The Royal Children Live An Insanely Lavish Life

When Queen Elizabeth II, formerly Princess Elizabeth, was a born, the royal family's attitude subscribed to the notion that children should be seen — and only briefly — and not heard. When she later had royal children of her own, she raised them in a similar manner, relying on caretakers and brief interactions with her kids. "She had been brought up in that style herself, after all, with her parents leaving her at home and entrusting her entire schooling to a governess and home tutors," historian Robert Lacy told Town & Country. In the biography Prince Charles: The Passions and Paradoxes of an Improbable Life, it was revealed that Queen Elizabeth and Prince Charles only saw their children "after breakfast and at teatime, but in the manner of the upper class, neither of them was physically demonstrative."

Despite or perhaps in spite of the way Queen Elizabeth brought up her children, her grandchildren experienced loving, hands-on parenting. In turn, they went on to raise their children in much the same way. Today, the queen's great-grandchildren are living it up with doting parents and lavish lifestyles. Just how luxurious are their lives? Let's take a look.

The royal children enter the world at swanky hospitals

It wasn't until the late '70s that a member of the royal family gave birth outside the privacy of their own home. Princess Anne welcomed her first child, Peter Phillips, at the Lindo Wing at St Mary's hospital in London (via Metro), beginning a new tradition of royal births that include Princes William and Harry as well as royal children Prince George, Princess Charlotte, and Prince Louis.

St Mary's may not be Buckingham or Kensington Palace, but it does offer luxe maternity services. According to The Telegraph's Karen Yossman who, like Kate Middleton, gave birth at the hospital, "each new mother [is] ensconced in her own en-suite room equipped with high-speed internet, radio, safe, fridge and television." And forget hospital-grade food, as the Lindo Wing "boasts its own dedicated kitchen and sends round a waiter" for breakfast, lunch, and dinner and serves afternoon tea on "a three-tiered china cake stand."

When Prince Harry and Meghan Markle welcomed their first child, Archie, they opted for The Portland Hospital instead, which is just as, if not more, posh. The maternity hospital reportedly serves lobster, foie gras, and champagne and can cost as much as £500,000 (about $652,000) per stay, according to The Telegraph.

This is where the royal children live

Coming home from a posh hospital isn't so bad if you're returning to palace or stately house. Prince William and Kate Middleton's royal children live with their parents at 1-A Kensington Palace. Although technically an "apartment," the home reportedly has four floors and two master bedrooms and has been renovated to suit the family's needs.

After Prince George's birth, E! News reported that William and Kate's firstborn had "two nurseries to his name, one for sleeping and one for playing, as well as a built-in playground in the form of the private walled garden that can be seen from all of 1-A's principal rooms." Although George doesn't have as much space to spread out now that he's not an only child, a source told the publication that "the rooms are vast and the garden is wonderful." We're sure he's making do, to say the least.

What about Archie? George's cousin, who will likely lead a complicated life, lived at the cozy Frogmore Cottage in Windsor before Megxit. The home overlooks 35 acres and has been described as a "fortress." Prior to his birth, the home underwent a $3 million renovation to make it ready for the royal baby.

The royal children also have country homes

Living at Kensington Palace or Frogmore Cottage would be impressive enough, but the royal children also split their time between their respective main residences and country homes. For Prince William, Kate Middleton, and their children, that country home is Anmer Hall (via The Week). The ten-bedroom Georgian estate, complete with an outdoor swimming pool and tennis court, is located in the quiet town of Norfolk. William and Kate once lived at Anmer Hall full-time, but relocated to Kensington Palace in 2017, due to William's increasing responsibilities within the royal family. These days, Prince George and Princess Charlotte are thought to spend their school breaks at the estate, along with their parents and younger sibling, Prince Louis, of course (via Observer).

According to The Sun, Archie and his parents Prince Harry and Meghan Markle spend their downtime in Oxfordshire in a four-bedroom 18th century farmhouse-turned-home set upon four acres. "It's a fabulous place with stunning views and extraordinarily private," a family friend told the publication. "It's set in a small bowl of beautiful countryside so is not overlooked in any way." The property also contains a two-bedroom cottage that can be used for either staff or guests.

