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Image / Image Writes

Seeing the royal children paraded for endless public scrutiny makes me uncomfortable


By Amanda Cassidy
11th Jun 2022
Seeing the royal children paraded for endless public scrutiny makes me uncomfortable

“That Louis has ADHD, I’d guess,” the girl doing my blowdry tells me. “You can just tell.”

I look down at the newspaper I’m using to distract myself, as she flexes her rolly-brush muscles and I see another picture of Princess Charlotte, her outfits broken down into different categories; when she dressed like a tomboy, when she wore the same designer as her mother, when she wore her hair in a ponytail, and what kind of person it signified she was going to be.

Spotlight

Duke and Duchess of Cambridge have always maintained their desire to raise their trio in as normal a way as possible. And in fairness, Prince George, Princess Charlotte, and Prince Louis are largely shielded from the public eye.

Until this week.

In fact, I was surprised to see how present they were at the events to celebrate the Queen’s Jubilee.  Of course, we can’t get enough of them. The unique lives of the royal children fascinates. They are adorable, privileged, duty-bound. But the Jubilee celebrations saw their profiles raised much higher. We got a lot more airtime with them and inevitably it meant more comments and judgement, specifically about little Louis.

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He captured hearts with his playful antics when he refused to sit still despite his mother’s pleas. It lead to memes, lipreader being called in to desirer what the family was whispering, and deep-dive analysis about Kate’s parenting methods.

But I didn’t find it cute. I found it deeply uncomfortable. And they seemed uncomfortable too. The participation of the young Cambridges in royal events has become a bit of a spectacle all of a sudden.

Aren’t they too young for all this? For the responsibility of public expectations? We see the pressure it can have on grown adults (their Aunt Meghan) and grandmother (Diana). The more events they attend, the more the public will form their own opinion of the children, the more the media will play into that narrative.

Scrutiny

Of course, there is duty and royal obligation that they’ve been born into, but the media is unscrupulous and these children are just too small for the scrutiny and responsibility of public expectation being placed on their shoulders.

Even the Queen wasn’t asked to do this much so young.

I ignore the hairdresser, but the conversations about the reactions and facial expressions of the royal children has made me reflect. It’s the same reason I don’t want my children on social media too young. Because if you are told who you are before you even know it yourself, aspersions are already cast, perceptions stick. And it is then impossible to escape the persona that total strangers conjure up about you.

You end up confused about who you really are and who you are supposed to be (You just have to look at Harry to see that in motion).

Now Louis will be billed as the mischievous ‘one’. He’s barely four years old. That footage will follow him around for his entire life too.

Unique

Very few people can relate to this kind of life, so at least the children get to do this together and to share the burden and the joy of the role. But there is something very strange about seeing children thrust up like that, forced to stay still and stand up straight for the public to consume.

It’s obviously a delicate balance, and one William and Kate usually seem to handle well. But I wonder given the coverage over George, Charlotte and Louis this week, will the royal first couple pull back a little on the public outings for their offspring, who really have no say in the matter.