As Prince Harry recently attested to in his tell-all Oprah interview, growing up royal isn't always easy. Sure, there are the perks of getting to sit front and centre at the Euros 2020 final, but when the whole world (and your world-renowned nanny) is watching whether or not you're on your best behaviour, growing up in one of the most famous families on the planet can be hard work.
But it's long been reported that the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge are determined to give their three children – Prince George, 8, Princess Charlotte, 6, and Prince Louis, 3, – as normal a childhood as possible.
“Because of who they are, William and Kate have had to be highly organised parents,” a royal source recently told The Sun. “But as parents, Wills and Kate have developed this brilliant knack of letting as much as they can seem spontaneous and that’s how the children see it.”
And it's all probably down to Kate's own childhood. “She comes from a supportive family so she’s very keen on family networks and networks of friends and organisations,” the source added. “As parents they are also very good at rolling up their sleeves and helping out with school events; sports days, fundraisers and that sort of thing. They try to be just like normal parents with normal parenting challenges. No one ever jumps the queue for anything. They just try to fit in.”
According to the source, the couple's go-to parenting techniques include "table manners and "thank you letters". "Little courtesies are being drilled into the children so they become automatic,” they said.
As for dealing with Prince George's occasional bouts of naughtiness? "Kate and William are good at explaining to him the rights and wrongs of what’s happened.”
The royal couple are reportedly keen on pushing their children's creativity, with the source explaining that William and Kate are “encouraging both George and Charlotte to write, sketch, photograph and paint weekly journals,” which are “admired and encouraged by Prince Charles and the Middleton family".
Kate has been vocal about the challenges of homeschooling during lockdown, and no doubt employed some of the techniques she picked up over her many years as an advocate for early childhood education during the period.
After a year spent in lockdown at their Anmer Hall residence in Norfolk, though, the Cambridge children are gearing up to go back to school. While George and Charlotte will each be moving up a year at Thomas's Battersea, younger brother Louis might soon be joining them there for preschool now that he is three.
And of course, the ever-organised Cambridge parents have already done their back to school shopping. “George has grown quite a lot over the summer and so a new order will likely go into Perry’s, the Knightsbridge school outfitters, for some larger items as he’s gone up a size," the source added.
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Kate McCusker is a freelance writer at Marie Claire UK, having joined the team in 2019. She studied fashion journalism at Central Saint Martins, and her byline has also appeared in Dezeen, British Vogue, The Times and woman&home. In no particular order, her big loves are: design, good fiction, bad reality shows and the risible interiors of celebrity houses.
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