Royal Corner

Little 'Lottie's' a Star

With those adorable photos celebrating her 5th birthday, we look at why Princess Charlotte is a royal superstar in the making.

MAY 3rd, 2020

'Little Lottie' - the confident Princess at a Polo match in 2018 - © Getty Images


he really is a star, isn’t she?

Staring into the camera, Princess Charlotte embodied a regal persona much beyond her five years of age. With a faint smile – reminiscent of her grandmother, Princess Diana – Charlotte’s striking resemblance to her father Prince William was unquestionable. But aside from the physicality’s of the little Princess, Charlotte is slowly and confidently carving out a personality that is set to launch her into the realms of royal superstardom. Even now, at such a tentative age, the world seems utterly fascinated by her, not just for the family she was born into, or the global popularity of her parents – but for her self-assured, charismatic and – in parts – cheeky persona.

The photographs, five in total, were captured by the Duchess of Cambridge, whose skill and talent in photography has advanced from the first image of a one-year-old Charlotte pushing a wooden trolley across the garden lawn. As with most of Kate’s wonderful images, the relaxed, informal and characterful tone are a welcome change from the more ‘refined’ studio portraits we have seen in the past. Yet, much like Prince Louis’ birthday photos, there meaning delved deeper than the celebration of a Princess’ fifth birthday.

Princess Charlotte delivers food packages to local residents close to the Sandrinham Estate - © HRH The Duchess of Cambridge

It was revealed alongside the photograph’s release, that the Cambridge’s had spent the previous weeks making homemade pasta and delivering food parcels to local residents living close to the Queen’s Sandringham Estate. For over two-hours, William, Kate, George and birthday girl Charlotte knocked on doors, and whilst maintaining social distancing, delivered food to those in need. Many of those residents described their interactions with the family, and it was obvious one member stood out – Charlotte. Impressed with her confidence and – as one resident described – “fearlessness”, the five-year-old showcased that even at such a tentative age, some are born for the role of royalty.

Within minutes of the photographs being released by Kensington Palace, Princess Charlotte was ‘trending’ on Social Media worldwide. Furthermore, the Zara dress she was wearing sold-out overnight – a feat now dubbed the ‘Charlotte-effect’. The sheer fascination in the Queen’s great-granddaughter was an interesting yet stark reminder of the future which lies before her.

Unlike her older brother, Prince George, Charlotte – affectionally nicknamed ‘Lottie’ by her parents – isn’t destined for the Throne. Her life will, in places, have less constraints than that of her brother, but if the reaction to her birthday photos prove anything; the attention will be greater.

The interest in the female members of the Royal Family have always outweighed the men. They are scrutinised more harshly, held to differing standards, and sell newspapers and magazines by the bucketload. The Queen, Princess Margaret, Diana, Fergie, Kate, Meghan – irrespective of whether they like it or not – every decision both fashionably and morally is placed under a microscope. As history and more recent times have proved, some can handle the perceived unfairness and pressure better than others.

The little Princess looks strikingly like her father, Prince William - © HRH The Duchess of Cambridge

This future will most certainly face Charlotte, more so than any other member of the Royal Family. Whilst it is a daunting prospect – one which won’t register on the mind of a five-year-old Princess – for Charlotte’s parents, especially her father, it will be a concern.

William watched the media hound his mother – some would argue to her death – and it will be a future he will ensure does not befall his daughter. But, then again, he – like so many of us – will surely recognise the differences between his mother’s upbringing, and the homelife he and Catherine have created for their own children.

Diana emotionally suffered as a child. Her parents bitterly divorced, she despised her stepmother and throughout her life never fully received much support from her siblings. She married at nineteen and overnight became the next Queen Consort and the most famous woman in the world. With no blueprint on handling the fame or media attention, her life became a cacophony of dramas which spiralled out of control. The stability in her life stemmed from her sons, though her longing for companionship led her into the arms of the media and those of who would sell her secrets for a pretty penny. Diana’s troubles were the product of her searching for a life that was always going to allude her, due to the sheer fact that she was forever looking in the wrong places.

By comparison, Charlotte’s childhood is secure and stable with parents who define the word teamwork. She is close to her brothers and confident in taking them on. The Queen once stated that “Charlotte is the General, the boys are her soldiers.” This doesn’t make her bossy, but confident, dynamic and certainly no shrinking violet. At such a young age, Charlotte has time and time again demonstrated she can handle the role of a Royal Princess. Whether it be waving to crowds on a Royal tour of Canada, perfecting her handshake when greeting well-wishers on Christmas Day, she is the consummate professional. Charlotte’s upbringing is a world away from her much missed grandmother’s – though elements of Diana’s teachings as a mother also shine through.

Charlotte, alongside her mother, the Duchess of Cambridge, greeting wellwishers outside of church in Sandringham on Christmas Day, 2019 - © Getty Images

William and Harry became the first royals to be exposed to the harsh reality of life outside the ‘goldfish bowl’. Their mother would actively take them to hospices, homeless shelters, hospitals and the poorer parts of London. She also took them to theme parks, McDonalds, the cinema and Disneyworld. Diana made mistakes, but her approach to parenting as a loving, modern and informal mother was not one of them. Through their father, George, Charlotte and Louis are experiencing the same types of exposure. They are seeing the reality of the everyday man and woman, and that life isn’t royal for most.

But whilst William continues Diana’s legacy, we should not undervalue the presence of the Middleton family. Mike and Carole Middleton have created a solid, unwavering and loyal family unit which – much to the celebration of the Royal Family – value discretion above all else. Catherine has an extremely close relationship with her parents and siblings; they are her confidants, councillors and doorway out of the pressure cooker that can sometimes be royal life. They are also loving grandparents, Aunts and Uncles, who adore their grandchildren, niece and nephews. Through the Middleton’s, Charlotte – alongside George and Louis – don’t have far to look for the normality of a world away from the ‘goldfish bowl’.

All these factors have created a strong and steady foundation for Charlotte to flourish on. And because of this, whatever will come Charlotte’s way, she already shows the ‘keep calm and Cambridge on’ mentality we have come to expect from her parents. She seems unfazed by almost anything, and whether that is intuition or the innocent sentiments of a child, it will stand her in good stead for the future.

The growing interest in Princess Charlotte is inevitable. Who she dates, what she wears, where she parties with friends, what charities she’ll support, all of this will fill the column inches of newspapers and magazines for years come. The media will make a fortune off the public’s fascination with her. But, much like her mother, Charlotte won’t break under the microscope.

The cheeky Princess charmed crowds after sticking out her tongue when she spotted her grandfather, Michael Middleton at last years Kings Cup - © HRH The Duchess of Cambridge

What the future will look like for little ‘Lottie’ is anyone’s guess, and if recent times have proved one notion, it is that the life of a royal is far from predictable. But with Charlotte, it is hard to see the difficult path that her Uncle Harry has forged also be her own fate. The attention, whether negative or positive, won’t dictate how she will live her life. This five-year-old has a mind of her own, an upbringing that shoots from a stable family life, and the freedom to develop her own personality away from the constant lens of the paparazzi.

William and Kate are slowly but surely introducing all their children onto the world stage at the appropriate age. This has allowed Charlotte to experience a childhood which is like most. Yes, there is wealth and the royal trappings of privilege, but also the liberty to explore, imagine, act silly – and express the occasional tantrum – away from the glare of the watching world. These priceless giving’s may not seem like much now, but as Charlotte matures into her global role as a daughter of a King and Queen, this Princess will have naturally learned the skills to understand that the fame she will endure isn’t as important as the family and friends around her.

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