, someone heard the Duchess of Cambridge talking about having more babies, but everyone thought she was joking. However, she wasn’t, and by September she had announced that baby number three was on the way.
This matters because Prince Louis’ birth alters the line of succession to the throne. He jumps ahead of Prince Harry and is now number five behind Prince Charles, Prince William, Prince George, and Princess Charlotte.
George is his generation’s King, and Charlotte is the spare. So, Louis is now the second spare, but it is a huge deal that Charlotte is ahead of him in line. In the past, the line of succession to the throne was gender-based. So, traditionally Louis would have jumped ahead of Charlotte.
But, thanks to new laws, succession is purely based on birth order, and gender has nothing to do with it.
It seems that William and Kate may be on their way to imitating Queen Elizabeth and Prince Philip when it comes to the size of their family, and that makes them rare in the royal family. The Queen and her husband have four children, but other than them no others in the line of succession have more than two kids.
11 Great Parents: Meeting Their Baby Brother
Princess Charlotte looked ultra-cute as she waved to crowds while on her way to visit her baby brother for the first time. But, most people missed a heartwarming moment between her and her older brother, Prince George.
As News.com.au reports, the 2-year-old and 4-year-old melted hearts around the world as they entered the Lindo Wing of St. Mary’s Hospital to visit their mom and new brother. And now new footage has surfaced of the siblings sharing a moment as they go through the hospital’s doors.
Their dad, Prince William – who is second in line to the throne – led their way and guided them through the doors by gentling patting them on the back of their heads. Then, the young prince picked up on his dad’s actions and appears to mimic his behavior. George raises his hand to lightly touch his little sister’s hair, like a clumsy attempt to give her a hug, but failing.
Then, the doors closed, and the pair continued their journey to meet their little brother. After their visit, William and his two oldest kids headed home. But, on their way out of the hospital, the Duke of Cambridge joked, “Thrice the worry now.”
10 Dropped The Ball: Bizarre Birthing Rules
The bulletin has been placed outside Buckingham Palace formally announcing the birth of the The Duke and Duchess of Cambridge’s new son. The Duchess of Cambridge was safely delivered of a son at 1101hrs. The baby weighs 8lbs 7oz. The Duke of Cambridge was present for the birth. Her Royal Highness and her child are both doing well.
When Kate gave birth to Prince Louis, she had to follow an unusual set of birthing rules to keep with tradition. When any baby is born in the royal family, there are customs, and the first is that the Queen must be the first to know of the birth.
Then, they announce the news to the public via an easel outside the palace. But, when William and Kate had George, they broke tradition and announced his birth on Twitter. They also have a town crier to announce royal births, which is a tradition that goes back to medieval times when people couldn’t read or write.
The royal family also prefers home births, and Queen Elizabeth gave birth to all of her children at home. But both Kate and Princess Diana broke from tradition and had their babies at the hospital. But, dads cannot be in the birthing room because they consider the birth to be a female-only event. However, the rumor is that the rule has relaxed a bit since the birth of Prince Charles.
The palace does not allow midwives to disclose any information about a royal birth, and the rumor is that Kate had three midwives when she gave birth to Charlotte.
9 Great Parents: They Are Relatable People
Even though they have access to the most expensive restaurants and best nightlife experiences, William and Kate have described their perfect night together, and many parents can relate. The couple enjoys putting their feet up at home and enjoying takeout and TV, with their favorite shows being Homeland and Game of Thrones.
They are also huge Coldplay fans and have attended one of the band’s concerts at Wembley Stadium.
William and Kate also enjoy a beer every now and then, and on St. Patrick’s Day (when Kate wasn’t pregnant) after a parade filled with pomp and circumstance, they hung out with soldiers and sipped pints of Guinness.
The challenges of parenthood are real, even when you are the future King and Queen, and Kate has admitted to having to make big adjustments.
“Nothing can really prepare you for you the sheer overwhelming experience of what it means to become a mother. It is full of complex emotions of joy, exhaustion, love, and worry, all mixed together,” said Kate. “Your fundamental identity changes overnight. You go from thinking of yourself as primarily an individual, to suddenly being a mother, first and foremost.”
