KATE Middleton and Prince William are raising three of the most famous children in the UK – but strongly prioritise protecting their privacy as much as possible.
According to royal experts, the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge are keen to get the balance between shielding their kids and also letting the public get to know their future heir.
It’s a tough tightrope to walk, but royal author Phil Dampier says Kate has a number of tricks for enforcing a normal upbringing for George, eight, Charlotte, six, and Louis, three – despite their palace surroundings.
He told Fabulous: “Prince William always vowed to protect his wife and children from the problems of being a royal and in the spotlight as much as possible, and he promised Kate’s parents he would do everything in his power.
“Both William and Kate are determined that their three children will have as normal a childhood as possible to give them a good start in life.”
Here’s how Kate attempts to straddle the line of publicity and normality…
Their country retreat
Phil explained that the Cambridges spend a lot of time at Anmer Hall in Norfolk where they can disappear from the public gaze.
He said: “The paparazzi pretty much leave them alone and they can go off in woods and on beaches without being disturbed.
“Kate’s mum Carole is there a lot of the time and is very close to them, particularly George.
“They go to normal nurseries and mix with normal kids at school in London.”
Taking their own photos
Instead of hiring a formal photographer to capture intimate family moments, the duchess prefers to snap them herself.
Phil said: “Kate takes her own pictures of them on birthdays and special occasions so that she can control their image, but also make sure they are happy to be photographed.”
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Shielding from trolling
Kate and William are said to protect what George, Charlotte and Louis learn about their royal role and what is said about them.
He said: “Of course social media can cause problems and even a young lad like George sometimes gets horrible abuse from sickos out there, picking on his looks or title.
“It’s not his fault he was born as a future king and so why should he suffer?
“I’m sure his parents monitor what he and his siblings see and hear as much as they can but of course as they get older they won’t be able to shield them totally.”
Waited to tell them about their royal future
Biographer Robert Lacey says William decided to wait to explain the line of succession to George until his seventh birthday.
Lacey touches on a statement William gave to BBC royal correspondent Nicholas Witchell, where he insisted there was a “time and a place” to tell George about where he “fits in the world”.
Keeps them close to the Queen
Phil said that it’s likely that when they are older, George and Louis will go to Eton, which is located near to Windsor Castle.
He continued: “As a child William used to walk over the bridge to see the Queen for tea, and she had one-to-one chats about his future.
“I’m sure it will be the same for George, albeit with his grandpa Prince Charles who will be king by then.”
Doesn’t want to make the same mistakes
William has said of heir George that he wanted to keep a “secure, stable, environment” for him and to show him “as much love as I can as a father”.
And part of this is making sure that any past “mistakes” in the royal family with exposure are not repeated.
Harry has previously spoken about his struggles growing up in the public eye, including having to do things like walking behind his late mum’s coffin at her funeral, aged 12.
He said: “I don’t think any child should be asked to do that, under any circumstances.”
Phil added: “We only have to look at Prince Harry and how unhappy he has been with his lot to see what happens when things go wrong.
“Above all William and Kate are trying to tread a fine line between protecting their children while preparing them for royal life.
“It’s not an easy balancing act, but with Kate’s grounded middle class background and William able to learn from the mistakes made by royals in the past, they seem to be doing a great job.”
Gives them as normal a life as possible
Prince William has frequently been quoted as saying he and Kate are a “very normal” family behind closed doors.
In an interview he said: “There’ll be a time and a place to bring George up and understand how he fits in, in the world.
“We are very normal.”He insisted that his children, George, Charlotte and Louis will grow up in a “real, living environment”, not “behind palace walls”.
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