20 Jul 19
The Scottish Sun
WHEN Prince George celebrates his sixth birthday tomorrow, it will be a low-key affair. Not because of any decisions his parents have made – though they are clear about wanting their firstborn to grow up in a “normal family”.
The relaxed family gathering is what George himself has requested. Of course, when your great-gran is the Queen, “normality” is a relative term. But George has already carved out a very clear sense of how he’s going to tackle the extraordinary life he has been handed.
When Prince George celebrates his sixth birthday tomorrow, it’s clear to those who know him that the boy who will be king has already carved out a very clear sense of how he’s going to tackle the extraordinary life he’s been handed
“While the outside world sees him as an infant, George is very much his own man,” a source who has watched him grow up from close quarters tells Fabulous. “When he goes back to Thomas’ Battersea in September, his year [Year 2] will be head of the lower school.
“With younger siblings Charlotte and Louis taking a lot of the attention at home, George is learning to be more independent. Yes, he has been protected from some of the realities about being third in line to the throne, but it is almost as if he is hard-wired to feel a sense of responsibility.”
Anyone who has seen the young lad at public occasions will know that, while George has a playful side, his natural inclination is to be more serious than Charlotte.
He is also known to be shyer than his little sister, however his father Prince William, the Duke of Cambridge, has repeatedly implied in interviews that young George can be “a handful”. But what child, shovelled into their best clothes and obliged to endure a series of formal events, would not play up every now and again?
‘George is learning to be more independent. Yes, he has been protected from some of the realities about being third in line to the throne, but it is almost as if he is hard-wired to feel a sense of responsibility’
Those lucky enough to know him well say that while he may appear shy at first, once George is comfortable in your company
he is an open, chatty and deeply inquisitive little boy.
His birthday celebrations will consist of a small family gathering at Anmer Hall – the Cambridges’ Norfolk estate, where George will be spending much of the summer holidays. There is also talk of a small event for his school friends in London – but collecting together his well-heeled pals during the long summer break is easier said than done.
“George likes people,” adds the friend. “Whether he has learned this from his father or it simply comes naturally, he first likes to be sure that he can trust them. Growing up surrounded by courtiers, you learn fast that not everybody has your best interests at heart.
Anyone who has seen the young lad at public occasions will know that, while George has a playful side, his natural inclination is to be more serious than Charlotte
“He hits it off best with those people who are most comfortable in their own skin. His favourite uncle is Mike Tindall, because he larks about and never takes himself too seriously. Zara is also a massive favourite, which is hardly surprising given how fond William and Harry are of her.
SPENDING TIME WITH MUM
“Considering the huge wealth and privilege at his disposal, some people might be surprised to hear that George’s favourite things are spending time with his mum, cooking pizzas from scratch and pottering about in the garden.
“The Prince of Wales, his grandad, has been particularly delighted to see how George has taken to nature and the great outdoors.”
This has brought moments of controversy, such as the uproar when George went on his first grouse shoot last summer. But he is still largely protected from criticism in the media.
Prince George has requested a normal family birthday party – of course normal is a relative term for this young lad
Behind the scenes, George has evolved into a sweet, gentle and occasionally explosive young man. If William has at times sounded exhausted by his son, the arrival of Charlotte and Louis has put George’s foibles into perspective. For the most part he is happy to play with his growing collection of toy helicopters and explore the Norfolk countryside.
SPECIAL RELATIONSHIP WITH ‘GAN-GAN’
It is telling that the Queen, who is expert at not appearing to have any favourites, goes out of her way to spend time with young George.
For his part, George has endeared himself by selecting the nickname Gan-Gan for her.
The doting Queen, meanwhile, takes time to select little presents that she leaves at the foot of George’s bed every time he stays over. Balancing this very normal upbringing with this sensitive little boy’s exalted status is a tough job. William and Kate have thus far been at pains to protect him from the potentially overwhelming truth, yet George’s inquisitive nature has forced them to discuss elements of what is to come.
‘With younger siblings Charlotte and Louis taking a lot of the attention at home, George is learning to be more independent’
This time last year The Royal Mint cast a series of silver and gold coins to mark George’s fifth birthday. The 750 limited-edition gold sovereigns, technically worth just £5, were priced at £500 each and sold out rapidly.
Was George aware of this? It’s unlikely, but plenty of his school pals understand that their friend George Cambridge is special.
He now knows that one day he will be king – a huge issue for William in particular, who has tussled with his own destiny for many years. However, the prospect of George finding out from playground whispers was unbearable.
In the end even the highly protective Duke of Cambridge had to bow to reality.
“How can you possibly raise a child to believe he has a normal life when he gets to have tennis lessons from Roger Federer?” says the source. “Money can’t buy you that sort of thing, it comes down to prestige.
George’s favourite things are spending time with his mum, cooking pizzas from scratch and pottering about in the garden
“Like his dad, George is engaging and interested in everything he tackles. He gets on well at school, though he is not what you would describe as top of the class.
“Opportunities will arise no matter what George does, so the challenge is to motivate him to be the best he can when he has already been handed a deck of cards packed with aces.”
For now, the little prince’s world is relatively small. He enjoys spending time with his siblings, but has recently shown signs of wanting some time alone, away from it all.
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Unsurprisingly, given his parents’ athletic endeavours, George is a natural sportsman. The issue for William and Kate, however, is channelling their son’s energy.
At the moment, a talent for tennis and cricket is limited to a prodigious ability to whack the ball many a mile.
The fact that his parents have admitted to keeping George away from occasional events due to his unpredictable temper suggests a young boy testing the boundaries as he approaches another milestone in his life. What could be more normal than that?
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