An Inside Source Revealed The Unconventional Way Kate And William Discipline Their Children

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Ever since word of Prince William and Kate Middleton’s relationship got out in 2004, the pair have been avidly followed by royal watchers and the media alike. And while surprisingly few details of the couple’s private lives have been revealed during this time, we do know a little about what goes on behind closed doors. Apparently, for example, Kate and William have interesting – if slightly out of the ordinary – ways of making sure that their kids stay in line.

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Those who follow the royal family will know that the duke and duchess have three children: Princes George and Louis and Princess Charlotte. And the young royals have made quite an impression on the public – not least because they seem to exhibit impeccable behavior while out and about.

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However, someone claiming to be in the Cambridges’ circle has come forward to reveal precisely how William and Kate parent their children. And perhaps what’s most surprising is that the parents of three don’t follow what one may expect from a royal mom and dad. Instead, they rely on unconventional techniques to ensure that their kids are always polite with others.

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But way before Kate and William became a mom and dad, up to two billion people in 180 countries reportedly tuned in to watch their April 2011 wedding. Many of those viewers may have been anticipating a baby announcement to come soon after that, although that news wasn’t actually broken until December 2012.

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And the revelation that there was a new prince or princess on the way actually emerged before the end of the first trimester. The early reveal came because Kate had hyperemesis gradivarium – or acute morning sickness. The Duchess of Cambridge even had to go to the hospital for the condition, which she experienced towards the start of her pregnancy.

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But it seems to have all been worth it, as in July 2013 Kate and William welcomed their first child: a son named Prince George Alexander Louis of Cambridge. As the newborn entered the world, he automatically became third-in-line to the British throne – just behind grandfather Prince Charles and William.

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Then, just over a year later, the Cambridges announced that they were adding to their family. Once again, Kate experienced intense morning sickness that forced her to cancel a slew of events. Nonetheless, her and William’s first daughter – Princess Charlotte Elizabeth Diana of Cambridge – arrived safely in May 2015.

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And when the duchess had to bow out from a royal engagement in September 2017, Kensington Palace confirmed what many people had suspected. Kate was not only expecting again, but she was also struggling with severe morning sickness for a third time. From that pregnancy came the royal couple’s third child and second son – Prince Louis Arthur Charles of Cambridge – in April 2018.

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Any parent would have trouble juggling three kids, and venturing out in public with children can be hard. But William and Kate’s trio have often received accolades for their good behavior. And according to The Sun, they’re often the same behind closed doors – at the exclusive Hurlingham Club where the Cambridges hang out, for example.

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One of the social club’s members told the newspaper that George, Charlotte and Louis act “impeccably” at the exclusive gathering spot. The source added, “The family often dine there al fresco and use the club’s sporting and play facilities. There [are] no tantrums or food throwing, and the children eat what is set before them.”

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The royal children apparently act humbly as well. The Hurlingham Club insider said, “They queue up with the rest of the kids and parents in the Harness Room restaurant and ask for no special favors.” These qualities would, of course, come down to the way in which William and Kate raise their offspring. Yet while the couple haven’t actually given many specifics on their parenting style, they have dropped a few clues here and there.

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Speaking more generally about his kids, William told GQ in 2017, “I want to bring up my children in a happy, stable, secure world, and that is so important to both of us as parents. I want George to grow up in a real, loving environment. I don’t want him growing up behind palace walls; he has to be out there.”

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That said, the Cambridge children aren’t perfect all of the time. For all of their moments of humility and sweetness, they do sometimes act out – and often the cameras are there to capture those outbursts. One such incident occurred on the family’s tour of Germany and Poland in 2017.

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The last stop of the Cambridges’ trip had them visiting the Airbus hub, where George and Charlotte had the chance to investigate the aviation company’s helicopters. The young prince seemed to love the stop-off and slipped into a pilot’s helmet for the occasion; his sister, too, appeared excited at first.

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Then, after Kate took a children’s book and paper out of Charlotte’s hand, the princess threw a tantrum on the tarmac. Yet this move didn’t appear to ruffle the duchess’ feathers, as she was seen swiftly bending down to try and calm the little girl before lifting her off her feet and moving on.

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On at least one occasion, though, Kate appeared to handle a tantrum of George’s in a more brusque manner. This flare-up happened at her sister Pippa’s 2017 wedding, at which the little prince served as a pageboy. After acing the ceremony, though, he got into trouble for copying his little sister, who had walked across the train of their newlywed aunt’s dress.

