Kate Middleton is a different kind of royal. We already know that, mostly by the way she dresses, the way she carries herself, and of course, how she manages to work as a team with her husband, Prince William. But she’s also a different kind of royal, especially when it comes to the way she parents her children and raises her family.
In other words, the Duchess of Cambridge doesn’t want to give the same childhood that her husband Prince William and her brother-in-law Prince Harry had growing up. Sure, their mother Princess Diana gave them plenty of lovin’, but they still had a stiff, uppity royal childhood behind closed palace doors, so to speak. There were very few things that were “normal” about the way they were raised. And that’s why Kate has made it her mission to change things, whether Queen Elizabeth likes it or not. Times are changing and Kate believes that the monarchy should change, too.
With that being said, here are 15 things that Kate Middleton does as a mom that the Queen was never allowed to do in her time. You’d be surprised just how much the Duchess has managed to change the game in such a short period of time.
15 She Takes Them To School
If there’s one thing that Queen Elizabeth has never done during her reign, its take her children or her grandchildren to school. When you are the leader of the monarchy, you don’t do pick ups and drop offs like the rest of the moms in front of the school gate.
Even though Kate is a royal, she still wants to be “a regular mom” regardless of her status.
"As a mother just getting used to leaving my own child at the school gates, it is clear to me that it takes a whole community to help raise a child," said Kate, according to Us Weekly. "Whether we are school leaders, teachers, support staff or parents – we're all in this together. We are all working to give children the emotional strength they need to face their futures and thrive.”
14 She Goes Grocery Shopping For Her Family
If there’s one place you will never see Queen Elizabeth, it’s shopping for her Netflix snacks at her neighborhood Tesco. But time and time again, Kate has proven that she’s not like the other royals. She loves to do things herself, even if it’s something menial like driving her own car or going grocery shopping for her family.
Also, Kate insists that her two children are allowed to play at public playgrounds, just like any other child their age. That’s why both she and William have asked the paparazzi and the media to give them their space and their privacy whenever they are in public. In other words, no photos are allowed. "They want both children to be free to play in public and semi-public spaces with other children without being photographed," a statement from Kensington Palace read.
13 She Breaks Rules – Over And Over Again
Now, no one knows what kind of relationship Queen Elizabeth and Kate Middleton have behind closed doors. But what we do know is that Kate loves to break the rule. The Queen has never flown with her children on the same plane – it’s against royal protocol – but Kate has done it plenty of times.
And it doesn’t look like she plans on curbing that habit, either.
According to Reader’s Digest, “The first instance of the rule break came back in 2013 when Prince George was set to head off to New Zealand and Australia for a quick tour with his parents. The rule would dictate that Prince George would travel separately from his father, but they all took the same jet. And since then, the family has always traveled together.”
12 She Bends Down To Listen To Them
When Kate Middleton needs to explain something to her children, she bends down so she can be eye-to-eye level with them. That’s something that Queen Elizabeth has never done with her children. The Duchess wants to show her kids that she’s listening to them and what’s more, respects their thoughts and feelings, regardless of what they may be. Sure, she’s their mother but at the same time, she doesn’t want them to feel like second-class citizens in their own home.
According to MSN, “When Justin Trudeau kneeled down and asked George for a high five, the tot was having none of it and refused. Instead of reprimanding him for refusing to say hello, Kate got down on his level and checked in to make sure he was doing OK amid all the attention.”
11 She Shows Them Affection
I’m sure everyone remembers the video of Princess Diana embracing her sons Prince William and Prince George with the biggest hello and hug that we’ve ever seen from a royal. It was a touching, affectionate moment that her fans remember fondly. And apparently, Kate Middleton is the same way. She’s not afraid to show her children affection, even when the cameras are watching her. Simply put, Kate is a hands-on mom that is very in tune with their feelings.
In comparison, we are yet to see Queen Elizabeth ever hug let alone touch her children in public. After all, royals keep their distance.
"Catherine and I are clear that we want both George and Charlotte to grow up feeling able to talk about their emotions and feelings," Prince William told CALM magazine.
10 She Cancels Royal Engagements
Here’s something that Queen Elizabeth has never done: she’s never canceled one of her royal engagements or public appearances before of a family matter. She always shows up to work, regardless of what may be going on at home. But Kate’s not that way. If her children need her, you better believe it that she will cancel an appointment to give them the love and care they need. She’s a mother first, and a monarch second.
Plus, the Duchess wants to be there for her children, during all of their moments, both good and bad. She has said, “Childhood is an incredibly important moment in our lives... Our experience of the world at this early stage helps to shape who we become as adults and how we begin to feel comfortable in our own skin."
9 She Puts Her Family First
Truth be told, we really don’t know what kind of mother Queen Elizabeth is behind closed doors. That’s because she’s always refused to talk about it in public. But when it comes to Kate Middleton, we do know that she puts her family first. Her priorities in life are different.
While she does take her title very seriously, the Duchess of Cambridge will put the world on hold if there is a crisis at home.
What’s more, Kate Middleton doesn’t pretend that everything about her life is peachy and that not every moment works out well, for her. Just like so many of us, the Duchess has her ups and downs, especially when it comes to motherhood. According to The Independent, Kate once said, “Particularly as a mother, there's an expectation to be super-happy all the time and one in four of us aren't."