Just like anyone else, she admits to having a lack of confidence and feeling ignorant sometimes, despite the fact that she has a ton of support at home.
8 Dropped The Ball: The Body Language Is Odd
William and Kate are the backbones of their family, and Good Housekeeping reports that their body language proves it.
Blanca Cobb, body language expert and author of the book Methods of the Masters, says, "Overall, their attentive body language indicates that they're in tune to their children's emotional needs."
The couple is in tune with their kids and they do their best to stay at the same level. Cameras have caught them in many instances bending down and becoming eye level with George and Charlotte. That shows that their kids are their primary focus, and it doesn’t matter how many cameras are on them.
Being at eye level with their kids creates an intimate moment between parent and child while simultaneously shielding them from the craziness around them. Another body language expert says that by looking into their kids’ eyes, it shows they want a true connection and a little authority when necessary.
When Prince William leans over his son he becomes his protector in certain moments and he is also determining how much his son needs him. Both William and Kate have their own flair when it comes to comforting their children in public. For Kate, she rubs George’s hair to take care of him but also protect him from cameras.
7 Great Parents: Strict Travel Rules To Keep Kids Safe
Traveling with kids can be difficult for anyone. But when it comes to the royal couple, traveling is more like a military operation. William and Kate travel abroad quite a bit, and there is a lot for them to think about before they leave the palace.
The royals always have an entourage. When the Queen goes anywhere, she has a staff of 34 people, including the Master of the Household, who oversees catering and logistics. She also has a private secretary and his deputy, a secretary for each of them, and two secretaries for the Duke of Edinburgh.
There are also two dressers, a hairstylist, a valet, ladies in waiting, and press officers.
But, the biggest priority for the royal family, whether they are traveling or at home, is security. When William and Kate went to Poland, a doctor and British bodyguards accompanied them. And, the Queen has eight police bodyguards.
Then there is the issue of luggage. Each member of the royal family has monogrammed, personalized luggage that is color-coded to make things easier. For example, Prince George’s luggage is baby blue.
The Duchess of Cambridge must also be sure to pack outfits for the family that matches the traditional colors of the country they are visiting. And, they must always pack a black outfit, just in case a member of the royal family dies.
6 Dropped The Ball: The Kids Must Wear Specific Clothing
You will never see 4-year-old Prince George in a t-shirt with his favorite TV character on it or in a pair of jeans. And, according to experts, that is because royal tradition is that young princes and princesses dress formally when they are in public.
So, you will always see Prince George in a pair of smart shorts and a shirt, while Princess Charlotte will usually wear a floral dress and cardigan. And, if you look back at photos of royal children from the past, they all dress very similar.
"It's greatly reassuring. The Duke and Duchess are not trying to make a fashion statement, but to dress George timelessly. Could you imagine the outrage if they tried to make sure their children kept up with those of Kanye West and Kim Kardashian?" says public relations expert Mark Barkowski.
Even though their clothing is so traditional, Prince George and Princess Charlotte are following in their mother’s footsteps when it comes to being fashion trendsetters. Just about every outfit that cameras capture the Cambridge tots wearing sells out quickly because mothers want to dress their kids like the little royals.
5 Great Parents: They Watch TV Together Like A Regular Family
Despite the strict demands of their royal schedules, it is a top priority for William and Kate to spend time with their kids and enjoy various activities together.
William has said that they often watch children’s shows on TV together, and he and Kate must pay close attention.
"You have to pretend you’re really interested in it because George gets very upset if you're not showing due diligence to the characters,” the Prince revealed to Radio 1.
The family also likes to take educational outings to the Natural History Museum in London, because George loves the three-dimensional sculptures. And, just like all other kids, Prince George and Princess Charlotte enjoy participating in arts and crafts. They even handmade gifts for their great-grandmother, Queen Elizabeth, on her 91st birthday.
One of George’s favorite activities is baking, but Kate says it doesn’t always turn out as planned.
She said: "When I try to (make rice crispy cakes) with George at home, chocolate and the golden syrup goes everywhere. George makes so much mess. It’s chaos."
William and Kate juggle their busy schedules to find time with their kids, but it seems they are doing their best to create happy childhood memories for George, Charlotte, and Louis.
