Despite only being two and four, mini royals Princess Charlotte and Prince George have already shunned royal etiquette and convention on a number of occasions.
This is mostly down to their super-modern-yet-still-very-royal parents who do their best to give their children a normal upbringing. But, believe it or not, at other times, its their own doing.
Here’s a reminder of the moments when the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge and their children have flouted royal tradition:
1. A normal start
From the get go, it became clear that the Duke and Duchess wanted to protect their children’s privacy as much as possible which, of course, is understandable. For this reason, the young royals are photographed much less, and by way fewer photographers, than their dad, Prince William, and uncle, Prince Harry, were.
When Prince William started nursery in London in 1985, there were reportedly hundreds of journalists and photographers there. Just take a look at this picture of the crowd outside the nursery at the time which we’re guessing was quite daunting for a three-year-old.
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So, when George started at the Westacre Montessori in Norwich in 2016, it was firmly ‘no pictures, please’ and instead, Kensington Palace released one adorable photo, taken by his Mum. The same was done recently for Princess Charlotte’s big day.
Prince George arrives for his first day at Westacre Montessori School nursery in Norfolk today. The Duke and Duchess of Cambridge have released two photographs to mark the occasion. They show Prince George standing in front of the mural on the outside of the nursery building. Photograph ©The Duchess of Cambridge
Because of their base in Norfolk, George attended nursery in the market town of King’s Lynn instead of a central London nursery. The Montessori cost £33 per day or £5.50 per hour when George attended which isn’t far off the national average of £116.25 for 25 hours per week, according to the Money Advice Service. At the time, The Telegraph noted that many of the parents had financial help to pay the fees.
This is quite different to the royals before them. When Prince William – who was the first senior royal to go to nursery and not learn in the palace – and Harry did go to nursery, they attended a private one in central London which, according to the New York Times, cost “about average for private schools in the area but [was] too expensive for most families in Britain”.
Princess Charlotte’s nursery was also not so cheap.
2. Changing the order of the heir to the throne
The birth of the Duke and Duchess Cambridge’s first baby was always going to be important in terms of royal history. This is because, whether the baby was a boy or a girl, it would have been heir to the throne after Prince William.
Before this, it used to be the case that a boy would always be heir over a girl – even if they were younger. This pretty outdated rule was amended in 2013 and means that even if William and Kate have a boy for baby number three Princess Charlotte will still be fourth in line to the throne, and the new baby fifth. History made.
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3. Not living in London
The Duke and Duchess of Cambridge first lived in Anglesey, north Wales after they were married before choosing their Norfolk home of Anmer Hall as their main residence where they would bring up both Prince George and Princess Charlotte.
Again, choosing the quieter county of Norfolk rather than the historic and traditional Kensington Palace showed how the couple wanted to give them a normal childhood away from the spotlight.
4. Prince George’s school choice
In September, George started school. Accompanied by his dad, and with just one photographer capturing the moment, he nervously made his way into the building for his big day.
The chosen school was Thomas’ in Battersea, a private school south of the river, in London. While it’s not that far from the family home in Kensington Palace, there are other schools closer to the palace with royal reputations. For example, after the family moved back to London from Norfolk, some thought George would attend Wetherby School – where William and Harry both went.
5. Not being afraid to show how they really feel in public
We’re not sure if this is listed in any royal etiquette guide books but we’re pretty sure having a tantrum isn’t ideal. However, Princess Charlotte had a bit of a strop when having to get back on a plane in Hamburg at the end of a royal tour of Germany and Poland last year. (Maybe she was just having a fab time?) Prince George has also been seen looking a little sassy on more than one occasion.
Let’s be fair, they are toddlers and tantrums are a thing that toddlers do. Also, in Charlotte’s defence, I also tend to throw a
big mild tantrum when I have to leave my holiday too.
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6. Low-key outfit choices when meeting heads of state
Traditionally, when members of the royal family meet heads of state of other countries its either for a formal photocall or a private banquet. If it’s a photocall, they’ll be dressed smart af, with the Duchess of Cambridge probably in a tailored fitted dress and the Duke in a suit. If its a banquet, it’s the whole shebang: Crown/tiara, jewels, ballgowns and sashes.
However, when Prince George was introduced to US president and First Lady Barack and Michelle Obama in 2016, he wore… a dressing gown. Can you imagine if William had decided he couldn’t be bothered to dress up so put on his checked pjs? But little George got away with it nonetheless – he was staying up past his bedtime, after all. The moment he shook the president’s hand and showed the couple the rocking horse they bought him was caught on camera, all while wearing his little gown and slippers.
Prince George meets The President and First Lady of the United States pic.twitter.com/HZxelhSSr4
— Kensington Palace (@KensingtonRoyal) April 22, 2016
Even Obama later joked that the attire George decided to wear for this all important “meeting” was a “clear breach of protocol” and a “slap in the face”.
This article originally appeared on Harper’s BAZAAR US.