Kate Middleton and Meghan Markle: The Differences in the Duchesses' Parenting Styles
| LAST UPDATE 03/14/2022
Being a parent is no easy task, and it's even more challenging to get it done with royal protocol and the world watching! Duchesses Meghan Markle and Kate Middleton are working their way through it all - each in their own style.
1. The Freshmen of the Monarchy
The Duke and Duchess of Cambridge have made three additions to the royal family, Princes George and Louis and Princess Charlotte. So Duchess Kate Middleton has been a mother in the public eye for a while.
On the other hand, a bit newer to the parenting game are Prince Harry and Princess Meghan, who welcomed their first child, Archie, in 2019, and their second in June of 2021. Let's dive into the distinct parenting styles of the iconic Duchesses Meghan and Kate.
2. Kate Middleton in the Public Eye
The Duke and Duchess of Cambridge wasted no time in introducing the world to their newborn. At just two days old, little Prince George already appeared in front of the camera. His picture was taken as he nested in his mother's arms just outside of St. Mary's hospital in London, where he was born the day before.
The appearance was the first of many for young George. Prince William, however, has tried to limit his son's exposure to the public, saying, "I don't want him growing up behind palace walls; he has to be out there. The media make it harder, but I will fight for them to have a normal life."
3. Meghan Markle in the Public Eye
Unlike Prince William and Princess Kate, Meghan and Harry made the decision to shelter their children from public attention. Furthermore, they decided to leave out their son Archie's title after he was born, introducing him as Archie Harrison Mountbatten-Windsor.
The Duke and Duchess of Sussex further distanced themselves from life under the spotlights when they announced that they were going to retire from fulfilling their royal duties. The couple subsequently moved to L.A., where they would give their son "the most normal upbringing possible," as Prince Harry put it.
4. The Christenings of the Royal Children of Cambridge
It's a royal tradition that all children of the royal family undergo a christening. Prince William and Princess Kate upheld this tradition and had all of their children christened shortly after they were born. Photographs of the family taken before the ceremony were shared with the public.
Details of the children's christenings were shared, including the godparents who were chosen for the infants. The media also reported that the children wore Queen Victoria's daughter's christening robe, used in every royal christening. The couple even kept with tradition by serving some of the carefully preserved top-tier of their wedding cake.
5. The Christenings of the Royal Children of Sussex
Meghan and Harry did not break the royal tradition of christening their children. Their son Archie was christened by the Archbishop of Canterbury, who also performed the ceremonies for the royal children of Cambridge. However, Archie's christening did differ a bit from the christenings of Prince William's children.
Archie's baptism was kept private, with the child's godparents remaining unannounced. Furthermore, unlike any other royal member, the Duke and Duchess released the first photos of the event on Instagram. It's also probable that their wedding cake - a sponge cake, which doesn't get preserved for long - wasn't served at the ceremony.
6. The Children of Cambridge and the Line of Succession
The line of succession, a strict law in the royal tradition, dictates who is next in line to rule the monarchy. Prince William is second in the line of succession to the throne, making his eldest son, Prince George, likely to one day assume the throne.
When Queen Elizabeth passes away, Duchess Kate Middleton and her children will become members of the ruling family. Naturally, all eyes are on this royal couple of Cambridge to raise their children - especially young Prince George - according to royal tradition.
7. The Children of Sussex and the Line of Succession
By contrast, no such pressure falls on the family of Sussex, seeing as their son Archie is seventh in the line of succession and is unlikely to ever assume the throne. What makes it even more unlikely is that Archie does not hold a royal title and is instead referred to as Master Archie Harrison Mountbatten-Windsor.
Harry and Meghan have further distanced themselves from the throne by renouncing their roles and giving up their titles. They are no longer addressed as His or Her Highness. Their choice for the name 'Archie' also expresses their desire to break away from royal tradition since it's not a name given to royal family members.
