Inside Kate Middleton's Relationship With Her Oldest Son George

In addition to being the Princess of Wales, Princess Catherine is a doting mother of three kids: Prince George, Princess Charlotte, and Prince Louis. With George being her firstborn, the trials and tribulations she faced during his pregnancy shaped how she viewed motherhood. After his birth on July 22, 2013, Catherine became an advocate for the mental health of mothers and babies alike. During her speech at the "Heads Together" campaign, Catherine described motherhood as a difficult challenge that is both strenuous and fulfilling.

"Nothing can really prepare you for the sheer overwhelming experience of what it means to become a mother. It is full of complex emotions of joy, exhaustion, love, and worry, all mixed together," she stated (via Twitter). Though her connection to motherhood is a spectacle in its own right, her relationship with her eldest child is admirable. From purposely breaking royal tradition for George's sake to the activities she's encouraged him to pick up, here is everything we know about Princess Catherine's relationship with her son Prince George.

She carried Prince George to his first royal engagement in New Zealand during her royal tour

Public royal engagements are usually a big deal. Given the extent to which each member has to participate in this tradition — from Queen Elizabeth II to Prince William — it was only a matter of time before Prince George followed suit. While George has yet to carry out his first solo engagement, Princess Catherine found time for her prince to make his first public appearance alongside other playmates who were around the same age.

In 2014, Prince William and Princess Catherine engaged in a royal tour of New Zealand. There, the two met with other parents and the childcare organization, Plunket, at Government House. While the adults enjoyed their "adult time," the 8-month-old Prince George got to play with the other babies in attendance under his mother's supervision. From blankly reacting to one of his fellow playmates crying, George got to get down on all-fours and crawl about playing with toys and making friends. Coincidentally, Princess Diana took Prince William for his first public engagement in New Zealand over 30 years before in 1983 (via YouTube). With the limited number of photographers allowed access to the event, those in attendance couldn't ignore Princess Catherine and Prince George's resemblance to Princess Diana and Prince William.

She encourages Prince George to play outdoors

Princess Catherine is known for her hands-on approach to raising children of royalty. Aside from their immediate inclusion in the line of succession to the British throne, Catherine practices certain methods of parenting that may divert from royal tradition — like missing an event to spend more time with her kids (we'll get to that later). Catherine understands the specific needs she must meet when raising a child. 

During her appearance on the podcast "Happy Mum, Happy Baby," Catherine expressed this importance to host Giovanna Fletcher. "I think ultimately if you look at who's caring and looking after and nurturing children in the most vital period from pregnancy all the way to the age of five ... You know parents and carers are right at the heart of that, and families are right at the heart of that," the princess said.

According to Princess Catherine, her mindset on motherhood was a result of her own childhood. From her parents going out of their way to attend sporting events to spending the holidays together, the princess revealed how she took pieces from her childhood and used them with her own children. One of which includes encouraging George to play outdoors. "As children, we spent a lot of time outside, and it's something I'm really passionate about," she told Fletcher. "I think it's so great for physical and mental well-being and laying those foundations."

She brought him to his first Wimbledon match in 2022

Given the royal family's interest in sports — ranging from rugby to horseback riding — onlookers couldn't help but notice the mother-son connection between Princess Catherine and Prince George at Wimbledon in 2022. Paired with navy blue ensembles, Catherine followed tradition by taking her son to his first Wimbledon match. Their appearance — like George's first public engagement — reminded us of the moment Princess Diana took Prince William to his first Wimbledon match in 1991. Fans were not only excited to watch Novak Djokovic face off against Nick Kyrgios in the men's finals, but they were also entertained by the array of emotions George displayed throughout his time there.

The spectacle only saw the eldest of Princess Catherine's three children in attendance. Though this was her second time attending the event that weekend, she seemingly wanted that day to be dedicated to Prince George. When reporters asked the princess about the absence of her other two children at the event, she told them: "It's George's treat today" (via the Daily Star).

She has a yearly birthday tradition for Prince George

Princess Catherine's presence on social media is intentionally formidable. From her charity efforts to her royal appearances, the princess likes to use her social media platforms to update her fans on her latest ventures while expressing her interest in organizations she believes in. As an adoring mother, however, she can't help but show off her ever-growing tribe of children any chance she gets. As an annual tradition, Catherine likes to put her photography skills to good use, capturing adorable portraits of Prince George, Princess Charlotte, and Prince Louis to post for their birthdays.

