This week marked a milestone for Princess Charlotte—she undertook her first solo royal outing alongside parents Prince William and Kate Middleton at the Commonwealth Games on Tuesday, where she watched a swim meet, visited a charity that her mom is patron of, and got to take in her favorite sport live—and the sport may not be what you think.
Even though Charlotte is a “budding star” in soccer, according to dad William (and PEOPLE) the couple’s only daughter “spends most of her time upside-down, doing handstands and cartwheels” mom Kate says, according to The Daily Mail—and loves gymnastics. On a visit to SportsAid House, Tim Lawler, the chief executive of the organization, shared that “she really, really loved seeing the swimming, but she’s interested in the gymnastics, and while they’re trying lots of different sports at home, I understand, when I asked her about sport, she answered very easily and said, ‘It’s gymnastics that I like,'” he says.
Later that same day, Charlotte watched the artistic gymnastics competition live, where PEOPLE reports that “the young royal wore a big smile and raised her arms in the air as she watched.”
At SportsAid House, we got to see Charlotte’s behind-the-scenes royal training in action, as she met a number of athletes and “mirrored her parents by sitting with her hands folded in her lap,” PEOPLE reports. “Like Kate, she also appeared engaged in the conversation by leaning forward towards the athletes as she listened to them speak.”
“I did notice the Duke and Duchess, as we were trying to do, include Charlotte in the conversations,” Lawler says. “We were very mindful of that, and it was really very evident the Duke and Duchess were doing that, to, I suppose, include her and reassure her.”
When Charlotte added medals to the awards wall at SportsAid House, “she was charming, very willing to put the medals on the medal board, and she asked the right question, which was, ‘Where exactly should I put this?’” Lawler says. “It was by date, and she checked.”
All five Cambridges—William, Kate, and Charlotte, plus Charlotte’s brothers Prince George and Prince Louis—are big sports fans. Just last month, George undertook his own solo royal outing with his parents, attending his first Wimbledon, and last summer appeared at the Euro 2020 soccer games to cheer on England.
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 royal 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.