Us Weekly: Will & Kate ‘are keen’ to give the kids an unplugged childhood

Justin Bieber allegedly hits a paparazzo!

Us Weekly’s cover story this week is all about the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge and how they’re raising their children. I would normally think that all of this is just made up by Us Weekly royalists, but a source uses the word “keen” and now I’m a believer. Now I think Poor Jason Knauf is calling up Us Weekly to dish on how Will and Katie Keen are super-keen to make life for their children very, very normal. Some highlights from the cover story:

So keen. A Middleton family insider says the duo “are keen” to give the future monarchs — George and Charlotte are third and fourth in line for the British throne, respectively — a life outside the palace’s gilded walls. “While they feel it’s important to make them aware of their backgrounds,” says the insider, “it’s also vital for both George and Charlotte to have as much normalcy in their lives as possible.”

An unplugged childhood. A source close to the couple reveals they’ve banned iPads at home. “They’re very much seen as Mummy and Daddy’s toys, not for children,” says the source. “As two people who grew up without gadgets for entertainment themselves, William and Kate are firm believers in toys, outdoor play and encouraging an active imagination.” Adds a palace insider, “They’re very much a normal family.”

George & Will. Us Weekly says George and William spend a lot of time together and George “is at an age where he’s starting to realize that the world he lives in is different to his friends,” says a source. So when he and William strap on helmets and ride bikes around their 10-bedroom Georgian mansion in the sleepy Norfolk village of Anmer (a source says George peddles without training wheels!) George peppers him with inquiries. He’s full of questions and curiosity about everything around him,” explains the source. “He’s growing up to be a very confident young boy.” And a bright one, too. William recently confided to a pal that their conversations “are surprisingly deep,” says the source. “William says his view of the world is absolutely fascinating.” And the former East Anglian Air Ambulance pilot gets an earful of Georges’s opinions often. Notes the source, “George is very close to his father.”

Charlotte is especially close to her mom. The tot, due to start preschool in 2018, is so close to Kate that those close to the duchess joke “that Mummy definitely has a shadow,” says the Middleton family insider. “Wherever Kate goes, so does Charlotte.” That means she logs a lot of hours inside the 18th-century spread’s recently renovated kitchen. “Whenever the housekeeper or Kate are preparing food, Charlotte needs her own toy set by her side to imitate,” explains the family insider. Among her favorite options: sets of wooden toys from U.K. shop JoJo Maman Bébé and anything Disney princess; though, says the family friend, “I don’t think it’s quite dawned on her that she’s a princess herself.”

[From Us Weekly]

I think some of this is true, like the parts about Charlotte following Kate around and the Cambridges stressing an unplugged childhood. That seems realistic. I don’t know if I believe that William and George spend a lot of time together though, just like I don’t really think George is brimming with confidence. That’s not a knock on George at all, but from what we’ve seen of him, he seems to be growing into a shy, hesitant kid who doesn’t seem comfortable with the attention. As for this huge stress that they are super-keen on normalcy… it’s the same as always. They really have no idea what normal is for most families. Will and Kate are play-acting their idea of “normal,” because they think multi-million dollar palace renovations (at taxpayer expense) is normal. They think it’s normal to have a support staff of secretaries, nannies, terrible stylists and a phalanx of yes-men.

Speaking of yes men, I enjoyed Tom Sykes’ take on the Germany-Poland tour at the Daily Beast. Go here for a good read.

The Duke and Duchess of Cambridge arrive at Berlin Tegel airport

William Kate Hamburg depart

Photos courtesy of WENN.

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91 Responses to “Us Weekly: Will & Kate ‘are keen’ to give the kids an unplugged childhood”

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  1. littlemissnaughty says:

    I’m appalled that Catherine and the “monarchs” (WTF?) have to share a cover with Jenelle. People really dropped the ball here.

    I almost got reacquainted with my lunch just now. This is some hacky writing.

    • bettyrose says:

      That caught my attention too, but really is it that appalling? The teen mom celebrity worship is gross, but all thee of the women on this cover were pimped out as teens towards the ultimate goal of fame and fortune. Is one really worse than the other?

  2. Sixer says:

    “but a source uses the word “keen” and now I’m a believer”

    Ok, I’m going to be laughing at this for the entire afternoon. Good one, Kaiser.

    That said, I’m going to doubt A Source because A Source said “normalcy” and that is American English. It’s “normality” in Britisher English.

