Prince William and Duchess Kate have been good sports about the the world’s insatiable interest in their lives. They let us watch their fairytale wedding from the comfort of our TVs and smartphones. They presented their son to a sea of reporters shortly after he was born. They’ve even shared tidbits about Kate’s epic morning sickness with baby number 2.
But like any normal parent, they draw the line when it comes to their child’s safety. On Thursday, Buckingham Palace announced that William and Kate have decided to take legal action against Nirah Tanna, a photographer who has allegedly been harassing and following Prince George and his nanny. “There is reason to suspect that the individual may been placing Prince George under surveillance and monitoring his daily routines for a period of time,” Palace spokesman James Roscoe said in a statement via Today.com.
And while the high-profile couple admit that their son is going to spend much of his life in the public eye — he is third in line to the throne, after all — they want to do everything in their power to protect his precious few years of childhood. That means giving George the chance to do normal toddler things, like go on playdates and walk around, without the fear of camera-wielding paparazzi freaking out him and his caregiver.
Tanna has fired back at the Palace’s statement, saying through his lawyers that he has been “lawfully and respectfully taking photographs of the Royal Family for almost 10 years. …He has not harassed or intimidated Prince George, his Nanny or any other person. Nor would he wish to.”
Still, it’s worth nothing that this isn’t the first time Tanna has shown up on the royals’ radar. Palace authorities have reportedly approached him several times in the past few years, and just last week the photog was spotted trailing George and his nanny around a park in London. It makes sense why the parents are concerned enough to bring the matter to court.
And they’re not the only ones: William and Kate are just the latest in a string of famous moms and dads who are asking the legal system to step in and help shield their family from invasive paparazzi. Earlier this year, Grammy award-winning artist Adele and her partner, Simon Konecki, sued the photo agency Corbis Images U.K. Limited for taking pictures of their son Angelo‘s “milestone moments” and making them available to British tabloids. The couple won their lawsuit to protect their baby — here’s hoping the prince and duchess find the same success.
But we’ve also been keeping tabs on his parents, watching how this next chapter of their real-life fairytale unfolds and seeing how they’re holding up now that baby makes three. And honestly, I’ve got to hand it to the first-time parents: despite all the pomp and circumstance surrounding them, William and Kate seem refreshingly normal. Consider the evidence:
They (or, rather, Kate!) struggled with breastfeeding. Though St. James’ Palace has declined to comment, breastfeeding didn’t come easy at first for Kate, and it was widely reported that the new mom breastfed her son. Like many of us, she required a little help from the pros in the beginning. Still, she acknowledged that the decision to nurse is a personal one. A source told the DailyMirror: “She feels that it is a matter of personal choice, and that new mums should do whatever feels right for them and their baby.”
They’re affectionate. There’s no shortage of photos of Kate holding onto George; he’s practically her shadow. (My faves? Here, here, and here.) And William is just as loving. During a visit to an England homeless shelter, he recounted how he spent the morning cuddling with his then-four-month-old. “He was saying he had been holding him and his baby had been smiling into the mirror,” a resident told People. Then there’s this awww-worthy photo of William tenderly kissing the top of George’s head.
They too were once knee-deep in drool. During their trip abroad, photogs captured Kate in a so-called “gross mom moment.” The family was at Australia’s Sydney’s Taronga Zoo, and George, who was teething at the time, had some drool on his chin. The dutiful mom did what any of us would do: she swiped away the saliva with her hands and dried them on her dress. The wipe-off may have inflamed the haters (and left a mark on Kate’s designer dress), but it scored major points with sympathetic moms worldwide.
They get down on the ground during a playgroup. While on their tour Down Under, the family went to a get-together at New Zealand’s Government House. It was Prince George’s first public engagement, and the tot was a big hit — as were his parents. The future queen was photographed on her knees with the babies, in her beautiful dress, showing her son how to play with some of the toys. Ah-mazing.
They host playdates. When the queen is away, George will play — and invite some friends over, too. Kate reportedly hosts playdates at the royal residence (with the queen’s blessing, of course), including one with George’s godmother, Emilia Jardine Paterson, and her toddler.
They let George be a kid. Yes, he has a lot of first names. Yes, the Queen of England is expected to attend his birthday party. But at the end of the day, George is a one-year-old boy, full of energy and curiosity and a zest for life. And his parents seem to respect that and allow for it. William, for example, recently revealed that the birthday boy is “charging around and opening doors” at the family’s apartment in Kensington Palace. “I think George will be running faster than me very soon,” he joked.
They’re hands-on. Sure, they have enough money to hire a fleet of fancy nannies to care for their son, but Kate and William seem determined to bring up their baby on their own. Even if that means enduring lots of sleepless nights and poop diapers. A source told Us Weekly: “Kate doesn’t want George to be more used to the sight of the help than to his own parents.” For his part, William has taken a job as an air ambulance helicopter pilot just so he can be closer to his family.
