Prince William and Harry reminisce about childhood
Prince William was “traumatised” when it dawned on him that he was going to be King one day, a royal commentator has said.
Monique Jessen, People’s royal correspondent, said that when the Prince of Wales was growing up, what his future held was never explained to him.
Instead, he was left to make the realisation on his own which he found both “troubling” and “traumatic”.
However, Ms Jessen believes William has set out to ensure that the same does not happen with Prince George, who turned 10 on the weekend.
With the late Queen Elizabeth passing and his grandfather taking to the throne in May, the young Prince has moved further up the order of succession, into the very position William spent his entire life up until last year.
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When George was just three years old, William said in an interview that he would at one point explain how he fits in the world, but his priority at that time was simply to love him as much as possible.
He told the BBC in 2016: “There’ll be a time and a place to bring George up and 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.”
In light of this, Ms Jessen believes William and Kate, Princess of Wales, have spoken with their eldest son.
Speaking on the Royally Obsessed podcast, released on July 20, she said: “I think [George] is now [aware of his destiny]. I think that’s a conversation which definitely has happened.”
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She continued: “I think it definitely has by now because we’ve seen him do quite a few engagements on his own. He had certain things that he did with the late Queen and Philip, and I think it’s a fine line. They want to prepare him and they also don’t want to terrify him…
“Also, I think William found it quite traumatic when he just wasn’t told when he was grown up and everyone expected him to know and that realisation and that dawning was quite troubling for him. He’s definitely going to want to do things very differently for George.”
Broadcaster Jeremy Paxman, in his 2019 documentary Paxman on the Queen’s Children, recalled Princess Diana talking to him about her son’s future and how he was unsure of taking on the top job.
He said: “We 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’.”
In his 2011 book William and Catherine: Their Lives, Their Wedding, Andrew Morton similarly recounts how William was oblivious to the full extent of what lay before him until he was slapped in the face by the truth at school.
The royal biographer wrote: “Before William attended school, he genuinely had no idea that he was any different from anyone else. His innocence of his position was soon ended by fellow pupils, who left him in no doubt who he was.
“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?’
“Unsurprisingly, Harry was not slow to join the teasing of his older brother. When William said once that he would like to be a policeman and look after his mother, Harry told him emphatically: ‘You can’t, you have to be King.’”
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