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There’s no question about it: Being a child in the royal family is an experience unto itself. The entire world is fascinated by your milestones, from the moment you leave the hospital to your first day of school. What clothes do you prefer? What hobbies are you interested in? For better or worse, everyone everywhere wants to know.
Yet, despite the very abnormal circumstances of being a royal kid, the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge are emphatic about their desire to raise their trio in as normal a way as possible. That’s why Prince George, Princess Charlotte, and Prince Louis are largely shielded from the public eye; why mom Kate is largely behind the few photos released of them throughout the years (it’s normal to have mom behind the camera—Mario Testino and Annie Leibovitz? Not so much); and why the Cambridge kids are slowly being introduced to the roles they were born to do, bit by bit. George and Charlotte appeared together for the Christmas Day walk at Sandringham in 2019; they weren’t seen again at a public event until great-grandfather Prince Philip’s Service of Thanksgiving on March 29, 2022. Yes, the pandemic likely had something to do with that, but their appearances seem very intentionally plotted out—case in point, little brother Louis wasn’t at either event, as he was deemed still too young to attend. (He’ll turn four by the end of this month.)
And the fact that George always has Charlotte there and vice versa also seems important to William and Kate. William knows what it’s like to be a royal kid and the importance of having a sibling alongside him for support. (William and Prince Harry are 27 months apart; George and Charlotte are 22 months apart.) Going to public events together as a twosome will help George and Charlotte create an especially strong bond, says leading child psychologist Dr. Alison McClymont, via the Express.
“Theirs is a unique existence,” she says. “Very few people can relate to that level of scrutiny or responsibility, so the fact that they get to do this together and to share the burden and the joy of the role is key.”
It’s a bond that’s not just important to cultivate now as children, but also as their roles continually develop into larger and larger cornerstones within the royal family. George, of course, will one day be king; Charlotte will likely always have a prominent, senior role in the working core of the family, as well.
“They will have a bond that could be understood by very few others, and also a private intimacy that is probably rarely seen outside of their public roles,” McClymont says.
Through allowing their eldest two children to share in public appearances, it can help prevent overwhelm, she says.
“Kate and William have shown to be very protective parents, and they are both aware of the challenge of facing public scrutiny,” McClymont says. “In William’s case, he is aware of the challenge of this at a young age, so likely they want to bring them both together to share the experience and prevent overwhelming the children at a young age.”
William has been no holds barred about his desire to maintain stability at home for his kids—a stability he and Harry notoriously lacked. He told GQ in 2017, via the Express, “I couldn’t do my job without the stability of the family. Stability at home is so important to me. I want to bring up my children in a happy, stable, secure world, and that is so important to both of us as parents.”
This includes not shielding his son, the heir to the throne, behind palace walls: “He [George] has to be out there,” William said. “I will fight for them to have a normal life.”
It’s a delicate balance that William and Kate are handling well, providing a relatively normal childhood while also preparing their children for their public life that lies ahead.
“William has been very vocal about the media and its attention towards the royal family, so he is understandably protective of his children and wants to make it as comfortable for them as possible, whilst understanding what the preparation needed [sic] for their future roles,” McClymont says.
Rachel Burchfield is a writer whose primary interests are fashion and beauty, society and culture, and, most especially, the British Royal Family. In addition to serving as the weekend editor at Marie Claire, she has worked with publications like Vogue, Vanity Fair, ELLE, Harper’s Bazaar, and more. She cohosts Podcast Royal, a show that provides candid commentary on the biggest royal family headlines and offers segments on fashion, beauty, health and wellness, and lifestyle.
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