By now, all fans of the Royal family have heard — Kate Middleton is officially a mom of three! Given that she and Prince William had one boy and one girl already with Prince George and Princess Charlotte, everyone was speculating what gender their third child would be. And, it's official — they have another baby boy. While they likely would have been happy with either, as someone who has a brother, we imagine Prince William is excited that his son George will have his own younger brother, just like he did with Prince Harry.
Now, while the Royals don't have to worry about affording baby clothes and supplies or anything like that, they do have a unique set of parenting rules. Kate Middleton has some rules that any parent would have, and then some that are unique to her Royal situation. After all, raising a child when you're a Royal is a whole different undertaking — not only are the world's eyes on you, they also have to grow up in the spotlight, knowing how to properly behave and follow Royal protocol. While there may be some leniency for very young children, once you reach a certain age, you better know how to follow the rules!
Here are 20 unique parenting rules that Kate Middleton will use to raise her third child.
20 Christmas Must Always Be Spent At Sandringham — No Exceptions
Particularly now that she has children, you would think that Kate Middleton would want to spend a large chunk of the holidays at her own parents' homes, so the Middleton grandparents get some time with their adorable grandchildren.
However, that may not always be possible — Kate has bent the rules before to spend a bit of time with her family over the holidays, but in general, the Royal children are supposed to spend their Christmas holidays at Sandringham, no arguments.
It's not as if spending the holidays in luxurious surroundings is a hardship, but it's definitely a unique requirement — there will be no warm weather holidays for Prince William, Kate Middleton and their three children — it's always Sandringham. Although, who knows — perhaps Kate will bend the rules once more and whisk her little family away to someplace tropical next December!
19 Boys Can't Wear Long Pants
Many people have wondered why on earth Prince George is always seen wearing shorts rather than long pants as many children wear — and it turns out, it's a Royal rule that Kate's new son will have to follow as well.
Apparently, according to the Royal dress code, boys must wear shorts rather than pants until they turn 8 years old. Why? Well, while long pants are fine on an adult, on a young boy under 8, they're apparently considered inappropriate in the Royal family.
While Kate obviously has a say in what clothing she wants her children to wear, that's a pretty big restriction to incorporate into your parenting — although Kate is used to following the Royal style rules herself, so perhaps it just seems par for the course in her book.
18 Presents Are Opened Christmas Eve
Prince William and Kate don't have to worry about their children waking them up in the wee hours of Christmas morning because of their excitement to open their presents — they'll be playing with them long before then!
It turns out, the Royals follow the European tradition of opening Christmas presents on Christmas Eve rather than the North American tradition of opening them on Christmas morning. On Christmas morning, they'll be busy at the St. Mary Magdalene church service in Sandringham — hopefully they can manage to convince their children to keep their exciting new toys at home!
This parenting rule may not be quite so tough to enforce because, well, who wouldn't rather open their presents earlier? Plus, with the children going to school with primarily Europeans, Christmas Eve is likely the more common tradition.
17 Creativity Is Nurtured Through Arts and Crafts
Given how many rules they're raised with, you might think that the Royal children have every ounce of creativity stomped out of them at a young age — but that's just not the case.
In fact, Kate Middleton goes out of her way to encourage creativity in her children, and even does arts and crafts with them like any other family would. While they have plenty of staff to take care of the cooking, she often brings the children into the kitchen to be her assistants when they're baking up something sweet.
And, she encourages hand-made gifts for special occasions. For example, when it came time to find gifts for Queen Elizabeth's 91st birthday, while she and Will likely bought something lovely, the children crafted home-made gifts for their grandmother. Adorable!
16 If The Queen Stops Eating, You Must Stop Eating
This is a rule that everyone dining with the Queen must follow, and since Prince William and Kate Middleton and their children dine with the Queen more often than most, Kate likely instructs her children from a very young age on following this rule.
Apparently, it's been a rule for ages that everyone sitting at the table with the Queen during a meal must immediately stop eating as soon as the Queen does — no exceptions. That means even if the children are distracted and don't eat much of their meal at the start, they have to stop eating as soon as the Queen decides she's finished.
Obviously, while Kate will ensure her children follow the rule so it's ingrained in them as they get older and attend even more important functions, she'll likely find them a snack if they're still hungry after their meal is cut short.
15 Absolutely No Slouching
Plenty of parents want to make sure that their children have good posture and aren't slouching, but for a Royal, it's even more essential. After all, who wants to see someone slouching at a Royal function?