    • Mermaid says:

      I’ll believe you on this one @Sixer. These are nice pictures of them. Good for them not letting the kids have iPads. Mine do have iPads and I have them in summer camps all day to keep them off the iPads and physically active.

      • Susannah says:

        I read an article awhile back where William mentions that George loves his iPad and playing games on it. William said that George is especially good at using it the way kids are and picked up on it quickly. I think it was before Charlotte’s birth that I read that though, so maybe things have changed now .

      • Sixer says:

        That bit about the iPads sounded like virtue signalling to me (whether on the part of Bill and Cathy or A Source).

        I mean, they’re a good thing. It’s only when iPads come at the expense of everything else that they’re a bad thing.

    • frisbee says:

      I had a bit of a rant but did miss ‘normalcy’ which you’re right is US and not British English. Doubtful if this is a genuine source but it does fall into the ‘image’ they are trying to put across of a ‘normal’ happy family, their version as we know is as far away from huge majority of the population as it’s possible to get.

    • Megan says:

      Daily Mail writes much better fan fiction.

    • notasugarhere says:

      Sixer, normalcy vs. normality could be insider Jason letting his ‘Murican slip again.

    • Lurker says:

      On the other hand tabloids often re-write quotes to be in American English, so it doesn’t follow that the source used that word themselves.

    • bettyrose says:

      You probably already know this, but we made our break with the more traditional term “normality” when it was coined as a PR phrase during a presidential campaign: (cuz people like them candidates talk just like normal folk).

    • Royalsparkle says:

      GB UK CW taxpayers – Duchy is NOT handing over milliondS for the lazy entitled useless middletond lack of service – Willnot Katnot to choose they want to be raising 4 kiddies to be Unplugged. They ae handed all the status and perks to serve represent the people as Royals. .

  3. Millennial says:

    My 2 year old has his own Kindle to watch for an hour a day (honestly, that’s how he learned most his colors and numbers!) I would say that letting kids play with phones/tablets is pretty normal these days. It’s just about the only way chores get done in my house! But I guess if you have a maid and a chef and a nanny, you don’t have to worry about distracting your child so you can get work done around the house!

    • Canadian Becks says:

      And in fact, “if you have a maid and a chef” and (multiple) nannies, you don’t have to worry about work getting done in the first place.

      • bluhare says:

        I now wonder about the multiple nannies. I thought that people who said they have more than one (outside of night nannies at birth) were probably drinking too much haterade again, but then they had that staff photo in Germany and Maria was in it but no kids! So if Maria wasn’t with the kids in Germany, who was?

      • Deedee says:

        There was also an article that mentioned George having many “playdates” with his sister and I thought, “What? They’re siblings,” but then I thought they probably each have their own nanny and spend most of the day doing their own things.

      • notasugarhere says:

        Good catch, bluhare. Where exactly were the kids when that staff photo was taken? With another nanny/s is a logical bet. The constant lies and games around the amount of staff they have at home is annoying. We know they have help, loads of it, so why keep lying? Well, they lie about so much else, why not about that too?

      • Megan says:

        It makes sense that they would have more than one nanny when they travel since Maria cannot be expected to work 24 hours a day.

      • bluhare says:

        You’re probably right, Megan. I just find it odd that there’s so much discrepancy when it comes to staffing. They always talk about one nanny, not more than one. Although I assume she sleeps when the kids do, so not 24/7. Just 16/7. 🙂

        nas, just so you know I’m not totally coated in sugar. 😀

      • graymatters says:

        Deedee, I read that as George and Charlotte go together on playdates with other children.

      • magnoliarose says:

        They probably have Junior Nannies under Nanny Maria’s supervision. I would think they have 2 or 3 of them.

      • Royalsparkle says:


        The kannot abd Bly middleton in Belguim commerating the 1st day WWI in HELL- in white grinning like a celebrity.

        While the Queen of Belguim and May in darker colours.

    • BLewis says:

      I hate this underlining shaming of parents that let their kids use electronics. I understand entirely that the negative side of electronic devices can take over quickly and that children’s time needs to be monitored and timed. However, like you said about your child learning colors and numbers…there are a vast amount of ways to make the children’s interactions with electronics educational and useful. It is not an all or nothing and parents are not better for doing it one way or another. Electronics like Ipads and Kindles have become very much ingrained in society and they can be incredibly helpful for some children’s learning styles so ….would banning kids from them really make them “very much a normal family”. I don’t understand how that makes them normal…I think if they wanted a more normal life for their children they would not use all nannies, cooks, maids, assistants, etc. Not saying there is anything wrong with that, people need help but just quit it with the “normal family” shit.

