Royal Traditions Princess Charlotte Already Follows

Born on May 2, 2015, Princess Charlotte has grown into a charming member of the royal family. Based on a number of viral moments — such as when she reminded her brother to bow or when she graciously accepted flowers from a young boy — it seems safe to assume she is learning the royal ropes fast. Body language expert Judi James has even gone so far as to tell the Mirror that Charlotte seems to be the leader of her siblings, calling her the "royal prefect."

Sure, Charlotte enjoys "Peppa Pig" and the "Toy Story" franchise like any other kid, but let us not forget that she also happens to be the daughter of a future king. While her older brother, Prince George, is next in line after their father, Charlotte also has an important role to play within the royal family. And it seems Prince William and Princess Catherine's daughter is already stepping into her role and following many of the age-old royal traditions set by those who came before her. Let's take a look at how Charlotte is following tradition so far.

Princess Charlotte has to prove she's ready for the grown-up dinner table

While the "kids' table" is a common holiday dinner trope, royal family tradition takes it a step further. "The children always ate in the nursery until they were old enough to conduct themselves properly at the dining table," Darren McGrady, a former royal chef, dished to Hello! magazine. "So for the Queen, there was never a case of putting a high chair at the table with a little baby squealing and throwing food. It was Victorian."

From the start, Princess Charlotte (and her brothers) had to get used to not sitting with their mom and dad for Christmas dinner or Easter lunch. The same goes for official dinner functions. As Harper's Bazaar Australia reported, royal children typically do not eat with the adults until they know "the art of polite conversation" (via Marie Claire). Ingrid Seward, a royal expert, told The Sun, "The Queen always said until [royal children] could hold a knife and fork properly they could not eat at the table, but Charles might have relaxed that rule a bit." Apparently, Queen Elizabeth II also didn't allow smart devices at the table, which means no iPads to keep little ones entertained.

When it comes to informal dinners, however, Prince William and Princess Catherine regularly eat alongside their three kids. According to Woman's World, the Waleses even cook for — and with — their young ones.

Princess Charlotte sticks to the royal dress style

You may have noticed that Princess Charlotte doesn't wear super trendy or casual kids' clothes. Well, that's all thanks to royal tradition; staying evergreen is the goal. "If [the royal kids] wear very simple things, it's about the child, and it's timeless in that you can't really date a specific photo or put them in something that seems out of date," royal children's wear designer Rachel Riley said to The Telegraph. "I think they are going for clothing that is classic and timeless, rather than clothes that draw attention to them." Needless to say, you're probably not going to see Prince William and Princess Catherine's daughter out and about in a Peppa Pig tee, printed leggings, and bright Crocs.

Like so many princesses before her, Charlotte has a wardrobe full of dresses. "If you look at photos of young royal girls — from Princess Anne to Charlotte, you will notice that they tend to wear smocked dresses as little girls when they are in public with their parents," Marlene Koenig of Royal Musings told Harper's Bazaar. What's more, Charlotte's birthday outfits always keep with tradition. Year after year, the young royal has sported dresses that feature floral prints — a style that has long been popular with the girls and women of the royal family. 

Princess Charlotte keeps with royal vacation traditions

While Princess Charlotte is still too young to plan her own vacations, she certainly isn't too young to follow her family's holiday traditions. Typically, Charlotte and the other young royals spend their vacations at Balmoral, the royal residence in Scotland. As Princess Eugenie said in the ITV documentary "Our Queen at 90," the whole royal family enjoys their stays at the castle. "Walks, picnics, dogs — a lot of dogs, there's always dogs — and people coming in and out all the time," she said. "It's a lovely base for Granny and Grandpa, for us to come and see them up there; where you just have room to breathe and run" (via Vogue).

Queen Elizabeth II actually started her own tradition with her great-grandchildren when they came to visit at Balmoral. "[The queen] always leaves a little gift or something in their room when we go and stay, and that just shows her love for her family," Princess Catherine dished in the documentary "Our Queen at 90" (via Daily Record).

The Christmas after Elizabeth's death, experts guessed that Charlotte and her family would spend time at Balmoral. "I definitely think, given that the Queen died up in Balmoral Castle, and I think Charles will want to be establishing something of a familiar tradition up there, around the August period I think Kate and William would be expected to be there," historian Tessa Dunlop told OK! magazine.