While we're not sure what the rules are at home, when they're out in public representing the Royal family, despite their young age, children are expected to stand with their back perfectly straight, their feet at shoulder width, their chin lifted a little bit, and they're never, ever supposed to put their hands in their pockets.
It seems like a lot of pressure to put on a child, but it's likely far easier to teach them when they're young than to try to reshape all their bad habits when they're surly teenagers who don't want to listen!
14 He Must Go Through Media Training — Including Learning How To Properly Wave
The newest member of the Royal family may be quite a few months away from talking at all, let alone talking to the press, but media training is a big part of becoming a Royal — and Kate wants to make sure all her children are prepared.
While they may be able to hang in the background and let their parents talk on their behalf while they're younger, as they become teenagers and later adults they'll need to know how to talk to the press. And, even when they're younger and not yet giving interviews, they'll need to know things such as how to properly wave. Perhaps Prince George can help his little brother master the Windsor wave — it's an important skill that every Royal must have, even the children.
13 All The Children Must Know Multiple Languages
While they attend an overwhelming amount of events in Britain for various organizations and causes, the Royals also often travel abroad, and highly value education. That means it's pretty much a requirement that a Royal know at least one language other than English — and what better time to learn than when you're young and can grasp things much more quickly than adults can?
Prince William can communicate in French and Welsh, but who knows what they'll decide for their children. Perhaps the youngest member of the family will decide to learn Spanish, or German, or something even more unique such as Icelandic. We're not sure if there are particular rules as to which languages are accepted — just that Royals better make sure to add foreign language learning to their schedules.
12 No Monopoly Allowed During Family Game Night
When they're not busy supporting a variety of causes and fulfilling their Royal duties, the Royal family does regular things like have family game nights.
However, there's one particular game that the youngest member of the family will never get to experience during game night — Monopoly. That's because there's a rule in the Royal family that no Royal is allowed to play Monopoly, period, because there was one situation where things got a little too heated — and temper tantrums are obviously not okay when you're a Royal.
However, we have to wonder just how strict Kate's parenting is on this subject — perhaps she'll follow the rules and ban Monopoly from her own home, but allow her son to play it when he's elsewhere, hanging out with friends. I mean, how would the Queen know?
11 There's A Strict No iPad Policy
Technology has definitely presented a whole different set of considerations to take into account when you're a parent. On the one hand, there's a lot of fantastic advances that can help make life a lot easier for parents. On the other hand, no parent wants to just plop their child in front of the television or computer for hours.
While many parents have compromised and allowed their children to spend time with a device such as an iPad, Prince William and Kate apparently have a strict no iPad policy in their home. While they're young Royals themselves, they grew up in a time where technology wasn't quite as widespread, and where children still had to use their imagination for play time — and they want their children to have the same experience. I mean, just think of the adventures you could have in the Royal gardens!
10 No Nicknames In Public
It's fairly common in families for children to have some sort of a nickname, especially if they have a longer name or one that's a bit tougher to say. However, if you were anticipating Princess Charlotte might go by Princess Charlie in her teen years, you'd be wrong.
Apparently, one of the major Royal rules is that there are no nicknames allowed, ever. Even with Kate Middleton — while the media may refer to her as Kate time and time again, during official Royal functions, she's always addressed as Catherine, Duchess of Cambridge. We're not sure whether the rule applies when they're just spending time as a family in private, but when they're out and about, none of the children can be referred to by a nickname of any sort — so perhaps it's easier to just never use nicknames, to make sure they're not confused.
9 No Selfies Allowed
It's a different time now than it was when Prince William and Prince Harry were growing up. They had cameras back then, sure, but they definitely didn't have a situation where everyone was walking around with a camera constantly at their disposal courtesy of their smart phone.
So, while Prince William didn't have to worry quite as much about the selfie rules when he was growing up, he and Kate will have to ensure their children understand that selfies are prohibited when you're a member of the Royal family — a rule they have to learn before they become teenagers and people start asking to take photos with them and only them. It'll be a tough rule, especially when the children grow up and are surrounded by their friends constantly taking selfies for social media, but hey — sometimes being a Royal involves some sacrifices.
8 All The Children Must Have Their Own Security
This one is definitely a rule very specific to the Royal family — although other children with parents in important positions, such as the younger children of the former Presidents of the United States, will identify.
Apparently, while Prince William has staff that ensure he is always safe, his children will have to have their own staff to ensure their safety. It might not seem like a big deal when the whole family is going somewhere together with all their staff for an event, but we have a feeling that the Royal children may be a bit irritated when they have to bring along a chaperone during their teenage years.
Perhaps the youngest Royal will take after his impish uncle, Prince Harry, and spend his teenage years trying to shake off his security and rebel a little.