8. The Citizenship of the Children of Cambridge
The Duke and Duchess of Cambridge had all three of their children at St. Mary's Hospital in London, England. Since they were all born in the United Kingdom, the Cambridge siblings are all British citizens. They reside at Kensington Palace with their parents.
The children are very engaged with British culture. The elder two attend Thomas's Battersea Day School in London and take tennis lessons at Hurlingham Club. Princess Charlotte also takes ballet classes at a dance school in south London and has gone to watch The Nutcracker at the Royal Opera House.
9. The Citizenship of the Children of Sussex
The children of Sussex have a different upbringing and future than their royal cousins. Prince Harry was born and raised in London, and Meghan in Los Angeles, California. With his parents being of different nationalities - his father British and his mother American - Archie currently holds dual citizenship.
Like his nationality and heritage, Archie's life up until now has been a mix between the United States and the U.K. He was born in London and lived the first few months of his life in Windsor, England, before his family moved to Vancouver Island, Canada. The family of Sussex now lives in Los Angeles, California.
10. Kate Middleton's Thoughts on Being a Mom
To the delight of other British mothers, the Duchess of Cambridge has spoken publicly about the joys and difficulties of being a parent. She has even spoken with Giovanna Fletcher, the host of Happy Mum Happy Baby, about her experiences of motherhood.
Kate's openness in sharing her easygoing approach to caring for her children has been relatable to some British mothers, despite her being a royal figure. The Duke and Duchess even engage in philanthropic causes for children, including advocating for children's mental health.
11. Meghan Markle's Thoughts on Being a Mom
As opposed to the Cambridge family, Prince Harry and Meghan are more private about their lives as parents. Unlike Princess Kate, who always shares the pictures she takes of her children, the Duchess of Sussex rarely shares photos of Archie, except for a select few on her Instagram page.
According to reports, Meghan Markle commonly does not speak about her parenting experiences or her kids. This is likely because of her and Prince Harry's desire to raise their children as private citizens and allow very little information about their private lives to the media or press.
13. Fashion: the Family of Cambridge
Much to the delight of the British public, Kate Middleton and her children are regularly seen wearing clothes designed by British fashion designers. The outfits that are worn by them are sometimes later reported to have sold out since they became popular among fans of the British royal family.
The clothing worn by the royal members of the family of Cambridge is regularly displayed in photographs of their public appearances. Their dress style is also frequently commented on by tabloids and newspapers, giving quite a promotion to the fashion designers who create their outfits.
14. Fashion: the Family of Sussex
The royal family of Sussex, on the other hand, has decided to pass on the glamorous designs by huge brands. Instead, they choose more modest outfits for themselves and their children. On their trip to Africa, Archie was reported to have worn a pair of blue and white striped overalls from the clothing company H&M.
It seems the Duke and Duchess of Sussex regularly dress their son in affordable clothes, for Archie was also seen wearing a knit hat from a charitable organization in New Zealand. It was also reported that Meghan donated many of her son's outgrown clothes to a charity in Cape Town.
15. The Nanny of the Children of Cambridge
The Duchess of Cambridge has often spoken of the difficulties of motherhood, but she does not forget to mention the helping hand at her service. Kate Middleton's children have a caretaker, Maria Borrallo, who graduated from a well-respected school for childcare training. She has been working for the family since 2014.
The nanny has provided the royal family of Cambridge with a variety of duties when it comes to caring for the children. Not only does she help prepare the family's meals, but she has also been taught how to protect the young princes and princess from the paparazzi. She has even reportedly taught the children Spanish.
16. The Nanny of the Children of Sussex
While Prince William and Princess Kate have had the help of Maria Borrallo for over seven years, the Duke and Duchess of Sussex have had more than one caretaker for their children. Since Archie's birth, the couple has hired and fired three nannies, although they have never made the identities of the nannies public.
After moving to Los Angeles, Harry and Meghan decided it best for Meghan's mother, Doria Ragland, to move in and help take care of Archie. Since she is a certified yoga teacher, Ragland has also helped her daughter physically recover from her pregnancy.
