Inside Prince William's Relationship With His Oldest Son George

While attending St. Andrews University, Prince William would meet the love of his life, Princess Catherine, and start a well-documented relationship for the years to come. What started as a strictly platonic connection quickly turned into a romantic one. A two-year break along with a string of unseen dates in 2007 ultimately led to William and Catherine marrying each other in 2011. In addition to firmly becoming the Prince and Princess of Wales, the two also became the parents of three adorable children: Prince George, Princess Charlotte, and Prince Louis.

Born in 2013, George was William's first child. Although he'd continuously reference his overwhelming personality, the dynamic between the father and son duo is one that he's grateful for. Alongside their public displays of affection, William has built a reputation for being a dedicated father. While speaking candidly  to ABC about the challenges of parenthood, he revealed how his perspective has changed since he became a parent. "I worry about the future more," he stated. "When you have something or someone in your life to give the future to I think it focuses the mind more about what you're giving them and are you happy that you've done all you can to leave it in a good state." 

Surely enough, we could see this play out in his relationship with his eldest son. From preparing him for his potential role as monarch to teaching him about the importance of mental health, here's a glimpse at Prince William's bond with Prince George.

Prince William once described Prince George as a 'rascal'

In 2013, Prince William and Princess Catherine introduced Prince George at St. Mary's Hospital in London. Since he was born into royalty — and quickly became third in line to the British throne — George had to become a somewhat mature child in the face of prying cameras. Of course, some of his childlike endeavors were still captured by millions. Whether it be him stealing toys from other children at his first royal engagement or being disciplined by his mother outside of his aunt's wedding, we've seen George show off numerous sides of his colorful personality.

In an interview, William revealed the early signs of his overwhelming behavior. Speaking about the excitement of having his firstborn, William stated that George was quite the handful to take care of following his birth. "He's a little bit of a rascal, I'll put it that way," he said. "He reminds me of my brother or me when I was younger. I'm not sure. But he's doing very well at the moment." Deeming his son a rascal became his go-to description for George during his early years. In a 2016 interview with ABC, William suggested that not much has changed since 2013 and exposed his eldest son's personality to the general public. "George is a right little rascal sometimes, he keeps me on my toes," he quipped. "But he's a sweet boy."

Prince William got Prince George involved in agriculture

With Prince George second in line to the British throne, it's safe to assume that the soon-to-be king experiences special treatment every so often. Though that may be true to some extent, Prince William and Princess Catherine made sure their eldest child had some level of responsibility. This came to a head in 2023, when Catherine revealed how George spent his half-term break from school.

William used this opportunity to gather his tribe of kids and visit the royal family's Anmer Hall Norfolk home. Found on the Sandringham estate is a farm, which William made sure to help out with. Since his father, King Charles III, wanted the estate to transition into a full-fledged agricultural operation, William appeared to have gotten George involved in the royal family's efforts. From spotting a robot silage sweeper at the farm to having the mechanism explained to him, the doting father made it George's job to move animal feed on the estate. In addition to their efforts on the 100-acre property, the Prince of Wales told the Mirror that his children are also "trying some Agroforestry as well." While these tasks may seem strenuous for the 9-year-old, it seems that William is not only ensuring that George is prepared for his role as monarch, but also preparing him to become a hard-working adult in the near future.

Prince William was spotted easing Prince George's anxiety at Prince Philips's memorial service

Although Prince George was deemed a little rascal by his father, he is also known to be quite shy in public. This may be hard to believe since his first-ever royal engagement showcased his ability to make friends with those outside of his immediate family. Due to his ever-growing list of responsibilities, however, George seemingly has more on his plate than others his age. Sadly, this occasionally caused the 9-year-old prince to express his occasional anxiousness during public outings.

