Marie Claire reported recently that the Princess of Wales was “open” to her eldest son (and future king) Prince George having an expanded role within the royal family—as is King Charles’ wish, a la George’s turn as a Page of Honor at his grandfather’s Coronation earlier this month. Kate’s one caveat? That she has a say in what those roles entail.
“Kate and Charles are very similar in a lot of ways: Both love what the monarchy stands for, feel a deep duty to Britain and the Commonwealth, and share the late Queen Elizabeth II’s belief that royals should ‘never complain, never explain,’” a source says, per OK. “However, they’re very different when it comes to how they think the monarchy should operate in 2023.”
Occasionally the King and Kate disagree over ways to parent the heir to the throne—case in point: Charles is a fan of sending him (and likely George’s siblings Princess Charlotte and Prince Louis, as well) to boarding school, as he once was, as well as his sons, Prince William and Prince Harry. Kate is not a fan of the idea, and, as such, her kids don’t board at Lambrook, where they’ve been pupils since September.
Kate is also desperately trying to avoid the dreaded “heir and spare” dynamic that has plagued William and Harry, so she wants her three kids to be treated more as equals. Yet she is also okay with George taking on more responsibilities within the Firm—as he is the eldest—but “her stance is only if she signs off on it,” the source says. “To her, the King’s word is not final when it comes to her children. She’s been very clear about hat. And if that starts a rift or even a full-out war, then so be it.”
OK reports that, when it comes to disagreements between Charles and Kate, Queen Camilla doesn’t intervene: “Camilla is a fan of Kate’s, but she doesn’t intervene in these instances,” a source says. “She has to support Charles’ decisions as his queen.”
George will be 10 in July, and “William and Kate both know that when he reaches his teens, they’ll have less of a leg to stand on, so for the next three years, they’re going to protect him as much as they can,” the insider adds. And, while Kate is loyal to the royal family, “her children’s happiness comes first,” the source says.
William—also an heir to the throne who grew up in the royal fishbowl—has said of his eldest son “I want George to grow up in a real, living environment,” he said. “I don’t want him growing up behind palace walls. He has to be out there.”
When it comes to deciding George’s role, William too backs off, letting Charles and Kate work it out. A source says that William wants Kate to “take the lead” when determining George’s growing role within the Firm, as he doesn’t like feuding with his father.
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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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