Historian reveals the parenting tradition set by the Queen that Prince William and Kate are breaking

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  • The Queen, Prince William and Kate Middleton may all see eye-to-eye when it comes to carrying out their royal duties, but when it comes to how they choose to raise their children, it appears that they have very different ideas indeed.

    Aside from belonging to two very different generations, the Queen and the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge have notably differing approaches to raising their children – especially when it comes to travelling abroad on official business.

    According to historian Robert Lacy, who also advised the makers of the award-winning TV series The Crown on historical accuracies, when her children were the same age as Prince George and Princess Charlotte are now, the Queen believed it was better to leave them at home in England in the care of nannies rather than drag them around the world on royal tours.

    ‘She had been brought up in that style herself, after all, with her parents leaving her at home and entrusting her entire schooling to a governess and home tutors,’ he told Town & Country.

    This involved stints away from her children for as long as six months, such as when the Queen and Phillip set off on a six month Commonwealth tour and left Prince Charles and Princess Anne at home.

    Prince William and Kate, who is currently pregnant with the couple’s third child, have a very different approach to parenting. The couple have chosen to take Prince George and Princess Charlotte with them on nearly all of their royal tours since becoming parents.

    Prince George accompanied his parents on his first ever royal tour aged just eight-months-old, when they embarked on a three week trip to Australia and New Zealand.

    Princess Charlotte was a bit older when she first joined her parents abroad, making her royal tour debut aged 16 months during the royal visit to Canada in 2016.

    When the couple embarked on a busy trip to India and Bhutan in April 2016, it was thought that their two children were too young to complete a tour with such a strenuous itinerary, so the youngsters were left at home with Kate’s mum Carole. However, Kate and William admitted that they missed their children ‘massively’ whilst away for just two weeks, and were desperately ‘looking forward to seeing them’ on their return.

    They haven’t embarked on a royal tour without their two children since, most recently taking George and Charlotte with them to Germany and Poland, and it is likely that after Kate gives birth next April, the new royal baby will also accompany them on a royal tour before reaching the tender age of two.

    There have even been rumours recently that Prince William and Kate have requested that the Duchess be allowed to take a step back from her royal duties, in order to focus on raising her children while they are still young.

    Although the Queen and the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge appear to have very different approaches to parenting, the Queen did first became a mother nearly 70 years ago, and juggled her responsibilities as a parent with being the reigning monarch of Great Britain and head of the Commonwealth, whereas Kate and Prince William have the ability the complete their royal duties and retreat from public life for the rest of the time.