Inside Prince William's Relationship With His Daughter Charlotte

As the middle child of William and Catherine (Kate) Middleton, Prince and Princess of Wales, the young Princess Charlotte holds a unique place in the family. She's third in line to the throne after her brother, Prince George, and the first princess in British royal history whose place in the line of succession wasn't displaced with the birth of a younger brother; Prince Louis is fourth in line to the throne thanks to the Succession to the Crown Act which eliminated the precedence previously given to male heirs. Princess Charlotte is part of a new era of royals that is more progressive and feminist than previous generations, and she's already embodying the idea of girl power.

As the only daughter of the heir to the British crown, the public has been fascinated by Princess Charlotte since she was born. She's a tomboy and a trendsetter, and royal watchers all over the globe adore the little princess. Of course, the love the public has for her is unmatched by the love the royal's parents have for her. Princess Charlotte's dad may be busy with royal duties, but he also prioritizes his three children and has made it clear that his only daughter has him wrapped around her little finger.

Prince William was 'very happy' to add Charlotte to the family

Princess Charlotte has been breaking ground since she was born. Her parents announced her birth on their Twitter account, which was only a few months old at the time. "Her Royal Highness The Duchess of Cambridge was safely delivered of a daughter at 8.34am," read the tweet, posted on May 2, 2015. Before this, royal baby announcements were made by posting an easel with the news outside of Buckingham Palace. While the tradition is still followed, Twitter certainly gets the news out faster.

Though Prince William didn't spend much time talking to the press after Charlotte was born, it was clear that he was happy to be a girl-dad. When reporters spotted him outside St. Mary's hospital and asked how he felt about the new addition to the family, William said he was "very happy" (via The Guardian).

Though William was happy to welcome his daughter, the responsibility of being a dad of two is a weight he felt in the months leading up to her birth. "They say that number one is a life changer and that number two is a game-changer," he told a crowd during a walkabout a few weeks before Princess Charlotte's arrival (via People).

Prince William's mother is remembered in Charlotte's full name

As the only daughter of the heir to the British throne, Princess Charlotte has drawn many comparisons to her grandmother, Princess Diana, over the years. William's mother, who was born Diana Frances Spencer, died nearly 20 years before Charlotte was born, and losing his mother as an adolescent is something that has profoundly impacted William. "I still feel, 20 years later about my mother, I still have shock within me," he said in the 2017 documentary "Mind Over Marathon" (via Newsweek). "You know, 20 years later. People go 'shock can't last that long' but it does. You never get over it. It is such an unbelievably big moment in your life that it never leaves you. You just learn to deal with it."

William is committed to honoring his mother's legacy and has made sure that his children know about her, revealing in the ITV documentary (via the Evening Standard) that he is "Constantly talking about granny Diana, so we've got more photos up round the house now of her and we talk about her a bit and stuff."

One of the most touching ways Prince William has honored Diana's memory is by naming his daughter after her; the princess's full name is Charlotte Elizabeth Diana.

Prince William wasn't prepared for having a girl in the family

The Prince and Princess of Wales reportedly did not find out the sex of baby Charlotte ahead of her birth, so William didn't have much time to adjust to the idea of raising a girl. In a 2016 appearance on the Vietnamese talk show "Talk Vietnam," William spoke about how much he loved his children, although he admitted that adjusting to parenthood wasn't easy. "I've struggled at times," he confessed. "The alteration from being a single, independent man to going into marriage and then having children is life-changing."

Prince William said his wife was a great support to him, and the presence of a woman in his family was no doubt even more helpful after Princess Charlotte was born. William explained that, as he only grew up with a brother, he didn't have much experience with little girls. "Bear in mind I haven't had a sister, so having a daughter is a very different dynamic," he said. "So I'm learning about having a daughter, having a girl in the family."

Prince William said Charlotte was 'very easy, very sweet' as a baby

Princess Charlotte and Prince George gave their dad a bit of a headache when they were younger. While we're sure that Prince William loved becoming a newly minted father of two, having two young children at home posed a challenge — especially once both kids were old enough to cause some trouble. In an appearance at the Welsh Rugby Charitable Trust in 2016, William said (via ABC), "No broken bones yet but they're trying. Running around, pushing things, jumping. Please tell me it gets easier."

William may have been exaggerating a little bit, at least on the part of Charlotte, who was just 10 months old at the time — not old enough to be running around and jumping (although George, who was just a few months shy of 3, could have been wreaking havoc).

