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What Prince William and Kate Middleton are really like as parents

Are Prince George and Princess Charlotte allowed screen time? Do William and Kate share photos of the royal babies on Facebook? We take a peek into what the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge are like as mum and dad.

By Alyssa Ashton

What Prince William and Kate Middleton are really like as parents

Photo: Matt Porteous

Prince William and Kate Middleton like as parents

Hugs are important

There is lots of hugging in the Cambridge family. During an engagement at Basildon Sporting Centre, Kate told a young fan that “hugs are very important. That’s what I tell my children.” That is such an awesome lesson to teach the little princes and princess and we bet Kate is the Queen of Hugs. It looks like little Louis is already a top-notch snuggler, giving his mum a baby hug in this photo taken after his christening.  

Prince Louis laughing while being held by Kate MiddletonPhoto: Matt Porteous

Go outside

If you happen to be walking around Kensington Palace, don’t be surprised if you see Kate walking Prince Louis in his pram with Prince George and Princess Charlotte running around beside her. In fact, those moments outside are ones she cherishes the most. In a letter to support Children’s Hospice Week, the Duchess talked about how this year’s theme is “Life’s Short” and how touched she is to hear about what the kids love most in life. And what does Kate love most? “Spending quality time is such an important aspect of family life and for me, as a mother, it is the simple family moments together like playing outside together that I cherish.” Shortly after Charlotte was born, Kate couldn’t hide her glee as she ran around after a cheeky George. 

What Prince William and Kate Middleton are really like as parentsPhoto: Max Mumby/Indigo/Getty Images

Screen time is allowed

Yes, even royals use the iPad to entertain the kids and keep them quiet on long flights! Prince William told Radio 1 that the family watches a lot of children’s programs—George was a huge fan of Peppa Pig, but he’s now moved on to Fireman Sam. And George expects mum and dad to watch the shows with him. “You have to pretend you’re really interested in it because George gets very upset if you’re not showing due diligence to the characters,” William says. I imagine in this photo Kate is bribing George with the iPad, telling him he can watch one episode of Fireman Sam if he just smiles and waves for the cameras.

Read more: 10 parenting rules Kate Middleton swears by 

Kate Middleton kneels to talk to talk to Prince George in CanadaPHOTO: PA PHOTOS LIMITED COURTESY OF CANADIAN PRESS

Kate does the arts and crafts—but William tries to take the credit

Duchess Catherine has an undergraduate degree in the history of arts, so it’s no surprise she’s passing her love of art onto the kids. Kate does lots of arts and crafts with the kids and even gives their creations to a certain special lady. William told Radio 1 that George and Charlotte made handmade gifts for their Gan-Gan, the Queen, for her 91st birthday. But Kate was quick to quip, “Are you taking credit for the arts and crafts?” William, looking quite sheepish, said, “This is putting the marriage on the line.”

Crafting with kids is definitely messy, but Kate doesn’t seem to mind. Along with crafts, she often bakes with the George and Charlotte. In August 2016, while in Luton, Kate met teenagers who were making chocolate crispy cakes. She told them, “When I try to do this with George at home, chocolate and the golden syrup goes everywhere. George makes so much mess. It’s chaos.”

Princess Charlotte holding a balloon with Prince WilliamPHOTO: COURTESY OF KENSINGTON ROYAL VIA TWITTER

They want their kids to be cultured

If you visit the Natural History Museum in London, you might run into Kate and the kids. Mummy Kate has taken George on numerous trips to the museum to see all the exhibits. In July 2016, during an official visit to the museum, Kate told a guest, “George loves three dimensional sculptures. He does come here quite often.” The future king is cultured! But don’t worry: He’s still a typical kid—he once was more interested in the pigeons outside the museum than all the amazing artwork inside.

Cambridge family sitting on the lawn smilingPhoto: Kensington Palace

Kensington Palace is an ”open” place

The British royals are known for their stiff upper lip and keep calm and move on attitude. But William, Kate and Prince Harry are trying to change that with their Heads Together campaign, which encourages people to talk about their mental health. Their #OKtoSay campaign is in full effect at the palace, too. “Catherine and I are clear that we want both George and Charlotte to grow up feeling able to talk about their emotions and feelings,” Prince William told CALM magazine. 

What Prince William and Kate Middleton are really like as parentsPhoto: Kensington Palace

The Internet is thier mummy friend

Who hasn’t turned to an online forum to unload their worries? Should she be walking yet? Why won’t he sleep at night? Kate is no different. Using a pseudonym, Kate posts questions to sites like Mumsnet and Babycentre on issues she and Wills differ on—like cartoons before bed. Don’t worry, Kate, we all have that worry. 

