Royal Expert Says This Is When Prince George Found Out He Was Going To Be King

Prince George may be turning 8 in July of this year, but he's already been told about what lies ahead for him by his parents, Prince William and Kate Middleton. Royal expert Robert Lacey says George's parents told him that he was going to become king the summer he turned 7, which was in 2020. Lacey's reveal was part of his updated book "Battle of Brothers" (via the Daily Express).

Lacey's nugget fits in with what one royal insider told Us Weekly back in August of 2020 — that Prince William had already told George of his fate. But far from being stunned, the way Prince William told George about his future left the youngster interested in learning more about his family in history class. 

The insider went on to say, "As George is only 7 years old, William tries not to overwhelm him with too much information, but George is aware that there's a lot more to being king than how the role is portrayed in Disney movies and children's books."

Prince William: 'We are a normal family'

Admittedly, 7 is a bit young to be told that the rest of your life isn't likely going to be easy, but, as Robert Lacey points out, Prince George probably found out about his fate much later than most royal children in his position do. 

During a 2016 interview with the BBC, when asked whether Prince George knew that his family wasn't like the others, Prince William laid out what he thought were priorities for his immediate family in general, and for George in particular, who was then 2. He said: "... within our family unit, we are a normal family ... There will be a time and a place to bring George up, and [to help him] understand how he fits in in the world. But right now it's just a case of keeping a secure, stable environment around him and showing as much love as I can as a father."

Prince William found out about his own future in an awkward way

Prince William has some experience with finding out that his future was predetermined before he was ready to hear it. Like him, his mother Diana, Princess of Wales, had been determined to give him as normal an upbringing as possible. And according to one royal author, Andrew Morton, before he had started school, William "genuinely had no idea that he was any different from anyone else" (via the Daily Express).  

But, Morton says, that changed as soon as he started school, since other students "left him no doubt who he was." Morton said, "On one occasion a classmate reportedly asked him: 'Don't you know the Queen?' 'William looked at him and replied: 'Don't you mean Granny?'"

Princess Diana has also told outsiders in the past that William didn't want to be king when he was growing up. British broadcaster Jeremy Paxman recalls, "We [Princess Diana and I] talked about our children and she said William often told her that he didn't really want to be king, and then Harry would say, 'If you don't want the job I'll have it'" (via Woman's World). 

In a 1969 interview (via the International Business Times), William's father, Prince Charles, described the experience as one of gradual awakening. He said, "I didn't just wake up in my pram one day and say 'Yippee!' I think it just dawns on you slowly, that people are interested, and slowly you get the idea that you have a certain duty and responsibility."

William was reportedly unhappy about the way he found out about his destiny

In his book, Robert Lacey writes that Prince William's decision to speak to George in the manner that he did reflected the disquiet he felt over his own upbringing. "[There was] unhappiness at the haphazard fashion in which the whole business of his royal destiny had buzzed around his head from the start," Lacey wrote in "Battle of Brothers" (via the Daily Express).

Other royal experts like Katie Nicholl have said that George understands that he's a bit different from his siblings but that has to do with the fact that he gets to take photos with his great-grandmother, Queen Elizabeth. But Nicholl also told OK! in 2020 that she didn't think "William and Kate have made a big thing of saying to George, 'One day you will be King.' They want to protect him from that moment, so it's an idea that's being introduced to him gradually. The true enormity of what his life will one day be isn't something he's fully aware of yet."

Like Lacey, Nicholl said William had struggled with the idea of one day becoming king. "As a young man, William really struggled with that notion of kingship. The realization that he had no choice about which path his life would take, that he couldn't become a doctor or a vet if he chose, weighed very heavily on him," she said.