      • Adele Dazeem says:

        A generation ago the exact same debate was raging over television. There’s always something to shame frazzled parents with.

      • Lurker says:

        And a few generations before that, letting your children read books was considered brain rotting!

      • SoulSPA says:

        If they wanted to be “normal” let us start with the two parents getting full time jobs and putting children in day care or school depending on the age. Work their a**es off to be able to pay for everything, including day care/school. Get the maximum allowed numbers of vacay per year. Live within the means of earned income for 40+ hours per week.

        Or just stop using the word “normal”. “Normal” can be defined in many ways. I get slightly offended when royals use that word. Uber rich people including other aristos are a league on their own so I will not comment on that. But hearing “normal” from royalty makes my blood boil a bit. They are only normal as far as they do their bio needs. And spending family time, playing a bit in the kitchen, watching tv and shopping. All the rest is immense privilege earned by virtue of birth or marriage.

      • magnoliarose says:

        I totally agree. I don’t let my children hang on them all day but we do live in a tech era. My littles play with each other but sometimes my oldest wants to play on it and Skype family. There are so many things to worry about as a parent this is not one of them.

      • Royalsparkle says:

        Most everything in life prepares us – kids are no diffetent -so long as monitored and with care and moderation.

  4. LadyMTL says:

    Maybe if they let George wear actual long pants every now and then he’d feel a bit more confident? 😛 I mean really, he’s an adorable little boy but I don’t think I’ve ever seen him in anything that hits below the knee. He’s 4, I think he can handle it now.

  5. bluhare says:

    I believe George is a confident talkative boy who’s close to his dad. A lot of kids are one way at home and totally different outside the comfort zone, especially if they aren’t in the mood for it!

    • perplexed says:

      I agree. The level of attention he gets from the public is also different from the average kid’s.

    • minx says:

      Agree. William and Kate are pampered poodles, to be sure, but I think they are decent parents and they love their kids.

      • Royalsparkle says:

        But who wouldnt – the kids is waity carol and middletons meal and status tickets to royalty. And with 2d mom Namny Maria always at the ready to relief Kate wjy wouldnt she – she whiny bill are not normal hands on parents. Especially Kannot middleton coming from working class.

    • Royalsparkle says:

      I agree!
      Except when both kiddies and lazy waity around i am a prince – everyone come to a halt in the middleton lambridge and seem to tone down to not outshine whiny Willnot.

  6. Maria says:

    Reading the article, it does sound like a normal family. At no time is Nanny Maria mentioned, which I think is odd. And Kate prepares meals along the housekeeper, yeah, sure. All of this is PR trying to convince the plebs that really they’re just like them. I’m getting tired of this “see we’re just like you”. Play dates with the queen, what about with Grandad Charles?

    • bluhare says:

      I think Kate does cook. William apparently likes the cosy family life he thinks everyone else has. So I think she does. But she also has the luxury of staff when she doesn’t want to or feel like it. Although I’ve read she doesn’t like a lot of staff because she thinks they look down on her.

    • Enough Already says:

      Agree, I’ve read the same. Probably lots of fun, Friday night cook-ins with William and a glass of wine or attempts at a gourmet recipe she may have stumbled across but certainly not everyday dinner for four. She’s not taking clothes out of the dryer waiting for the chicken breasts to thaw out :/

    • magnoliarose says:

      People get judgmental about Nannies and shame the mother about having them. I grew up with Nannies so I don’t think of them as negative but other people want to make you justify having one. They get really nosy about it. Anything to make a mother feel defective. She probably felt like it was better to avoid criticism.

      • notasugarhere says:

        We all know they have help, which they have lied about from day one. Most working royals have nannies (one exception being Marie of Denmark, but she is a minor working royal). The point is they have that help so they can do their royal jobs. When they have all that help and still fail to do their jobs, that’s when the questioning and criticism comes in.

      • Royalsparkle says:

        But a huge difference as a royal with all entitlements. Perks and millions at your disposal.

    • Royalsparkle says:

      POW royal grandpa give whiny waity and kids their status and millions support but he is not good enough to genuinely have the kiddies around in his life!!