Even the royal children's birthday gifts are insanely lavish

While the royal family could no doubt afford the best of the best for their little ones, others enjoy gifting presents to the royal children. And some of those gifts are shockingly expensive. According to royal documents obtained by The Telegraph, the President of Mexico, Enrique Peña Nieto, and his wife, Señora Angélica Rivera, gifted Princess Charlotte a genuine silver rattle after her birth. For her first birthday, Charlotte was gifted yet another rattle. This time, an 18-karat white gold one accented with rubies, sapphires, and diamonds. The Natural Sapphire Company valued the present at £30,000 (about $39,000). Among the other gifts the princess received in her first year of life were a set of silk figurines given by President Xi Jinping of China and a rocking chair from former United States President Barack Obama and First Lady Michelle Obama.

Even their birthday cards can be pricey. On Prince George's first birthday, he was presented with what the aviation management company Hangar8 believes is the world's most expensive birthday card. The company had one of its aircraft painted with a happy birthday message, which was estimated to cost £120,000 (about $156,000).

The royal children have palace playdates

When you were little, a playdate probably didn't require much more than a phone call between parents. Playdates with royal children, however, aren't quite so simple. In 2019, a royal insider told The Sun that Prince William and Kate Middleton were "delighted that George is getting on so well at school and that he's made friends." The source continued, saying, "And just like any normal child, he has invited a few of his mates on play dates." 

That all sounds very "normal," but when you consider where George lives, this playdate becomes instantly more extravagant — not to mention complicated. "It is wonderful for them — and their parents — to go to such a beautiful and historic palace and have the run of the place," the insider prefaced. "But it does involve a bit more planning than a normal play date, as everyone visiting the palace has to be security vetted." Yes, everyone — even the little ones.

The royal children are well-traveled

A AAA survey revealed that more than a third of American families planned to take a vacation in 2016. These trips varied from visiting national parks to theme parks, but only about a quarter of families planned to travel internationally. Considering the expense of these sorts of vacations and the stress of long flights with little ones, it's easy to see why most parents opted for road trips. 

The royal children, however, become jet-setters at a young age. At just four months old, Archie accompanied his parents on a trip to South Africa (via CNN). To get there, the little one flew commercial on a nearly 11-hour flight. Although Archie was the youngest royal to have accompanied his parents on a royal tour, he wasn't the only royal baby to have flown commercial. At six months old, George flew with his mom Kate to St Lucia via British Airways for a vacation with the Middletons (via Mirror).

Despite often opting for commercial flights, the royals — including the children — aren't slumming it with the rest of us in coach. Much like celebrities, the royals fly first-class, check in separately from other fliers, and are driven to the plane.

The royal children sometimes fly on private jets

The royals and their royal children don't always fly commercially. "I spend 99% of my life travelling the world by commercial," Prince Harry told Sky News. "Occasionally there needs to be an opportunity based on a unique circumstance to ensure that my family are safe." Harry issued these comments in response to the controversy that arose when he and Meghan Markle, proponents of environmental protection, reportedly flew some four times via jet in just 11 days.

Archie was only months old when he boarded a private jet for the first time. And, if that doesn't sound lavish enough, you have to remember it was Elton John who provided the family with the aircraft to come for a "private stay at [his] home in Nice, [France]."

As of this writing, Archie, his cousins, and their respective parents have flown commercially since the public outcry, according to Travel and Leisure. However, Harry admitted to Sky News, "It is about balance, and if I have to do that [fly via private jet]... then I will ensure, as I have done previously and I will continue to make sure that I do, to balance out that impact that I have."

The royal children attend this annual exclusive event

Being born royal means that you are entitled to attend the annual Trooping the Colour. "Over 1400 parading soldiers, 200 horses and 400 musicians come together each June in a great display of military precision, horsemanship and fanfare to mark The Queen's official birthday," the royal family's site explains the Trooping the Colour event. "The streets are lined with crowds waving flags as the parade moves from Buckingham Palace and down The Mall to Horse Guard's Parade, alongside Members of the Royal Family on horseback and in carriages."

A ceremonial flyover marks the end of the celebration and is "watched by Members of the Royal Family from Buckingham Palace balcony." While members of the public can watch, only members of the royal family are permitted to stand alongside the Queen. As Town & Country revealed, there is a strict "no ring, no bring" rule. This space is designated for family — by blood or marriage — only. 

The publication also revealed that the queen's birthday celebration is "also one of the rare occasions that royal children tend to attend earlier than other public family outings." Prince Louis, for example, was just 1 year old when he attended.

The royal children sometimes wear boutique and bespoke clothing

Although the royal children often wear ready-made clothing — which often sells out immediately after being identified — and even hand-me-downs, it's thought the little ones also have a wardrobe consisting of custom-made and boutique outfits. "Mum Kate often turns to smaller, lesser-known Spanish boutique brands to dress her daughter rather than big chains, whose clothes are instantly recognizable," Hello! magazine reported in 2017.