As the eldest of the three, Prince George was the first to start this tradition. Going as far back as his first birthday, the Wales family released a photo of the toddler to commemorate the occasion which was taken at London's Natural History Museum. In recent years, Prince William and Princess Catherine began to use their Instagram to celebrate their children's birthdays. To uphold the nine-year-long tradition, Prince William and Catherine took to their Instagram in 2022 to post a picture of their smiling prince with the caption: "George is turning 9!" The two also released a statement regarding his ninth birthday which stated: "The Duke and Duchess of Cambridge are delighted to share a new photograph of Prince George ahead of his ninth birthday tomorrow" (via People). Given the doting mom's approach to motherhood, it's heartwarming to see her dedication to celebrating George's birthday every year.

Her interest in rugby rubbed off on Prince George

Princess Catherine has participated in multiple sporting events and organizations over the years. One of which includes her becoming the royal patron for the Rugby Football Union — a feat her brother-in-law Prince Harry previously accomplished. While her interest can be felt through onlookers alike, it appears that her passion for rugby rubbed off on Prince George as he is crafting a respectable career in the sport at just 9 years old.

During her appearance at the Six Nations rugby tournament in February, the mother of three praised Prince George for his natural build for the sport. "They are trying to teach him the rules," she revealed on George's transition from tag rugby to touch rugby (via Hello!). "They move them around for their confidence. Because he is tall, he has the physique." Though this may be surprising for some, Catherine hinted at his fascination with the sport at the England versus Wales Six Nations match in 2022. With his school starting a rugby team, Catherine revealed that the 8-year-old prince started playing the sport. Due to her exceptional athleticism, she further added that she was his dedicated tackling partner, which explains his remarkable talent in the sport thus far.

Prince George jokingly mocked Princess Catherine's football skills

While Princess Catherine and Prince George have a shared interest in athletics, the two seem to have opposing opinions about their respectable prowess in sports. Although Catherine went on record to reveal just how much talent George has in rugby, the young prince seems to have a different opinion about his mother's talent in football.

In 2019, Prince William and Princess Catherine traveled to Northern Ireland to meet with kids at the Windsor Park football stadium. After conversing with them, Catherine participated in a friendly yet competitive football match. Prince William saw this as an opportunity to warn the kids of her ankle-sweeping tactics. His gentle banter, however, didn't stop Catherine from poking fun at herself. With Prince George practicing the sport, Catherine revealed that her eldest son isn't too fond of her football skills. As a hands-on mother, she'd spend her time at home helping the young prince sharpen his skills at the sport. According to Catherine, George would rather playfully insult her, stating: "Mummy, you're so rubbish" — instead of praising his mother for her talents (via The Telegraph). Catherine sarcastically agreed with the 9-year-old's past comments at the event, saying: "I should have picked up some tips from George."

She's gradually preparing Prince George to become a monarch

As the son of Prince William, Prince George is now second in line to the British throne. In light of Queen Elizabeth II's passing, this only bumped him up the line of succession — marking this potential rule a likely possibility. Given his young age, however, one can assume how difficult it can be to break this news to a child. The amount of responsibility that can rest on his shoulders can be devastating enough to alter the purity of his childhood. Royal traditions can also create challenges for the budding child since his relation to the British throne is prioritized amongst his other siblings.

Ultimately, this would mean Prince George should begin to adhere to his responsibilities as a potential ruler. According to Robert Lacey's "Battle of Brothers," Prince William and Princess Catherine informed the future monarch about his position in the royal family. "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," Lacey wrote (via Marie Claire). While informing him about his future role as king, William and Catherine want to prepare George for his royal obligations at their own pace. To give her child a normal upbringing, the caring mom is seemingly taking baby steps toward introducing him to the busy life he'll likely lead once he gets older.

It was reported that she had concerns about Prince George's role in King Charles III's coronation

King Charles III's coronation marks a turning point in history and has garnered global media attention, especially when it comes to who will play a part in the ceremony — like Prince George. However, stories surfaced regarding Princess Catherine's apprehension about her son taking part in the ceremony. While there was no push-back from Catherine, she did express worry about the pressure her son may face after the coronation.

In March 2023, an insider told The Sunday Times (via Cosmopolitan) that Catherine didn't mind if her son played a major part in the ceremony, however, she wanted to ensure his public safety. Given their approach to their son's royal obligations, the insider revealed that Catherine would happily accept George's part in the coronation if they could ensure he wouldn't face "overwhelming scrutiny." Despite the confusion, reporters stated that Prince William and Catherine were scheduled to talk with King Charles about Prince George's role in the ceremony. Alternatively, royal historian Hugo Vickers suggested that George's appearance in the ceremony would be significant to his role as a direct heir to the throne. "Bringing George in also sends all the right symbolism for the future and gives him something he will always remember," Vickers said.