16. Kate Middleton's Quality Time With Her Children
As a lover of the outdoors, Kate Middleton enjoys spending time with her children doing gardening-related activities. During a visit to a school, she shared, "I've got such fond memories of being in the garden and being outside from my own childhood, and I'm sharing that with my own children, George and Charlotte, at the moment."
The family has brought the love of gardening to their vacation home, Anmer Hall, where they have planted a vegetable patch. There, the children even built a chicken coop. On their official Instagram page, the Duke and Duchess have posted pictures of their flowering garden at their home in Kensington Palace.
17. Meghan Markle's Quality Time With Her Children
Although Meghan does share Kate's love of gardening, her favorite activities that she involves her children in are likely more suitable for indoors. Some fans suspect that yoga will become a bonding activity for Meghan and her baby, just as it was for her and her own mother.
In addition to yoga, Meghan is known for her love of books and has even shared a video in which she reads to baby Archie. It seems that reading is another passion she may pass on to her children. The Duchess has also expressed her fondness for cooking and has said she enjoys preparing meals for her family.
18. Grandparents: The Children of Cambridge
The grandparents of George, Charlotte, and Louis have full-heartedly accepted their roles within the royal family. Carole and Michael Middleton have been photographed attending royal events with the Duke and Duchess and playing with their grandchildren.
Carole Middleton once shared with The Telegraph her fear of losing her daughter once she became the Duchess of Cambridge. She went on to say that their family is still close, years after her daughter married Prince William. Kate Middleton's parents have since become important members of the extended royal family.
19. Grandparents: The Children of Sussex
Meghan Markle has not hung back on sharing the strong relationship she has with her mother, Doria Ragland. What some fans described as the "most touching" photos of the wedding were those in which Meghan's mother appeared, looking emotional and proud of her daughter.
Because Meghan is Doria Ragland's only child, the bond between the mother and daughter is especially strong. The Duchess told Glamour magazine, "We can just have so much fun together, and yet I'll still find so much solace in her support." According to reports, Ragland will move in with Harry and Meghan in Los Angeles to help take care of the children.
20. Cooking for the Kids: The Duchess of Cambridge
Despite the many professional chefs whose jobs are cooking for the royal family, Kate's children reportedly enjoy whipping up their own homemade meals. With the help of their parents, the young princes and princess can prepare a variety of dishes, from pizza and pasta to pastries.
Young Prince George has even once prepared Christmas pudding with his father, a family moment that was photographed and shared with the public. Kate has mentioned jokingly to BBC Breakfast that "[her] children have bottomless pits" and that "[she feels] like a constant feeding machine."
21. Cooking for the Kids: The Duchess of Sussex
The culinary style of Meghan Markle differs greatly from that of the Duchess of Cambridge. While Kate's children love to prepare pizza and sweets, Meghan is all about a healthy lifestyle. She loves to cook and tries her best to eat mainly vegan organic food.
Before marrying into the royal family, Markle owned a lifestyle blog called The Tig, where she shared nutritious meals. Daniel Martin, one of Meghan's close friends, told CBS that he's confident Meghan's child will inherit her health-conscious habits. "I'm sure the baby's going to be raised clean and green," he shared.
22. Baby Showers: Kate Middleton
Although American mothers-to-be look forward to celebrating their pregnancy with their loved ones, it's very uncommon among the British. This is especially true for members of the royal family; royal commentator Victoria Arbiter explains that, for a royal mother-to-be, "a lavish baby shower would be seen as highly inappropriate."
Instead, explains Arbiter, the British "tend to give gifts after the baby is born." Specifically for royal family members, any gifts received must be "respectfully returned" since they are expected to have enough money to buy their own. And with their multi-million net worths, we're sure they do.
22. Baby Showers: Meghan Markle
Unlike Kate, Meghan decided to celebrate her baby shower in keeping with American tradition. It was reported that Meghan took a private jet to New York City seven months into her pregnancy to meet her loved ones for her shower. The party, planned by Markle's good friend and tennis star Serena Williams, reportedly cost $200,000.