This eventually came to a head in 2023, when Prince William comforted his son during Prince Philip's memorial service. Despite the confidence George exuded earlier in the day, body language expert Nick Davies revealed that this attitude changed following the service. While William conversed with a serviceman at the event, George seemingly appeared "awkward" (via Mirror). The 9-year-old was seen grabbing his father's hands while they shook hands with a string of people in attendance. Acknowledging his apparent discomfort, William rested his hand on George's shoulder to comfort the young royal. As small as the gesture may have been, it's nice to see the doting father's awareness of how much stress the royal events have put on George.

The two are frequently sharing adorable moments during public outings

As a doting father of three, Prince William appears to tread the line between a firm disciplinarian and a jokester. William seemingly appreciates the rascal-like similarities he shares with Prince George, allowing for a well-balanced relationship with his 9-year-old prince — so much so that we tend to see moments of their deep connection whenever they make public appearances. In some instances, we may spot William comforting his son during stressful royal engagements. In others, however, we may see the two engaged in hilarious father-and-son banter.

From the two jumping in excitement at the Euro Finals in 2021 to George expressing his discomfort with his suit at Wimbledon in 2022, both William and George have shared several adorable moments during their public outings. None of them, however, could compare to their hilarious interaction during the Coronation concert in 2023. Before going on stage to give a speech regarding his father, King Charles III, the Prince of Wales was spotted enjoying the concert alongside George and Princess Charlotte. William — seemingly in a playful mood — jokingly placed the minuscule Union Jack Flag they were waving in George's face. While George appeared to play along, the doting father also tried to get Charlotte involved in their lighthearted antics, all to no avail.

Prince William revealed that he limits Prince George's screentime

Despite his hierarchy within the royal family, life at home for Prince George is generally as normal as it could get. In addition to the number of formal obligations he's been committed to, the little royal also upholds a list of chores Prince William and Princess Catherine have set in place. This doesn't mean George's home life is dedicated to work, though. Like most children his age, George has kept himself busy with a particular hobby. In 2022, however, William revealed that this specific hobby is one that they are trying to manage for the 9-year-old.

While speaking to game designers at the British Academy of Film and Television Arts (BAFTA), the Prince of Wales talked about his family's interest in video games (via Entertainment Tonight). The doting father of three admitted to the aspiring game designers that George's fascination with them caused him to control his screen time, as it can seem to get out of hand. "At the moment it's trying to regulate the gaming ... monitoring screen time," he revealed. "Got to be careful of that." Given their ages, William suggested that while they all share the same interest, George is far more absorbed in the hobby than the rest of his siblings. "The other two are a bit too small at the moment but they love the films," he stated. "I adore film and gaming as well."

Prince George allegedly warned his friends about Prince William's potential monarchy

Following the passing of Queen Elizabeth II, Prince William got closer in terms of being the presumed heir to the throne in the royal family. Alongside his numerous obligations, we can expect to see William one day rule the United Kingdom as king. This, in turn, also increased the likelihood of Prince George ruling as king someday — which was something William and Princess Catherine informed him about after initially deciding to hold off on discussing. Due to his young age, the two made sure to ease George into acknowledging his "life of future royal service and duty" (via Daily Mail).

While George's potential ruling is years away, it seems like the 9-year-old used his family's line of succession as a way to earn respect from the kids in his school. According to royal expert-slash-author Katie Nicholl, George warned his classmates of his father's position within the royal family (via Page Six). In her book "The New Royals," Nicholl wrote that the 9-year-old prince stated, "My dad will be king so you better watch out" to those who got on his bad side. Despite the apparent rascal-like behavior his father told us about, it seems that George's wisecracks were nothing more than an attempt to express his excitement for his father's future role as king.

Prince William brought Prince George to the college he used to attend

In many ways, Prince George followed in his father's footsteps in several aspects of his life. Whether it be his humanitarian efforts, gestures toward his mother, or even the outfits he chooses to wear, it is apparent to the general public that Prince William and George are like two peas in a pod. On June 22, 2023, the father-son duo began to turn heads again as the two visited Eton College — the school that William and his brother, Prince Harry, attended.

