Raising a royal: How will Kate and William bring up their baby?

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  • Prince William, Duke of Cambridge
    Prince William, Duke of Cambridge
    Duke of Cambridge
  • Diana, Princess of Wales
    Diana, Princess of Wales
    First wife of Charles, Prince of Wales (1961-1997)

The royal baby has yet to arrive but that hasn't stopped royal fans and commentators discussing what kind of future awaits the new heir to the throne. Here we look into the backgrounds of the parents-to-be to do some speculating of our own.

The birth

The royal baby will be born in the private Lindo wing of St Mary's Hospital in Paddington, with Kate opting for a natural birth, unless nature intervenes. She is reported to have looked into hypnobirthing. This practice involves hypnotherapy to take away some of the fear, tension and pain of childbirth.

It's no coincidence that William and brother Harry, were both born at St Mary's. It appears Kate is in very good hands.

The Duchess will be tended by a top medical team led by the Queen's former gynaecologist Marcus Setchell, who delivered the Countess of Wessex's two children.

                                                                        [More: What is it hypnobirthing?]

He will be assisted by Alan Farthing, the former fiance of murdered TV presenter Jill Dando and the Queen's current gynaecologist.

William is expected to be at his wife's bedside.

Fully refurbished last year, the Lindo wing is described as providing "leading private obstetric and neonatal care for 60 years". It has private en suite rooms with deluxe rooms and suites also available.

                                            [More: Kate Middleton's growing baby bump and my own]

When the baby finally arrives, in keeping with royal tradition, a notice informing the public of the birth will appear on an easel on the forecourt of Buckingham Palace, before the inevitable announcements on social media.
The name

Alexandra, Elizabeth and Diana are bookies’ favourites for a girl and George, Philip and Arthur are popular guesses for a boy.

Where they will live

Kate is expected to live at her parents’ house in Bucklebury, Berkshire for at least the first six weeks after the baby is born. Carole and Michael Middleton will be on hand to offer help and support to the new mum. The Middletons are well-practised in childcare having brought up three children. Their home will be a comfortable location for Kate to adjust to her new role.

For the longer term Kate and William are making arrangements to move into their newly renovated apartment – the former home of Princess Margaret - in Kensington Palace.

[Related: More on the royal baby]


Prince William was brought up in Kensington Palace and had various nannies whom he was very fond of. However, despite the trappings of royalty, Princess Diana was determined to give him as ‘normal’ a childhood as possible with trips to McDonald's and theme parks. She was also regularly seen dropping him off at the school gates and was once praised for making her children wait in a queue to see Father Christmas rather than jumping straight to the front.

William also had to cope with very sad life events at a young age. His mother was deeply unhappy in her marriage to Prince Charles, with the pair eventually separating. Then, of course, there was the tragic death of Diana when William was still a teenager.

Meanwhile, Kate had a middle-class upbringing with her family in Berkshire, although she did live in Jordan for two years from the age of two when her father worked out there. Her father was a flight dispatcher and her mother an air hostess, but the couple are now self-made millionaires after setting up a mail order company selling children’s party paraphernalia.

[More: Kate Middleton's pregnancy fashion]

Despite the difficulties in his childhood, William still grew up in a loving family environment and so did Kate. Princess Diana was a very hands-on, affectionate mum and Kate is very close to her parents and siblings, turning to them for support.

Taking a leaf out of their parents’ book, it’s more than likely William and Kate will try to give their baby a happy, carefree childhood, endeavouring to make it as ‘normal’ as possible. Although living in luxurious surroundings, it’s thought they will create a caring and practical home environment. They won't think twice about changing nappies, getting up in the night and putting their baby to bed. The couple appear to have a very stable, caring relationship and will work as a team in bringing up their child.

They may eventually employ a nanny to help out when they are busy with Royal engagements but Kate’s parents will also play an important part in the childcare. The Queen and wider Royal family will undoubtedly be a big influence on the child - advising, supporting and guiding where necessary.


Speculation is rife about which school the Royal baby will attend. Both William and Kate went to some of the country’s top public schools.

William attended Mrs Mynor's Nursery, Wetherby School in London and Ludgrove School in his early years. By tradition royal children go to Gordonstoun but it is well documented that Prince Charles was unhappy there. William instead followed in his mother’s family’s footsteps and sat the entrance exam for Eton where he was admitted.

He is said to have enjoyed his time at Eton, making a good solid group of friends and participating in sports including water polo and football. William studied Geography, Biology and History of Art at A-level and achieved good grades.

Meanwhile Kate attended St Andrew’s prep school, Down House and Marlborough College where she achieved high results and was a keen sportswoman.

However, the new parents may choose not to send the baby to any of the schools they attended, instead opting to follow in the footsteps of other high profile figures.

Acorn Nursery in Notting Hill is a good bet. It's regarded as one of the country’s most exclusive kindergartens and is not far from their Kensington base. Among the past and present pupils are the offspring of Jeremy Paxman, Jade Jagger and the stepchildren of Princess Diana’s brother Earl Spencer.

St Mary Abbots in Kensington could be another choice and it would certainly go down well with the public as it is a free school. David and Samantha Cameron send their children there.

Before choosing a school, William and Kate may wait to find out the personality of their child to make sure they pick the best fit.


Both William and Kate took gap years before attending university and both ended up working in Chile for some of the time. Following that, they both went to St Andrews University in Scotland.

It is likely the couple would be delighted if their offspring decided to follow them to St Andrews and it would bring back a lot of memories for them. We all know the story of how they met. The pair spent a very happy time together at St Andrews, getting involved in university life and sharing a flat.

William graduated with a degree in Geography while Kate completed a History of Art degree.

Later, when returning to the university on a royal engagement, William made a speech, where he is reported to have said: "This is a special moment for Catherine and me. It feels like coming home."

The University certainly has experience of creating a safe and private environment for a future heir to the throne so this wouldn’t be a bad choice.

Prince Charles was actually the first member of the Royal family to obtain a degree. He went to Trinity College Cambridge to study Anthropology and Archaeology.


The royal offspring’s choice of career will be an interesting one. Kate worked for her parents’ business after graduating and also had a job as a junior buyer for the clothing company Jigsaw. The baby may inherit the Middleton family’s entrepreneurial spirit and their maternal grandparents will be a significant influence on the child. Never before will a Royal heir have experienced such a middle-class family set up. However, this will have to be balanced with Royal duty and tradition.

A career in the military perhaps beckons, following in the footsteps of many relatives on their paternal side.

After graduating from university, Prince William joined the Royal Military Academy Sandhurst as an Officer Cadet. He was commissioned as an army officer in front of the Queen in December 2006 and joined the Household Cavalry (Blues and Royals) as a Second Lieutenant. He went on to train as an RAF search and rescue pilot, graduating as a fully operational pilot in September 2010. Prince William is now a search and rescue pilot with the Royal Air Force, based in Anglesey.

Whatever career the new royal baby chooses there will always be present that serious prospect of sitting on the throne at some point in life - a reality it will have to get used to living with.

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