Princess Charlotte follows a few royal traditions on Christmas day

Christmas is a big to-do for the royal family, and yes, Princess Charlotte and her siblings are expected to stick to a number of traditions. Some of the traditions, such as posing for the family's annual Christmas card photo, are relatively relatable. Others, like decorating the late Queen Elizabeth II's tree, are unique to the royal family. 

Oh, but family's holiday customs don't end there. Rather than open presents on Christmas Day, the royals exchange gifts on Christmas Eve as a nod to the royal family's German heritage. Christmas Day also involves a visit to church, a big royal lunch, and a traditional royal Christmas cake. "It was always fruit cake — royal icing, marzipan and the traditional fruit cake," Darren McGrady, a former chef to the royal family, dished to Hello! magazine.

That's not to say the traditions can't be bent a bit. According to Mirror, Princess Catherine once revealed that her kids woke up early on Christmas morning in 2018 to open their presents. Charlotte also follows some traditions from the other side of her family. As noted in The Telegraph, her maternal grandmother, Carole Middleton, makes a point to set up trees for each of the grandkids to decorate at her home. And when the pandemic prevented the family from getting together before Christmas 2020, Middleton shared on Instagram that she kept with tradition by decorating her tree with her grandkids virtually. 

Princess Charlotte participated in a royal first day of school tradition

In 2019, Princess Charlotte started school. As per royal tradition, her first day was abnormally public. Instead of simply dropping her off for class, shedding a few tears, and heading back home, Charlotte's parents, Princess Catherine and Prince William, allowed Charlotte to be photographed by the press. Posing for first day of school pictures is a royal family tradition that dates back to the '80s, when Prince Charles and Princess Diana were photographed dropping off both Prince William and Prince Harry for their respective first days of school.

According to body language expert Judi James, the young Charlotte looked more than ready for her first day of school. "Charlotte arrived looking bouncy and playful, pulling at Kate's hand and appearing to hide behind her mum's skirt although stepping out with an air of excitement and social confidence as the head bent to greet her," said James to Express.

When Charlotte and her brothers transferred to a new school in 2022, the royal tradition was repeated and the three young royals, once again, posed for first day photos.

Princess Charlotte goes to a traditional school

While young royals were typically homeschooled in the past, things changed in a big way when King Charles III attended a school in London before heading off to boarding school. Charles' sister, Princess Anne, also helped to change royal tradition, when, at age 13, she announced that she wanted to go to school, too. "I had a governess and two friends and that was never going to be enough, really, so I was only too pleased to be sent off somewhere else," she told Vanity Fair.

Princess Charlotte, like the royals from later generations, has grown up going to school, attending Thomas's Battersea before transferring to Lambrook School. However, she slightly broke from tradition by being one of the first royals not to attend an overnight boarding school. As parenting expert Jumaimah Hussain told Express in 2022, "It's long been thought that Kate and William would want to give their children as normal a life as possible, so sending them to boarding school doesn't seem like an option they would consider currently." Like Charles and Anne before them, Catherine and William's kids are paving their own way.

While going to school outside of the home may be a relatively new royal tradition, Lambrook School is very traditional. "The Lambrook experience combines first-class teaching and superb facilities with traditional values, set in the idyllic surroundings of 52 acres of beautiful Berkshire countryside," reads the website. Sounds perfect for the royal kids if you ask us.

Princess Charlotte may take on a traditional title

In the years to come, Princess Charlotte is sure to follow many more royal traditions. For example, experts predict that Charlotte will likely take on a new traditional title when her father, Prince William, becomes king. According to royal news presenter Christine Ross, Charlotte is likely to take the title of Duchess of Edinburgh. Prince Edward is the current Duke of Edinburgh. "After Edward dies, Charles has made it clear Charlotte (now aged seven) should become Duchess of Edinburgh," Robert Jobson wrote in his book "Our King" (via GB News). As a source said in the Daily Mail, "It would be a fitting way to remember the Queen — who, of course, had the title Duchess of Edinburgh — and a way for His Majesty to honour the line of succession."

That isn't the only title Charlotte could receive. "When William is King, Princess Charlotte will be the Princess Royal. So she will already have a special title in her own right," said Ross to the Express. The title is traditionally given to the oldest daughter of the king or queen. Currently, Princess Anne is known as the Princess Royal.