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And Kate didn’t let George’s naughty behavior slide. Instead, photos seem to show the duchess giving her son a steely talking-to – one that made the then three-year-old burst into tears. After that, he proceeded to sulk beside his mom, while his little sister – who had arguably got her sibling into trouble – apparently remained cheerful.

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But other photos and videos have shown the duchess’ softer side when dealing with her brood. For instance, at the 2018 Trooping of the Colour – an annual celebration of the reigning monarch’s birthday – Charlotte seemed to fall while watching the military display for the Queen. And Kate didn’t hesitate to step in and help her visibly upset daughter.

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Kate seemed to bolster Charlotte with some kind words, in fact, before patting her daughter’s back to soothe her. Other photos show the duchess holding the young girl in her arms. And fans who saw the moment play out live lauded Kate’s response. According to the Daily Star, one said in 2018, “I’ve seen Princess Charlotte falling down and bonking her little face on the balcony… Was my livestream crazy or is [no one] acknowledging the Duchess of Cambridge’s great parenting?”

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Perhaps that’s no surprise, though, as Kate has long supported several charities and organizations that aim to improve children’s early years. The royal family’s official website notes that she “devotes her time to supporting a number of charitable causes and organizations – several of which are centered around providing children with the best possible start in life.”

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And, apparently, Kate hopes that, with the right support, children across the United Kingdom will have an easier time segueing into adulthoods that are equally as successful. In 2018 the duchess even announced that she had formed a steering group of experts to guide her efforts with children – specifically in the time before birth and up to five years of age.

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The experts’ insights would help Kate to further improve the work that she and The Royal Foundation do for young children. And she also stands as an advocate for kids’ positive mental health. Indeed, the duchess has highlighted how poverty, addiction, neglect, illness and abuse can all have lifelong impacts on young people.

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Furthermore, Kate has seemingly made it her mission to promote mental health as something that children feel comfortable discussing. Removing any stigma may help others seek help or involve themselves in the lives of affected young people, after all. And with that kind of assistance, little ones should have the tools they need to succeed.

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Of course, Kate and William still have three children to care for on their own, even as the duchess continues with her charity work. Yet while the pair still manage to keep the specifics of their family lives private, those who know them have spoken out about the unconventional ways they use to raise the princes and princess.

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For instance, in June 2020 a source revealed to The Sun that Kate and William forego “the naughty step” – a technique that other parents have long used to discipline bad behavior. Typically, a child will sit on a step or in another designated area after they act out – often remaining there for one minute for each year of their life.

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The Cambridges have come up with a way to side-step this method, though. The insider said, “There’s no ‘naughty step,’ but there is a ‘chat sofa.’ The naughty child is taken away from the scene of the row or disruption and talked to calmly by either Kate or William.”

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And, allegedly, the Cambridges make a point to not raise their voices while disciplining their children – something they also expect of George, Louis and Charlotte. The source continued, “Things are explained and consequences outlined, and they never shout at [the kids]. Shouting is absolutely off-limits for the children, and any hint of shouting at each other is dealt with by removal.”

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The insider went on to claim that Kate proved stricter than William. And, apparently, both of them have worked with their nanny, Maria Borrallo, to ensure that she maintains their standards when she’s in charge. The source told The Sun, “Maria is firm, but she never acts unilaterally with the children on discipline.”

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Still, the public would be hard-pressed to know exactly when the Cambridges or their nanny are being unyielding with their kids. As the insider put it, “Kate and William – along with Maria – are strict with the children but have this magic ability to appear not to be.” And the royal couple have reportedly come up with a genius way to hide their disciplinary moments from onlookers.

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According to a March 2020 report in The Sun, Kate relies on code words to subtly tell her children to calm down in public. Yes, the duchess supposedly says “Let’s take a break,” with this indicating to Charlotte or George that they need to take their behavior down a notch.

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And while the duchess uses the same phrase at home, she has further options there to help her children calm down. Specifically, she points them toward quieter, more soothing activities. So, George or Charlotte may stop to play or read on their own before rejoining the fray – at a much more relaxed level than before.

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Plus, Kate appears to also use a few physical techniques to keep her little ones in line. Dr. Rebecca Chicot – author of the manual The Calm and Happy Toddler – explained to The Sun, “[Kate] seems to be good at making warm contact ‘touch to the head,’ which is a nice connection.”

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Chicot continued, “[Kate] gets down to [her kids’] level to talk to them but lets them be children. She has a lovely balance of sensitivity and gentle boundaries. [The duchess] doesn’t expect them to behave like little adults and knows that children go through perfectly natural stages like tantrums.”

