They’re the doting hands-on parents who are raising their three young children to be well adjusted, happy, and in the case of Princess Charlotte, adorably sassy, while in the glare of the world’s spotlight.
But new reports have revealed Kate Middleton and Prince William don’t have custody over their children – and it’s likely that they never will.
While we all know the British royal family are bound by strict rules and exacting protocol, it turns out an ancient rule means the legal custody of Prince George, five, Princess Charlotte, three, and three-month-old Prince Louis is bestowed upon someone else.
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Who else but their grandmother, Queen Elizabeth II.
The law was passed back in 1717, with the ultimate say of the child’s upbringing taken away from the parents and lying with the monarch.
This means the Queen has the final word in matters such as education, travel and even where the child should live.
“The sovereign has legal custody of the minor grandchildren,” royal expert Marlene Koenig told news.com.au.
“This goes back to King George I [who ruled in the early 1700s], and the law’s never been changed. He did it because he had a very poor relationship with his son, the future King George II, so they had this law passed that meant the King was the guardian of his grandchildren.”
This applies to Prince Harry too, so if or when he decides to start a family with Meghan Markle, the pair will be bound by the same rule.
Despite this, experts say the Queen doesn’t have too much to do with the upbringing of her grandchildren, with the custodial role largely ceremonial.
The role will be handed on to the next reigning monarch, and should it be Prince Charles, experts say the amount of interference in Prince William and Kate’s parenting style is unlikely to change.
“[Prince Charles is] very respectful of his son’s parenting,” added Marlene.
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