The Prince of Wales went on to paint a much better-behaved version of his daughter, saying, "Charlotte is very easy, very sweet but all the fathers say, 'Just you wait. When they get to 9, 10, 11, they go crazy.' I'm looking forward to it. There will be some drama."

Prince William once called a 3-year-old Charlotte 'trouble'

As serene as Princess Charlotte may have been as an infant, her sassy personality didn't take long to assert itself. "She's been a little joy of heaven," Prince William told Sky News of his 2-month-old daughter.

By the time she was 3, though, Prince William revealed that his daughter had developed a bit of a naughty side. In the 2020 ITV documentary "A Planet For Us All," he is seen speaking to a little girl in Kenya. "Do you like trouble?" he asks (via Red). "You are like my little Charlotte!" Later in the documentary, another little girl asks, "Is Princess Charlotte cheekier than Prince George?" William answers, "No they're about as cheeky as each other. They're very cheeky."

William didn't seem bothered by his daughter's mischief-seeking ways at the time, although that may change as she grows older considering that the heir to the throne once foresaw more trouble in his daughter's future. "I think she's going to be trouble when she's older," he admitted during a 2017 appearance at a hospital (via Hello!). "All fathers say that."

Prince William is a hands-on dad

Historically, raising young royals has largely been left to nannies. Princess Diana broke the mold with her hands-on parenting approach, wanting Prince William and Prince Harry to have as normal of a life as possible. It's a modern tradition that William has continued with his own children, something that defies both royal and patriarchal stereotypes. Upon becoming a father, he was the one who changed Prince George's first diaper. "I had every midwife staring at me," he told CNN.

While the Prince and Princess of Wales do have a nanny to help out, they take on quite a lot of child-rearing responsibilities themselves. "You'd think that Catherine and William would have an army of staff to help them out, but it really was just them and the children," a source told People of visiting the family.

As an insider explained to the Daily Mail, Prince William is committed to being a better father to Prince George, Princess Charlotte, and Prince Louis than King Charles was to him. "He feels Prince Charles' unquestionable work ethic had a direct impact on his upbringing, especially after the death of his mother," they said. "Far too often, his father chose his duties over being a dad."

William even does Charlotte's hair, although he's admitted this is a bit of a challenge and that he's turned to YouTube for help. "I can do [Charlotte's] ponytail, but that's about it as I don't have enough hair to practice on!" he once said (via People).

William has the cutest nickname for Charlotte (maybe)

Nobody does nicknames quite like the royal family. Prince William's childhood nickname was Wombat, and he calls his wife "The Duchess of Doolittle" and "babykins" per Express. Catherine Middleton, in turn, refers to the Prince of Wales as "babe" and "baldy." While there seems to be some good-natured ribbing in some of those nicknames, the nickname William may have for Charlotte is nothing but adorable.

In 2021, Kensington Palace tweeted a video of the royals at the Chelsea Flower Show. While their voices aren't clear throughout the brief clip, at one point William says something to Charlotte which sharp-eared viewers think may have been "Mignonette," a French word Marie Claire notes can be roughly translated to "little cutie."

While we don't have a firm confirmation on whether Charlotte is called Mignonette by her family, Express reported that Catherine has referred to her as "Lottie" and "poppet," so it's likely that William uses these nicknames for his little girl as well.

Both father and daughter have adorably mouthed off to reporters

Princess Charlotte is a bit of a firecracker, and it's a trait that she gets from her dad. While she's typically very well-behaved in public, she's also let loose a time or two. In 2019, the 4-year-old princess stuck her tongue out while in the audience of a sailing race. It's a move that mirrored one her father made at the same age; the young prince stuck his tongue out at a wedding in 1986.

It's not the only time Charlotte's inherited sassiness has come through. At Prince Louis' christening in 2018, Charlotte cheekily told reporters, "You're not invited" (via My London). A young Prince William also adorably mouthed off to reporters who turned out for his first day of school when he was 5. William's comment to them was "Don't like 'tographers."

We can't blame Prince William or Princess Charlotte for being frustrated with being in the public eye, especially at such a young age. Considering that William is now the picture of decorum, though, and Charlotte is a bit older, we aren't likely to see too many more breaches of royal conduct. Charlotte has even been seen keeping her brothers in line during royal engagements — quite the regal little princess!

