Awkward Royal Kid Tantrums That Were Caught On Camera

Royal or not, every child is prone (and perhaps entitled) to certain liberties that grownups just can't claim for themselves. Throwing a fit in the middle of an event the world has eyes on, sporting a devil-may-care frown that can't easily be deciphered, or breaking down over something that would be considered by adults as trivial — children, by virtue of being who they are, enjoy a free pass to do all that and more, without much consequence. In fact, the more they let loose, the more endearing they seem. The same applies to the brood of royal youngsters the world over, each of whom possesses their own quirk-laden personality — even if their upbringing slightly differs from that of the non-royal demographic their age. 

"Etiquette training for the royals starts as soon as they're old enough to sit at a table," etiquette coach Myka Meier told People, explaining the rigorous training children under the British monarchy go through at an early age with regard to conduct, behavior, and turnout. That said, they're still children at the end of the day. And no matter how high up they may rank in the line of succession to the throne, their juvenility precedes all royal protocol they are expected to follow. 

To everyone's delight, royal children are as predisposed to impulsive crankiness or sulking as any other tot, with their outbursts playing out in the most unexpected of places. Here are the most iconic royal kid tantrums that were caught on camera for posterity. 

Sticking his tongue out became Prince Harry's signature childhood move

Prince Harry's loose tongue has sparked many a controversy in his adult life — from getting him into trouble for uttering racial slurs to showcasing the monarchy's innermost tensions before the world. It's no surprise, because the appendage has long been the most expressive tool in the British prince's arsenal. 

As a child, Harry was notorious for giving onlookers a royal tongue stick-out in a way that may have offended his family's austere Victorian sensibilities. During the Trooping the Colour ceremony in 1988, Harry, perched on Buckingham Palace's balcony, stuck his tongue out so unexpectedly that it appeared to surprise even his mother Princess Diana. He pulled the antic again on his way to meet Princess Beatrice, born later that year. 

From naughty to adorable, Harry's behaviors were subjected to a wide range of judgment — something his mother wasn't totally pleased about. In the 2017 documentary "The Story of Diana," the late princess' brother Charles Spencer revealed that on one occasion, the British press had given a particularly critical account of young Harry but had allegedly incited him to stick his tongue out by doing the same to him. "It was the sheer dishonesty of it, that they were trying to say he was this impossibly rude kid whereas they'd actually provoked him on purpose," Spencer said (via Insider). The protruding tongue ultimately became a signature Harry move that the prince continued to use well into his adulthood. 

Prince Louis publicly shushed his mum

The Platinum Jubilee of 2022 was an important moment in history. Not singularly because it marked Queen Elizabeth II's 70-year reign, but also for the audacious, hilarious manner in which the event was entirely usurped by a 4-year-old. Prince Louis, who is fourth in line to the British throne, made an early show of his people-charming abilities by leaving global audiences in splits with his capers that made for some iconic royal imagery. From clamping his hand down on the mouth of a senior royal (his mother, Princess Catherine) to making zero attempts at hiding his displeasure at the noisy jets flying overhead, nothing was off-limits for the young prince who has gained quite a reputation for his cheekiness.

He cheered, he made faces, he thumbed his nose ... and he looked done. As much of an emotional rollercoaster as the jubilee seemed to have been for little Louis, the world was thoroughly delighted — and his parents were no less amused. Looking back at the celebrations in an Instagram statement, Prince William and Catherine gave their show-stealer a shoutout: "We all had an incredible time, especially Louis." Given Louis' track record, his mother was apprehensive over whether or not he would ride out King Charles III's coronation with composure. "I hope so. You never, you never quite know, do you?" Catherine told an inquisitive onlooker in London before the ceremony. Barring a few funny waves and a wide yawn, Louis got by immaculately! 

Prince George got off to a rocky start at his first royal event

Being a royal can be overwhelming, especially for a pint-sized debutant. At age 2, Prince George joined his parents on a day out for his first official engagement as royalty and, only a few moments in, things went south. It was probably the crowds, the noise, or the unscripted bouts of irritability children his age are given to which caused the little prince to have a public meltdown at the 2016 Royal International Air Tattoo. Whatever it was that bothered George couldn't keep his spirits dampened for too long, with the royal returning to his usual self after his mother, Princess Catherine, picked him up and pacified him (and sound-blockers were slipped over his ears). We relate — there's nothing a good pair of headphones can't fix.  

