She’s the first girl to be born into the direct line of succession since Princess Anne in 1950. It’s a role that, even at a month old, comes with plenty of public scrutiny. Luckily, little Charlotte Elizabeth Diana is blissfully unaware of her future path. For the moment, life doesn’t extend outside Anmer Hall, where she’s encircled in the love of her parents, the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge, and big brother Prince George. Here, we take you inside that happy home life and answer your questions about what awaits Charlotte, her sibling and her parents in the coming months and years.
- WHEN CAN WE EXPECT THE CHRISTENING?
Three months after Prince George was born, an intimate group – there were just 22 people on the guest list – gathered for his christening at the Chapel Royal of St. James’s Palace. It’s likely that his younger sister will be christened in much the same way in late July, before her great-grandmother the Queen heads to Balmoral for her annual holiday. Charlotte will wear the same gown her brother wore at his ceremony in October 2013; it’s a replica of the christening outfit worn by Queen Victoria’s first-born. The identity of Charlotte’s godparents is harder to predict. For George, rather than the traditional choice of six aristocrats, William and Kate selected seven of the most influential people in their public and private lives, including just one family member, Zara Tindall. Princesses Beatrice and Eugenie and Peter Phillips are among the bookmakers’ favourites this time around.
- WHEN WILL KATE BE GOING BACK TO WORK?
The Duchess of Cambridge ceased her royal engagements in March and she’s unlikely to resume work until the fall. After her quick return to public life only five weeks after Prince George was born, Kate is said to be holding off on resuming her royal duties. “She wants to have that family time and enjoy it with George and the new baby,” says a source. According to Hello! royal correspondent Judy Wade, she may make an exception for Trooping the Colour, which brings together all of the senior members of the Royal Family in honour of the Queen’s official birthday celebrations. Kate hasn’t gone completely silent; less than two weeks after Charlotte’s birth she wrote a touching letter in support of Children’s Hospice Week.
- WHERE WILL THEY LIVE?
The Duke and Duchess of Cambridge and their two children have settled into their country home, Anmer Hall, where they’ll spend the next few months. Located on the Queen’s Sandringham estate in Norfolk, the 10-bedroom Georgian home is the perfect place for family fun. Charlotte’s nursery was all ready for her arrival, decorated with images of owls, mice and squirrels. Later, the family will divide their time between Anmer Hall and Kensington Palace. “The baby is going to grow up running in the same gardens and hiding places William and Harry played in,” says former royal chef Darren McGrady. The newly renovated four-storey apartment has three kitchens and a private garden.
- WHEN WILL THE FIRST PORTRAIT BE REVEALED AND WHO WILL TAKE IT?
If they’re acting as swiftly as they did with their first-born, the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge will share Charlotte’s first official portrait within weeks; it will likely be taken at Anmer Hall. Prince George’s portrait was released a month after his birth and was taken by Kate’s father, Michael Middleton. Typically, heirs to the throne have been photographed by famed lensmen like Lord Snowdon (who took William’s first portrait in 1982) or Sir Cecil Beaton (who photographed baby Charles in 1948). The casual portrait was a meaningful break with tradition for the modern couple, who posed on the Middleton’s property in Bucklebury, Berkshire, where they spent their first days as parents. This time, the photographer will be tasked with keeping Charlotte’s big brother (and possibly dog Lupo) entertained as well.
- DOES CHARLOTTE HAVE A BODYGUARD? HOW WILL THE PALACE ENSURE THE FAMILY HAS PRIVACY?
She weighs less than 10 pounds, but Charlotte packs some serious muscle in her personal protection officer. The as-yet-unnamed female guard is from Scotland Yard’s Royalty and Diplomatic Protection Group and will be a constant presence in Charlotte’s life. Protecting the family from media glare is another story. Buckingham Palace has issued letters to photographers lingering around Sandringham asking for “acts of harassment and breaches of privacy to cease.” (These are mostly freelancers; the British media has an informal agreement with the Royal Family not to publish unauthorized photos.) “The warm-hearted and understandable interest in the [Cambridges] needs to be balanced with their right to private family life,” says a rep.
- WHAT ADDITIONAL HELP DO THEY HAVE? WILL THEY HIRE ANOTHER NANNY?
Hands-on parents William and Kate welcomed George’s nanny Maria Teresa Turrion Borrallo into the royal fold seven months after his birth. This time around, they’re reportedly looking to hire a temporary maternity nurse to lend a hand during Charlotte’s early days. They’ll also continue to rely on the Middletons, who have taken up residence at Anmer Hall while the new parents adjust to life as a family of four. “[Carole] is ensuring that Anmer runs like clockwork,” says a source.
- HOW IS PRINCE GEORGE ADJUSTING TO LIFE AS A BIG BROTHER?
Curious George was “very excited to meet his sister,” says a family friend about the siblings’ first encounter at the Lindo Wing. Judging by the smiles on William and Kate’s faces as they left the hospital, that initial meeting must have gone well. Now that the family is home at Anmer Hall, the parents are continuing to help their son feel happy about the new addition, especially when little Charlotte requires so much attention. William and Kate have reportedly bought some special toys for their elder child. The couple, who like to take George swimming and to parks, will also rely on their extended family to show the toddler the beaches and wooded areas around Sandringham. In other words, he’ll be lavished with more love than ever.