A body language expert claims Prince William is quite proud of Charlotte

While it's hard to truly know the inner workings of any relationship, a body language expert evaluated Prince William's interactions with Princess Charlotte in a video and determined that his affection for his daughter is genuine. In fact, Judi James revealed to Express that William's pride for his little girl is evident even when he's not singing her praises.

"William tries very hard to suppress the pride from his facial expression as his daughter delivers her own message to the Lionesses," James said of the tweeted July 2022 video, in which the father and daughter wish England women's national soccer team luck. According to James, Prince William's body language shows he's bursting with pride, as exhibited by his tightened lips.

James previously revealed to the outlet that "William's body language as he talks about his daughter is bashful, self-effacing, playful and, of course, besotted." How sweet!

Prince William was once shocked by his resemblance to Charlotte

The royal gossip mill loves to speculate about any hint of scandal, whether it's Prince William's rumored affair with Rose Hanbury or conjecture that Prince Harry is not the biological son of King Charles. While the allegations are often cruel, this sort of vicious theorizing has thankfully missed Princess Charlotte so far. Then again, even the nastiest of loose tongues would have a hard time trying to convince people that Charlotte is anyone's daughter but William's, considering just how much the two look alike.

The resemblance is striking and has startled even Prince William, who was once presented with a photo of himself as a young boy that he initially thought was his daughter. The photo was part of a cupcake display that featured photos of him and Catherine Middleton at various ages. "Is that me?" the dad of three asked upon seeing the image (via People). "Because that looks just like Charlotte. That is incredible."

Social media users have commented on the resemblance between the two over the years, with one tweeting, "It's eerie how much Princess Charlotte looks like Prince William!!" Another wrote, "William & Charlotte are actually twins."

Royal fans can't get enough of how adorable the father and daughter are together

The fact that Prince William and Princess Charlotte look a lot alike has caught the attention of the public, but what's even more touching is how sweet they are together. This hasn't failed to enamor fans, either, and royal watchers frequently take to social media to comment on how obvious it is that William dotes on his only daughter.

"I did notice that Charlotte is very fond of William and vice versa," one Twitter user noted after the two appeared at the 2022 Commonwealth Games. "She was very engaged with him and snuggling up to him. They have a good bond as father and daughter." Another fan posted a collage of photos of the father and daughter over the years, captioning it, "I love that we get to see the father and daughter relationship of Prince William and Princess Charlotte, William is so sweet with his children and he's not afraid to show that side of himself to the public." Clearly, the bond between these two royals is an unshakeable one.

Prince William stands up for Charlotte

While it's unlikely that we will ever hear the Prince of Wales admitting to having a favorite child, we know that he's not afraid to take sides in an argument when his kids bicker. Back in 2019, Prince William was honoring that year's recipients of The Diana Award with a tea at Kensington Palace. Per the award's website, the charity was named after William's mother, Princess Diana, and its goal "is to empower young people to lead that change through a range of initiatives which unlock their potential, inspire action and create opportunities, ensuring that no young person is left out or left behind."

While speaking with Olivia Hancock, a teenage soccer player who was being celebrated for her efforts to combat gender inequality in the sport, William revealed that Princess Charlotte and Prince George are also fans of the sport and that George (then 6) would boast about being better than Charlotte (then 4) during their family matches. Hancock told Hello! that William wouldn't let this fly, telling his oldest child, "George, Charlotte could be as good as you."

While the fact that William went to bat for his daughter is adorable, the anecdote also shows that William won't stand for any hint of sexism among his children and that he's raising Charlotte to be an empowered and confident woman.

Prince William wants Charlotte to be in touch with her feelings

The British royal family has traditionally been quite stoic and not talked much about their feelings, especially in public. That's something that younger generations are moving away from, though, and Prince William is determined that his kids will be comfortable talking about whatever they are going through. "Catherine and I are clear that we want both George and Charlotte to grow up feeling able to talk about their emotions and feelings. ... Emotional intelligence is key for us all to deal with the complexities of life and relationships," he told CALMzine in 2017.

The Prince of Wales has become increasingly open about his mental health as he's grown older, talking about everything from the pain of his mother's death to his grief at seeing a little boy badly injured during his time as an air ambulance helicopter pilot. 

Thankfully, it sounds like Charlotte — as well as George and Louis — will get any mental and emotional support they need as they grow up with parents who are committed to being more open.