Times Royals Were Parent-Shamed By Millions

Royals have been parent-shamed, just like many other fathers and mothers across the globe. For all the positives that social media has brought to the world, it's also given rise to cyber-bullying, and, when hidden behind keyboards, people become much more likely to dish out unnecessary criticisms and downright rude comments.

Parent-shaming has also become exceedingly present, though it's not limited to online attacks. Psychotherapist Heather Quinlan told Marie Claire, "Mean mom behavior can be exacerbated by shaky self-esteem and a drive to be more successful, happier, richer, prettier, and 'better than' other moms — and social media can be a triggering factor."

Celebrity parents, in particular, are frequently victim to this form of bullying with millions watching their every move online. In an ITV News interview, Meghan Markle opened up about her own struggles, telling the interviewer, "Any woman, especially when they're pregnant, you're really vulnerable, and so that was made really challenging." She's certainly not the only royal parent to experience unwanted criticism, and her openness about her struggles has shed a bright light on just how much she and her royal counterparts have had to endure as parents.

Royal Meghan Markle was parent-shamed for how she held Prince Archie

On one of Meghan Markle's first outings with her and husband Prince Harry's son Archie, the Duchess was relentlessly parent-shamed online for how she was carrying the newborn. Today reported on the backlash, citing a Twitter user who said Markle didn't have "any maternal instincts at all," among other social media comments targeting the new mom. Given Markle's comments about feeling vulnerable in her and Prince Harry's ITV News interview, we know these overly critical remarks must have hit close to home, as they would for any new mom.

Plus, remember that, since 2016, Meghan Markle has fallen in love, gotten engaged, gotten married, and become a mom for the first time. Balancing all that while joining one of the most famous families in the world is certainly no easy task, so, in the grand scheme of things, criticizing how she holds her baby is pretty low-hanging fruit. And according to an expert, the royal wasn't even doing anything wrong. 

Pediatrician Dr. David L. Hill told Today, "In general, at two months of age, there is enough head control that you don't have to constantly cradle the head."

Prince William and Duchess Kate took an adults-only vacation after George was born and were royally parent-shamed

In 2013, Prince William and Kate Middleton had their first child, Prince George. Since then, the future King and Queen, who are just two of the royals who are anything but traditional, can't seem to catch a break.

Seven months after Prince George was born, the couple came under fire when they took a parents-only vacation to the Maldives, leaving George with Kate's parents. According to the Daily Mail, critics of the couple had problems with the trip because they had just gotten back from a family vacation to Mustique. The outlet pointed to multiple comments on the site Mumsnet that parent-shamed the royals for their decision. 

One user reportedly wrote, "Can't imagine choosing to be so far from my baby for so long," while others lamented that it seemed the couple's life was turning into one endless extravagant vacation. One woman, however, commended William and Kate for prioritizing their marriage. Leaving a newborn at home was likely an incredibly difficult thing for the new parents to do, but, if it offered them a chance to take a break from their extensive duties to focus on their relationship, can they really be blamed?

Royal Kate Middleton was parent-shamed for letting Prince George play with this toy

In June 2018, Kate Middleton attended Prince William's polo match with royal children Prince George and Princess Charlotte in tow. What seemed like a quiet family outing ended up sparking very real outrage and a huge discussion. In the photos from the event, Prince George could be seen playing with toy guns. Understandably so, the internet had a ton of thoughts and were ready to parent-shame. Metro reported on the incident and pointed to several comments from disgruntled social media users to summarize the controversy. One person tweeted, "No child in this day and age should look at any gun as a fun toy. This looks far too real." 

While many, many social media users were taken aback by the images, InTouch reported that Middleton had some defenders, too. Several users pointed out how common it was for kids to have toy guns, with one person saying, "just leave the boy alone and let him be a child."

Sarah Ferguson likely embarrassed royal Princess Eugenie with cringe-inducing Twitter posts

Parents don't stop being parents when their kids grow up, and Sarah Ferguson's social media posts celebrating her daughter's engagement proved just that. When Princess Eugenie's engagement to Jack Brooksbank was announced in January 2018, Ferguson took to Twitter to share her unbridled joy at the occasion. People were divided over whether or not the multiple photos accompanied by cheesy messages were sweet or simply too much.

One of Ferguson's posts from that evening, a grainy photo of the newly engaged couple with the message "Thank you for your message and for sharing all our happiness with them and you" written over it in a script font received a few negative comments. One user said, "Keep QUIET. It's all well and good and Yes, rather exciting, but keep it in the family. Act appropriate." Some users believed this kind of over-excited sharing was not befitting of a member of the royal family, and they weren't alone in that line of thought, as others also parent-shamed Ferguson for her behavior. 