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Chicot added that, ultimately, the duchess’ parenting style represents how others should be raising their broods. She went on, “Kate is a sensitive and warm mom. This is called an authoritative style of parenting that is now encouraged.” It’s a very different approach to the ones that the royal family may have taken in the past, too.

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Chicot continued, “This [style] is compared to an autocratic parenting that was encouraged in some circles in Victorian times – [for example, that] children should be seen and not heard.” By contrast, both the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge make a point to listen to their children rather than silencing their thoughts or stifling their feelings.

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Yet while The Sun’s anonymous source compared William and Kate’s parenting to “a military operation,” they added that it would be hard for anyone on the outside to see it that way. The insider claimed, “You would never guess [this], because [Kate and William] work ferociously hard on their children’s upbringing and [make] it seem relaxed and happy for the three of them.”

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The source concluded, moreover, that this parenting style allows the Cambridges to be “very good at listening to the children, but [also] being firm.” And, combined, all of these techniques seem to have worked – from an outsider’s perspective, anyway. After all, onlookers have lauded George, Charlotte and Louis’ wonderful behavior in public spaces.

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Still, William and Kate have still struggled with parenting on occasion, and the Duke of Cambridge admitted as much in a Zoom call with chef Charlie Farrally in May 2020. On that occasion, the prince explained that mealtime could be an ordeal with his brood – and likely among other families, too, “[depending] on what’s on the table.”

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William went on to say, “If parents put something on that children love, dinner time goes on very well. But if you put something on the table they don’t want to [eat], that’s another ball game.” Fortunately for him, though, he and Kate have plenty of ways to calmly deal with fussy eaters – as well as other common childhood problems.

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And Kate’s apparent patience and wisdom as a mom may have guided her in more ways than one. Not only is she effectively able to parent her children, but she can also use her know-how to assist in early childhood research and development in the United Kingdom. That’s something that will benefit many little ones – including George, Charlotte and Louis – for years to come.

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Yet while everyone focuses on the Cambridges, Kate’s parents, Michael and Carole, stay relatively under the radar. That may have made an Instagram post from the duchess all the more surprising, as there was one detail in a picture she shared that completely stunned fans.

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Every Mother’s Day, tributes flood onto social media in honor of moms across the globe. And in 2020 even the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge took time to share cherished photos of themselves with their respective mothers. William, of course, uploaded an image of the late Diana, Princess of Wales, who can be seen in the snap alongside the prince and his brother Harry. But it was actually an unexpected photo of Kate Middleton’s mom, Carole, that caught many people’s attention – and that’s because the resemblance between mother and daughter is truly uncanny.

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Now, the picture was surprising to some extent because the public doesn’t get to see much of Kate’s side of the family. Neither do the Middletons speak publicly about their famous relative. And Omid Scobie, the host of royal-centric podcast The HeirPod, has confirmed as much to listeners, saying, “It’s very rare we actually even see her family members mention Kate’s name in public.”

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Carole, her husband, Michael, and their children, Pippa and James, have been this way since Kate became Catherine, Duchess of Cambridge. Scobie explained, “They’ve been extremely quiet for obvious reasons ever since she married into the royal family.” But that doesn’t mean the Middleton clan aren’t spotted spending time together.

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And Carole has actually earned somewhat of a reputation as a devoted grandmother. Yes, while she may not speak to the media about her royal ties, she has been known to help look after Kate and William’s three children – Prince George, Princess Charlotte and Prince Louis – from time to time.

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William and Kate have actually made their children’s care a priority throughout their time as parents. Their decision to take on only one nanny, Maria Borrallo, was an unprecedented decision as far as royal child-minding goes, too. But when Borrallo’s not around and the duke and duchess can’t do the job themselves, the pair enlist Carole and Michael to look after their children.

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And Carole has done so on a number of occasions. In December 2019, for instance, photographers captured her departing from Kensington Palace, where she was thought to be babysitting while her daughter and son-in-law prepared for an event at Buckingham Palace. Kate’s mom also reportedly watched the kids when their royal parents went on tour to India and Bhutan in 2016.

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But that’s virtually about as far as Carole’s public appearances go. Perhaps, then, that decision to remain out of the spotlight is precisely why the duke and duchess’ Mother’s Day post got so many people talking. In any case, the snap gave a small glimpse into the lives of the future queen and her mother.

