How to parent exactly like the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge – from giving birth to child discipline


They may just be the most famous parents in the world and, come some point in April, the Cambridge brood is set to expand.

The Duke and Duchess of Cambridge’s approach to parenting has been widely documented because, in many ways, their style flies in the face of royal convention.

Sure, they have a nanny, an entire team of staff at Kensington Palace and a huge net worth to help ease certain pressures felt by the rest of us, but they’re also pretty hands-on – and have developed their own parenting style.

They’re also unafraid to give a certain prince a right royal ticking off when he plays up in public…

Equal parts traditional and forward-thinking, here’s everything you need to know about how to parent like Kate and Wills (minus the nanny, sorry).

1. Birth

Let’s start at the very beginning…

The young prince photographed the day he left hospital, outside the Lindo Wing of St Mary’s Hospital in west London

Lest you’ve forgotten the madness and the waiting game that accompanied both arrivals, Prince George and Princess Charlotte were delivered at the Lindo Wing of St Mary’s Hospital.

However, if you’re hoping to replicate the experience yourself, we hope you’ve been saving basically all your life.

In the UK, having private care during labour from a private midwife can cost up to £5,000 , and giving birth in a private hospital – such as the Lindo Wing – can cost upwards of £10,000.

Also, most U.K. private health insurance companies don’t cover pregnancy and labor.

This seems like a lifetime ago now…

But perhaps you could forego the private treatment.

Kate reportedly wants to have baby number three at home in Kensington Palace or Sandringham instead of in hospital.

Oh, and if you really want to emulate the Duchess’ birth experience, there’s a long and, frankly, bizarre list of rules to follow (spoiler: it helps to have a town crier you’re on friendly terms with).

2. Parental leave

Kate Middleton at her first public engagement since the birth of Prince George

Now, the parameters of what comprises the Cambridge’s work hours are blurry to say the least.

The duchess carried out her last royal duty last week at a Commonwealth event for SportAid charity held at the CopperBox area in the Olympic Park, London.

With George and Charlotte, Kate packed in work a month before they were born.

Kate on her last engagement before maternity leave

However, while she was back on duty a month after George’s birth in 2013, in 2015 she took four months’ maternity leave, returning to work in September 2015.

With three little ones to look after this time round, it’s believed Kate’s maternity leave this time will mean she won’t return to do any official royal engagements until the autumn.

However, you’ll still be able to fill the Kate-shaped hole in your life as she’ll be out in public to enjoy a number of family occasions – like Harry and Meghan’s wedding.

Don’t worry, we’ll see her when these two get married

According to the ONS, the average length of maternity leave in the UK between 2012 and 2014 (inclusive) was 114 days, or 16 weeks – roughly the amount Kate took with Charlotte.

3. Toys

So, on to the nitty-gritty of rearing a child.

Don’t expect iPads at the dinner table, or to see George watch Peppa Pig ad nauseum on his dad’s phone.

If you want to parent like these royals, you’ve got to take a traditionalist approach to the kids’ toys.

George and Charlotte are having as “unplugged” a childhood as possible , with a ban on iPads or playing with any electronic devices at home.

Much of having an unplugged childhood is said to encourage kids to play with toys, as well as enjoy outside play and to use their imaginations.

During a visit to Robin Hood Primary School, Kingston, London, in November, keen gardener Kate spoke of how she was trying to pass on her love of it to her children.


4. Hand-me-downs

Ah, even princes and princesses aren’t immune to their parents putting them in good-old hand-me-downs.

Though, to be fair, we have yet to see either George or Charlotte sport some horribly dated monstrosity.

Prince of Wales and Princess of Wales pose with their sons Prince William and Prince Harry
Prince Harry as a kid wearing the red shoes

Still, the Royal family , it turns out, are fond of recycling items of clothing.

On their tour of Poland, Charlotte was spotted in what looked like a pair of Startrite shoes, which once belonged to her uncle, Prince Harry and were last seen in 1986.

Princess Charlotte was pictured wearing some familiar shoes

George also often wears replica outfits of Prince William’s, including the red shorts and white embroidered shirt he wore to Charlotte’s christening.

So go nuts with the hand-me-downs, as the Duchess would probably approve.

5. The parenting trick which got William in trouble with the Queen

During the RAF display put on for the Queen’s 90th birthday two years ago, Prince William ended up getting a bit of a scolding from his gran .

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What he’d done was to crouch down down to talk to his toddler son, how was grizzling about something or other.

