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The One Thing William & Kate's Kids Never Do at School, Insiders Say

It was "a conscious decision made to avoid awkward conversations in the classroom," a source says.

Prince William and Catherine, Duchess of Cambridge's oldest children, Prince George and Princess Charlotte, recently returned to Thomas's Battersea Prep School in London after months of remote learning during COVID-related lockdowns. Meanwhile, the couple's youngest child, three-year-old Prince Louis, started at Willcocks Nursery School, a short distance from Kensington Palace, earlier this year. Finally, the Cambridge kids are able to resume a normal routine back at school with their friends and teachers, though "normal" may seem hard to come by when you're a royal.

Of course, George, Charlotte, and Louis who were born into incredible wealth and privilege, but giving them a semblance of normalcy has been a priority for the Cambridges, who are regulars at pick-up and drop-off and attend school functions. According to, Kate even went to a local pub in London for a meet-and-greet for parents of new students in 2019, when Charlotte began going to Thomas's Battersea. One source told the outlet that Kate was a "hands-on" parent, adding, "She desperately wants normality for her own kids." That's why there's one surprising thing William and Kate decided to do to make their royal brood feel like regular kids at school. Read on to find out what it is.

Prince George and Princess Charlotte don't use their royal titles or full names at school.

Princess Charlotte arrives for her first day of school, with her brother Prince George and her parents the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge, at Thomas's Battersea in London. PA Photo. Picture date: Thursday September 5, 2019.
Aaron Chown/PA Wire via Getty Images

The Cambridge kids are among the most famous children in the world, but William and Kate have opted not to have them use their titles while at school. Their teachers and classmates refer to them as George Cambridge and Charlotte Cambridge, in recognition of their parents' titles, a source tells Best Life.

When they were children, William and Prince Harry similarly used the last name Wales, since their father, Prince Charles, is the Prince of Wales.

"William and Catherine do not want to have their children feel isolated in any way," a royal insider told Best Life. "Mixing in with the other children in the class by using 'Cambridge' as their surname and not drawing attention to their status as royals was a conscious decision made to avoid awkward conversations in the classroom."

RELATED: Lilibet Is Already at the Center of a Controversy With Harry & the Palace.

Members of the Royal Family generally don't use last names.

Queen Elizabeth II in Feb 2019
Paul Marriott/Alamy Live News

Typically, members of the Royal Family don't use a last name, but they do have one. In 1960, a declaration made by Queen Elizabeth decreed that male descendants of the monarch, without royal style and titles, would take the name Mountbatten-Windsor, which is a reflection of Prince Philip's last name.

Both Harry and Meghan, Duchess of Sussex's children, Archie and Lilibet, have Mountbatten-Windsor as their surname, but there are conflicting reports as to why they do not have royal titles.

As a matter of protocol and because they are so well known, most royals are known by their title and given name by the general public. They may also opt to use the name of their royal house, Windsor.

"Unless The Prince of Wales chooses to alter the present decisions when he becomes king, he will continue to be of the House of Windsor and his grandchildren will use the surname Mountbatten-Windsor," the Royal Family's website reads.

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William and Kate both learned the importance of having a normal childhood from their parents.

prince william kate middleton holiday card

It's very clear William and Kate's different backgrounds are a major factor in how they have chosen to raise their children. The duchess comes from an upper middle class home with an incredibly tight-knit family, whereas William's childhood was a mix of tradition, duty, and confusion. His parents' unhappy marriage and contentious divorce affected him greatly. Last year, a source told Best Life, "William's personal experiences with his parents and the comfort and security he has found with the Middletons has had a tremendous effect on what type of father he wants to be."

Growing up, William did get a taste of what life was like for most children thanks to his mother, Princess Diana. She would regularly take William and Harry to McDonald's for Happy Meals, where the boys loved the toys. Diana's former chef, Darren McGrady, told the Mirror recently: "I remember the Princess came into the kitchen one day and said, 'Cancel lunch for the boys I'm taking them out, we're going to McDonald's."

Paul Burrell, Diana's former butler, told the outlet that Diana would regularly take her sons out to McDonald's on a Saturday night as part of their regular weekend routine. The three of them would then head back to Kensington Palace and the boys would sit on a giant stuffed hippopotamus in front of the TV and watch the popular TV show Blind Date.

RELATED: The Sweet Ways Prince William Has Taught His Children About Princess Diana.

William and Kate reportedly told George he was a future king last year.

Catherine, Duchess of Cambridge, Prince George of Cambridge and Prince William, Duke of Cambridge and President of the Football Association look on during the UEFA Euro 2020 Championship Final between Italy and England at Wembley Stadium on July 11, 2021 in London, England.
Eddie Keogh – The FA/The FA via Getty Images

William found out he was third in line to the throne when he was just a child, but he told the BBC in April 2016 that he was not ready to tell his son he is destined for a life of duty and tradition just yet. "There'll be a time and a place to bring George up and understand how he fits in, in the world," William said at the time of his not-yet three-year-old son. "But right now it's just a case of keeping a secure, stable environment around him and showing as much love as I can as a father."

However, recently, the time reportedly came. Royal historian and author Robert Lacey told Vanity Fair in June that William told his son about his place in the line of succession in 2020. "William has not revealed to the world how and when he broke the big news to his son," said Lacey. "Maybe one day George will tell us the story himself. But sometime around the boy's seventh birthday in the summer of 2020 it is thought that his parents went into more detail about what the little prince's life of future royal 'service and duty' would particularly involve."

This past summer, George, now eight years old, attended the Euro 2020 final with his parents. He looked every inch a mini monarch in training, matching with his father in a blue blazer and striped tie. At the time, royals reporter Roya Nikkah gave William and Kate high marks for subtly introducing George to royal duties. "Getting him used to big crowds and knowing that he is being watched by millions of people—it's quite a clever way of doing it," she said on True Royalty TV's Royal Beat. "It's lovely and happy and there's a lot of emotion."

William and Kate are determined to see their children enjoy every joyous moment before their birthright rocks their world as they get older. "The duke and duchess have to take even more care now that George knows about his future," a source told Best Life. "Normalcy is in short supply these days, no matter who you are, but the couple can give their children stability, love, and understanding so they can feel secure and normal in this rapidly changing world."

RELATED: William & Kate's Next Move Could Change Prince George's Life, Sources Say.

Diane Clehane is a New York-based journalist and author of Imagining Diana and Diana: The Secrets of Her Style.


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