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So, what else do we know about the Middleton clan? Well, as royal fans may remember, Kate came into the world on January 9, 1982 – and experienced a childhood that was undoubtedly rather different to that of her future husband. And while her father Michael’s side of the family did have links to the British aristocracy, both he and his wife, Carole, originally worked in aviation.

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Michael’s career as a flight dispatcher took his wife and children from their home in Berkshire, England, to Amman, Jordan, when Kate was only two years old. Then, once the future duchess turned three, she spent her days in the Middle Eastern nation at an English-speaking nursery school. But the Middletons wouldn’t stay in Jordan for long, making their return to the United Kingdom just over two years after their arrival.

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When the clan were back in England, Kate’s life resumed as normal. In time, her parents signed her up to attend St. Andrew’s School – a private institution near their Berkshire home. And those early years both in and out of education seemingly proved idyllic for the royal, as she explained on an installment of the podcast Happy Mum, Happy Baby in February 2020.

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Kate said, “I had a very happy childhood. It was great fun, and I’m very lucky I come from a very strong family. My parents were hugely dedicated. I really appreciate now as a parent how much they sacrificed for us. They came to every sports match, they’d be the ones on the sideline shouting, and we’d always have our family holidays together.”

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And Kate’s teachers at St. Andrew’s remembered Michael and Carole’s daughter as a down-to-earth, dedicated student. In February 2020 Kevin Allford, who had taught the duchess physical education, told the Press Association that Kate had been a “hard worker and very conscientious.” He also noted that the royal had been “a tremendous athlete and swimmer” – as had her sister, Pippa.

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The young Kate and Pippa also took part in a Berkshire Brownies club, where they picked up new skills, earned badges and went on trips together. In 2011, however, pack leader June Scutter recalled to People that the future Queen of England and her sister had been “just ordinary children – nothing different from any others.”

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Kate’s humble upbringing also allowed her to explore an interest in the performing arts – most notably in theater. At 11, she starred in St. Andrews’ production of My Fair Lady as the lead character, Eliza Doolittle, following that up two years later with a part in a version of the Victorian-era drama Murder in the Red Barn.

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Not every moment of Kate’s childhood was as pleasant as these, though. She experienced bullying, for one, after attending the Downe House School for a short period. Consequently, she may have been happier after transferring to Marlborough College, where she studied art, biology and chemistry and played a full rota of sports.

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Then, after graduating from the college, Kate went on to travel the world during a pre-university gap year. During that period, she not only took studies at the British Institute in Florence, but she also trekked to Chile and rowed the Solent – a strait that separates mainland England from the Isle of Wight. Ultimately, though, Kate returned to school, embarking on a course at the University of St. Andrews in Scotland.

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Fans of the royal family will know what happened next, of course. Kate moved into St. Salvator’s Hall, where Prince William also lived while studying at the same institution. The pair started dating soon after their initial meeting in 2001, in fact. And four years later, the duchess graduated with a degree in art history, turning her tassel alongside her future husband.

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Then, in November 2010, life changed forever for the entire Middleton family when Kate and William announced to the world that they were engaged. The future King of England had even given his bride-to-be a ring that his mother, Diana, had once worn. And, famously, the couple went on to exchange vows at Westminster Abbey on April 29, 2011.

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Over 300 million people across the world watched William and Kate’s wedding, and they got to know the bride’s close-knit family in the process. Most notably, Kate’s sister, Pippa, served as her maid of honor; her parents and brother naturally attended the ceremony, too.

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Then, gradually, William and Kate welcomed three children of their own: George, Charlotte and Louis. And becoming a mother seemed to give Kate a new perspective on the time she had spent with her siblings and parents in Berkshire. The duchess certainly suggested as much during her appearance on the Happy Mum, Happy Baby podcast.

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There, Kate said, “What resonates the most is the simple things. I see that now with my own children. Life now is so busy and distracting, and sometimes simple things like watching a fire on a really rainy day provide such enjoyment. I remember that from my childhood – the simple things, like going for a walk together, I try to do this with my children.”

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Those quieter moments also apparently helped Kate’s royal brood to retain some sense of normality. The duchess added, “It totally strips away complications and pressures. I think those experiences mean so much to children and the world they’re in, which is a real adventure at that age.”

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And Kate hoped to inspire other parents to get as involved with their kids. She explained, “As children, we spent a lot of time outside, and it’s something I’m really passionate about. I think it’s so great for physical and mental wellbeing and laying those foundations. It’s such a great environment to actually spend time in, building those quality relationships.”