4 Dropped The Ball: They Have Way Too Many Names
When a royal baby is born, the name their parents give them is a big deal. They don’t just pick the names out of a baby book. Instead, there is always a ton of meaning behind the names and are usually a tribute to previous monarchs or relatives.
William and Kate chose George Alexander Louis for baby number one, Charlotte Elizabeth Diana for baby number two, and Louis Arthur Charles for baby number three. They also have titles of His Royal Highness Prince or Her Royal Highness Princess of Cambridge.
William and Kate named Prince George after the Queen’s father King George VI, while Alexander is a tribute to the Queen herself – her name is Elizabeth Alexandra Mary. And Louis is Prince William’s middle name.
For Princess Charlotte, the Duke and Duchess chose her first name because it is the feminine version of Charles, which of course is the name of her grandfather. The name Elizabeth was a tribute to the Queen, and Diana was in remembrance of Prince William’s late mother.
Prince Louis got his name from Prince Philip’s uncle Lord Louis Mountbatten, and it is also the middle name of Prince William and Prince George. Arthur is also the middle name for Prince William and Prince Charles, and Charles is a nod to the baby’s grandfather.
3 Great Parents: Tried To Make George's First Day At School Fun
When the royals leave their home, there is virtually no chance of making any kind of low-key appearance anywhere or maintaining any ounce of privacy. And, for the royal children, that includes something as simple as going to school.
On Prince George’s first day of school at Thomas’s Battersea last September, cameras were everywhere as Prince William and his 4-year-old made their way to his class. George, who is third in line to the British throne, arrived wearing his summer uniform that consisted of a blue button-down shirt beneath a navy V-neck sweater and matching shorts.
George appeared slightly apprehensive, which makes sense since the first day of school can be such a scary thing for kids, but he had to go through it with the eyes of the world on him.
As for Princess Charlotte, she started Willcocks Nursery School this past January, and William and Kate managed to keep the event a bit more private. But, Kate did take pictures (like any mom would) to mark the occasion and shared them with royal fans.
Charlotte posed for the sweet photos and looked excited to start a new adventure. It may seem completely normal, but the minute the palace posted the photos to social media, her Razorbil wool coat and Cath Kidston backpack were flying off the shelves.
2 Dropped The Ball: The Media Scrutiny
A royal birth can swamp the news cycle. But, in this age of cyberspace and social media, the bigger issue is how the media covers the actual lives of Prince George, Princess Charlotte, and Prince Louis – not just their birth.
Prince William and Kate Middleton are parents determined to protect their children from unwanted media intrusion.
“William has drawn a line in the sand with regards to the media and it’s one he refuses to re-draw, even when the Prince of Wales and some older advisers think he’s being over-sensitive. But William strongly believes that the post-Leveson climate puts him in a much stronger position than his father and, particularly, his late mother were with the press - and that the court of public opinion is now on his side,” says one senior palace official.
There is no doubt that the Duke and Duchess will continue to be aggressive in protecting their children now and in the future as they grow up as part of the world’s most media-magnetic family.
It seems that Prince William has never been genuinely comfortable with media attention, partly because the paparazzi drove his mother to her death. Also, he grew up resenting the focus of the cameras that followed him everywhere, from his first day of school to going to theme parks with his mother.
So, it is abundantly clear that the future King is determined to call the shots and will draw a line in stone between his children’s’ public and private personas.
1 Great Parents: Kate And William Are Trying To Keep Their Growing Family Grounded
At the end of the day Kate and Will are trying their best to raise three children in front of intense media scrutiny. They must raise their kids with the knowledge that their kids will probably never have a totally normal life and must deal with the world following their every move. Despite this intense pressure, they try and keep their kids grounded by providing them with a relatively normal day-t0-day life. That is, like most parents in the world they take their kids to the park, they watch them a run around with other children, buy them gifts for their birthday, discipline them when they're being naughty. William understands what it's like to have the cameras follow you everywhere, so we're sure he will keep keep his kids protected as much as possible.
In many ways George's path is laid out for him. But in the meantime his parents are trying to make sure that the future king of England still enjoys a carefree and fun childhood, and that is very commendable.