Kate Middleton Had to Shut Down a Zookeeper Who Wanted Prince George to Pet a Marsupial

Prince William and Kate Middleton declined to let Prince George pet a marsupial at a zoo during their royal tour of Australia in 2014.

sydney, australia april 20 no uk sales for 28 days prince william, duke of cambridge, catherine, duchess of cambridge and prince george of cambridge meet a bilby called george as they visit the bilby enclosure at taronga zoo on april 20, 2014 in sydney, australia the duke and duchess of cambridge are on a three week tour of australia and new zealand, the first official trip overseas with their son, prince george of cambridge photo by poolsamir husseinwireimage
(Image credit: Samir Hussein)
  • During the Cambridge family's royal tour of Australia in 2014, Prince William and Kate Middleton had to set some boundaries for Prince George.
  • George was just 10 months old at the time and a zookeeper at the Taronga Zoo in Sydney encouraged the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge to let him pet a small marsupial (who was also named George) during the visit.
  • Kate politely but firmly declined, explaining that George had "quite a strong grip," meaning it was also in the animal's best interest not to have them interact.

Parenthood requires setting boundaries—even when you're raising the future King of England. Kate Middleton and Prince William demonstrated this expertly in 2014 when they brought their oldest son, Prince George, along for their royal tour of Australia.

During the trip, the Cambridge family made a stop at the Taronga Zoo in Sydney, where they met a bilby (a small marsupial), who was also named George. When the zookeeper at the exhibit encouraged Will and Kate to let their George pet the zoo's George, however, Kate had to put her foot down.

Kate politely declined the zookeeper's offer, explaining that George (who was about 10 months old at the time), "has quite a strong grip," according to the Mirror.

William apparently back Kate up, saying, "if he gets it, he’ll never let it go."

Even if he didn't get to pet his marsupial friend, George still had a great time at the Taronga Zoo, squealing and generally being the epitome of an excited kid.

Kayleigh Roberts
Weekend Editor

Kayleigh Roberts is a freelance writer and editor with more than 10 years of professional experience. Her byline has appeared in Marie Claire, Cosmopolitan, ELLE, Harper’s Bazaar, The Atlantic, Allure, Entertainment Weekly, MTV, Bustle, Refinery29, Girls’ Life Magazine, Just Jared, and Tiger Beat, among other publications. She's a graduate of the Medill School of Journalism at Northwestern University.