Make No Mistake—It’s Princess Charlotte Who Rules the Roost at Adelaide Cottage, Parenting Expert Says

“She keeps George and Louis in check.”

Princess Charlotte
(Image credit: Getty)

This will likely shock absolutely no one who pays any kind of attention to the Wales family of five, but Hello reports that, indeed, Princess Charlotte rules the roost at Adelaide Cottage, where she lives with her parents, the Prince and Princess of Wales, and her brothers, older brother Prince George and younger brother Prince Louis.

We call this phenomenon “Charlotte in Charge” around here. Sure, her older brother may be a future king and the heir to the British throne, but buddy, when it comes to Charlotte, she’s the boss. Global parenting expert Jo Frost (of Supernanny fame) has weighed in on the family dynamic, telling Hello about her observations of Charlotte with her brothers. 

Prince George, Princess Charlotte, Prince Louis

(Image credit: Getty)

“Charlotte knows the rules,” she said. “She’s the one in the middle. She knows how to keep everyone in good stead. There are moments when I’ve watched George and he’s looked over at his sister, and he’s probably annoyed with her one minute and then grateful that she’s there being able to remind him of things, when he’s taking it all in as well.” (It’s true—Charlotte often reminds her big brother of royal protocol while at engagements.)

Frost pointed to Kate’s life’s work—the early years and reminding us of the importance of the first five years of a child’s life towards their development—which is also work William supports. Last year, Kate launched her Shaping Us campaign that focuses on this very issue. William and Kate are not only raising their three kids with a deep awareness of royal protocol but they’re also raising them in a healthy way, mindful of best practices.

Wales family at Christmas carol concert

(Image credit: Getty Images)

“I think really what we’re seeing is awareness,” Frost said. “Prince George and Princess Charlotte are being informed—certainly George, our future king. He’s no doubt started learning little bits here and there. He has the wonderful example of looking up to his grandfather [King Charles] and his father from a young age. They’re raised with an understanding of royal procedures and protocols. And they’re raised to understand there’s a time and a place.”

Frost added that the Wales family is more relatable than may be apparent on the surface: “It’s relatable to any family,” she said. “For example, there’s a wedding or a christening coming up and we know that it would be good manners and etiquette to be quiet while the choir is singing, and the service is happening. That, to me, is just responsible parenting, and we see that. They have a lovely balance of that and behind closed doors, no doubt, they’re playing games and winding each other up as siblings do, teasing each other, having fun, and baking cookies and being out in nature.”

Kate Middleton, Prince George, Princess Charlotte, Prince Louis

(Image credit: Matt Porteous/Prince and Princess of Wales)

Today, actually, is the one-year anniversary of the release of Prince Harry’s bombshell memoir, Spare, the title of which alludes to his role in the ever-present “heir and spare” dynamic between William and Harry. (William, as the heir to the throne, was seemingly always prioritized over Harry, who was behind his older brother in the line of succession.) That “heir and spare” dynamic doesn’t exist inside the Wales home, and the kids are treated as equals: “I think William and Catherine understand the importance of nurturing the sibling relationships between the three of them,” Frost said. “Dare I say it, in their family, it would never be the ‘heir and spare.’ It would be about the importance of all of them. The understanding that it really takes a team, with the important roles in upholding the Crown and the monarchy. And so we’re seeing these very early seeds now, with respect to what it means to support each other and to nurture together.”

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.