Ways Kate Middleton and Prince William Break Royal Rules Raising Their Children

As busy parents of two (and another on the way), Prince William and Kate Middleton are pretty indistinguishable from typical people — except for the minor fact that they’re royalty. They’re actually quite like you and me.

The couple has bucked royal tradition when it comes to raising their kids. Their choice of schools, parenting styles, and activities are probably ones earlier royal generations would have shunned. Here we’ll look at several of those ways.

1. They’re hands-on parents

The royal couple don’t delegate their parenting duties. | Chris Jackson – Pool/Getty Images

Unlike royals before them, Kate and William refuse to let their kids be raised by a bevy of nannies. Like the late Princess Diana, the couple prefers a more hands-on approach, bringing their kids to and from school. (Kate was recently stuck in traffic during the school run.) She’s also been spotted taking George to the local toy store and is a regular at a nearby farm-park with her kids. There, they all play in the sandpit, and William bottle-feeds the piglets.

Next: They don’t always let camera-shyness get in the way.

2. They regularly release family photos

The share family moments. | JOHN STILLWELL/AFP/Getty Images

Past royals didn’t share photos of their children quite as often as William and Kate do; but hey, it’s not like they had Twitter and Instagram back then. Even so, William is more camera shy when it comes to the press. “He blames the press for his mother’s death, to some extent,” said Christopher Anderson, an author who has written about the royal family.

“Kate Middleton is the coolest head in the royal family. She knows how to handle [the press], and one way to handle them is to release photos on your own terms,” Anderson said.

Next: No boarding schools for this family

3. They send the kids to modern schools

Prince George of Cambridge arrives for his first day of school with his father Prince William, Duke of Cambridge at Thomas's Battersea on September 7, 2017 in London, England.

This generation of royals goes to school with common people. | Richard Pohle – WPA Pool/Getty Images

Unlike past royals who have been sent to boarding schools away from home, many think William and Kate will choose to send their kids to independent London schools. Prince George currently attends Thomas’s Battersea, a $23,000-a-year school about four miles from the family’s home at Kensington Palace. Princess Charlotte attends Willcocks Nursery School, based in a church hall very close to the family’s home.

Next: A time the queen stepped in

4. They practice active listening

Their habit of squatting to make eye contact in public caused a stir with the queen. | Chris Jackson/Getty Images

Soon after they arrived on a trip to Canada in 2016, Kate was photographed squatting down in order to speak to Prince George — which in traditional royal parenting is seen as a faux pas. In fact, the queen gave Prince William a telling off just weeks prior when he squatted down to talk to Prince George on the Buckingham Palace balcony. The royal family was assembled for an air show, and the elderly monarch tapped William and told him to stand tall.

Next: A rule the queen doesn’t enforce

5. Prince William flies with the kids

Prince William, Kate Middleton, and their kids at an airport

The royals generally aren’t allowed to fly together. | Julian Simmonds-Pool/Getty Images

Traditionally, heirs to the throne never traveled by plane together. Princess Diana actually was the one who first broke this practice by insisting Prince Charles accompany their young sons on flights. Doing otherwise seemed silly to her. Now, Prince William has flown with his tots to Canada, Poland, Germany, and other countries.

Next: What they watch on the telly

6. They watch TV together

TV time is something the whole family enjoys. | Chris Jackson/Getty Images

After a long day, the family of four may sit down for some relaxing TV time. The little prince is quite insistent his parents follow along closely. “You have to pretend you’re really interested in it,” William told BBC Radio. “George gets very upset if you’re not showing due diligence to the characters.”

These days, George prefers Fireman Sam while Charlotte is more of a Peppa Pig fan. When the little ones have fallen soundly asleep, William and Kate switch to Game of Thrones.

Next: How they feel about expressing emotion

7. They talk about their feelings

The couple are mindful of their kids feelings. | Chris Jackson – Pool/Getty Images

Both Kate and William have been active in mental health causes over the years, and William has expressed the couple’s desire to be mindful of their children’s well-being. “Catherine and I are clear that we both want George and Charlotte to grow up feeling able to talk about their emotions and feelings,” he told CALM magazine.

Next: What will be different about Baby #3?

8. Kate may choose a home birth

Will the next member of the royal family be born in Kensington Palace? | Pool/Getty Images

Kate would like to have her third baby at home, rumor has it. While she gave birth to both George and Charlotte at a London hospital, a home birth would afford more comfort and privacy from the press and throngs of well-wishers. She wouldn’t be the first royal to give birth at home, however. Queen Elizabeth II delivered all four of her children at Kensington Palace.

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