Prince William and Kate have had a hectic start to the year, even by their standards.
The royal couple enjoyed their regular Christmas break, but this holiday season differed from many previous ones as Harry and Meghan served a dish comprised of anxiety and harmful speculation from across the Atlantic.
Via their Netflix series and Harry’s tell-all memoir, Harry and Meghan criticized the Royal Family repeatedly. Perhaps for the best, William and Kate’s three children, Prince George, Princess Charlotte, and Prince Louis are unaware of the gigantic rift. Their lives have continued as normal, and include schooling and various hobbies.
Now, the majority of us call our parents “mom” and “dad”, or some similar variation. It turns out though that Prince George and Princess Charlotte call their father, William, a different thing entirely.
William is next in the line of succession, and with that comes great responsibility. He and Kate Middleton have taken on their royal duties with great seriousness, and to date have done a good job of keeping their names away from rumor and speculation – as history has shown, scandals never make a royal’s job easier.
William and Kate criticized in Harry’s book
When Harry and Meghan left the Firm years ago, such a scandal was born. Then, following their interview with Oprah, and more recently their candid Netflix series, things took an even more serious turn. William and Kate were largely spared any personal criticism in the documentary that dropped in December. With the release of Harry’s book, Spare, though, they had nowhere to hide.
Harry revealed several things about the couple – mostly his brother – including how William had hit him on occasion. Moreover, Harry brought their children – Prince George, Princess Charlotte, and Prince Louis – into the story, which many thought crossed a line.
When Prince George was born, William and Kate needed more living space. That meant moving into Kensington Palace. Harry, meanwhile, moved into Nottingham Cottage, just across the road from his brother’s new abode.
It wasn’t long before Harry felt as though something was wrong. In his book, the Duke explained how he was pleased about moving into Nottingham Cottage, mere walking distance away from Kensington Palace. Or, as he described it, “half a football pitch away”.
As Harry described it, so close was he that he could hear William and Kate’s nanny going past with the stroller at all hours.
He said it was “nice to get out of the old place, but even better to live in front of Willy and Kate,” and that he “could see myself dropping in to see them all the time.”
Charlotte and Louis will “end up” just like him, Harry claims
Harry dreamed about popping into William and Kate’s, hanging out with George, and “throwing himself on the floor” to wrestle with his nephew.
As stated, Harry’s book revealed many things about his life within the Firm, including details about his upbringing and criticism aimed at his family members.
However, one royal expert has criticized Harry for bringing up his youngest nephew, Prince George, in the book. Harry claimed that he wasn’t invited to William and Kate’s house to spend time with Prince George after his birth.
But it did not end there. Moreover, he revealed that Princess Charlotte had broken down in tears before Meghan’s wedding. Some critics argued that in doing so, Harry violated his niece Charlotte’s privacy.
In an interview with The Telegraph to promote his book, Harry again opted to talk about William and Kate’s three children.
He admitted that he genuinely fears that his niece and nephew – Princess Charlotte and Prince Luis – will ultimately “end up” just like him.
“Though William and I have talked about it once or twice, and he has made it very clear to me that his kids are not my responsibility, I still feel a responsibility knowing that out of those three children, at least one will end up like me, the spare,” Harry said.
“And that hurts, that worries me.”
“Harry should lay off Prince William’s children”
Harry continued: “I was brought into the world in case something happened to Willy, I was summoned to provide backup, distraction, diversion and, if necessary, a spare part. Kidney, perhaps. Blood transfusion. Speck of bone marrow. This was all made explicitly clear to me from the start of life’s journey and regularly reinforced thereafter.”
As per the line of succession, Prince William will ascend the throne after King Charles. After William, the crown will pass to Prince George, though if something should happen to him, his siblings, Princess Charlotte, and Prince Louis, are next in line.
Spare marks the first time Harry has spoken so freely about William and Kate’s children. After his comments, royal author Ingrid Seward warned him against further discussing them.
“Harry should lay off Prince William’s children. In fact, he should lay off everybody and button it now,” she told The Sun. “It is a very dangerous road to go down, to start talking about other people’s children.”
She added: “And what he says Prince William said to him is absolutely right – they are William’s responsibility and not his, so he should keep out of it.”
“It is none of Harry’s business. But Harry has become dangerous to his family, and to himself, because he can lob in his little asides whenever he wants.”
Of course, we can’t guess how much George, Charlotte, and Louis know about what is going on. As they grow up, they will learn all about their family history, but for now, it’s important that they get to be “normal” children. At least, that’s what William and Kate want for them.
Prince George, Prince Charlotte & Prince Louis’ upbringing
It should go without saying that William and Kate had very different upbringings. The Princess of Wales didn’t have a bad childhood by any strength, but given that William was the royal heir, one can imagine that his upbringing was rather unique. Then there’s the trauma William endured when his mother, Princess Diana, passed away to consider.
Given that William and Kate want their kids to have as “normal” childhood as possible, they’ve mainly turned to Kate Middleton’s parents regarding how they’re raising their children.