7 Quality Time Is Important (Even Watching Television As A Family)
It's no secret that the Royals have incredibly busy schedules, and Prince William and Kate could very easily just hand their children off to the nanny while they attend to their duties. However, that's not the kind of family dynamic that they want to have — regardless of what their Royal duties are, they make sure to carve out quality time as a family together, even doing things as ordinary as watching television together.
In fact, when Prince William appeared on Radio 1, he revealed that he and Kate will sit with George to watch his favourite shows, Peppa Pig and Fireman Sam, and William chuckled that "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." Talk about adorable!
6 No Political Affiliations Or Voting Is Allowed
This rule is likely a little bit easier to follow if you're raised with it, rather than having it imposed on you when you're an adult marrying into the Royal family, but it's still a pretty unique parenting challenge that Kate faces.
While many parents around the world encourage their children to be aware of politics and to make their voice heard by voting, Kate Middleton has to ensure her children do the exact opposite. As members of the Royal family, her children are to have no political affiliations, something that may be a bit tough once her children are old enough to have strong opinions.
It's just one of the unique rules that comes along with being a Royal — sorry kids! They may be able to argue in private, but in public, they must be 100% neutral.
5 No Shellfish Allowed
We're not sure exactly which dishes are beloved by the Royal children — are they all about macaroni and cheese, or do they prefer the classic peanut butter and jelly sandwiches? However, there is one category of food that they're rarely permitted to have — shellfish. We're not sure whether the Royal children are seafood lovers or not, but as they grow up in particular, they'll be banned from ordering shellfish when they're out and about because of the risk factor.
Since a bout of food poisoning could have a serious impact on their packed schedules, the Royal family doesn't take any risks and just avoids the potentially problematic food at all times. Some children sneak junk food like potato chips and chocolate bars into their homes — perhaps the Royal children will be caught by the palace guards trying to sneak in some shellfish!
4 He Must Know What Order To Enter A Room
When you're a Royal, there are a ton of rules you need to consider as you go about your day, including what order to enter a room. Now, when they're just hanging out at home, Kate can probably let her children scamper into a room in front of her or Prince William if they want. However, when they're in public, or at some kind of official function or larger family event, there are certain protocols that must be taken into consideration.
When the Royal family is together as a unit, they must enter a room according to rank — that means Queen Elizabeth leads, followed by her husband Prince Philip, followed by Prince William, then Kate, etc. We're not sure if the children go in order according to age, or if gender plays a role and the newest Royal will end up walking in front of Charlotte once he can walk, but it's definitely a lot to remember!
3 Children Must Be Baptized In A Specific Vessel
One major parenting milestone Kate Middleton must consider is her children's baptisms. Not only must all Royal parents baptize their children, they must do so in a specific, special vessel that almost every Royal baby has been baptized in since 1841. That's quite the history!
Kate Middleton is obviously still to busy in the throes of life with a newborn to worry much about that right now, but fairly soon, she'll be forced to start planning a baptism, and someone will have to pull that vessel out of storage! It's a bit of a strange tradition, but at the same time, it's kind of nice that the newest member of the Royal family will be baptized in the same vessel his father and uncle were baptized in, and countless family members before them. Talk about tradition!
2 Open Communication Is Essential
There are plenty of rules regarding what a member of the Royal family can or cannot say when they're out in public. After all, they have to uphold a certain image in front of the press.
However, when it comes to discussions in private, Kate Middleton wants her children to know that absolutely nothing is off the table. Especially given the amount of strange rules and protocols that Royals must follow, and that children may find irritating or even straight up confusing, having that open line of communication is probably a huge help.
Plus, who doesn't turn to their mom for advice at some point? Even Royals do it! So, while the Royal family may seem quite formal in public, in private, the children are free to come to their parents with any questions or concerns.
1 It's Okay To Share Your Feelings
Royals have a bit of a reputation as having a stiff upper lip — they're supposed to remain neutral in most situations, and to show strength in situations where other people may be crumbling. However, Kate Middleton wants to make sure that this public persona doesn't impact how her children express themselves when they're not in the public eye.
There may be certain rules the children are required to follow in public, but particularly when they're in the privacy of their own home, she wants them to know that it's completely okay to be frustrated or upset or sad. Crying is okay, yelling is okay, expressing your emotions in any way is okay.
That's definitely a healthy attitude to have, and we give major props to Kate Middleton for ensuring her children are being raised well despite the challenges of growing up Royal.
References: uk.businessinsider.com, parents.com, amorq.com, thesitr.cafemom.com, okmagazine.com