While rumor has it William and Kate will keep Prince George’s birthday party guest list limited to close friends and family (aka not us), that doesn’t mean we can’t fete the royal tot anyway. Parents is throwing a #GeorgeTurns1 “Royal Birthday Party,” and to help get you in the spirit, we asked some of our favorite bloggers to share the creative ways they’re planning to ring in the big day. Read on and get inspired!
Go uber Brit and make these adorable fascinator party hats for you and your kiddos. Our Everyday Fun blogger Amanda Kingloff shows you how to pull off the craft using white paper cups, colorful washi tape, and feathers. Let the kids pile on all the embellishments they want — the more, the merrier! Follow Amanda on Twitter @AmandaKingloff
Want a dessert fit for your little prince or princess? Whip up a batch of these play dough cupcakes from B-Inspired Mama blogger Krissy, and decorate them with tons of sprinkles. They’re perfect for little fingers — and did we mention they’re edible? Amazing. Follow Krissy on Twitter @BInspiredMama
No royal birthday party is complete without accessories, and we’re swooning over these pipe cleaner crowns from Mommy Shorts blogger Ilana Wiles. All hearts and beads and gold, we may just make an adult-sized version. For a friend, of course. Follow Ilana on Twitter @mommyshorts
Wondering what to get the kid who has everything? Handmade Charlotte blogger Rachel Faucett, picked the classic Froebel Gifts as the perfect present. Plus, our own Goodyblog showcases other awesomely British gifts fit for the wee royal — think king- and queen-inspired piggy banks, double-decker bus stroller toys, and other ultra-modern items. Follow Rachel on Twitter @followcharlotte
More Fun With Prince George
Remember the world before George? Us either — but take a stroll down memory lane and see the prince’s progress from bump to full-on baby on our photo timeline. And while you’re at it, show your Team George pride by casting a ballot for your fave royal name with our fun This or That game.
On a related note, can we talk about what a year it’s been for Prince George? Like all babies, he’s been getting the hang of sleeping through the night and practicing his walking skills. But unlike most children, he’s been on the receiving end of lots of worldwide love and attention. News of his birth reportedly merited more than 25,000 tweets per minute. He stole virtually every heart and headline during the young family’s trip to Australia and New Zealand. Vanity Fair has devoted its prime real estate — the cover — to honor his first birthday. And don’t get me started on the very real Prince George Effect, where everything from his adorable outfits to his swaddling blankets sell out in mere hours. The New York Times has already anointed him a trendsetter, while Forbes wonders if the third in line has what it takes to save the British economy. Mind you, he’s not even 1 yet.
Still, we understand the excitement surrounding this mini royal. Like every baby, he represents the best of what this world has to offer and the hope for a bright future. Happiest of birthdays, Prince George!
Tell us: How do you plan on celebrating Prince George’s birthday? Share your #GeorgeTurns1 Royal Birthday Party ideas on Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram.
In an interview this week with the Today Show, the famous aunt couldn’t help but gush over Prince George. When asked about the future king, Pippa burst into a smile so big, even interviewer Matt Lauer took note. She said being an aunt was “wonderful” and called the 11-month-old ”a very dear boy” who’s “brought a lot of pleasure and fun for all of us, the whole family.” And like most babies, George has brought the already tight-knit Middletons even closer. “We love spending weekends with him,” Pippa says. “He’s very funny.”
Also refreshingly normal was Pippa’s description of her relationship with her royal sister. Apparently, despite the adorable baby, snazzy title, and fancy new home, Kate and her sister are still very close and spend plenty of time together. “We still do a lot together as a family,” she explains. “And I think that’s sort of the heart for all of us, having a really close family. We can sort of be normal with each other, treat each other normally, and that’s sort of kept us all fixed to the ground.”
Check out the highlights of Pippa’s interview below, courtesy of the Washington Post:
Tell us: What has your baby meant to your family? Has it changed your relationships with your parents or siblings?
The royal baby had his first official playdate yesterday—as 10 babies in New Zealand who were born within a few weeks of Prince George were invited to a little get-together at Government House, where the the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge are staying during their royal visit. So what happens on a royal playdate? Prince George apparently behaved like most babies in that situation—playing with toys and his mom’s hair—though he did apparently grab the hand of one lucky little lady!
Of course, like most playdates for babies, it’s really a playdate for the parents—and the lucky parents who were chosen got to chat with the royal couple about the sleepless nights, teething and other common issues.
I was really lucky that one of my BFFs has a son just six weeks younger than my oldest, so we commiserated a lot during those early years (and actually—we still do today, now that we’re on to the tween years with them). We have pictures of them on the baby swings on their very first playdate, and that’s one of my very favorite memories of my daughter’s babyhood—just hanging out at the park, drinking Starbucks and talking about the crazy ride of parenthood. And nearly nine years later, my daughter and her son are still best buddies, too!
I wonder if Kate Middleton has that kind of camaraderie—I think it would be extremely lonely to be without those new mom friends to lean on when you’re sleep deprived, stressed, and trying to keep your baby from putting her fingers in the sockets.
Tell me about your baby’s first playdate! Do you still hang out with the new mom friends you made early on? (And is your kid still friends with their kids?)