According to royal expert Duncan Larcombe, William and Kate prefer the “Middleton model” for their children. That includes hard-working parents and “lots of love in the house.”
Not only that, but William and Kate don’t want their children to be just their children, but also their friends.
“By the time Kate was in her early twenties, she counted her mother and father on the list of her best friends. That’s what William and Kate are aspiring to with their children, but they also have to drip-feed George and, to some extent, Charlotte and Louis, into the public domain,” Larcombe told OK!.
The royal expert argued that if they’d had the choice, William and Kate wouldn’t let Prince George, Princess Charlotte, and Prince Louis appear in public at all.
“He’s going to be playing catch up for the rest of his life”
However, that’s sadly not a viable option.
“Because if the public doesn’t fall in love with Prince George as a little boy, then he’s going to be playing catch up for the rest of his life. By the time the Queen came to the throne, the nation had fallen in love with Princess Elizabeth because they felt her pain,” Duncan said.
“They saw her very popular father, the unexpected King, die at such a young age and the public loved and supported the Queen because of what happened to her father,” the expert said.
Duncan added: “Although there are some similarities, George is being raised in a very different way to Prince William. William has based his children’s upbringing on the Middleton model – three children, affluent, but hard-working parents, and lots of love in the house.”
“I had an amazing granny who devoted a lot of time to us, playing with us, doing arts and crafts and going to the greenhouse to do gardening, and cooking with us,” Kate said.
“And I try and incorporate a lot of the experiences that she gave us at the time into the experiences that I give my children now.”
While the royal children are being raised as normally as possible, there is also a future that William and Kate must consider. That means life as a future king for Prince George.
Nicknames within the royal family
Attending events is just one small part of the royal duties Prince George will be expected to engage in when he grows up. Of course, as a future monarch, he will have many different responsibilities to handle.
It’s believed that William and Kate are slowly letting him know just what his future will hold. It’s been reported that George – like his father – will most likely begin working full-time as a royal by age 35, if not sooner. So for a future king, it’s crucial to be prepared.
Yet though George and his siblings will most likely be living a life of service towards the crown, it’s also essential that they get to experience a childhood without too much fanfare.
Titles and different ways to greet royals have always been traditions within the Firm, but they also have another, more soft side. Several royals have nicknames for each other, and the children are no exception.
Reportedly, nicknames within the Royal Family are nothing new. Queen Elizabeth was known as ‘Cabbage’ to her husband, Prince Philip, according to royal biographer Robert Lacey. Her Majesty was famously known as ‘Lilibet’ by her close family. It was given to her when she was young because she couldn’t pronounce her own name, Elizabeth.
Meanwhile, Harry usually calls Kate Middleton “Cath”, while William is said to call his wife “DoD,” which is short for the “Duchess of Dolittle.”
George & Charlotte has their own nickname for William
As one might have figured out, there are many different nicknames within the royal sphere. And now, the next generation of royals are busy coming up with nicknames for their family members.
Years ago, Kate Middleton revealed that Prince George had his own unique nickname for Queen Elizabeth. First, he called her “Gan-Gan,” a shortening of great-grandma. Then, when Princess Charlotte was born, it became known that they called now-King Charles “Grandpa Wales” and that George called his father, Prince William, “Pops.”
Prince George himself had a nickname when he attended the Thomas’s Battersea school. He was called “P.G,” the initial for Prince George.
Many of us will always call our parents ‘mom’ and ‘dad’, ‘mother’ or ‘father’. Within the Royal Family, though, it seems that doesn’t apply to William and Kate’s children.
British TV chef Ainsley Harriott revealed that the royals had heard a radio interview he had done and decided to apply a new nickname for William.
“Poachy, poachy, poachy,”
In an interview with The Sun, Harriott said that he spoke with Radio 1 about how to pass the time while in the bath, and joked about cooking a fish in the bathtub.
“Greg asked, ‘could you cook a fish in the bath?’” he recalled. “I said, ‘yeah, if it’s a little bit of seabass or plaice or something like that.’ You wouldn’t want a thick bit of fish because it wouldn’t poach.”
Harriott added: “Anyway, apparently, Prince William and Kate were taking George and Charlotte to school, and they found it hysterical.”
William later appeared on the radio station, saying, “The kids love it. They loved that you were talking about eating fish in the water.”
Ainsley Harriott later changed his trademark catchphrase, “Why hello there, Jill,” – which had gone viral after he’d shown up to an elderly woman’s house to surprise her on live TV – to “Why hello there, Will. Poachy, poachy, poachy,” when he met William.
That appears to have had quite the effect on George and Charlotte – who now have a new nickname for their father and future king.
“George and Charlotte now call their dad Poachy. Isn’t that sweet and so lovely?” the TV chef said.
Prince William has not only had one nickname over the years. Harry referred to his brother as “Willy” several times in his book, Spare. And when he was young, his mother, Princess Diana, used to call him “Wombat.”
“It began when I was two … when we went to Australia with our parents, and the wombat, you know, that’s the local animal, so I just basically got called that, not because I look like a wombat, or maybe I do,” William revealed in a 2007 interview