At their Aunt Pippa's wedding, Prince George and Princess Charlotte wore custom outfits designed by Pepa & Company, the brand's designer, Pepa Gonzalez, told People. "Our designs were intended to blend in with the lovely setting for this quintessentially English and traditional wedding," she detailed. "The beautiful colors Pippa had carefully chosen for her wedding were so important to us when designing those pieces." Charlotte's full ensemble ran about $600, which is closer to what the average American bride spends on her own wedding dress

The royal children and those regal titles

Part of what separates members of the royal family with members of the public are their titles. "On presentation to The Queen, the correct formal address is 'Your Majesty' and subsequently 'Ma'am,' pronounced with a short 'a,' as in 'jam,'" the royal family's official site dictates. "For male members of the Royal Family the same rules apply, with the title used in the first instance being 'Your Royal Highness' and subsequently 'Sir.' Female royals, the site continues, are to be addressed as "Your Royal Highness" and "subsequently 'Ma'am.'"

You may think of these formal titles as being used to address adults, but they are actually assigned at birth. After royal children Princess Charlotte, Prince George, and Prince Louis were born, they were given the titles of "Her Royal Highness" or "His Royal Highness," depending on the child's sex. 

Unlike his cousins who are closer in line to the throne, Archie was not bestowed a royal title. However, you will notice a title in front of his name. In lieu of a courtesy title, royal expert Emily Andrews tweeted after his birth that he was to be "Master Archie."

The royal children don't attend your average schools

When Princes William and Harry were young, they set a precedent for future royals by becoming the first to attend nursery school, as noted by Town & Country. When William had children of his own, he and Kate Middleton decided to enroll their firstborn George at Westacre Montessori School when he was 2 and a half years old. When Charlotte turned that age, she, too, began attending school. Since the family had relocated to London by then, she was enrolled at Willcocks Nursery School. At the same time, George switched to a London-based school, Thomas's London Day School in Battersea (via Observer). In September 2019, Charlotte joined her brother there.

This school isn't just your regular, run-of-the-mill institution, though. The Good Schools Guide states that the independent school for children aged 4 to 13 costs £19,287 to £21,786 (about $25,236 to $28,506) per year. The tuitions cover the cost of "a 'particularly strong' music [department]" which "hosts over 400 individual lessons a week." The site further adds that the drama department is "full of West End wow" as "the Thomas's schools have their own technical [department] staffed by industry professionals." Yes, the royal children's school is quite remarkable.

The royal children receive etiquette training

Just being born into British royalty doesn't mean having an innate sense of royal conduct. That's where etiquette training comes in. "Prince George and Princess Charlotte's etiquette education likely started as soon as they could attend events with their family," royal etiquette expert Myka Meier revealed to Cosmopolitan. "It would probably begin with simple training like how to shake hands and curtsy around the age of two." Two

The first stage of training would likely be introduced to them by their mother, according to the expert and, because the royal children are immediately immersed into the royal family with all of its codes of conduct, many of their lessons will continue to take place informally. "Growing up in the Palace would mean that training is much less a course or official training, and more day-to-day observation and gentle lessons right before an event or when meeting an important guest to help prepare them," Meier explained. Learning proper etiquette will likely take some time as there are a lot of insane rules that royal children have to follow, as well as the royal family dress code.

The royal children are literally worth billions

A life full of jet-setting, receiving expensive presents, and hands-on etiquette training sounds posh enough without having to crunch the numbers. But, uh, let's take a look at those numbers anyway. According to CNN Money, it will likely cost Prince William and Kate Middleton $1 million to bring Prince George up to adulthood, which is over $630,000 more than the average parent in the UK. Considering their additional two children, William and Kate's parenthood costs may reach as high as $3 million. Likewise, Prince Harry and Meghan Markle could be looking at $1 million to raise Archie to adulthood. 

Despite costing their parents a pretty penny, these little royals are worth a lot to the British economy. In September 2017, Brand Finance valued royal children Charlotte and George's "annual contribution ... to the UK economy at £101 million [$132 million] and £76 million [$99 million] respectively." Immediately after Prince Louis and, later, Archie were born, they, too, began adding millions to the economy.

By 2018, CNN Money revealed that Prince George was worth around $3.6 billion to the British economy whereas sister Charlotte was worth $5 billion.