There was a mixed response among the British press to the new royal's baby shower. There was some criticism regarding the amount of money spent on the shower, including the cost of the private jet which flew Meghan to New York. However, for the Duchess, it was important to celebrate this chapter of her life with her close ones.
24. Career Possibilities for the Royal Family of Cambridge
As per tradition, members of the royal family usually choose careers related to civil service. For example, Prince William served in the Royal Air Force as an air ambulance pilot. Kate Middleton worked in many jobs before becoming Duchess of Cambridge, including working as a buyer for an accessories company.
It's expected that the children of the Duke and Duchess will be working royals, as were their parents. Although they are traditionally presumed to work in civil services, they also have the option to fulfill meaningful passions and projects, such as working with charities and organizations.
25. Career Possibilities for the Royal Family of Sussex
As a private citizen, Archie won't be restricted by royal titles and expectations. Unlike his cousins, he will not be expected to perform royal duties, making him free to pursue various possibilities. There is some speculation about the career path the young boy might choose, given the diversity of his background and heritage.
Some believe that the boy may find a career in the armed forces, like his father. Others say he may choose acting, like his mother. Archie has cousins in the royal family to look to for possibilities, such as Princess Beatrice of York, who works at a tech firm, or Princess Eugenie of York, who is a director at an art gallery.
26. Holiday Celebrations With the Royal Family of Cambridge
Families commonly have unique traditions when it comes to celebrating the holiday season. And the royal family is no different! The extended family usually spends every Christmas at Sandringham House in Norfolk, where they engage in some of your typical Christmas activities, as well as some not-so-typical others.
The royal clan usually spends Christmas Eve exchanging meaningful gifts, followed by the annual "Christmas walk" on December 25th from Sandringham to St. Mary Magdalene. The family members then return to Sandringham for lunch, after which they watch the Queen's pre-recorded Christmas speech to the nation when it airs at 3:00 p.m.
27. Holiday Celebrations With The Royal Family of Sussex
Across the Atlantic, Harry and Meghan have spent the past three holiday seasons in North America, away from the British royal family. In 2019, the Duke and Duchess celebrated Archie's first Christmas in Canada and were in California for the past two holiday seasons.
This year, with the arrival of their baby daughter Lili, the family has expressed their happiness at celebrating the holiday season together as a family of four. Although they have not been participating in the traditional festivities of the extended royal family, they are creating their own traditions in California.
28. Schools for the Royals of Cambridge
The young princes and princess of Cambridge currently attend Thomas's Battersea Day School in Southwest London, and the public is speculating where they may go to school next. A likely candidate is the famous Eton College, where Prince William and Prince Harry were educated in their youth.
The school, located near Windsor Castle, might be the Duke and Duchess' schooling choice if they decide to move to Windsor. Not far from the Eton College is St. Mary's School, where Prince William's cousin, Lady Louise Windsor, is currently enrolled. It's possible that Princess Charlotte may begin to attend St. Mary's as well.
29. Schools for the Royals of Sussex
Though he's still too young for grade school, there's already a difference in the schooling choices between the royals of Cambridge and the Duke and Duchess of Sussex. While Prince George and Princess Charlotte go to schools previously attended by royal family members, young Archie has been enrolled in a regular nursery school.
The name of Archie's California preschool was not shared with the public, and Archie is able to live a normal two-year-old life there. According to The Mirror, one of the parents at the school has said, "They don't know his parents are royalty, and probably wouldn't care—unless Meghan was a Disney princess."
30. One Similarity Outweighs the Differences
It's not that hard to notice that there are pretty big differences in parenting style between the Duchess of Cambridge and the Duchess of Sussex. However, what's also easy to see is that they do have one thing in common: filling the hearts of their kids with so much love!
Whether we're watching Princess Kate embrace her role in the royal family, or Meghan Markle trying to get away from it all, we can tell these mothers are doing something right. As they nurture their young children, we're waiting to watch them grow into the roles the world has waiting for them.