      • Lady D says:

        I read on the DM last night that Charles is quite hurt by the fact he is not mentioned once in a favourable light as their father after Diana’s death, in the Diana special. It’s probably part of the reason for the palace staff shake-up.

  7. Mylene says:

    she look like a amazing mom. William too. Its a lot of pressure to be observe by the world on your every move. And princesse Charlotte did not make a trantrum. Media can be so bad sometimes.

    • notasugarhere says:

      With the tantrum right there to see on video, I wonder why people insist it didn’t happen. It was a minor and short one, but it happened.

  8. mkyarwood says:

    It’s possible, but it’s a fight! And, obviously, you won’t be able to keep all tech away because family gifts! Friends at school! Etc. Our kids don’t have iPads, but they’ve used them. We have a 3DS and they can play games on there, plus the ol’ beater consoles from our shamelessly not unplugged childhood. I don’t think they’ll have cell phones anymore, by the time my kids are teens. Microchips?

  9. Beluga says:

    It’s all very well wanting your children to have a normal life, but they are not normal children. They need to be taught about their role and the significance of it. William was inadequately prepared, I think, and it shows in his petulance and disdain for the job. The Queen takes her job seriously and, for all his faults, so does Charles. If Bill and Cathy Middleton are so intent on being normal, it raises the question of why the general public should be obligated to subsidise their lifestyle.

    if they want their children to have a normal, albeit extremely privileged, life then it’s easy. William can give up his claim to the throne.

  10. JustStahhhpp says:

    Charlotte looks so much like the Queen, it’s unreal. Lovely family.

  11. Nic919 says:

    The kids are two and four. Most kids that age don’t have an iPad either and it’s mostly because they can’t read. Nothing special here.

    If George is riding a bike inside a palace, that isn’t exactly normal. It’s not like they don’t have tons of outdoor space for it. Even when they think they are acting normal they have no concept of what normal really means.

    • Redgrl says:

      Nic919- ITA! I went back & reread the sentence about riding bikes indoors – bizarre. Kind of shows disdain for the beautiful surroundings – probably because they didn’t have to work for them and don’t pay to repair them so who cares if things get bumped & damaged – the plebes will pay for it! As well, I don’t like how they are putting every childhood gender stereotype cliche on these kids – George is adventurous and loves riding his bike, Charlotte is quiet and obedient and cooks. I would hope they’d raise their daughter to be adventurous and curious. Instead it sounds like she’s being raised to be another Kate – stay home while the boys have all th fun. I may be overreacting because she is only 2 – but something about that just rubbed me the wrong way…

    • Jessica says:

      Are you American? I see a lot of toddlers with their own tablets and with a protective case at the mall, restaurants, etc. It’s very common.

      • CynicalAnn says:

        I’m an Old Mom and it makes me crazy. It’s not good for small children’s brains to be on those tablets. I’ve already informed my college aged daughter that when she has children I will be ripping those out of my grandchildren’s hands. (Not my sons’ though-I don’t want to piss of my future son/daughter-in-laws.)

      • spidey says:

        Good luck with that CynicalAnn

    • bluhare says:

      When they said ride around Anmer my guess is they ride around the estate, not inside.

      • Polly says:

        That part of the article was poorly worded, but I assumed they meant outside around the property.

    • Lurker says:

      It doesn’t say they ride inside. I highly doubt a thirty-something man is riding bikes indoors!

      • Ravine says:

        Yeah, I read it as meaning inside the house at first, but I think they mean “riding around the house” as in “riding in circles outside the house”.

  12. Jessica says:

    First I want to say I love that Catherine is stressing that young children and toddlers shouldn’t be spending hours on tablets and phones. It’s not good for their development and if ‘Will & Kate’ don’t do it maybe others will pick up on it as well (similar to Michelle Obama stressing limited tv time).

    “I don’t know if I believe that William and George spend a lot of time together though, just like I don’t really think George is brimming with confidence. That’s not a knock on George at all, but from what we’ve seen of him, he seems to be growing into a shy, hesitant kid who doesn’t seem comfortable with the attention.”

    I actually think Will and George spend a lot time together and that George is clearly a bit of a daddy’s boy. Just because he seems anxious in front of strangers and photographers doesn’t mean he isn’t confident in other areas and with his family and classmates.

