There’s an oft-repeated phrase that couldn’t be truer for the Wales children: “Babies don’t keep.” Wasn’t it just yesterday that Prince George was born and we were all anxiously anticipating the announcement of his name? Well, that was 10 years ago this month (!). George has grown up before our very eyes, as has his little sister Princess Charlotte and little brother Prince Louis. Now, at eight, The Daily Express reports, Charlotte is “keen to show how quickly she is growing up”—but not too fast, okay?
A body language expert speaking to the outlet zoomed in on the close relationship between Prince William and his only daughter, on full display at this year’s Trooping the Colour. (Did you catch this sweet father-daughter moment?) And, while Charlotte—who William lovingly refers to as “Lottie” or “Mignonette”—appreciates her dad’s affection, she also wants to show how mature she is. William, for his part, respects Charlotte’s desire for independence, said body language expert Judi James.
“In 2020, William and Kate took their three children to the panto and, although William arrived holding small daughter Charlotte’s hand, she swiftly pulled away once they reached the red carpet to walk in by herself,” James said. “The gesture probably defines the special father-daughter relationship well. William has always been a very even-handed dad in terms of play, affection rituals, and attention-giving, but his three children have very different personalities, and his daughter is probably the most confident and independent right now.”
Charlotte, keep in mind, was only five at the time. “While George was happy to hold his dad’s hand for longer and while Louis prefers to tear around entertaining the crowds, Charlotte seems to be keen to show how quickly she is growing up and how little parenting she needs now,” James said.
Despite Charlotte’s maturity, William is still a very hands-on, devoted father—and Charlotte welcomes this, James said.
“The affection tie-signs are still there from William and still apparently very much appreciated by Charlotte,” she said. “William will still stroke her hair in a reward gesture or as a comforting act at more challenging events like the Jubilee celebrations, but he is increasingly watching with pride as his daughter takes over as ‘class prefect’ when it comes to her two brothers and their behavior at formal events.” (Here at Marie Claire we refer to this as “Charlotte in charge.”)
And the father-daughter closeness is evident when her brothers are or aren’t around, James said. Take one example of when George and Louis weren’t there: “The strong father-daughter bonds were visible at the 2022 Commonwealth Games, when Charlotte attended with her parents but without her siblings,” James said.
At the Games, William, Charlotte, and Princess Kate sat for a photo, where Charlotte mirrored William’s clasped hands position. “She [Charlotte] can often be seen mimicking her mother’s body language, but at a more relaxed event like this, it was William that Charlotte was mirroring most, showing a subliminal bonding and empathy between them,” James said.
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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.
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