- WILL THEY TAKE BOTH GEORGE AND CHARLOTTE ON THEIR NEXT ROYAL TOUR?
One can only hope! How cute would it be to see the family of four on a royal road trip? Plus, after the public relations success of William, Kate and George’s three-week tour to Australia and New Zealand in April 2014 – during which the nine-month-old was dubbed “His Royal Cuteness” and “the Republican Slayer” – we’re betting the couple couldn’t say no! (Nor would they want to leave their little ones at home.) There is a precedent. Prince Charles and Diana, Princess of Wales, flew out their infant and toddler son to meet their parents on the royal yacht Britannia in Venice in 1985. Judy Wade expects that William and Kate will follow in their footsteps, but may wait until their children are a bit older. Remember when the couple brought princes William and Harry to Canada in 1991? Diana and Charles’s relationship might have been strained, but their joy at spending time with their children was written all over their faces.
- WHY IS SHE A PRINCESS? WHAT OTHER TITLES MIGHT SHE INHERIT WHEN SHE’S OLDER?
If Charlotte had been born just a few decades earlier, she would have been Lady Charlotte Mountbatten-Windsor. Royal protocol established by King George V decreed that the titles prince and princess could only be given to the monarch, children of a monarch or the Prince of Wales’ first grandson. The Queen repealed that before George’s birth in 2013 so that all of Charles’s grandchildren could be princes or princesses. Charlotte may one day inherit the title of Princess Royal, given to the eldest daughter of a monarch. But why isn’t Kate called princess when her occupation on Charlotte’s birth certificate is listed as “Princess of the United Kingdom?” Royal brides receive their husbands’ titles, which is why Kate is the Duchess of Cambridge. (If William hadn’t been made the duke, she would be called “Princess William”). For example, Charles was Prince of Wales and so Diana was Princess of Wales.
- HOW WILL WILLIAM BALANCE HIS WORK AND FAMILY LIFE?
He’s done a fine job of prioritizing work, royal engagements and the needs of his family. But in the lead up to Princess Charlotte’s arrival, the Duke of Cambridge called the impending birth a “game-changer” – and he’s making the transition as smooth as possible. William took time off from his new job with the East Anglian Air Ambulance to settle into life as a father of two before returning to his post this week, and with Kate, George and Charlotte living at Anmer Hall, he won’t be too far from his loved ones when he reports for duty in Norwich. William’s work as a pilot will let the family spend more time in the countryside than in London, which certainly wouldn’t be the case if he committed to a full-time schedule of royal duties. Still, the prince will continue representing the Queen in the U.K. and overseas. In his role as president of United for Wildlife, he’s scheduled to be on hand for meetings in Switzerland later this month.
- HAS THERE BEEN ANY OFFICIAL MEMORABILIA RELEASED TO COMMEMORATE THE BIRTH?
Baby Charlotte’s birth is a collector’s dream with thousands of tchotchkes hitting the market. But, there are only a handful of official commemorative items. The Royal Collection Trust has released gorgeous sets of china and toys. A representative tells Hello! that other limited edition pieces featuring Charlotte’s name will be available in the coming weeks. Britain’s royal mint has also commemorated the birth with four special coins, ranging in face value from about $25 to almost $3,500 each.
- WHERE WILL CHARLOTTE AND GEORGE GO TO SCHOOL?
Down-to-earth William and Kate would likely prefer their little ones to attend a local school in Norfolk. But that’s likely not an option. The children might go to a tony nursery school such as Acorn Nursery in London, considered the most prestigious kindergarten in England. George and Charlotte will also have their pick of day schools. There’s a good chance the little prince will attend Wetherby School, the same boys-only pre-prep school William and Harry went to before heading to Ludgrove School and Eton College, a boarding school near Windsor Castle. Charlotte may study outside the city at Kate’s alma mater St. Andrews or Windsor’s Upton House School, attended by princesses Beatrice and Eugenie. Her high school could be prestigious Marlborough College, which both Kate and Eugenie attended.
- WILL WILLIAM AND KATE HAVE ANOTHER BABY?
According to Kate’s uncle, Gary Goldsmith, yes! “I don’t think they’ll stop at two,” he has said. Certainly, Kate, who is the eldest of three children, would love to have a big family. Despite her royal status and busy diary of engagements, she is very close with her sister Pippa, 31, and brother James, 28. “We spend a lot of time together. We still do a lot together as a family,” Pippa recently said. “That’s sort of kept us all, you know, affixed to the ground.”
- HOW IS KATE GETTING BACK INTO SHAPE?
After giving birth to George, the always-athletic duchess – who grew up playing field hockey and tennis with younger siblings Pippa and James – quickly regained her pre-baby figure. This time around, she’ll take her little ones for brisk walks with their dog Lupo around the Cambridges’ Norfolk estate and keep up the yoga, Pilates and swimming sessions she practised throughout her second pregnancy. Also, taking care of two children under two will keep her on the move!