There are three things in life of which we can be certain: Death, taxes, and Prince Louis acting like a ham at all major royal events. Apparently, The Sun reports, his mom, the Princess of Wales, has a secret signal to help her kids—not just Louis, but also Prince George and Princess Charlotte—behave in public, a struggle any parent has faced (though we doubt most parents are doing so on a global stage).
The three Wales kids, Kate, and Queen Camilla rode in a carriage at today’s Trooping the Colour, the annual public birthday celebration of the monarch—the first for King Charles. (Trooping the Colour is held every June, even though the monarch’s birthday often isn’t that month. Charles’, for example, is in November; Her late Majesty’s was in April. June is the preferred month for the event because of the generally temperate weather in the U.K.)
Body language expert Judi James caught the secret signals, saying “Kate’s firm but subtle signals ensure the children keep feeling enthusiastic and, in Louis’ case, excited,” she said. “She beamed with pride when Louis started miming drumming along with the band in the carriage. Talking to her children, there were a couple of gestures of what looked like guidance about when to wave. There was also a spreading gesture of both hands that would normally mean quite a severe message of when to stop or what not to do, too.”
The three kids first rode in the carriage procession at Trooping the Colour last year, when the late Queen was celebrating her Platinum Jubilee. This year, James said that Kate “put her hands below public view in the carriage to mime that ‘stop’ or ‘end’ sign to them, as though warning them where the boundaries were, and on the way back she was doing small reward nods and smiles for their good behavior, to ensure they were enjoying the event, too.”
As ever—just like we saw at the Coronation, or even at Her late Majesty’s funeral last September—Charlotte got involved, helping her mom keep her brothers in line.
“Charlotte told Louis to sit up while Kate leaned forward to straighten his tie,” James said. “It’s very sweet to see how he responds quickly to orders from his sister. The minute Charlotte told him to sit up in his seat, he pulled up straight away with no murmur of dissent or argument. When they got back into the carriage, we saw Charlotte mirroring Kate when it came to little Louis. As Louis sat between his two siblings, Charlotte watched Kate carefully and when Kate leant forward to speak to her small son, it was Charlotte immediately using one hand to signal that he should budge up in the seat.”
“On the balcony, we saw Kate and William working as a team to offer encouragement and reward gestures and rituals to their three children,” James said. “Louis turned to his mother in excitement during the flypast, and his behavior got the reward of a beaming smile from her and an affectionate approval gesture as she stroked his hair.”
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Rachel Burchfield is a writer, editor, and podcaster whose primary interests are fashion and beauty, society and culture, and, most especially, the British Royal Family and other royal families around the world. She serves as Marie Claire’s Senior Celebrity and Royals Editor and has also contributed to publications like Allure, Cosmopolitan, Elle, Glamour, Harper’s Bazaar, InStyle, People, Vanity Fair, Vogue, and W, among others. Before taking on her current role with Marie Claire, Rachel served as its Weekend Editor and later Royals Editor. She is the cohost of Podcast Royal, a show that was named a top five royal podcast by The New York Times. A voracious reader and lover of books, Rachel also hosts I’d Rather Be Reading, which spotlights the best current nonfiction books hitting the market and interviews the authors of them. Rachel frequently appears as a media commentator, and she or her work has appeared on outlets like NBC’s Today Show, ABC’s Good Morning America, CNN, and more.
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