She broke royal tradition to stay at home with Prince George and his sister in 2016

Princess Catherine's role as a doting mother was tested several times by the limitations placed by higher-ups in the royal family. Since Prince George is a direct heir to the throne, the amount of protection he requires is understandable. This, however, can conflict with their everyday lives. Something as simple as traveling with George has to be administered since the royal family does not want two or more heirs on the same plane. As expected, Catherine regularly broke this rule so her 9-year-old prince didn't travel alone. Given her approach to motherhood, this wouldn't be the only time she'd break royal tradition for George's sake.

An annual St. Patrick's Day parade held at the Cavalry Barracks in Hounslow is a 121-year-long tradition that Prince William and Princess Catherine regularly attended. Despite her four-year run participating in the service, the mother of three did not attend the parade in 2016. Aside from the apparent disappointment, those in attendance were made aware that her absence was strictly family related. Though it wasn't directly stated, it appeared that Catherine prioritized staying at home with Prince George and his newborn sister Charlotte over attending the royal event.

She's teaching him how to tie his own tie

With his future role as monarch in question, it can cause us to forget that Prince George is only 9 years old. In addition to his royal obligations, there are so many aspects of life the heir to the throne has never experienced — even under the exclusivity that is royalty. Though Princess Catherine is gradually preparing her son for the responsibilities he'll inevitably face, it also seems like she's teaching him a skill that'll pay off in the near future.

In 2022, Prince George started attending Lambrook alongside his younger siblings, Princess Charlotte and Prince Louis. For most kids, adjusting to a new school can be difficult since it means you'd have to learn how to make new friends. George, alternatively, had to learn how to tie his own tie. According to Hello!, Princess Catherine unveiled this information while she and her husband, Prince William, met with schoolkids in Wales. Fascinated with their uniforms, Catherine approached a young boy who was wearing a tie and asked if he did it himself. After confirming that he did, Catherine praised him for learning the surprisingly difficult skill. "Well done you. I've been teaching George because he has got to wear a tie now for school, so I'm having to teach him how to do it," she responded. "But well done, you've done a good job with your tie."

Prince George was in attendance while Princess Catherine hosted a Christmas event

Alongside being the Princess of Wales, Princess Catherine is also a well-known humanitarian. From tackling societal issues ranging from drug addiction to systemic injustices toward the betterment of our mental health, the princess has expressed her interest in helping others numerous times. This passion ultimately led to her hosting "Royal Carols: Together at Christmas" in 2021. According to Catherine's program for the concert, the holiday spectacle served as a tribute to those who assisted their communities throughout the coronavirus pandemic. "This Carol Service is our small way of recognising the inspiring contribution so many of you have made. Thank you," she wrote (via People).

With the event being supported by the Royal Foundation, several members of the royal family attended to support the cause except for her trio: Prince George, Princess Charlotte, and Prince Louis. While this may have been to lessen their exposure to COVID-19 at the time, George — alongside his sister — made appearances to support their mother for the second rendition of the holiday event in 2022. There, George got to watch the royal family pay tribute to the late Queen Elizabeth — one of which included Prince William reading an excerpt from a previous broadcast from his grandmother.

According to Princess Catherine, Prince George can be envious of his younger siblings

Although Prince George isn't new to receiving special treatment due to his position in the royal family, Prince William and Princess Catherine make sure Princess Charlotte and Prince Louis are treated equally. That way, there is no harbored resentment toward each other. Despite their awareness of the household dynamic, it's only natural for sibling rivalries to ensue. Whenever that is the case, it seems that George is usually the catalyst for their quarrels at home. In an interview with ITV's "This Morning" in 2020, Catherine revealed that homeschooling has been difficult because she can't keep her eldest son satisfied, stating: "George gets very upset because he wants to do all of Charlotte's projects ... making sort of spider sandwiches is far cooler than literacy work."

George's envious feelings toward his young siblings also reached Prince Louis. In addition to getting outside, she encouraged her trio to pick up gardening as a family pastime. While helping to plant sunflowers at The Nook — a children's hospital facility in Norfolk — she revealed that this outdoor activity gets a little competitive between her two boys (via People). Since Louis had an innate knack for gardening at 2 years old, George grew jealous of his younger brother's ability to grow sunflowers. "The children are really enjoying growing their sunflowers," she stated. "Louis' is winning, so George is a little grumpy about that!"