The Prince and Princess of Wales Have Adopted “the Middleton Parenting Model” and Want Their Kids to Become Their “Best Friends” One Day

Like the Wales trio, Kate’s parents Michael and Carole Middleton also had three children.

Prince William, Kate Middleton, Prince George, Princess Charlotte, Prince Louis
(Image credit: Getty/The Prince and Princess of Wales/Matt Porteous)

When it comes to parenting, anyone can tell you that there is no “right” way to do it—but for the Prince and Princess of Wales, a way that seems to be working is what The Daily Mail is calling “the Middleton parenting model,” which includes working to ensure that their children Prince George, Princess Charlotte, and Prince Louis see them as their “best friends,” the outlet writes. (“The Middleton parenting model,” of course, is named after Kate’s parents, Michael and Carole Middleton, who also had three children—Kate, Pippa, and James.)

As we see more glimpses of William and Kate with the children—like on Sunday, at the Christmas Day church service at St. Mary Magdalene in Sandringham—it’s evident that the couple are taking a page from the Middletons, royal expert Duncan Larcombe tells OK. While obviously George, Charlotte, and Louis’ raising will be different from Kate, Pippa, and James’—after all, the Middleton trio were not famous when they were children, and one was not the heir to the British throne—Larcombe notes the similarities between the Wales’ parenting style and that of the Middletons, particularly that the family of five is a close unit.

“William has based his children’s upbringing on the Middleton model—three children, affluent, but hardworking parents and lots of love in the house,” he says. “By the time Kate was in her early twenties, she counted her mother and father on the list of her best friends. That’s what William and Kate are aspiring to with their children.”

Kate has opened up in the past about her “very happy” childhood in Bucklebury, Berkshire and, in an appearance on Giovanna Fletcher’s “Happy Mum, Happy Baby” podcast in 2020, the then Duchess of Cambridge praised Michael and Carole’s “huge dedication” to her and her siblings.

Royal expert Katie Nicholl says the Wales three are having the “most ordinary upbringing [of] any generation of royal children” following the family’s move to Adelaide Cottage in Windsor in early September. “They made a very bold decision to move to Windsor so that they could have a quieter, more below-the-radar life, which they couldn’t enjoy in central London, being rather overlooked at Kensington Palace,” she says.

Along with the move came a change in school for all three kids to Lambrook, where a parent says “it’s the most magical place for our children to spend time, and they can often be seen rosy-cheeked and perfecting handstands, throwing balls, or racing to the tree stumps.”

For three children with a royal future ahead of them, it sounds as though, for now, they’re in the middle of an idyllic childhood.

Rachel Burchfield
Senior Celebrity and Royals Editor

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.