Read more: Princess Charlotte’s cutest photos so far 

Princess Charlotte pushing a rolling toyPhoto: The Duchess of Cambridge via Kensington Palace

You’ll see them at the school gates

Kate wants George and Charlotte to have a normal school experience, like she did, and that means she does the school run as much as possible. George started nursery school in 2016, and both mum and dad did drop-off and pick-ups when they weren’t working. In September, George will officially start elementary school at Thomas’s School in Battersea, and mum or dad will be making the 30-minute drive to drop him off each day. Kate has even told fellow parents that she will see them at the school gates. 

Prince George smiling while wearing a blue backpackPhoto: Duchess of Cambridge via Kensington Palace

Bring on the activities

The royal couple are quite active—they sail, they play football, they ski. And they’re passing that love of fitness on to their kids. If you are walking in the gardens near Kensington Palace, you may spot George racing around on his scooter—with a helmet on, of course. “He goes super fast on it. It’s hard to keep up with him,” Kate says. George also enjoys fencing (now that’s a princely activity!) and football. Though William admitted that Charlotte is the more skilled footballer. “George is sort of getting into it slowly, but Charlotte is showing more aptitude,” the proud dad says. Charlotte is also a keen horseback rider, just like her great-grandmother.

Prince George, Prince William, Princess Charlotte and Kate Middleton in the snowPhoto: Kensington Palace

The more, the merrier

The Cambridge household is pet-friendly (despite the fact that there are many priceless heirlooms around). Before George was born, William and Kate got their dog, Lupo, an English cocker spaniel. He’s a beloved member of the family and is in many family pics, including the first official picture of George after his birth and George’s third-birthday pictures. Charlotte is a big fan of the family’s other pet—a hamster named Marvin. She likes to rub her face against the hamster and let his whiskers tickle her sweet face.

Prince George feeding Lupo ice creamPhoto: Kensington Palace

Tradition reigns

It’s not surprising that William and Kate are quite traditional parents, especially when it comes to dressing their kids. You’re not likely to find Charlotte in a patterned romper or George in a graphic T-shirt. Instead, the kids wear very traditional British clothing for all public appearances. Kate does this so the kids will still look fashionable when people look at photos 50 years from now. George always wears shorts with knee socks and adorable loafers. The Brits tend to not put their young boys in actual pants (or trousers) until they are around eight years old. Charlotte looks adorably prim in smocked dresses and Mary Janes, with either socks or tights. 

Royal family leaves Canada after 2017 tourPhoto: PA Photos Limited

But some rules are meant to be broken

William and Kate aren’t above breaking some rules. For the first few months of George’s life, the couple didn’t have a royal nanny. Instead, Kate’s mum, Carole, helped them adjust to parenthood. And George didn’t even spend his first few weeks in a palace or castle! The new family of three was at Kate’s family home in Buckleberry. The most notable tradition Kate and William have broken is sending George to Thomas’s School, where both boys and girls attend. William and Harry both attended Wetherby School, which is an all-boy’s institution near Kensington Palace. William and Kate are clearly trying to give their kids a very normal—almost unroyal— upbringing.

Read more: Prince George’s best facial expressions

Queen Elizabeth, Prince Charles, William and George posting for an official photoPHOTO: BRITISH MONARCHY VIA FACEBOOK

Wild is good

The whole world is watching how William and Kate are raising their kids, but the duke and duchess don’t seem concerned about making sure their kids are perfectly behaved at all times. In fact, they welcome their wild personalities. Kate has admitted that Charlotte rules the roost at home and hilariously told guests at Buckingham Palace that she didn’t bring Charlotte because she would be “running riot.” In 2016, William told rugby players that his kids are “Running around, pushing things, jumping. Please tell me it gets easier?” We hate to tell you this, Wills, but it just gets harder.

Princess Charlotte smiling at Canada partyPHOTO: THE CANADIAN PRESS/JONATHAN HAYWARD

Privacy is key

It’s unlikely that William or Kate have social media accounts where they share photos of their children—they are too afriad that the media will get hold of personal photos. The couple are fiercely protective of their kids’ privacy, even releasing a letter in August 2015, asking the media to leave the kids alone. “They want both children to be free to play in public and semi-public spaces with other children without being photographed,” the statement from Kensington Palace read. It’s understandable that the couple were upset after paparazzi were seen following George and his nanny, going as far as hiding in cars to get photos of the young prince. Recently, the couple planted 40-foot hedges in front of Kensington Palace so that George and Charlotte can play outside without anyone being able to see them through the gate. At Anmer Hall, the family’s country estate, there is a no-fly zone, so helicopters can’t get photos of the children. Like all parents, William and Kate do enjoy publicly sharing adorable photos of their kids, but they only do it on big occasions like birthdays or christenings. 

Prince George, Prince William, Princess Charlotte and Kate Middleton at Charlotte's christeningPhoto: Mario Testino via Kensington Royal

Read more:
10 parenting rules Kate Middleton swears by
Prince George and Princess Charlotte's sweetest sibling moments
Even Kate Middleton finds motherhood overwhelming

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