It’s a gesture which parenting experts LOVE – and which William Kate put into practise regularly.


Apparently, it’s all about the eye-contact you maintain with your toddler when crouching down to their level.

Called an ‘active listening’ technique – it shows you’re paying attention to what is being said and how it is being said. It’s also about being aware of body language, voice inflection and overall attitude.

Top marks to William and Kate on this one.

6. Balancing work with parenting duties

This delicate act is more of a perpetual struggle for many working families in the UK.

Last year Will completed 190 royal duties, and Kate got 106 under her belt – leaving them lagging behind the Queen, Princess Anne and Prince Charles.

The Prince of Wales clocked up more engagements last year than his sons and daughter-in-law

In Kate’s defence, the autumn of 2017 saw her suffering from heavy morning sickness – though she only undertook an engagement or two a week on average for the year.

Since quitting his part-time job for the East Anglian air ambulance, Prince William has focused on parenting and royal commitments.

Much has been made of what’s been perceived as the Cambridge’s being “work shy”.

Prince William did work with the East Anglian Air Ambulance as a pilot

Responding to this criticism, William has talked about his readiness to do more in the way of royal duties in an interview with the BBC , saying he was also “concentrating very much on my role as a father.

“I’m a new father and I take my duties and my responsibilities to my family very seriously and I want to bring my children up as good people with the idea of service and duty to others as very important.”

The nanny helps too, but we’re not sure how easy or financially viable this way of family life is…

Nanny to Prince George and Princess Charlotte of Cambridge
Nanny to Prince George and Princess Charlotte of Cambridge

7. Breaking old-school royal traditions

By now, it’s become clear that both William and Kate want their children to have as normal an upbringing as possible.

This includes schooling.

Unofficially, senior members of the royal family have all attended same-sex boarding schools, such as Eton.

Both William and Harry went to Eton

However it’s believed that they want to break with this tradition with George, with a source telling the Sunday Times:

“The word on the street is that his parents want co-education and boarding when he leaves prep school.”

But while Kate and William may be slightly rebelling, the likely contenders are still highbrow institutions such as Brighton College and Marlborough. Which aren’t cheap.

Prince William’s first day at Wetherby School

We also love how a Royal family source said “word on the street.”

It’s not just schooling where the Duke and Duchess will be doing their own thing.

Royal protocol dictates Prince William isn’t technically supposed to travel on the same plane as George and Charlotte.

It’s not an official rule, but it’s in place should anything happen to plane while in transit.

Kate and William took George to Australia with them in 2014

George and Charlotte peer out of the plane’s window

However, as we’ve seen from royal tours, the heir to the throne has travelled with his heir (and spare).

A royal spokesperson told the BBC back in 2014: “While there is no official rule on this, and royal heirs have travelled together in the past, it is something that the Queen has the final say on.”

So clearly Granny gets the last word on this.

Granny’s the word

8. Matchy-matchy

You may have noticed that Kate loves to co-ordinate her family’s outfits.


Their official Christmas card last year showed Kate and William beaming towards the camera with Prince George and Princess Charlotte in front of them, all dressed in matching hues of baby blue.

As far back as their first Trooping the Colour procession in June 2016, George and Charlotte wore pastel pinks and blues to match mum Kate.


Then there were their tour outfits – including matching hues of purple and blues on different occasions.

9. Discipline

It doesn’t matter how cute or royal you are, you’re never above getting a telling-off if you’ve misbehaved.

When Prince George broke down in tears at his auntie Pippa’s wedding back in May, Kate was on hand to keep him in line.

Kate ushers the page boys and bridesmaids towards the car
Kate ushers the page boys and bridesmaids towards the car – and George gets a public telling off

But she’s also always on hand to wipe away any tears caused by falling over.

Charlotte took a tumble on the tarmac in Hamburg while her family was heading towards one of the choppers as part of their tour.

Onlookers said she was “skipping” when she fell over her own feet.

Kate was on hand then to lift her up and soothe her.


10. Mental health

The Cambridges are huge advocates for mental health initiatives – especially when it comes to children.

Kate, who has been a Place2Be patron since 2013, has filmed and delivered several messages about the importance of encouraging children to be comfortable in their own skin.

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She’s also gone on record to admit motherhood can be “lonely” and together with her husband, want to end the stigma around mental health issues.

She has said: “You can’t help but reflect on your own life and it’s definitely had an impact on how I look at how I mother, how we work as a family and you know, how we hope to bring up our children”



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