Though the reason for George's brief fit wasn't known, the change in mood after he was braced with his baby blue arsenal led to the suggestion that it was probably the roaring sounds at what is the largest military airshow in the world that affected him. For the remainder of the event, George lived up to his reputation as a predominantly well-mannered child, waving and smiling at just the right moments. The little gent even walked up to men in uniform and, though too shy to talk, did willingly accept a sticker from them that he looked quite fascinated with (via Daily Mail). 

Mia Tindall was a real live wire in the great outdoors

The threat of danger is as irrelevant to an exploring child as some say the monarchy is to modern Britain. Ever the little adventurer, Mia Tindall seemed to be having a blast snooping around green corners in Gloucestershire, where the 2015 Festival of British Eventing was being held. That is until mommy Zara Tindall — for some odd reason inexplicable to the 1-year-old — pulled her away from the electrical plugs she had been trying to understand the mechanics of. According to the Daily Mail, this intervention from her mother caused little Mia much anguish, and she looked visibly cranky about being carried away from the site. The rest of the day didn't pass uneventfully either, with Mia reportedly keeping her family entertained with her childish antics. 

It wasn't a total surprise that Princess Anne's granddaughter was enjoying her time pottering about in the park, given that she is known to be a nature lover. "She loves being outside and is full of life," her father Mike Tindall once revealed (via People). Through trampolines and such, the young princess apparently embraces her sporty side that we presume was fairly inevitable, given that she is born to an Olympian mother and World Cup-winning father. Mia once also tried her hand at polo — does messing around with a mallet count? — at the Gloucester Festival of Polo in 2017, accompanied by her parents, Prince William, and a trusty stuffed koala. 

Princess Diana once skilfully managed a fussy Prince William

Princess Diana was a supermom when it came to handling her two very active boys in the great big outdoors. In a classic Diana moment from 1986 that TikTok only recently discovered and obsessed over, the late royal was seen enjoying a casual day out with Princes William and Harry at the Highgrove House estate in Gloucester. Harry, who was still barely 2, stayed close to his mother for the most part, while 4-year-old William engaged in lively bouts of playing on the swings, slide, and jungle gym. The two brothers dressed in matching military uniforms looked greatly entertained — as did Diana — before a sudden mood shift prompted William to run off into hiding between the hedges. 

When beckoning did not bring him out of the bushes, Diana brought out the oldest, most effective trick in the book: She turned away and began walking. "Alright, Harry will have all the fun then," she coolly declared. Seldom has a child been able to resist the threat of someone else expropriating their share of fun (or FOMO, if you please) and William immediately followed with repetitive protests of "No!" If reports are to be believed, William never did lose his penchant for kicking up a tantrum; a source at Kensington alleged that the crown prince has a stormy temperament and his wife, Princess Catherine, treats him "like the fourth child" (via Page Six). Old habits die hard, we guess? 

Prince Archie didn't want to spend his birthday reading

In the context of his parents' royal relocation to the United States, Prince Archie has dodged the public attention his cousins back in Britain are lavished with. Though much about the 4-year-old's life remains protected by Meghan Markle and Prince Harry, a rare appearance he made in 2020 proved he was just as much a Windsor at heart as any of his contemporaries in the family. To mark his first birthday, Archie sat in his mom's lap and tried hard to care about a picture book she attempted to read to him. The nearly three-minute video started off well, with Archie looking intrigued as he turned over the cover page of "Duck! Rabbit!" 

The storytelling session, part of a COVID-19 charity campaign, was punctuated by coos and sobs from Archie before the little prince's attention was drawn to other things. Abandoning the book he had originally sat down to finish, Archie picked up a different one and engaged in every toddler's favorite game: dropping an object only for it to be picked up by an adult so it can be dropped again. The storytime ended with Archie nibbling his book, as his mum and (off-camera) dad cheered him on. The whole episode was anything but peaceful, but it is this naughty streak that endears Archie to his dad so much. "I always try and keep that. I think that the cheekiness is something that keeps you alive," Harry told Today

Sweden's Prince Oscar was in no mood to smile at an official event

Brooders of the world, unite! Sweden's Prince Oscar channeled major moody energy at an official royal outing in 2019, weathering the event with a frown plastered on his little 3-year-old face. Maybe it was the unforgiving Swedish winter that obligated the wearing of a wooly cap or the relatable grouchiness known to those who have unwillingly been roused awake, but the young prince seemed to be out of sorts throughout the do. The celebrations related to the Name Day on March 12, a special annual tradition that commemorates those named Victoria across the country. And since Oscar's crown princess mother is the most famous Victoria in all the land, the occasion was extra joyous for the family. Like most toddlers, it seemed that young Oscar neither fully appreciated nor was smitten with the whole setup. 