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It seemed, too, that Kate’d had a good relationship with her grandmother. The duchess recalled during the podcast, “I had an amazing granny who devoted a lot of time to us. [She was] playing with us, doing arts and crafts and going to the greenhouse to do gardening [as well as] cooking with us.”

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Of course, the public has yet to learn exactly what Carole and her royal grandchildren like to do together. But in any case, it seems that Kate’s mom is close to the brood – not to mention her daughter. And in 2020 the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge duly decided to celebrate Carole with a sweet Mother’s Day post.

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In March – the month in which Mother’s Day falls in the U.K. – William and Kate shared four photos on Instagram to commemorate the occasion. The first snap shows Kate in the foreground, carrying her daughter, Charlotte, on her back while William appears behind her giving a piggyback ride to George.

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The second photo, meanwhile, shows a much younger William and his brother, Harry, huddled around their mother, the late Princess Diana. This was followed two slides later by a shot of a very sweet Mother’s Day card that had been crafted by George. But in between those two snaps, there was one other photo featuring Kate’s mom, Carole, cradling the duchess as a baby.

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And the image highlighted something that stunned fans: the mother and daughter looked very much alike. One commenter wrote in response to the photograph, “Wow! I never noticed such a strong similarity before.” Another exclaimed, “Omg they look so alike,” while a fellow Instagram user added praise to the post, writing, “Good genes run in the family!”

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Other royals similarly shared their well wishes on Mother’s Day, with Harry and Meghan posting their own tribute to moms everywhere. The Duke and Duchess of Sussex wrote on Instagram, “No matter what you call your mum, this Mother’s Day in the United Kingdom, we honor the mums all over the world who do so much every single day.”

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Princess Eugenie – cousin to William and Harry and tenth in line to the throne – shared some touching words, too. First, she mentioned her mother, Sarah Ferguson, the former Duchess of York, writing, “Today, I want to celebrate my mumma but also all the amazing mothers out there.”

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Then Eugenie turned her thoughts to healthcare workers in particular, adding, “I would like to celebrate all the mothers that can’t be with their children today because they are saving lives… Today and every day, we should tell our loved ones how much we love and cherish them.”

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And even the Queen paid tribute to moms on her official Instagram account. There, the monarch shared an image of both her and her mother in 1951, when they were Princess Elizabeth and Queen Elizabeth, respectively. She also accompanied the photo with the message, “Mothering Sunday is a chance to thank and celebrate all mothers and caregivers – wherever they may be.”

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The moving photo of the young Princess Elizabeth and her mom provided a rare glimpse into what seemed to be the monarch’s sentimental side. Usually, you see, the Queen keeps her own expressions of affection private – ostensibly because of her role as a figurehead.

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And since Mother’s Day, Kate and the other royals have been keeping themselves busy. The future queen has even begun to step into the spotlight more after years of working on her charity causes behind closed doors. Marlene Koenig, an expert in the royal family, talked to the Daily Express about this change.

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Koenig revealed that Kate “has been doing behind-the-scenes work for several years now, meeting with her charities to discuss projects.” The author added, “I think she prefers the slow and steady kind of work – taking on work more slowly but surely.” One of the duchess’ main causes is early childhood development, for which she launched a nationwide survey in order to improve best practice in the United Kingdom.

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Kate has apparently studied the subject, too, and become somewhat of an expert in the process. That’s according to a source who spoke to The Daily Telegraph in March 2020, explaining, “She doesn’t just want to talk about this issue, but [also] to build an evidence base for action.”

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And that desire explains why Kate has spent so much time honing her child-development knowledge. The insider continued, “She understands the science, and she’s now respected by the people in the sector because she’s spent years trying to work it all out. So, it is only natural for people to want to hear more from her about it.”

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It could be good that Kate has people listening, too, as the source claimed that the duchess’ chosen field of study is highly important. They said, “It’s easy to dismiss work on child development as nice and cuddly, but the social side of this is as significant as climate change.”

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For Kate, the issue may be at least a little personal; she has three young children of her own, after all. And with two of her little ones enrolled in school, the future queen has more time to dedicate to her patronages. Still, Koenig added to the Daily Express, “Family life matters to William and Catherine [even] as they juggle an increasing number of engagements.”

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And, of course, it was Kate’s upbringing that showed her just how important these childhood moments and milestones are. She learned those lessons from her parents, Michael and Carole, who seemingly serve as doting grandparents to her children – and judging by the duchess’ Mother’s Day post, she hasn’t taken her mom for granted.

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