Princess Charlotte has a personality trait that makes Prince George feel both ‘annoyed and grateful’, and a parenting expert tells us why it's 'not surprising'.
If you have more than one child or grew up with siblings, you will be able to relate to brother-sister squabbles and while it's only natural to feud, many parents looking to calm it down can benefit from using this genius hack to prevent sibling rivalry. Often children who are not the only child will compete for their parents' attention or to have control in their bid to be seen and heard - whether it's what to watch on TV or what to do at the weekend.
And if you're expecting baby number two, while you might be mentally ready to deal with matresence and mum guilt there are so many new experiences to get to grips with and, for many parents, the mental load also doubles. And the royal kids are no different. Princess Charlotte is the middle child, with older brother Prince George, 10, third in line to the throne in royal succession, and younger brother Prince Louis, five.
Parenting expert Supernanny Jo Frost has analysed the Wales kids' interactions, and told Hello, "Charlotte knows the rules. She’s the one in the middle. She knows how to keep everyone in good stead. There are moments when I’ve watched George and he’s looked over at his sister, and he’s probably annoyed with her one minute and then grateful that she’s there being able to remind him of things when he’s taking it all in as well.”
Kate Middleton previously admitted Princess Charlotte is the sibling in charge and Jo explains how the family dynamic has changed as they've got older. “I think really what we’re seeing is awareness," she said. "Prince George and Princess Charlotte are being informed - certainly George, our future king. He’s no doubt started learning little bits here and there. He has the wonderful example of looking up to his grandfather [King Charles] and his father from a young age. They’re raised with an understanding of royal procedures and protocols. And they’re raised to understand there’s a time and a place.”
Jo Frost is a long-standing parenting expert who has been helping families deal with their children since 1987. She now helps families all over the world online, providing a tailored service to guide and educate parents to experience their own parenting journey with confidence and peace.
And Jo has explained how what we're seeing through Prince George, Charlotte and Louis' behaviour is 'relatable' to any family. "For example, there’s a wedding or a christening coming up and we know that it would be good manners and etiquette to be quiet while the choir is singing, and the service is happening. That, to me, is just responsible parenting, and we see that. They have a lovely balance of that and behind closed doors, no doubt, they’re playing games and winding each other up as siblings do, teasing each other, having fun, and baking cookies and being out in nature.”
We spoke to parenting expert Lucy Shrimpton, founder of The Sleep Nanny and expert speaker at The Baby Show, who tells us why she's "not surprised" that Charlotte is assertive. "It is not surprising that Princess Charlotte takes a leadership role with her siblings" she says. "Like me, she is the middle child AND the only girl. It is natural for her to want to be seen and heard. She is being raised as an equal to her siblings and sees her Mother portraying confidence, leadership, and equality. I think it is fantastic that both Princess Kate and Charlotte are using their voices and standing in unity with the males in their family and I imagine Prince William is equally responsible for instilling this family value and is often pictured looking admiringly at his wife and partner."
Lucy is a wife, a mother of two, a best-selling author, a speaker and a trainer. As a serial entrepreneur, she has created, scaled and sold multiple six-figure businesses, and raising businesses and babies is what brought her into the sleep profession when she founded The Sleep Nanny in 2013.
Princess Charlotte notably reminded Prince George to bow his head during the transfer of the coffin at the funeral of their great grandmother Queen Elizabeth II. Lucy notes that Prince George is only two years older than Charlotte and she thinks he may feel "quite comforted by his sister's assertiveness", relieving pressure from him to be 'in charge' or take the spotlight.
She explained, "Girls often develop language skills faster than boys and enjoy being in charge. It is possible that George, at times, appreciates this although I am sure he has times when he likes to remind Charlotte that he is the eldest. Louis, being the younger brother, may bring out a nurturing side of Princess Charlotte, wanting to take care of him while exercising some authority as his older sibling."
It's not the first time that Kate Middleton's parenting style has been praised by experts, she has a 'relatable' mix of traditional and modern elements, and Lucy believes the Prince and Princess of Wales "consciously raise their children with equality in mind and they are nurturing them with no ignorance to the modern world they will have to navigate."
Lucy goes on to explain why Princess Charlotte's confident personality trait can be found in most families, even non-royal ones. She said, "It is important that Princess Charlotte sees no inferiority in being female and it is wonderful that she is developing this confidence. I imagine she will always 'look after' her brothers as they grow up because she brings a feminine energy of nurturance, sensitivity and supportiveness.
"The term 'behind every great man is a woman' was coined in the 1900s to give recognition to the often unseen role a woman would play behind the scenes of a successful man. Today we are far more aware of the true 'teamwork' and strengths of masculine and feminine qualities combined.
And added, "This is a family that will always be highly visible and looked upon to portray values aligned with modern living. It is no surprise to learn that Princess Charlotte is adopting leadership qualities at the age of eight years given her role and position in her family. However, it is not uncommon for little girls of this age to be a little 'bossy' regardless of their background or family dynamic."
In other royal news, Prince Louis’ special weekly activity he does without Prince George and Charlotte is revealed, and it appears to be paying off and This clip of Prince Louis "protecting" Princess Charlotte is going viral.
Parenting advice, hot topics, best buys and family finance tips delivered straight to your inbox.
Selina is a Senior Family Writer for GoodtoKnow and has more than 16 years years of experience. She specialises in royal family news, including the latest activities of Prince George, Charlotte, Louis, Archie and Lilibet. She also covers the latest government, health and charity advice for families. Selina graduated from the University of Sheffield in 2006 with a degree in Journalism, and gained her NCTJ and NCE qualifications. During her career, she’s also written for Woman, Woman's Own, Woman&Home, and Woman's Weekly as well as Heat magazine, Bang Showbiz - and the Scunthorpe Telegraph. When she's not covering family news, you can find her exploring new countryside walking routes, catching up with friends over good food, or making memories (including award-winning scarecrows!)
Move over, mum and dad: kids are turning to grandparents for life advice, a new study finds
Grandparents have a fountain of knowledge and research says grandkids are seeking out their sound advice
By Daniella Gray Published
This is the real reason why babies put everything in their mouth, according to an expert (and no, it's not just because they're teething)
A new survey has revealed the top items babies love to put in their mouths - but the reason why they do it might surprise you.
By Ellie Hutchings Published