Through portraits and felicitations, Oscar held his ground and kept his scowl. Smiles? No, thank you. He was content with a furrowed brow and a pout. While the young Swede's frown has become his go-to signature and attained somewhat legendary status, leading some to label him as the "grumpiest royal," it's not like the prince never cracks a laugh. Oscar, third in line to the Swedish throne, made a graceful show of his gap-toothed smile on the occasion of turning 7 in 2023, posing for the camera with his older sister Princess Estelle and their family dog Rio (via Instagram).  

Prince George was in a pouty mood after being told off at a wedding

Pippa Middleton's rustic country wedding was a charming affair and, like every perfectly executed spectacle, there was quite a bit of behind-the-scenes drama that contributed to the smooth running of the show. Prince George, the bride's 3-year-old nephew, found himself in brief hysterics at one point in the wedding. Dressed in his tiny page boy fineries that included a collared shirt and traditional pantaloons, the young prince — second in line to the throne — stood out as one of the stars of the kiddie camp that made up the bridal party. But he attracted more attention than he intended when he got a serious telling-off from his mother Princess Catherine that led to waterworks. 

While the contents of her lecture are unknown, she could be seen pointing a finger at him and causing much sulking on his part. According to the Daily Mail, the cause of the mini-upset was linked to young George allegedly sauntering onto his aunt's spotless white bridal trail. Middleton's gown reportedly cost somewhere in the upward region of $50,000 and was very well-received by the public at large. Naturally, big sis Catherine couldn't have anything mess it up — even if that involved giving her son an earful. While his show-stealing sister Princess Charlotte remained unfazed by the fleeting disturbance, George stopped and pouted offstage for a bit before rejoining the celebrations in full spirit. 

Queen Elizabeth knew exactly what to do to calm Mia Tindall down

Though her more famous Wales cousins command maximum public airtime, Mia Tindall is no less an intriguing member of the younger troop of the British royal family. A granddaughter of Princess Anne, Mia has been known to possess a distinctive personality that kept adults around her on their toes during her early childhood. In fact, one of Mia's most striking moments captured on film came about as a result of her unique streak. In 2016, Queen Elizabeth II sat down for a birthday portrait with a brood of royal children that included fan favorite Prince George and a lap-borne Princess Charlotte. But it was little Mia, then just 2, who stole the show standing next to her great-grandmother, posing with a handbag half her size in her hands.  

As adorable as the sight was, the circumstances behind it remained inexplicable before Mia's father, former rugby champ Mike Tindall, threw light on the drama that went down behind the iconic photo. It turns out Mia was "being a bit naughty" at the time the portrait was being taken, and the quick-thinking queen placated her by giving something to occupy her attention. "Just hold the handbag now," Tindall repeated in an appearance on "Good Morning Britain" (via the Daily Mail). His account reportedly conflicted with that of another royal source, who claimed that Mia's handbag moment was guided by impulse, not a tantrum. Either way, it left everyone thoroughly enchanted. 

Princess Charlotte had a mini meltdown in Germany

Like a future queen should, Princess Charlotte has a mind of her own. By the time she was 1, she had begun exhibiting what Princess Catherine called "quite a feisty side" (per People). And the young royal, third in the line of succession, has been proving as much ever since. She was 2 when she accompanied her parents and older brother on a nearly week-long official international tour in 2017. While she passed much of the trip happily, accepting made-to-size bouquets and sticking close to her mommy, something happened before the home-bound journey that turned her mood around (momentarily). Before boarding the aircraft from Hamburg, Charlotte spent a few irritable moments on the tarmac as Catherine tried to console her. 

She stomped her feet and plopped down on the tarmac, looking every bit a grumpy life-sized doll (complete with a frock and bow) come to life. A few seconds in, as Catherine took her daughter into her arms, the fit fizzled out. Charlotte's self-assured character comes through resplendently at official engagements, where she composes herself like a pro — and even at school where she was apparently awarded the moniker "Warrior Princess," royal expert Katie Nicholl told ET Online. With a strong personality in tow, Charlotte apparently commands the reins of her own life, and by age 6 was telling her father, "I'm six now, I'll do what I want" (via the Daily Mail). We love a girl boss!