Prince William and Kate Middleton Are Adopting “The Middleton Way” to Raise Their Three Kids, Expert Says

They’re seeking normalcy in a not-so-normal upbringing.

Prince George, Princess Charlotte, Prince Louis
(Image credit: Getty Images)

Let’s face it: the lives of Prince George, Princess Charlotte, and Prince Louis will never be totally normal. The entire planet had countdowns for each of their births, and, when their parents emerged from the hospital with each of them, there was a waiting pack of photographers ready to get the first shot. Cut to present day, and the world is endlessly fascinated with each of their favorite hobbies, favorite foods, and favorite sports teams. They’re royal, after all—third, fourth, and fifth in line to the throne, respectively.

But all that aside, their parents, Prince William and Kate Middleton, have been completely committed to ensuring normalcy as much as possible for their trio—and their move to Windsor this summer is but one example of their steadfast commitment to that effort. And while William and younger brother Prince Harry were raised in the royal fishbowl, Kate and her younger siblings Pippa and James were raised in an affluent but not aristocratic manner—what a royal expert calls the “Middleton way,” which William and Kate are adopting with their own children to keep them grounded.

According to The Mirror, royal expert Duncan Larcombe says the couple are using Kate’s family upbringing as a template for raising their kids, rather than the traditional royal model. The Cambridges “are carefully handing their children’s public appearances in order to not overexpose them and allow them to have a more conventional younger life,” the outlet writes.

“I think what we’ve seen for some time now is that the model William and Kate are essentially using as a family is the Middleton way,” Larcombe tells True Royalty TV’s The Royal Beat. “It’s that strong family: brothers, sisters, everyone. And it is a tight unit.”

George—who turned nine last month and is the heir to the throne behind dad William and grandfather Prince Charles—has been the most outfront of the three siblings, appearing at great-grandfather Prince Philip’s memorial service, multiple times at the Platinum Jubilee, and at Wimbledon alongside his parents. But, while we have seen quite a bit of the future king as of late, William is very careful to manage his public appearances, fellow royal expert Richard Kay says.

“William has curated George’s appearances in a completely different way from the way his mother and father curated his,” Kay says. “William and Harry, particularly William, were thrust from a very young age center stage. William has taken a different view. He wants to protect [his children] for as long as possible, give them some semblance of a normal childhood.”

That said, Kay tells The Royal Beat, we will continue to see more and more of George as he continues to grow up.

“But inevitably as [George] gets older, we’re going to see more of him, in a jacket and tie, at Wimbledon as we did, and at Platinum Jubilee-type celebrations,” he says.

Speaking of the Platinum Jubilee, it was at the historic four-day event that the world collectively fell in love with George’s younger brother Louis, who all but stole the Queen’s spotlight with his cheeky antics throughout the weekend. Royal author Ingrid Seward says too much attention on Louis (or any of her kids) would have been concerning to mom Kate: “I think Kate has to wrap some semblance of normality around [their children], because she knows what [royal life] can do,” she says. “She’s seen it; she’s been around long enough…but they’re not normal children, and I think it’s extremely hard to keep their little feet on the ground…I think this is a danger Kate’s very aware of. Louis at the Jubilee became a superstar, but that would have probably worried her a bit.”

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.