Alongside Princess Catherine, William took George to the all-boys boarding school located near their Adelaide Cottage Home (via People). Due to William's history with the academy, fans have been quick to wonder whether or not George is enrolled in school. That, however, is still unclear. Aside from the school's $20,000 per term cost – along with a $500 registration fee – kids who are not registered before June 30th of the year they turn 10 must seek possible enrollment through scholarships. Although George would have to be 13 before he could actually attend the school, registration begins early.

With George's 10th birthday and thus a tight deadline around the corner, it seems that William may have been gauging the possibility of having his eldest son attend the same school he went to. Though much isn't known about this possible venture for the future king, it is quite heartwarming to see William ensure his son gets the same education he got as a young child.

Prince William ensures that Prince George makes mental health a priority

Although the stigma surrounding discussions of mental health has shifted over the years, the royal family has recently opened up regarding the importance of mental wellness. One of the most notable figures to do so in recent memory was the late Princess Diana, who frequently opened up about her struggles with depression, bulimia, and self-harm. According to a 1995 interview with BBC's Martin Bashir, this all came to a head when she gave birth to Prince William. "You'd wake up in the morning feeling you didn't want to get out of bed," she revealed (via PopSugar). "You felt misunderstood, and just very, very low in yourself."

This openness to the discussion of mental health allowed William to do the same within his household. Thanks to his mother, the Prince of Wales understood how important it was for the narrative behind mental health to change. In an interview with CALMzine (Campaign Against Living Miserably), William and Prince Harry spoke candidly about their involvement in several organizations that help those struggling mentally. When the interviewer asked Williams about the values he wishes to implement into Prince George's life, he responded, "Catherine and I are clear that we want both George and Charlotte to grow up feeling able to talk about their emotions and feelings."

Prince William revealed that Prince George has a shared passion with his late grandmother

In 2018, BBC Radio 1 recognized several teenage heroes at their annual award show. The triad of inspirational adolescents seemingly caught the attention of the royal family as they were invited to Kensington Palace to meet with Prince William and Princess Catherine. BBC Radio 1 took to Twitter to share a two-minute video of the pair speaking with several kids about future careers and charity organizations.

One child, in particular, piqued William's interest due to his fascinating story. Hailing from Liverpool, Junior Frood is a teenager who found success as a dancer despite being bullied for it in school. Frood put his talents to good use and created a campaign with the hashtag #BoysCanDance to inspire male dancers to feel comfortable getting into the sport. While conversing with Frood, William not only encouraged Frood to continue pursuing his dreams, but also revealed that this was a shared passion between his mother and Prince George. "George is doing dancing as well, he loves it. And it's kind of ... my mother always used to dance, she loved dancing," he stated. "And if it's something you love, you do what you love. Don't let anyone else tell you otherwise. Keep at it."

Prince William wants Prince George to have a normal life

Given Prince George's guaranteed position as a future king, a life filled with royal duties and obligations is bound to come for him. Due to his age, however, this could make this a hard pill to swallow. In Robert Lacey's book, "Battle of Brothers," the royal expert claimed that Prince William and Princess Catherine spilled the news about George's future role as king on his seventh birthday (via Marie Claire). Since George is still at the age where he can't fully comprehend what being an heir to the throne means, Lacey revealed that William initially held off on discussing the details with him because he wanted to give his son "a normal family upbringing."

William expressed the same beliefs during his 2017 questionnaire with GQ. While talking about aspects of his childhood and his irregular life in the public eye, interviewer Alastair Campbell asked him about his role as a father and how he's ensuring stability within his household. "I want to bring up my children in a happy, stable, secure world, and that is so important to both of us as parents," he responded. "I want George to grow up in a real, living environment, I don't want him growing up behind palace walls, he has to be out there. The media make it harder but I will fight for them to have a normal life."