8 She Seeks Advice
Kate Middleton doesn’t pretend that she has the answers to all of the questions, especially when it comes to motherhood. She also doesn’t pretend to be perfect. When she doesn’t know something, she seeks advice. Previous reports have indicated that Kate even has a secret Mumsnet account for whenever she might need help with some trivial parenting dilemmas. Maybe she’s a Babygaga fan, too!
“Personally, becoming a mother has been such a rewarding and wonderful experience. However, at times it has also been a huge challenge,” she said, according to Vogue Magazine. “Even for me, who has support at home that most mothers do not. Nothing can really prepare you for the sheer, overwhelming experience of what it means to become a mother. It’s full of complex emotions of joy, exhaustion, love, and worry, all mixed together.”
7 She Gives Them A Normal Childhood
The Duchess of Cambridge wants her children to paint on the walls, roll in the mud, and get wild and dirty in the great outdoors, just like so many other kids their age. They might be future leaders, but that doesn’t mean they shouldn’t get cuts and boo boo’s from running too hard or tripping in the park.
She doesn’t want them living in a bubble or thinking that their life is any different than most kids out there.
According to Hello! Magazine, “The most notable tradition Kate and William have broken is sending George to Thomas's Battersea school, where both boys and girls attend. William and Harry both attended Wetherby School, which is an all-boy's institution near Kensington Palace. William and Kate are clearly trying to give their kids a very normal — almost unroyal — upbringing.”
6 She Allows Screen Time
Yes, Prince William and Kate Middleton allow their children to have screen time during the weekdays, just like the majority of us parents out there. Even though they do put limits on how much television they watch, they don’t ban it altogether. Prince George, Princess Charlotte, and their new sibling might not be watching YouTube videos yet, but they do have their TV favorites!
What’s more, little George insists that his royal parents sit down with him and watch his favorite programs like Peppa Pig. Hey, when the future King of England wants you to watch Fireman Sam, you watch Fireman Sam. "You have to pretend you’re really interested in it because George gets very upset if you're not showing due diligence to the characters," William has said, according to Hello! Magazine.
5 They Make Hand-Made Gifts Together
Just like any millennial mom out there, Kate Middleton loves to make arts and crafts with Prince George and Princess Charlotte. And who can blame her? It’s a great way to bond with your children while making memories that will last a lifetime… or get thrown away in the trash seconds later (your choice, but we are not here to judge).
Also, Charlotte made gifts for Queen Elizabeth on her 91stbirthday.
That’s right –even Her Majesty gets to enjoy all of the cutouts and doodles that her grandchildren make for her every so often.
When Prince William talked about it on BBC’s Radio 1, Kate quipped, “Are you taking credit for the arts and crafts?" Prince William, responded rather sheepishly with, "This is putting the marriage on the line."
4 She Also Deals With Meltdowns In Public
Sure, we’ve seen plenty of royal scandals and controversies hit the front pages of the media, and yet it looks like the younger royals aren’t immune to scandalous behavior either. As a matter of fact, we’ve all seen it when Princess Charlotte threw a major temper tantrum on the tarmac at an airport last summer. Sure enough, it wasn’t pretty.
And yes, Kate does accept help from others, too. After all, there’s no shame in it! According to MSN, “A day after leaving the hospital with Prince George, William and Kate headed to Bucklebury where Kate’s family lives. They stayed with Kate’s mom and dad for many weeks, with Carole Middleton helping Kate adjust to new mom life and cooking most of the meals to keep the new family well fed.”
3 She Talks About The Future
Prince George and Princess Charlotte might one day be King and Queen of England, but that doesn’t mean Kate Middleton isn’t worried about their future. Sure, they have their lives planned out for them, but the Duchess still worries about their health, their happiness, and their safety.
The way they navigate their lives in the public eye is especially concerning for her, too. Queen Elizabeth never thought about it this way.
"There is no rule book, no right or wrong - you just have to make it up and do the very best you can to care for your family. For many mothers, myself included, this can, at times lead to lack of confidence and feelings of ignorance" - Kate said during a speech at the Royal College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists.
2 She Takes Her Family Home For Christmas
For Queen Elizabeth, her image means the world to her. But not for Kate Middleton. Yes, she wants to look good in front of the cameras, but behind closed doors, she’s not going to pretend that she wants to spend every Christmas with the Queen. That’s why she takes her family to the Middleton Manor for Christmas, regardless of what others have to say about it.
According to the Daily Mail, “Kate is very close to her family and has always made clear that they will play a significant role both in her life and those of her children. On the few occasions the couple have left the youngsters, they have always stayed with their maternal grandparents. Doting Carole and Michael taking the children out is a familiar sight in the local community, offering the third and fourth in line to the throne a taste of life outside the royal birdcage.”
1 She Expresses Gratitude
Have you ever heard Queen Elizabeth mutter the words, “thank you?” Yep, we didn’t think so, either. Remember, you bow down to her. It’s not the other way around. But Kate Middleton doesn’t see it this same way. She has no problem expressing gratitude, no matter how big or small it may be.
She knows that she’s a very lucky woman and doesn’t take anything in her life for granted, especially when it comes to her children.
'Please' and 'thank you' are also a part of their daily vocabulary.
According to People Magazine, Kate said: "You can't help but reflect on your own life and it's definitely had an impact on how sort of I look at how I mother, how we work as a family and you know, how we hope to bring up our children."
References: US Weekly, Kensington Palace, Reader’s Digest, MSN, CALM Magazine, The Independent, Vogue Magazine, Hello! Magazine, BBC Radio, Royal College Of Obstetricians and Gynecologists, Daily Mail, People Magazine