According to the Daily Mail, after Ferguson's tweets were sent, a scheduled BBC interview with her was canceled, and Prince Edward spoke to the outlet alone instead.

Royal Prince William buckled a swaddled Prince George in his car seat and faced parent-shamers' wrath

Becoming a parent for the first time comes with a host of challenges, and, when you're a royal, everything you do is under a microscope, with every tiny mistake painstakingly analyzed. The world was watching when Prince William and Kate Middleton introduced their first child to the world in 2013. While many fans of the couple were busy noticing how the pair seemed calm, cool, and collected while standing as a family for the first time on the Lindo Wing steps, others noticed something amiss with Prince George's car seat.

HuffPost reported on the controversy, sharing photos of Prince William carrying a swaddled Prince George in his car seat — a big no-no. Several people took to online forums to discuss the matter, with many parent-shaming the royals (via Mommyish). While the photos shared from the moment do indeed show Prince George not quite properly in his seat, viewers have no idea if the new parents didn't immediately correct his position when safely in their car.

One of the major issues with social media is the focus on singular moments that don't tell the entire story. It's entirely possible William and Kate knew more at that moment than the internet gave them credit for.

Royal Kate Middleton appeared on the Lindo Steps "too soon" after giving birth, said parent-shamers

The images of royal mothers on the steps of the Lindo Wing are iconic. With each of her children, Kate Middleton has appeared on the steps alongside her husband, smiling for the horde of cameras as she introduces their newest addition to the world. On some of these appearances, Middleton has even honored her late mother-in-law, Princess Diana. But even a sweet moment steeped in tradition isn't safe from parent-shaming.

In 2018, the duchess appeared on the famous steps just seven hours after giving birth to Prince Louis. While many considered this to be nothing short of inspiring — with even Serena Williams telling InStyle that Middleton was "No. 1" after this moment — she also received heavy criticism for her seemingly perfect appearance so soon after giving birth. 

According to Express, radio host Meshel Laurie was having none of this "inspiring" talk, finding all the praise Middleton received to be troubling. The host wasn't alone in these thoughts, either. Express reported that multiple people took to social media to share similar views, pointing out that they believed Middleton's appearance was creating an unrealistic expectation for new moms.

Prince George and Princess Charlotte weren't in car seats on the way to Eugenie's royal wedding

While some criticisms of the royal parents are nitpicky and inconsequential in nature, others are much more ripe for debate. In October 2018, for example, Prince George and Princess Charlotte were seen riding in the back of a car, sans car seat and seatbelt, on the way to Princess Eugenie's wedding. Understandably, this raised quite a few eyebrows. 

While this looked like a clear case of right and wrong, InStyle reported that U.K. laws regarding car seats are extremely different than those with which U.S. residents are obviously more familiar. In the U.K., children don't have to sit in car seats if they're over 3 years old, and they don't even have to use seatbelts if the car isn't equipped with them. Both things that InStyle suggested would have been applicable in this case, as the car the royals were traveling in was an old model and both children were older than 3 years old at the time. 

What's more, an expert interviewed by InStyle also revealed that, because Windsor Castle is a private property, transport safety laws would not apply. All of this, and considering the car was traveling at or slower than five miles per hour, suggests the parent-shaming the royal family received on this matter was largely unwarranted.

Princess Diana held royal newborn William in the backseat of a car

Even before the age of social media, the royal family was under the watchful eye of people the world over. And even years later, seemingly innocuous royal moments can come under scrutiny and spark parent-shaming. That was the case with a photo of Princess Diana holding a newborn Prince William in the back of a car that was unearthed by PopSugar — no car seat or seat belts in sight! However, as is the situation with so many other parenting "mistakes" made by royals, any criticism here would have likely been unfair. As PopSugar noted, when Prince William was born in 1982, the U.K. didn't have seat belt laws yet and car seats weren't widely used. 

Any criticism of Prince Charles and Diana's decision to not use a car seat would likely fall on deaf ears. By most accounts, Diana, who demonstrated a stunning transformation over the years,was a great mother who prioritized her kids and tried to show them what the world was really like (via History Extra). As with everything, context is key. Internet users with a penchant for calling out others on what they deem to be bad behavior would do well to get the full story before dishing out an opinion that may, after all, not hold up.