Princess of Wales Shows Her Support & Protection to George & Charlotte with Calming Gestures at Queen's Funeral
Prince Louis is still too young to fully grasp the concept of his great-grandmother's death, but Kate says he wonders whether they will still play the same games at Balmoral now that the Queen is no longer there.
As a royal mom, Kate needed to keep her kids in line during all the formalities they had to go through at the funeral.
She comforted and supported her children with calming gestures during the funeral.
Queen Elizabeth II's death on September 8 caused indelible pain and heartbreak for millions of Britons and other royal fans worldwide. For days on end, thousands gathered at Buckingham Palace to mourn and pay their final tributes.
On Monday, September 19, the Queen's funeral service was held at the Westminster Abbey, attended by 2,000 mourners, including heads of state, foreign royals, and almost 200 key workers and volunteers.
Even as many mourned the monarch's death, her family was hit the hardest. Some of her great-grandchildren are yet to come to terms with how important their great-grandmother was to the state.
Prince George of Cambridge and Princess Charlotte of Cambridge stand on the balcony of Buckingham Palace following the Platinum Pageant on June 5, 2022 in London, England | Source: Getty Images
Kate Middleton, the Princess of Wales, disclosed that her oldest child, Prince George of Wales was "sort of realizing how important his great grandmother was and what is going on."
However, her youngest, Prince Louis of Wales, 4, is still struggling with the concept of his great grandmother's death. Kate shared that Louis had been asking many questions before the Queen's funeral.
Prince Louis of Cambridge attends the Platinum Pageant on The Mall on June 5, 2022 in London, England | Source: Getty Images
Speaking to Australia's Governor-General, David Hurley, at a reception for Commonwealth dignitaries on the night of Monday, September 19, Kate opened up about her child's confusion which Hurley would later recall, saying:
"The younger one is now asking questions like 'Do you think we can still play these games when we go to Balmoral' and things like that because she's not going to be there?"
Prince Louis watches a flypast from the balcony of Buckingham Palace during Trooping the Colour on June 2, 2022 in London, England | Source: Getty Images
While Louis is still confused about his great-grandmother's death, he appears to understand that she is no longer here. The Sunday Times royals editor Roya Nikkah says that Kate was speaking to kids outside Windsor Castle on September 10 when she confessed what Louis had said to her, as People reports:
"At least Grannie is with Great-Grandpa now."
George and Charlotte Attend Their Great-Grandmother’s Funeral
Since the Queen's burial date was set for September 19, Kate and William thought long and hard about how wise it was to bring their young children for the final service at Westminster.
Camilla, Queen Consort, Prince George, Catherine, Princess Charlotte and Sophie, during the State Funeral of Queen Elizabeth II at Westminster Abbey on September 19, 2022 in London, England | Source: Getty Images
But after royal advisors asked them to bring their kids, the parents of three decided to take George and Charlotte, while Louis remained behind because he was too young for the solemn day-long occasion.
The royal experts advised that George's presence at the funeral would be significant to the public as it would act as a symbol of engagement and duty and a reassurance of the order of succession.
On the day of the funeral, George and Charlotte walked into Westminster Abbey alongside their mother. Kate supported and comforted them by placing a reassuring hand over their shoulders as they walked behind King Charles III.
As they entered the memorial, Kate held Charlotte's hand as a gesture of reassurance and support. She also displayed other protective gestures towards her children, like stroking Charlotte's hair when leaving the car.
Catherine, Princess of Wales, Prince George and Princess Charlotte during the State Funeral of Queen Elizabeth II at Westminster Abbey on September 19, 2022 in London, England. | Source: Getty Images
Once they settled in the hall for the service, eagle-eyed spectators could not help but notice that she kept placing a reassuring hand on George's lap, in gestures that moved many royal watchers to tears and that many have since praised.
Charlotte wore a black mourning coat with a velour collar and a matching wide-brimmed hat, an outfit similar to her mother's, while George had on a navy blue suit with a black tie.
Prince William Prince George, Princess of Wales, and Princess Charlotte attend the State Funeral Service for Britain's Queen Elizabeth II, at Westminster Abbey in London on September 19, 2022. | Source: Getty Images
The youngest of the 2,000 mourners at the memorial, George and Charlotte stood and sang hymns alongside the rest of the congregation during the service screened on TV to an estimated worldwide audience of four billion people.
During the service, George could not hold back his emotions and was spotted wiping a tear from his face as he held the Funeral Order of Service booklet in his other hand. Following the service, Charlotte also had a moment when she could not hold back her tears and was spotted crying with her mother trying to console her.
As a royal mom, Kate needed to keep her kids in line during all the formalities they had to go through as a result of the funeral. She seemed to have done a magnificent job as her children remained calm and collected throughout the service.
Parenting Rules Kate Had to Follow during the Funeral
During the funeral, Kate had to follow a few rules, as highlighted by parenting expert, Gifty Enright. Enright explained that when it came to death, parents needed to be as transparent and honest as possible.
The Prince and Princess of Wales and their children stand on the balcony of Buckingham Palace following the Platinum Pageant on June 5, 2022, in London, England. | Source: Getty Images
However, they also needed to be considerate about using age-appropriate language, so the kids are not frightened or confused. She explained:
"Death is a part of life, and parents need to normalize it as much as possible for their children."
She shared that seeing their parent's cry and experience sadness due to loss helps children express their feelings openly. The worst thing to do in such a scenario would be to pretend everything was alright.
Catherine, Princess of Wales during the State Funeral of Queen Elizabeth II at Westminster Abbey on September 19, 2022 in London, England. | Source: Getty Images
She explained that children often understand their parent's sadness and stress and try to be extra good to make things all right for their parents or play up if they fail to understand what is going on and feel they are not getting their parents’ attention.
This mourning period and the days, maybe weeks, following the funeral will be difficult for Kate and Meghan Markle, the Duchess of Sussex, as they try to manage their own emotions and, at the same time, explain death to their children.
Gifty also explained that the children need to feel safe. "The children need to be given time to say goodbye to their great grandmother and space to express whatever emotions they are feeling before they are subjected to the formalities," Gifty explained.