    • India Andrews says:

      George seems to have two modes- angry, little bruiser and clinging shyly to a parent. The only time I saw him look affectionately it was to Lupo in a family photo.

  13. CynicalAnn says:

    I’m not a fan of small children on those devices-or in the early years of elementary school-bad for their brains. That said-when my kids were really little (pre smart phones/devices) they did watch tv. (Albeit Sesame Street type things.) I remember Madonna saying Lourdes didn’t watch any tv/movies (our daughters are the same age.) and I thought-yes, it’s very easy to keep children entertained when you have staff. There were times when I had to make calls, household chores, or just plain needed a break-Hello Elmo.

    • Maria says:

      I agree. When someone else does the vacuuming, laundry, prepares meals etc. Then it’s easy.
      Don’t knock Sesame Street, l loved that show. But as soon as they hit school, they will be plugged, that’s my guess.

      • CynicalAnn says:

        We hold off on smart phones until they’re in middle school. And I hear “I’m the only one in 4th grade without a phone!” Too bad. Now that my 8th grader has it-it’s like an appendage. My older kids are more moderate with their usage. In fact my 19 year old puts it in another room while doing her homework so she’s not distracted.

    • No Dignity in that says:

      TV and kids? As long as they don’t watch too much or as long as they don’t watch adult stuff or sexy adult stuff ;-P … a little bit of tv/movies is even educational. Allegedly the well-educated part of the middle class ensures that the right movies are available for their kids… And every teacher knows that children who are acquainted with certain materials will do better in school, (greek and roman mythology, nordic mythology ect., movies of Shakespeares plays, certain movie classics etc.) It is simply much easier to read and understand Romeo and Juliet of the scarlet letter if you have seen the movies … .

  14. Talie says:

    I can believe William probably talks to George like an adult because Diana did that with him…it may be his only way to relate.

  15. Lana 234 says:

    They need to stop with this normalcy nonsense their children will never have a normal childhood. As for unplugging from technology and playing outside that sounds like what a lot of parents want for their children. George is a toddler he will eventually learn to deal with the attention he is getting.

    • Jessica says:

      If Sasha and Malia or Barron can have a normal rich kid childhood then so can George and Charlotte. Normalcy is different depending on who you are; will they be able to do the same things their rich friends do like go on ski vacations, hang out at the movies, go to the mall, etc. yes I believe they can.

      • Nic919 says:

        Sasha, Malia and even Barron are not given titles to differentiate themselves from the peasants. From birth George and Charlotte are called prince and princess and are treated as superior by staff. They will never be normal and the best they can hope for is to not be huge entitled assholes. However since their father is still a spoiled brat and Kate isn’t a strong personality this is not going to happen. Maybe Maria can help them.

      • magnoliarose says:

        Barron’s life isn’t normal even for a wealthy kid. He spends a lot of time on his own floor. If their father doesn’t step up and improve his attitude it won’t help them. He has to be a role model and right now he isn’t.

  16. Penguin84 says:

    3,2,1… to William retreating back to working parents are bad parents mode so he can get out of more royal work

  17. Bess says:

    Does William not realize that he needs to spend time with his daughter?

    • Citresse says:

      Yes it appears unusual especially considering William allegedly hoped for a daughter when Kate pregnant with George.
      As far as any rumours of rows between W&K right now, I suspect they’re arguing over having a third baby.

    • graymatters says:

      Probably. But since she’s unlikely to become the monarch, the press attention will be different. This is a story of one future king taking the next future king on mini-tours of his kingdom.

  18. Lorelai says:

    The most irritating part of this article, to be, is how they say the kids should be aware of their “background.” It’s not their background, it’s their role in life and their entire futures!

    I feel like I would use the word “background” when informing a child of something awkward but that they need to know; i.e. children of celebrities who passed away when they were too young to remember, or telling Bernie Madoff’s grandchildren about the “background” there.

    For George and Charlotte, it’s much more about their roles in the world. Not like they’re being informed of something that once happened but is over with now.

  19. Citresse says:

    Seriously, Kate looks great in lavender. It’s her colour.

  20. Anguishedcorn says:

    I’m going to go out on a limb and say growing up unplugged is the opposite of normal in 2017.

  21. No Dignity in that says:

    Oh great, no mobiles and no computers. That means those kids don’t learn that there is time for these toys and then that there is time to put these toys away. Great.

    “Deep conversations” with George? Flat-brained William?