Growing up in the public eye isn’t easy, but the Duke and theDuchess of Cambridge are determined to give their children as normal a childhood a possible.
From the day that Prince George was born, Prince William was set on being a hands-on father, and was particularly adamant about putting George in the car seat on his own, whereas all previous royals — like Princess Diana and Prince Charles — had depended on a chauffeur.
“I think driving your son and your wife away from the hospital was really important to me," he said. "I don’t like fuss, so it’s much easier to do it yourself.”
It was an unprecedented move that would mark the couple’s modern approach to parenthood, while reminding royal watchers of thelate Princess Diana, whose son had clearly inherited her warmth and devotion.
Of course, being the heir to the British throne brings certain responsibilities, such as official outings, royal tours and photoshoots. However, the duke and duchess are not afraid to put a contemporary spin on royal traditions.
Taken by Kate’s father Michael Middleton in the garden of the Middleton family home, the first official portrait of Prince George was very much a relaxed, family affair, which broke with the royal convention of using a commissioned official photographer.
Proving that the young family are in touch with the digital age, the two photos were broadcast around the world via Clarence House’s official Twitter account for the first time. In the relaxed setting, William and Kate looked like normal, new parents as they proudly hold their sleeping newborn in their arms.
And while the royal couple hired a nanny to help with the care of their child while they fulfill their royal duties, they were keen to keep eight-month-old George close by, trotting him along on their first official tour of Australia and New Zealand.
Diana was the only royal before them to take a similar trip Down Under with her baby in tow, a decision that was met with media criticism at the time. And just one generation earlier, the trip would have been unthinkable – the Queen had always left her children behind when she went on official tours, as her parents had done before her.
At age five, Charles famously had to wait to welcome his mother when she returned from a six-month tour of the Commonwealth as the Queen shook hands with a line of dignitaries, before she personally greeted her young son with a handshake.
By contrast, doting Kate and William openly kiss and hug their baby boy in public.
Now, as the duke and duchess are set to welcome another royal baby into the family, they will no doubt continue to reinterpret royal tradition, and prepare their youngest son or daughter for a life in the spotlight on their own terms.