In 1948 when Britain’s Prince Charles was born, his father Prince Phillip, famously, was not by his beloved’s side, but getting in a game of squash. His grandson Prince William has made sure he got his fill of sport before his turn came around, to be a modern and loving father.
William and Kate’s behaviour is very different from his parents’, doing things together, and seeming to thoroughly enjoy it, not just role-playing.
At one recent celebrity event, William said: “To be honest, I’m over the moon just to have seen the real Batmobile and Batpod. Josh, Barry, you don’t do baby seats for those cars by any chance, do you?”
Lots of royal watchers agree that it was never a foregone conclusion that William would embrace fatherhood so warmly. His early years under the strained watch of his mum and dad, then the wrench of their divorce and then Diana’s violent death – he was very close to her – were stony ground on which to build family stability. But Kate was a different story.
Author Angela Levin said: “When Kate took him home to meet her parents, he then saw a couple who really liked each other and he could then begin to heal and watch and learn. And he’s loved that. He’s grown with that, he feels warm there, he feels comfortable, unthreatened. And that was really hugely important on his way to becoming a father.”
Kate’s choice to be with her parents after the birth was designed to get her under the searing radar of royal protocol. The bonus is that William can experience that time with her and the child free from eager outside gazes.
Kate’s multiple gifts to William don’t just benefit him – loving partner and mother of their new darling, herself having been raised in a stable and nurturing family.
According to Levin: “The baby will benefit hugely from having loving parents who enjoy each other’s company, who know each other very well, and will blossom and grow into a very confident, relaxed child.”
Perhaps putting a baby seat in the Batmobile would be going a bit far; but there is the royal barge.