What Kind of Mother Is the Queen of England and How Does Kate Middleton Compare?

For some reason it’s difficult to see royals as moms — or, rather, mums. But you’d be surprised at how hands-on both the queen and Kate Middleton have been with their offspring. Ahead, learn about these royals’ parenting styles — and notice the similarities, including how motherhood wins over royal duty.

1. The queen and duchess’ children

Britain's Catherine, Duchess of Cambridge laughs as Britain's Queen Elizabeth II gestures as they watch part of a children's sports event

Queen Elizabeth has four kids, and Kate Middleton has three. | Phil Noble/AFP/Getty Images

The queen welcomed her first son, Prince Charles, in 1948 and her daughter, Princess Anne, in 1950, according to Town & Country. She waited more than 10 years before she had Prince Andrew in 1960 and Prince Edward in 1964.

Kate Middleton married Prince William in 2011. And in December 2012, she gave birth to Price George, who is third in line to the throne. Her daughter, Charlotte — fourth in line to the throne — was born in 2015, and she had her son Louis in April 2018.

Next: Prince Charles and his mum

2. The queen and Prince Charles

Queen Elizabeth II and Prince Charles

Queen Elizabeth had to focus on royal duties while her children were young. | Chris Jackson/Getty Images

The queen’s official royal duties began while her children were still very young, according to Town & Country. She and Philip famously took a six-month Commonwealth tour right after her coronation and left the children in England. The queen was of a generation and class that typically left small children’s care to household staff, and some think this led to her bonds with her children not being as strong as their bonds with the nannies.

Next: Here’s what the queen’s daughter has to say.

3. The queen and Princess Anne

Sophie, Countess of Wessex, Princess Anne, Princess Royal and Queen Elizabeth II attend the Centenary Annual Meeting

She says she had a close relationship with her mom. | Chris Jackson-WPA Pool/Getty Images

Princess Anne denies the queen wasn’t as involved with her children or as caring as she should have been. In a 2002 BBC interview, she said, “I simply don’t believe there is any evidence what so ever to suggest that she wasn’t caring. It just beggars belief.”

Anne became quite close to her mother as a teenager, according to Robert Lacy, adviser for Netflix’s The Crown and author of The Crown: The Official Companion. “Princess Anne and the Princes Andrew and Edward have all made public their disagreement with Charles in his criticism of the parenting they received. With her love of horses, Anne developed an especially close relationship with her mother during her teenage years, giving her advice about fashion and clothes,” said Lacy.

Next: Mabel’s night off

4. This was the queen’s favorite night of the week

Queen Elizabeth II enters to ride in a carriage procession to Buckingham Palace following the marriage of Their Royal Highnesses Prince William Duke of Cambridge and Catherine Duchess of Cambridge at Westminster Abbey on April 29, 2011 in London, England.

She loved taking care of the kids. | Sean Gallup/Getty Images

According to Town & Country, the queen’s favorite weeknight was “Mabel’s night off,” the night Charles and Anne’s nanny had off. “When nanny Mabel was off duty, Elizabeth could kneel beside the bath, bathe her babies, read to them and put them to bed herself,” said Lacy.

Next: The queen warms up significantly.

5. The queen and Prince Andrew

Queen Elizabeth II and Prince Andrew, Duke of York attend Royal Ascot

She was already set in her queen duties when he was born. | Chris Jackson/Getty Images

By the time Elizabeth II had Prince Andrew, she had been queen for eight years, according to Town & Country. And “evidence suggests she became warmer and more flexible as time went by,” said Lacy. She stepped back somewhat from her royal duties and spent more time with children.

“Early in the 1960s, Her Majesty decided that she had done her duty by her country and took the best part of 18 months off work to produce and enjoy her ‘second family,’ the young princes Andrew and Edward, born in 1960 and 1964 respectively,” said Lacy.

Next: Proof positive

6. Photos show the real relationship between the queen and her children

Queen Elizabeth II

She was a playful mother. | Michael Ukas/Pool/Getty Images

When photographers got footage of the queen on holiday in Scotland in the ’60s, viewers saw her doting on 7-month-old Prince Andrew. When the royal family allowed cameras into their home in the late 1960s, fans saw their queen as a “playful mother relaxing with her children,” said Lacy.

“Today Elizabeth II enjoys life as a mother, grandmother and great-grandmother,” said Lacy. “She clearly delights in the time she can spend with her family, and she seems to be anything but emotionally reserved.

Next: Middleton as mum

7. Kate Middleton’s parenting style

Kate Middleton looks serious as she is looking at another woman.

Kate Middleton educates herself on parenting. | Richard Pohle/AFP/Getty Images

According to the website Chatelaine, Kate Middleton gave the world insight into her parenting style when she wrote to the author of The Modern Mother’s Handbook: How to Raise a Happy, Healthy, Smart, Disciplined and Interesting Child, Starting from Birth. She expressed how much she loved the book. The book offers practical advice for new moms on raising kids through the teen years, so clearly Middleton is looking ahead.

Next: In tune with her toddlers

8. Middleton is a hands-on mum

Britain's Prince William, Duke of Cambridge and his wife Kate, the Duchess of Cambridge, and their children Prince George and Princess Charlotte on the tarmac of the Airbus compound in Hamburg

She’s in tune with her kids. | Patrik Stollarz/AFP/Getty Images

Middleton is definitely a hands-on mom, according to Good Housekeeping. And though she’s busy with her mental health campaign, she’s totally in tune with her toddlers. “Every time we see Kate out with her children, it’s apparent that they’re always her priority,” said Patti Wood, body language expert and author of SNAP: Making the Most of First Impressions, Body Language, and Charisma.

“Instead of paying attention to the cameras or reporters, Kate is communicating to her children that this moment is about their family more than anything,” said Wood. “It’s a way of creating a special memory despite the pomp and circumstance.”

Next: Middleton pays attention.

9. Middleton is very attentive to the children

Britain's Prince William Duke of Cambridge, and his wife Kate the Duchess of Cambridge and their children Prince George and Princess Charlotte arrive at the airport in Berlin

She’s always making sure they’re OK. | Steffi Loos/AFP/Getty Images

According to Good Housekeeping, Middleton is extremely attentive to her tots. “She’s constantly scanning to make sure they’re okay,” Blanca Cobb, body language expert and author of Methods of the Masters. “It’s as if she’s taking an emotional temperature reading to make sure that everything is alright.”

And Middleton is typically holding at least one of her children. “What’s notable is that Kate’s hands are usually loosely wrapped around her children’s legs,” said Patti Wood. Her loose embrace, said the body language expert, shows she trusts her children and is willing to give them space to explore.

Next: Middleton does it all.

10. Middleton focuses only on her children

The Duke Of Cambridge And Prince Harry Play In Gigaset Charity Polo Match

She focuses on her kids, despite being in the public eye. | Chris Jackson/Getty Images

Middleton is a super mom. She comforts, plays, hugs, laughs, and dances with her children, according to Good Housekeeping. These behaviors are unusual for someone who is in the public eye, but Middleton doesn’t care. “Time and time again, Kate proves that her focus is on her children — not anyone else,” said Patti Wood. “She’s never tugging at her children or walking ahead of them.”

In addition, said Blanca Cobb, body language expert and author of Methods of the Masters, the family portrays a united front. “It’s obvious that Kate, her husband, and her children are in sync because they reflect each other’s facial expressions,” said Cobb. When it comes right down to it, it sounds as if Kate Middleton and the queen of England actually have quite similar parenting styles.

Read more: Will Meghan Markle Be Taking Royal Style Tips From Kate Middleton?

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